by Dennis Dalman
The St. John’s Liturgical Press recently received an unprecedented number of awards for its published books, and two of its designers were also honored.
It is the highest number of awards ever won by the Press in one year since the Press was founded in 1926 on the campus of St. John’s University by a monk named Virgil Michel.
The Press won 39 awards – 32 from the Catholic Press Association and seven from the Association of Catholic Publishers. The individuals honored in the category for “Best Trade/Seasonal Catalog” were Tara Wiese (second place for designing the Fall 2018 Parish Catalog) and Monica Bokinskie (third place for designing the Fall 2018 Academic Catalog). Both are employees who work at the Liturgical Press building on the campus of St. John’s University where they also designed some of the covers for the award-winning books. The two received their awards from the Catholic Press Association.
All of the other awards were for books written by authors from throughout the United States and from other countries. The categories of awards included books about theology, spirituality, history, scripture, sacraments, biography, pastoral ministry and liturgy.
“Liturgy,” from which the Press derived the word “Liturgical” in its name, is defined as public worship performed by a religious group to establish a relationship with a divine agency and with other participants in the worship service.
The Association of Catholic Publishers named the best book of the year “Proverbs” by Alice Ogden Bellis, an ordained minister and professor of Hebrew Bible study at Howard University School of Divinity in Washington, D.C. Her book was praised as “a huge undertaking” with a diversity of biblical commentary from a feminist point of view. That book was published by the St. John’s Liturgical Press and one of its seven books honored by the ACP.
All told, the Press won 11 first-place honors and numerous awards for second place, third place and honorable mentions.
The Press has a staff of about 20 monks and laypeople. Its purpose, as stated in its mission statement, is “to publish the Good News of Jesus Christ through various media to deepen the faith and knowledge of a richly diverse church. The work of the Press reflects the Benedictine emphasis on hospitality and the deep commitment of St. John’s Abbey to teaching, learning and fostering good liturgy.”
Author: Dennis Dalman
Dalman was born and raised in South St. Cloud, graduated from St. Cloud Tech High School, then graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in English (emphasis on American and British literature) and mass communications (emphasis on print journalism). He studied in London, England for a year (1980-81) where he concentrated on British literature, political science, the history of Great Britain and wrote a book-length study of the British writer V.S. Naipaul. Dalman has been a reporter and weekly columnist for more than 30 years and worked for 16 of those years for the Alexandria Echo Press.