DigitalNun's Catholic Daily

The Benedictine Nuns of Holy Trinity Monastery in East Hendred in the UK are very sharp ladies. They continue the Benedictine tradition that once upon a time took place in the scriptorium by adapting it to the modern age and through their sophisticated website which offers an Online Retreat Service, a blog, digibooks, podcasts and more.

Their offerings are uniformly excellent, but my favorite thing is the DigitalNun Daily, a virtual daily newspaper in which they cull together online articles on a broad range of topics — typical Benedictines, they have curious minds and that means they serve up pieces on religion, art, internet design and coding, history politics, even typesetting!

The sisters are interesting in their opinions, too. Here one of them, I think Sr. Catherine, links to a first-glimpse of the illustrations that will accompany the new English missal. Noting that they are perfectly beautiful but from a different age, she writes:

I believe that our own generation is capable of producing art that is both faith-filled and beautiful, and part of me is sorry that the missal editors have not sought out some contemporary artist to illustrate its pages. I don’t subscribe to the view that all contemporary art is ugly and brutal. I do subscribe to the view that our churches and everything in them should be the best we are capable of. A beautiful medieval psalter is a safe choice but is it the best choice? What do you think?

Personally, I’m happy whenever I don’t have to look at minimalist woodblock stamping, but I don’t disagree that some modern illustrators could have done magnificent things with the opportunity to illustrate the new missal.

Other headlines from their paper:

Pope picks Augustinian nun to write Good Friday meditations

Catholic/Atheist meetings end with Pope Benedict appeal to Youth

True Colors Infographic; the breakdown of color preferences by gender

Information Missing from Survey Claiming Catholic Support for Gay Marriage

Brooklyn Couple Race Against Time; Both diagnosed with Cancer in Space of a Week

Madness in the Realm; Narratives of Mental Illness in Late Medieval France

That’s just a few headlines. Do yourself a favor; subscribe to the Digitalnun Daily. You’ll like it!

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Elaine

    Anchoress, have you seen the art from the modern illuminated Bible? I know of some people who speak well of it, but I think it looks poor and also instantly dated (60s). I’d rather have medieval art than stuff like that. And I suspect modern illustrations chosen for the missal would have been more like that than not.

    There’s also a time factor – you have to find or commission artists for illustrations of the new missal, and then they have to create something appropriate.

    There may be contemporary artists around who can do beautiful, moving work – I haven’t seen much, though.

  • Wilsonia

    Where did those hideous woodcut illustrations from the 7os come from? I mean the one with the big eyes and giant feet and hands. Who came up with that?

  • Sal

    Disappointed at learning that “The Divine Comedy” and “Paradise Lost” don’t have pictures, Morgan Jane (2) picks up “Shorter Christian Prayer”:
    Mimi, does this have pictures?
    Well, sort of.

    Like Elaine, I instantly thought of the Bible project and then rejected it for the same reasons.

  • George Patterson

    New Book on Human Trafficking

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    Rather than provide numerous charts and tables in a research format, this fictional adventure involves a young Catholic professed religious sister who bravely, and at the risk of her life, infiltrates a human trafficking operation. The story puts the reader right in the midst of the human trafficking process.

    The horror of trafficking is so real I want to make the book available to all Catholics so they can feel the evil the nun faces. The novel is available at Amazon for Libraries and Education Institutions in addition to individual purchases and on Kindle.

    I hope you will take a look at this book and pass this email along to those in your archdiocese who are involved in the human trafficking ministry.


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  • Deacon Lawrence

    I agree that we are missing a wonderful opportunity by not using more contemporary artists, there are certainly many very good Catholic illustrators out there.
    The only reason I can see to using the same “old master” work is that being public domain, the publishers do not have to pay for its use.
    I would love to be proven wrong.
    There is one publisher (LTP) that has at least one page lined up by artist/architect Matthew Alderman. So there is hope that it will start a new trend.