Rorate Caeli

Traditionalist Publishing Renaissance (1): St. Augustine Academy Press

Many times, I have heard Catholics lament the "good old days" when there were so many Catholic writers, journalists, publications, and bookstores. It's true that we lost many of those things in the nuclear winter that followed the Second Vatican Council. However, as one who has spent a lot of time looking at older books and magazines (as in: from the 1890s to the 1960s), I'm not convinced that the level of material was consistently high. There were masterpieces, to be sure; but much that is now forgotten deserves to be forgotten.

Fast forward to 2020, fifty years after the mandatory imposition of the New Order on the Church. What do we see? Contrary to all the expectations of the party of rupture, we are witnessing a veritable renaissance in traditional Catholic publishing, of a consistently high quality, both in content and in production values. Such names as Angelico Press, Arouca Press, Angelus Press, Cluny Media, Loreto Publications, Preserving Christian Publications, Cana Press, Romanitas PressRoman Catholic Books, Sophia Institute Press, and Te Deum Press come to mind. There are more, and there will be more. It is perennial tradition, not the banality of the sixties and seventies, that excites enthusiasm and enkindles a lifelong desire to learn.

For a long time, my office has been overrun with books from various publishers that I am supposed to be reviewing or at least announcing. (One would think I might have learned my lesson and said "no," at least occasionally, but my excitement about new publications always gets the better of me.) Today, I would like to feature some of the many titles published by St. Augustine Academy Press, out of Homer Glen, Illinois. This publisher is by now, it's fair to say, world-famous for the book Treasure and Tradition: The Ultimate Guide to the Latin Mass, which has sold over 24,000 copies, and has 424 five-star reviews on its page. Copies may be ordered by the case, including a discount paperback version.

However, the Press offers much more than Treasure and Tradition (although, with italics removed, treasure and tradition is in fact all that they offer!). Below are some photos of other books for small children, older children, and young adults. The full catalog is well worth exploring online.

These lavishly illustrated books are good for hours of reading, on the couch - and in the pews.

So many classics on the Holy Mass, on First Communion, on serving Mass...

This large-format book is particularly handsome. Two pages follow.

A page from Highway to Heaven's Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

Inspiring stories of the saints, and rich allegories...

From classic The King of the Golden City

A children's book about hell. Only traditional Catholics talk about this revealed truth nowadays.

(From the same.)

This Pictorial Catechism follows the Creed, the Commandments, the Works of Mercy, etc.

Could use a bit more warning against idolatry in this age of Abu Dhabi Pachamama.

No monkeying with the words of the Lord's Prayer in this book.

We may pretty soon be giving hospitality to hunted priests.

This catechism is permeated with Scripture.

One of the most delightful catechetical texts I've ever seen.

(From the same.)
Books on the liturgical year and the saints

Many more photos of the outsides and insides of St. Augustine Academy Press books may be found at their impressive website, which is the exclusive source for ordering their books (they do not do business with Amazon).

In future installments, I will draw attention to other worthy publishers and publications.