By Andy McAlpin, OP
For decades, the Province of St. Albert the Great churned out many great books by excellent theologians and philosophers from within and from outside of the hallowed walls of her priories. Over the years, the shifting realties of religious life and changes in the publishing industry took a toll on this ministry, and the venerable Priory Press all but faded into the mist of memory. Held together at the end by Fr. Bill Bernacki, OP, the storehouse of the old Priory Press still ships some copies of the popular high school texts it produced. Priory Press no longer produced new books, yet many authors in the province were not idle in the project of theological and philosophical thought and authorship. They just could not publish using the province’s imprint. Until now.
After losing publishing rights under the name Priory Press to other entities who snatched up the catchy moniker, the province had to come up with a new name as there was a resurgence within the province to begin anew its publishing arm. Fr. Mike Demkovitch, OP, got the ball rolling when he asked the provincial chapter to inaugurate a new office of Intellectual Property Rights. The purpose of this would recover ownership of older titles and to protect the rights of future authors.
Thanks to his initiative, we are happy to report that there are currently three books available with the new imprint of the province known as New Priory Press. Utilizing the latest technology in print-on-demand methods, New Priory Press operates with low overhead and no longer needs a printing and binding facility nor a warehouse for inventory. Our books will be available on an unlimited basis. New printing realities means our books will no longer go out of print, which is a good sign to the people who have asked for some of our titles that have long been out of print and available only through rare book dealers.
It’s a great sign to the province that among our first offerings is the autobiography of Fr. Benedict Ashley, OP: “Barefoot Journeying: The Autobiography of a Begging Friar.” This revealing and interesting memoir covers most of the history of the Province of St. Albert the Great as well as the upheaval and realities in the Church before and after the Second Vatican Council.
Another book we have out is Fr. Thomas McDermott, OP’s translation of an Italian book on St. Catherine of Siena. “Catherine of Siena, Doctor of the Church” by Giacinto D’Urso, OP, is now available and is an excellent resource for all those interested in this great Doctor of the Church.
Fr. George Reynolds, OP, has written his first book, “The Cobbler and the Cricket,” which is a series of short stories he has compiled through the years. These great stories are accented by illustrations by George’s late priest brother, Robert.
Other volumes are in preparation, including reprints (both digital and hard copy) of best sellers from the past. These include: Walter Farrell’s “A Companion to the Summa, Vols. 1-4”; Jordan Aumann’s translation of Royo’s “The Theology of Christian Perfection”; two books by our current Prior Provincial, Fr. Charlie Bouchard, and two more books by Benedict Ashley, “The Strong Woman” and “Answering Angry Atheists.”
For more information, visit newpriorypress.com.