How To Conduct Advertising Campaigns

February 28, 2008

I’ve mentioned several times that if you can’t measure the response, don’t pay for the ad. Mark Riffey has several tips on how to properly handle your advertising campaigns.

Go take a look.

Christ Died That You Might Have Life

February 24, 2008
” The Passion and Death of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ “
La Pieta Fine Art Print

“Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, ‘Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us.’ The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, ‘Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.’ Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ He replied to him, ‘Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.’ It was now about noon and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon because of an eclipse of the sun. Then the veil of the temple was torn down the middle. Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I commend my spirit’; and when he had said this he breathed his last.”

– from the Gospel of Saint Luke, 23: 39-46
Are you looking for resources or devotional items for Lent?
To browse the complete selection of items in our Lenten Specialty Store, please click here.

Prayers and Meditations
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Author: Pope Benedict XVI
Step By Step To Calvary: Praying the Stations of the Cross
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 Author: Angela Burrin
 The King, Crucified and Risen: Mediations on the Passion and Glory of Christ
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DVD Presentation
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We carry a large and wonderful selection of Catholic devotional art, like the painting “La Pieta” by William Bourguereau which is featured at the beginning of our newsletter today.
To browse our complete selection of beautiful Catholic paintings, prints, Florentine plaques and icons, please click here.


“It is precisely in the Passion, when the mercy of Christ is about to vanquish it, that sin most clearly manifests its violence and its many forms: unbelief, murderous hatred, shunning and mockery by the leaders and the people, Pilate’s cowardice and the cruelty of the soldiers, Judas’ betrayal – so bitter to Jesus, Peter’s denial and the disciples’ flight. However, at the very hour of darkness, the hour of the prince of this world, the sacrifice of Christ secretly becomes the source from which the forgiveness of our sins will pour forth inexhaustibly.

Justification has been merited for us by the Passion of Christ who offered himself on the cross as a living victim, holy and pleasing to God, and whose blood has become the instrument of atonement for the sins of all men. Justification is conferred in Baptism, the sacrament of faith. It conforms us to the righteousness of God, who makes us inwardly just by the power of his mercy. Its purpose is the glory of God and of Christ, and the gift of eternal life:

But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from law, although the law and the prophets bear witness to it, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, they are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as an expiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins; it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies him who has faith in Jesus.”

 – from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1851, 1992

Selected Lenten items for Children:
A Bi-lingual Coloring Book
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A Coloring Activity Book
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A DVD Presentation
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A DVD Presentation
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First Holy Communion season is right around the corner.

 To browse our complete selection of First Holy Communion resources and gift ideas, visit the Aquinas and More  First Holy Communion Specialty Store.
To browse our complete selection of crucifixes and wall crosses, the constant reminder of the price paid for our salvation, please click here.
To browse our complete selection of icons, the ancient and beautiful devotional art of the Christian East,
Psalm 96 exhorts us to “Sing a new song unto the Lord. Sing to the Lord, all the earth!”  To browse our complete selection of music CDs, please click here.
This Lenten season, why not deepen your prayer life by praying the Rosary or praying it more often? To browse our complete selection of rosaries and chaplets, please click here.
Sterling Silver Rosary with Genuine Tigereye

A meditation for this season:

“Being then in the flesh like others, He was crucified, but not for the like sins. For He was not led to death for covetousness, since He was a Teacher of poverty; nor was He condemned for concupiscence, for He Himself says plainly, Whosoever shall look upon a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already; not for smiting or striking hastily, for He turned the other cheek also to the stutter: not for despising the Law, for He was the fulfiller of the Law; not for reviling a prophet, for it was Himself who was proclaimed by the Prophets; not for defrauding any of their hire, for He ministered without reward and freely; not for sinning in words, or deeds, or thoughts, He who did no sins, neither was ,guile found in His mouth; who when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, threatened not; who came to His passion, not unwillingly, but willing; yea, if any dissuading Him say even now, Be it far from Thee, Lord, He will say again, Get thee behind Me, Satan.”

 – from Catechetical Lecture 13 of St. Cyril of Jerusalem (c. 315 – 386 A.D.)

A prayer for this holy season:

“Immortal God,

We contemplate the most profound experience of Your selfless love, the acceptance of death, the last and most formidable enemy of humankind. Yet “Through the hollow eyes of death, I see life peeping.” On the hideous deathbed, You extend to us the “right hand of fellowship,” the richest element of hope, incomparable intimacy with You. Through this, Your demise, teach us that death is but the crucible where all the Spirit’s gifts are finally refined, that it is the womb that, with the ecstasy of love, births the newborn into the light of endless day. Amen.”

