Building a Monastery With Medieval Tech

Model of the monastery project

From Der Spiegel (in English): “Historians, architects, archaeologists and volunteers in Germany are teaming up to build a medieval monastery the old-fashioned way. Working conditions will be strictly 9th-century, without machines, rain jackets or even coffee. It will take decades, but they hope to garner fresh insights into everyday life in the 800s.” Read the [Read More...]

Unusual Christian/Pagan Grave Discovered in England

The gold cross found in the grave of the young Anglo-Saxon woman

Ancient Anglo-Saxon “bed burials”–in which the deceased is laid out in a real bed, often with possessions–are rare enough, but they have turned up in England before. Solid gold pectoral crosses are also extremely rare finds in English burials, but again: not completely unknown. But finding a Christian symbol on a person buried in the [Read More...]

The Oldest Monastery in Europe?

Does new research push the date of a monastery in Bulgaria, founded by St. Athanasius himself, back to 344 AD? Definitely maybe: Bulgarian archaeologists have uncovered what they believe is the oldest Christian monastery in Europea near the village of Zlatna Livada in southern Bulgaria. According to latest archaeological research, the St. Athanasius monastery, still functioning [Read More...]

Illuminated Manuscripts in the Classroom

Initial Letter of Genesis, The Wenceslas Bible c. 1389

Despite the fact that this NY Times story about teaching kids the techniques of medieval illuminated manuscripts never uses the words monk, monastery, Bible, Catholic, church, or even religion (do Times writers get some kind of bonus in their paycheck for that?), it’s still an interesting subject. Her class at the Gordon Parks School for Inquisitive [Read More...]

Reinventing the Wheelchair

Just go ahead and watch it. From Tek RMD. More at Reuters. [Read more...]

Dying Languages Saved By The Technology That’s Killing Them

One of the victims of globalization and technology is language. No, I don’t just mean good language, as with the case of people using “ROTFLMFAO” or “R U comin??!” I mean actual languages, actually disappearing, perhaps in the thousands by the end of the century. Now these groups are finding a way to survive by turning [Read More...]

Monday Morning Chicken

Amber

Here at the end of our first full week of being suburban chicken farmers, we still walk about in a daze saying, “Whatzat? We have chickens. How did we get chickens?” They are strangely easy to care for and quite charming. We’re still researching coop designs, but we have about 5 weeks left until they [Read More...]

Special Needs Catechesis

Last summer I wrote this story about David, Mercedes, and Brendan Rizzo and their work to create a unique set of tools for teaching special needs children about the sacraments. Their work was piloted at my parish (St. Isaac Jogues in Marlton, New Jersey), so I got to see it develop from a homemade project [Read More...]


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