The Catholic University of America

Nov. 21, 2013 

CUA Press is Blessed

  Father James Bradley blesses CUA Press's new icon of Blessed John Henry Newman.

The Catholic University of America Press found a way to celebrate University Press Week that was unique to its mission.

Using the words of the Roman Ritual “Blessing of Printing Offices,” staff and friends of CUA Press gathered in their offices on Nov. 15, the date of the Press’s founding 74 years ago, for a “bless the press” event. Led by Rev. James Bradley, a student at the University’s School of Canon Law, the people, books, equipment, and a new icon of Blessed John Henry Newman were blessed.

As he sprinkled holy water throughout the office, Father Bradley read from the ritual. “From the books which issue forth for our enlightenment, may we learn, by thy gracious help, nothing but that knowledge which, coming from thee, leadeth truly unto life.”

University Press Week, held Nov. 11 through 15, is sponsored by the American Association of University Presses (AAUP). “As we planned an event in honor of AAUP’s press week, we wanted to come up with something that celebrated our Catholic mission,” said Trevor Lipscombe, director of CUA Press.

In anticipation of the event, employees of the press decided to add something new to their office that would be blessed during the short ceremony. They came up with an image of Cardinal Newman (1801 – 1890), an English scholar and an important Catholic literary figure, known for many published works, including The Idea of a University. That collection of essays and lectures by Newman explores his concept of a Catholic university and his ideas on higher education.

The colorful icon was hung in the entryway of CUA Press’s office space. Lipsombe said it was “fitting that a fellow Englishman should bless the icon.” Father Bradley is a member of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in England.

“We in university publishing use University Press Week to celebrate and promote our scholarly mission,” explains Jane Bunker, director of Northwestern University Press and an AAUP board member. “We were delighted to hear about CUA’s ‘bless the press’ event, which demonstrated creativity and innovation, and highlighted its commitment to Catholic scholarship and history.”

CUA Press, which celebrates its 75th birthday in 2014, is a founding member of AAUP. The Press publishes 40 new titles annually, with particular emphasis on disseminating scholarship in the areas of theology, philosophy, Church history, and medieval studies. CUA Press is widely recognized for its Fathers of the Church series, in which the rich heritage of the East and West come alive through English translations of the Greek and Latin writings of the Church fathers.




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