We hope your Lenten season is an especially blessed and faith-filled one.

 – the staff at Aquinas and More Catholic Goods

The Best Two Minute Presentation on the Catholic Church. Ever.

February 21, 2008

We are doing some fulfillment work with the Matthew Kelly Foundation but until yesterday I didn’t know exactly what the whole project entailed. There is a new website called Catholics Come Home devoted to bringing fallen away Catholics back to the Church and also for educating seekers about the Faith. They have created a couple of movies that I think are going to be showing on regular television at some point. Here is an image from the first spot. Click it to go see it on their site.:


Go take a look at all the videos (bottom of the page).

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Ego Trip

February 21, 2008

This morning I was amazed to see a very flattering news bit on the New Advent home page. Then I realized that Kevin had changed the news feed to include the names of various bloggers he links to regularly before the article title. Even so, this has all kinds of possibilities…


One Man Who Made a Difference

February 21, 2008

Today, February 21, is the Feast of Saint Peter Damian

St. Peter Damian, Monk, Bishop, Cardinal and Great Reformer, is probably the least well known of the Doctors of the Church. We celebrate his feast day in the Church on February 21, the anniversary of his death. He was born in the year 1007 in Ravenna, Italy, the youngest child of a large family that struggled terribly to make ends meet. Orphaned at an early age he was taken in by an elder brother, an archpriest named Damian, and added his brother’s name to his own out of gratitude. Intellectually gifted, he made rapid progress in his studies which his brother had arranged for him. By the time he was twenty-five he was a well-known teacher in both Parma and Ravenna.

When St. Peter Damian was about twenty-eight years old, he abandoned his secular career pursuits and entered the Benedictine hermitage of Fonte Avellana, near Gubbio, seeking a monastic life that was uncompromising. His early years in the monastic community were marked by much fervor and the occasional extreme penitential episode which landed him in the infirmary. He continued to teach, inside his own community and at neighboring monasteries, and over time was given more responsibility and recognition at Fonte Avellana. In 1043, at the age of only 36, he was named prior at Fonte Avellana and remained, officially, in that office until his death.

Even though St. Peter lived the somewhat secluded life of a Benedictine hermit, he very carefully observed events in the Church of his time. The first century of the new millennium was a difficult time for the Church – scandalous public behavior by religious, clergy and even bishops was commonplace and emergent rulers throughout Europe attempted to subdue the Church to the State, often times using the most morally reprehensible means. With his proximity to Rome, and his great reputation for wisdom and sanctity, St. Peter Damian was often called upon by the Popes of his time for both advice on and intervention in a variety of matters. When Pope Stephen IX was elected in 1057, he pressed St. Peter to accept an episcopal appointment. Such was his reluctance to accept such a dignity, that Pope Stephen had to threaten him with excommunication in order for him to accept the position of Bishop of Ostia, and an appointment to the College of Cardinals as icing on the cake. Pope Stephen also named St. Peter as a papal legate – a position through which he mediated a number of difficult political and ecclesiastical crises over the years.

In 1059 things had become so bad at Milan that Pope Nicholas, successor to Pope Stephen, sent St. Peter there as his personal emissary. The corruption of the see of Milan had reached utterly new lows, with many clergy living openly with women in violation of chastity and the favors of the Church being bought and sold with no concern. Into the midst of this strode St. Peter Damian, and his awesome moral authority. He confronted clerical rioters in the cathedral and proved their submission to the Holy See, eventually winning over the scandalous clergy and bishops. Peter imposed a harsh public penitential sentence on them all and Milan was, as they say, re-converted.

In 1069, St. Peter traveled to Frankfurt to meet Henry IV, King of Germany, who had caused a crisis in the Church there by convincing his bishops to grant him a divorce, illicitly, from his wife Bertha. St. Peter intervened and convinced not only the bishops of their wrongdoing but the entire assembled noblemen of Germany. All rose up against the King in a public statement of defiance against his immorality. The king, needless to say, was sufficiently chastised.

In his lifetime, St Peter Damian battled kings and tyrants and anti-popes, heretics and wayward clergy. He did it all with a strong character, great moral authority and the sanctity of a true saint. He never resorted to violence or ill-means, only his faith in God and the eternal message of the Gospel of Christ were his “weapons at hand.”. St. Francis of Assisi, who lived some two centuries later, and who was himself known as a great reformer, viewed St. Peter Damian as the consummate hero of reform and renewal in the Church because of his witness and his accomplishments.

