On the Mythical Pius XII Thanksgiving Indult

Every year around Thanksgiving, a flurry of social media posts make the rounds in traditional Catholic circles, concerning a mysterious “Turkey Indult” from the 1950s.

Catholic News Archive

The Catholic News Archive (CNA) is a freely available unique digital collection of American Catholic Newspapers. With an impressive range of advanced search options and search filters, and a friendly mobile layout, it encourages serious research as well as easy browsing. Every newspaper page is scanned with optimal character recognition (OCR). The lack of export options is a serious hindrance to heavy-duty research, which is unfortunate given how extensive and interdisciplinary the content is. The uncorrected OCR is counterbalanced by powerful search options, diverse result display options, and user-corrected OCR.

The Second Vatican Council Documents in American Catholic Newspapers

In James Hitchcock's 1979 work Catholicism and Modernity, there is a quotation that particularly interested me: One of the choicest of all the ironies of the postconciliar era presented itself here, since in its decree on communications, Inter Mirifica, the Council warned severely against precisely those misuses of the media which the conciliar excitement was in the process of inspiring. There developed an almost universal conspiracy of silence about that document.

Missals in The Catholic Commentator

Background This post is part of a series on a comprehensive review on occurrences of the word “missal” in the Catholic News Archive (CNA). Read the first post here! The Catholic Commentator Today's newspaper is The Catholic Commentator (TCC), published in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The CNA carries issues from February to December of 1963. I went through 59 results. 45 of those results are a type of article that we will likely see much more of: the liturgical calendar for the week.

Missals in the Shepherd of the Valley

About I recently started a comprehensive search of ‘missal’ in the Catholic News Archive (CNA). By ‘comprehensive’, I mean that I am documenting every single valid result I get. (Invalid results would be anything that isn't actually the word missal, like dismissal.) This is a departure from my usual method of newspaper research. While I always review every result, it is generally not necessary to capture every result in my final product.

A Glimpse into 1970s Liturgical Music

Most of my content is fairly dense, so today I decided to take a break and have fun with some lighter content. The National Association of Pastoral Musicians (NPM) has made freely available most of the issues of their magazine Pastoral Music: To get a sense of what musicians, liturgists, cantors, academics, priests, and others were talking about in the years following the Second Vatican Council, I collected some excerpts from the first five volumes, from 1976-1981.

Seder Meals in Catholic Newspapers

This is the first post in an ongoing series, documenting assorted topics as they appear in Catholic Newspapers in the Catholic News Archive. How was the topic described? When did it peak in usage? Did its connotations or associations for Catholics change over time? Methods: Search terms “seder meal” “seder meal"~10 passover meal “Catholic seder"~20 Results The most useful search was “seder meal"~10. Almost all of the early (1880s-1950s) results for “seder” were false hits - a result of the OCR.

Bible Vigils, and Why We Don’t Have (or Need) Them

Although it is now frequently claimed that the traditional Latin Mass (TLM) was never abrogated (totally abolished) following the Second Vatican Council, this position is squarely at odds not only with the lived experience of several generations of Catholics, but with the rapid and near total disappearance of the TLM within a brief period of time.

Bible Vigils: Guest Article

Bible vigils were a Catholic phenomenon of the 1960s. They were called by a variety of names, “Bible vigil” being the most common but also “Bible” or “Biblical” “ritual, service, devotion”, “celebration of the Word”, and most confusingly, sometimes used synonymously with Vespers.

‘Virtually Impossible with an All-Latin Liturgy’: A Brief History of Active Participation

Although active participation may have dissipated as a liturgical rallying call, it remains an unusually revealing and concise way to track how the Church has evolved over recent decades. This was a new concept in regards to liturgy, and its importance is paramount, as it is a frequently cited justification for the 20th-century liturgical reforms.