Wow. Deo Gratias! 

The winners were announced last night at the Catholic Media Association’s conference in Portland, Oregon. A complete list of winners can be found here. 

From the judges:

First Place, Prayer: Collection of Prayers

A Deacon Prays: Prayers and Devotions for Liturgy and Life, Deacon Greg Kandra, Ave Maria Press

In his introduction Kandra sets the tone for the book, writing “The diaconate, by its very nature, is a ministry of doing. Deacons are rarely still.” If they do take time to be still, they will find this book full of simple, grounded prayers. Several categories target deacons, such as “Prayers for Ministry” and “Diaconal Prayers.” Other categories, for example “Prayers for Daily Life” or “Seasonal Prayers,” will strike a chord with any person looking to enrich their lives with short insightful reflections.

I’m stunned and profoundly grateful. Sometimes, wild ideas you get while shaving in the morning actually amount to something.

Thank you, Ave Maria Press, Eileen Ponder and Bishop Frank Caggiano for saying the most important word: “Yes.”

In other news:

Thirsty and You Gave Me to Drink — a collection of homilies which includes contributions from James Martin, Richard Rohr, Greg Boyle and many others (including me) — won Second Place in the category of Liturgy.

The judges wrote:

This collection of homilies follows the pattern of a previous collection from the same publisher and the same editor. They are equally engaging, opening up new insights to the scripture texts of the Sunday lectionary. The reflections by the various authors will not disappoint either the discerning homilist, or the listening assembly. This is a “must have” resource for today’s preachers.

Kudos to Deacon James Knipper and Clear Faith Publishing!

At the same conference in Portland, winners were announced in the annual press awards. CNEWA’s ONE magazine took 44 awards — a record — including First Place, Mission Magazine. The judges said: “Gripping Middle East stories from Syria to Iraq to India of Catholics coping with chaotic and even terrifying times. Fine writing, atttention-getting photos from cover to last page with strong design bringing it all together. A prize winner in any contest.”

Congrats to my friends and colleagues at CNEWA! I’m so proud to have been a small part of this.

Onward and upward.