Project Canterbury

An American Cloister

The Life and Work of the Order of the Holy Cross

By Shirley Carter Hughson, O.H.C.

West Park, New York: Holy Cross Press, 1948.

Chapter XVII. The Holy Cross Press.

NO account of the activities of the Order of the Holy Cross would be complete without a notice of our publications, which we regard as among the most effective of all our missionary works; conducted as they are for the purpose of spreading the Faith of the Church, and of leading souls already grounded in this Faith to higher levels of the spiritual life.

We believe whole-heartedly in the "apostolate of the press." We live in an age when everyone reads something, and if the devil did not actually invent printing, as some have rashly averred, he certainly makes liberal use of it for the propagation of all that is evil. The Church should not be less vigorous and aggressive in its use of the press. As never before in the world's history, there is the opportunity to place the truth before the millions in such form that they will read it and awake to its appeal. Many of our [116/117] publications have been again and again reprinted in order to meet the demand for them.


Our most important periodical is "The Holy Cross Magazine." It was begun on the East Side of New York nearly sixty years ago, as a little hectographed sheet of writing paper, intended to give the members of the Confraternity of the Christian Life certain information and direction concerning their Rule. At first, like Bill Nye's "Laramie City Boomerang," it was published "as often as possible." Little by little it grew to its present proportions, and it is now sent every month into the four corners of the world, where it is read and appreciated.

"The Holy Cross Magazine" is published in the interest of the Catholic Religion and the Regular Life, and in this sphere occupies a unique place in Anglican periodical literature.

The publication of a monthly periodical is no light labour, and a visitor at Holy Cross would find a glance into this department interesting. Here the editor may be found at his desk, surrounded by manuscripts, all to be carefully read and passed upon, each one involving correspondence with the author. There are long galleys of proof awaiting correction, urgent letters from a harried printer, a score of requests to change addresses, and complaints from irate subscribers, who have not received the Magazine because they forgot to send their new address.

[118] All these have to be dealt with; proof must be returned on time; printers must be kept in a good humour; subscribers humbly placated; and underneath all this burden of detail the editor must be planning series of articles, thinking of people who can be asked to write them, or failing this, writing them himself.


"Holy Cross Tracts" were begun in January, 1915, as a monthly publication, devoted to the spread of the doctrines of the Episcopal Church. The success of these publications has been phenomenal. Up to 1922 nearly 2,000,000 tracts had been distributed in this country, each one devoted to some crucial article of Catholic Faith or practice. Since that date no exact account has been kept of the number of Tracts dispensed, but it ran into many thousands each year.

These Tracts met with an enthusiastic reception on the part of the clergy. They were found in the vestibules of many churches, and their perusal enlightened many minds and hearts as to the force and truth of the Catholic Religion; for all of which we give devout thanks to God. At the request of many of the clergy, we are now planning to republish some of these Tracts which have fallen out of print.


For several years we published a series of booklets known as the "Problem Papers." These had an immense circulation, and some of the titles were reprinted several times. Certain titles are being continued as "Roodcroft Papers" and others will be added to this series.

In addition to the above, the Order publishes books on prayer and the spiritual life. For a complete list write: Holy Cross Press, West Park, N. Y.

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