St. Peter Damian is truly a saint for all troubled times in the life of the Church. As Catholics who know our history, we must be thankful that the Lord always calls up saints to witness to the truth – especially in dark and difficult times. As Our Lord promised to the very first St. Peter regarding the Church, “the gates of Hell shall never prevail against it.”

Are you curious about what exactly “Doctor of the Church” means? According to Fr. John Hardon’s little gem of a book, the Pocket Catholic Dictionary, a handy reference work everyone should have, Doctor of the Church is “A title given since the Middle Ages to certain saints whose writing or preaching is outstanding for guiding the faithful in all periods of the Church’s history. Originally the Western Fathers of the Church – Gregory the Great, Ambrose, Augustine, and Jerome – were considered the great doctors of the Church but the Church has officially added many more names to the original four, including Sts. Catherine of Siena (1347-80) and Theresa of Avila (1515-82)” Currently their number stands at 33. The singular best book on the Doctors of the Church is Fr. Christopher Rengers’ “The 33 Doctors of the Church.” Find out who these men and women were and find out why they matter.

To understand more about the Church, Life and Culture in the early Middle Ages, the time of St. Peter Damian, a excellent book is Dr. Warren Carroll’s “Building of Christendom” – the second volume in his landmark series “A History of Christendom.” The story of this pivotal, turbulent era will fascinate and amaze the reader.

For a less dense and scholarly approach to the history of the Middle Ages, the years between 500 A.D. and 1500 A.D., try reading Professor Regine Pernoud’s wonderfully entertaining “Those Terrible Middle Ages! Debunking the Myths” This eye-opening work will change the way you think about the Middle Ages and will give you a new appreciation for this misunderstood period of history.

There is never a better time like the present to learn more about heroic figures in the Church like St. Peter Damian – those champions of orthodoxy, willing to give everything they had to serve the Truth – the Truth we know as Jesus Christ.

Would you be willing to let your children starve before denouncing your Catholic Faith? Do you have the courage to take the place of a galley slave so that he could return to his family, knowing that you will most surely die at sea? Could you hide a priest in your home even though the penalty for such a crime is to be “hanged, drawn, and quartered”?

From the green hills of Ireland to the rugged coast land of Algeria to the war-torn Balkans, ordinary men and women have been willing to take extraordinary risks in order to remain loyal to the one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church. In the book “Forgotten Catholic Heroes” you can discover the amazing stories of life, death, and allegiance to the Truth tucked within some of the most overlooked chapters of Catholic history. Once you’ve met these “forgotten heroes” and read their moving and inspirational stories, you’ll never take your Faith in Christ for granted again.


St. Peter Damian, champion of orthodoxy and witness to Christ, please pray for us and pray for the Church.

Would You Please Contact Catholic Book Publishing?

February 20, 2008

Hi Everyone,

We have been purchasing books from Catholic Book Publishing for years now. We have been in an ongoing discussion with them about their move to print more and more of their products in China. The official answer from the company is that low cost trumps any human rights violations that China engages in. Today we had to discontinue eleven more books that have switched printing from Korea to China.

Could you politely write to Catholic Book Publishing and let them know that you would be happy to pay a couple of dollars more per book if they would stop printing in China?

Posting this on our blog could result in them canceling our account as they have threatened to do in the past over this issue. However, we believe that the Chinese problem is far more important than our ability to order their products direct.

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February Movies to Watch

February 19, 2008

My mom started posting lists of movies for each month related to the saints and feasts of the month. Here’s January and February.

Memed. Again.

February 19, 2008

1. You have to post the rules before you give your answers.
2. You must list one fact about yourself beginning with each letter of your middle name. (If you don’t have a middle name, use your maiden name or your mother’s maiden name).
3. At the end of your blog post, you need to tag one person for each letter of your middle name.My middle name is Scot (yes, it only has one “t” because I am really Ian, the Scot. :

S – I’m scared of high speed. Never liked it. Not going down hills on a bike. Not on a skateboard. Not in a car.

C – Yes, in case it wasn’t obvious, I am Catholic.

O – I’m opinionated. I used to be the commentary editor at the University of Dallas. I generated a lot of controversy.

T – I’m trustworthy, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent. I was an Eagle Scout.

Okay, I’m tagging Socha Sideline, Catholic Fire, Our Lady’s Little Scribe, and Testosterhome.

Thanks, Mom.

More Fun News From China. This Could Give You a Headache

February 19, 2008

Thank goodness for the FDA.

Ever Wonder What Purchasing a Chinese First Communion Dress Helps Support?

February 19, 2008

How about the forced displacement of 2 million Chinese to make way for Olympic venues?

Fortunately, there are other options.