Ephemera XVI: Gifts and Wrestling

If you haven’t done your Christmas shopping yet, allow me to begin by offering up three suggestions for you.

  • First, click on over to Chews Life, a Catholic small-business venture rooted in my home city of Grand Rapids, MI that my wife is heavily involved in. Chews Life — as the punny brand name indicates — offers Rosaries and other devotional items for not only mothers, but their small children as well. They also carry bracelets, baby carriers, and special seasonal items. They also have some excellent deals going right now, but you will need to order no later than December 13 to guarantee delivery by Christmas. (If you celebrate Nativity according to the Julian Calendar, then December 26 should suffice.)
  • Second, Angelus Press has a host of new and reprinted titles available, including a beautifully bound Latin/English edition of Vespers according to the 1962 Breviarium Romanum and A Young Catholic’s Daily Missal.  There is also a host of other recent titles available, including a newly typeset edition of the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a traditional version of Catholic Trivia, and the annual Angelus Press wall calendar, which focuses on the life of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Last, if you’re someone like me who can never have enough calendars, then pop over to the website of the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer (Transalpine Redemptorists) and pick up the 2017 Papa Stronsay calendar. Not only does the calendar follow the traditional Roman Rite liturgical year, but it also includes the feasts for many Redemptorist saints along with noting special anniversaries and commemorations from Catholic history.

Since I am plugging things, allow me to direct you to the latest issue of The Angelus magazine which features two articles by yours truly, “Latins and Greeks on Purgatory” and “Celebrating the Nativity with the Redemptorists.” (The online version is available here.) If you don’t have a subscription to The Angelus yet, let me suggest you get on that right now as 2017 has a number of excellent thematic issues planned on topics such as politics, Luther and the Reformation, Fatima, and Middle Eastern Christianity. Also, if you are interested in contributing to The Angelus, please feel free to drop me a line through the “Contact” page.

Although I do enjoy writing the occasional pro-wrestling post, time will not permit me to follow through on my original plan of putting together several “Best of . . .” 2016 installments covering both matches and wrestlers from around the world. For those who care, the most consistently good (if not great) wrestling to be found in 2016 was from the (primarily) east-coast independent promotion EVOLVE. Now that they have struck a deal with FloSlam, you can have access to their live shows via iPPV and on-demand steaming of past events for $20/month. Also included in the package are several other independent promotions, along with a reservoir of archival material. However, I must also recommend that everyone go out of their way to watch the Cruiserweight Classic (CWC), which aired on the WWE Network during the summer. This unique tournament, which brought together light heavyweight wrestlers from all over the world, delivered some of the best pro-wrestling seen in the United States in decades. By presenting the tournament as a sport and focusing on the real-life struggles and aspirations of the participants, the CWC demonstrated that even in a day and age when everybody knows pro-wrestling is “a work,” it is still possible to draw audiences in through the natural drama that accompanies any competitive event.