This Week in History

Sand Creek Massacre:

November 29, 1864

This text comes from our book, Lands of Hope and Promise: A History of North America (now available in hard cover)For ordering information on Lands of Hope and Promise and our other texts, please click here.

“Nothing lives long except the earth and the mountains.”

White Antelope, old gray-head, arms folded, sang his death song: “Nothing lives . . .”

The ancient chief, leader of the people, refusing refuge within the banks of the murmuring creek bed, boldly faced the onslaught of the white-faces, unresisting. The whizzing bullet, whether aimed deliberately or fired recklessly, struck the old man, and he fell, like an ancient, towering pine cut down in the distant forest.

“Nothing lives long . . .”

A depiction of the Sand Creek Massacre, by Howling Wolf, an eye witness

 

Some would have said that White Antelope’s people, the Arapaho, had lived far too long, scouring the plains in pursuit of the herds of buffalo that fed them and clothed them. It was a new age; the white man was advancing, had been advancing, for over 20 years across the hunting grounds of the Arapaho, the Cheyenne, and the Sioux. Not many years had passed since gold had been found in the mountains of Colorado, and the white man’s city, Denver, had swelled with thousands of fortune seekers. The shiftless Indian (as the whites thought him), intent only on hunting and war, just wasted this land, just wasted it. He must submit to the white man (whose destiny it was to take the land) or die. (more…)



This Week in History

Pio Nono Takes Flight from Rome:

November 24, 1848

This text comes from our book, Light to the Nations II: The Making of the Modern World  (now available in hard cover). See sample chapters, here.  For ordering information on Light to the Nations II and our other texts, please click here.

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Pope Pius IX in 1846

Pope Pius IX’s refusal to declare war on Austria had turned the Liberals of Rome utterly against him. They now sought his downfall. Secret societies in the city stirred up the common people to demand nothing less than a secular, constitutional government for the Papal States. And the more the pope tried to appease the Liberals, the more they demanded of him. Even the pope’s chief ministers, led by a layman, Count Mamiani, demanded that the pope not only declare war on Austria but also abandon his temporal power altogether.

As the months passed, street violence, stirred up by secret societies, increased in Rome. The civil guard was in the hands of the Liberals, while Count Mamiani only wasted government money and did nothing about the violence. When Mamiani at last resigned, the pope appointed Count Pellegrino Rossi as chief minister. Rossi took over the leadership of the mostly lay ministry on September 16, 1848.

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A Report on the Holy See’s World Congress on Education

By invitation of the Holy See, CTP’s president, Michael Van Hecke, is attending the Holy See’s World Congress on Education. Here is a report from the second day. Please check back for future reports.

“This is a very important work!”

These were the kind and encouraging words we received from the Prefect of the Holy See’s Congregation for Catholic Education, His Eminence Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi. I met him earlier in the afternoon, then happened upon him in an empty lecture hall, paging through our All Ye Lands book. That was when he told me, “This is a very important work!” He will now take the textbook and our other Catholic Textbook Project materials back to the Vatican offices and review them some more

Castel Gandolfo

This was a nice ending to another long day that featured a great variety of speakers on a wide range of topics. The morning sessions were particularly germane to us in our work at the Institute for Catholic Liberal Education, and for me personally as a headmaster. They even were relevant to the Catholic Textbook Project, as our books and their teacher materials help in the formation of teachers. Much of the morning was devoted to outlining the process and importance of forming those who form teachers – college teacher formation programs and headmasters’ building the learning communities in their own schools. What was heartening was the clear and passionate appeal to make a theological and spiritual formation the centerpiece of any formation, be it of educational leaders, teachers, or students.

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 A Report on the Holy See’s World

Congress on Education

By invitation o f the Holy See, CTP’s president, Michael Van Hecke, is attending the Holy See’s World Congress on Education. Here is a report from the second day. Plesae check back for future reports.

During the first full day of the congress, I was very much occupied – with my list. As I met people, and passed them or had lunch next to them, I added them to a list of countries from which they hailed. I counted 62 nations – 62 nations of Catholic educators – and those are only the ones I personally encountered. I do not know the total number of nations represented, but what a grand exhibition of the universality of our Church! How beautiful the commitment and love for the Church and children this showing represented. Second on my list of memorable moments today was meeting a most gracious son of the Church, one of the archbishops from Nigeria and dozens of other holders of the torch of the Gospel mission from the African continent: Cameroon, Zimbabwe, the Ivory Coast, Congo, Gabon, etc. It was inspiring to be among them.

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A Report on the Holy See’s World Congress on Education

By invitation of the Holy See, CTP’s president Michael Van Hecke is attending the Holy See’s World Congress on Education. Here is his report from the first day. Please check back for future reports.