Msgr Sal Pilato superintendent of high schools Archdiocese of Los AngelesMonsignor Sal Pilato, Superintendent of High Schools, Archdiocese of Los Angeles, recommends high school educators in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles use Catholic Textbook Project’s newest textbook, Lands of Hope and Promise: The History of North America, for American history courses:

“As a former secondary history teacher and principal,” says Monsignor Sal Pilato, “I can say that these are excellent textbooks that really fill an important gap in our efforts to teach the full story of history, the honest story which includes the Church’s role in the formation and growth of our country and civilization. I encourage you to look at them carefully and consider them for your American history courses.”

The new Lands of Hope and Promise textbook presents the (more…)

This Week in History

Lincoln Suspends Habeas Corpus:

April 27, 1862

This text comes from our book, Lands of Hope and Promise: A History of North America. Please visit our webpage to peruse sample chapters of our book. For ordering information on Lands of Hope and Promise and our other texts, please click here.

Abraham Lincoln’s first presidential portrait

Lincoln’s first task was to secure for the union the neutral border states — Maryland, Kentucky, Delaware, and Missouri. Delaware, with few slaves, had shown no signs of seceding. Kentucky, however, had a strong secessionist faction and could as easily go Confederate as remain in the union. Lincoln thought an insistence that Kentucky contribute to the war effort against the South would goad that state into secession. He thus assured Kentucky that he would respect her neutrality. No Federal troops would cross over onto Kentucky soil.

Missouri was divided between southern and union sympathizers, among the latter the numerous German population around St. Louis. Though in February 1861, a state convention voted to stay in the union, Governor Clairborne Jackson refused to send troops to Lincoln and plotted to seize the Federal arsenal in St. Louis. The commander of the arse­nal, Nathaniel Lyon, got wind of the plan and with Federal troops broke up a state militia encampment at St. Louis. Promoted to brigadier general and to the command of Federal troops around St. Louis, Lyon then marched on Governor Jackson, driving him from the state capital, Jefferson City, into the southern regions of Missouri. (more…)

This Week in History

A Pope Lays St. Peter’s Cornerstone and Undermines the Church: April 18, 1506

This text comes from our book, Light to the Nations I: The History of Christian Civilization. To peruses sample chapters of our books, go hereFor ordering information on Light to the Nations I and our other texts, please click here.

Pope Julius II, portrait by Raphael

In April 18, 1506, Pope Julius II laid the cornerstone for a new basilica church over the burial place of St. Peter the Apostle in the Vatican. A great lover of the arts and patron of artists, Pope Julius hoped to accomplish what Pope Nicholas V had begun, 50 years before: to replace the aging St. Peter’s Basilica (built by the Emperor Constantine) with a new church that would shine with all the splendor with which Renaissance architecture and art could adorn it.

A year later, Pope Julius proclaimed a jubilee indulgence to fund this great project. An indulgence is a full or partial remittance by the Church of the temporal punishment for sins (such as one suffers in Purgatory) following the forgiveness offered in the Sacrament of Penance. Julius’s indulgence did not differ from indulgences issued by earlier popes. To obtain the indulgence, one had to be truly repentant, receive the Sacrament of Penance, and perform a good work. In the case of the jubilee indulgence, the good work was contributing money to the building of St. Peter’s Basilica. It was not unusual for the Church to issue indulgences for the funding of churches—which was considered a very holy work. Yet, this jubilee indulgence, in a few short years, would have tragic results that no one, including the pope, could foresee in 1507. (more…)

This Week in History

Zapata Assassinated: April 10, 1919

This text comes from our book, Lands of Hope and Promise: A History of North America. Please visit our webpage to peruse sample chapters of our book. For ordering information on Lands of Hope and Promise and our other texts, please click here.

Venustiano Carranza

Carranza was not the author of the more radical provisions of the Constitution of 1917, and he did nothing to enforce them. Indeed, it would have been difficult to deprive foreign companies of their land and mineral rights, for they would appeal to their governments for redress. Both the Church and the landowners resisted the government’s reforms. Too, even if Carranza had possessed the power to enforce the Constitution, he had not the desire.

But when Carranza did exercise power, he used it against radicals. He did nothing to redistribute lands to the peasants; he actively suppressed workers’ attempts to organize unions. He closed the House of the World Worker in Mexico City and arrested one of its most powerful leaders, Luis Morones.

Given Carranza’s violations of the new constitution, one might have expected some general to “pronounce” against him; but Mexico was exhausted by revolution; and, besides, Carranza had pledged that he would not seek re-election. (more…)



We enjoyed meeting so many of you in person last week at the NCEA in San Diego!!  For those who took some of Michael’s home-grown, fresh-picked avocados, we hope you are now enjoying some good ol’ California guacamole. And, in case you missed it, check out who gave a thumbs-up to Catholic Textbook Project History/Social Studies textbooks!!! (Pope cut-out courtesy of Nelson Gifts across the NCEA aisle)    CALL YOUR REP TO FIND OUT ABOUT THE BIG AFTER-NCEA CONFERENCE SPECIAL THAT ENDS JUNE 1, 2016!!!