New graphic novel tackles the horror and heroism of WWII
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New graphic novel tackles the horror and heroism of WWII

In this fictional, historically-based graphic novel for juvenile readers, author R. J. Palacio fleshes out the background of characters she first introduced in her previous works, Wonder and Auggie & Me, especially that of Julian and his ancestors.  Julian is assigned a project to write an essay about someone he knows for his humanities class. He facetimes with…

The Traveling Letter
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The Traveling Letter

At times I’ve wondered why I’ve kept all of my correspondence my entire life. I have saved letters that I received way back in the 1940’s. Every time I move, I take the shoebox with letters along. But now I know why. There are two benefits that made it worth saving these letters. One I’ve…

Saints in the Making
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Saints in the Making

On July 26, 1942, a young Nazi nurse administered a lethal injection to a patient in the Dachau hospital. The patient was a Dutch clergyman named Titus Brandsma; he passed out of this life within 10 minutes. That moment doubtless seemed of little consequence. The clergyman had been in poor health and unrepentant of his…

All in the Family
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All in the Family

Some years after becoming an oblate at the New Camadoli Hermitage in California’s remote Big Sur, Paula Huston embraced God’s call to research and write this compact yet far-reaching and exhaustively researched history of the hermitage. First, she discerned she could not do justice to New Camadoli unless she dug deeply into the history of…

History Rhymes
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History Rhymes

As the old saying goes: “history does not repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” The past does not give us a blueprint for the future, but it can provide us insights into the trajectory of current events. This year, many Dutch towns are celebrating the 450th anniversary of one of the most important turning points…

A nation born out of war and lawlessness, the Netherlands
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A nation born out of war and lawlessness, the Netherlands

Many Dutch towns are celebrating the 450-year anniversary of what happened on April 1, 1572, when a motley crew of seamen (called the Sea Beggars), loyal to William of Orange, were able to capture and hold their first town (Brielle) on the Dutch mainland. The capture of Brielle was an important turning point in the…

Putin’s recklessness
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Putin’s recklessness

In 1918 pandemic followed war. In 2022 war has followed pandemic. Few of us saw it coming. Up to the last moment, I thought Russian President Vladimir Putin would continue to chip away at Ukraine’s largely Russian-speaking eastern territories, funding “separatists” and daring the rest of the world to do something about it. I personally…