Fr. Ray RylandIf you’ve ever visited this humble blog in the past, chances are pretty good that you know I’m a fan of the late Fr. Ray Ryland. He was my friend, mentor, and spiritual director for many years, and among the heroes of my life. You probably also know that since Fr. Ray’s passing, my dad compiled hundreds of Fr. Ray’s responses to questions about the Catholic faith into a remarkable e-book. Well, that e-book just won an international award.

As it turns out, the award isn’t about the content of the book, but the innovative technology that my dad spends his days developing. His pioneering work in digital search systems (for decades) has apparently positioned him to create a pretty darn good e-book. As a casual reader, the feature I like best is being able to surf “themes” at the end of each question and answer. Warning: this can lead to hours of utter absorption into the book, as Fr. Ray’s cogent and whimsical answers provide fantastic reading.

Here’s a copy of the press release, for those interested in the technology and/or the content.

Media Contact: John Scott –

Wins International Award

(Steubenville, Ohio) January 19, 2016 – Dr. Douglas Lowry, publisher/editor of “MarpX” search engine streamlines text search results, filtering out extraneous/ false hits common to standard search engines. Lowry has digitally indexed over 4,000 books, most no longer protected by copyright including the Bible as well as works by Shakespeare, Charles Dickens and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

The competition judge commends the Lowry entry: “There are still human indexes in the eBook and the search engine complements that with very accurate proximity search that uses distance between words in the search making entries very accurate.”

The ebook’s author, the late Father Raymond Olin Ryland, PhD, J.D., was especially equipped to reach across the Protestant – Catholic divide. His spiritual pilgrimage is recounted in his autobiography Drawn From Shadows Into Truth (Steubenville, OH: Emmaus Road Press, 2013). Raised in the Disciples of Christ Church, in 1950 he was ordained an Episcopal priest. By 1963, Ryland was convinced of the truth of the Catholic faith, so that he, his wife Ruth, and their five children entered the Catholic Church. He went on to earn a doctorate in theology from Marquette University and a law degree from the University of San Diego in 1983. That year Fr Ryland became only the second married former Episcopal priest in the United States to be ordained a Catholic priest under the Pastoral Provision that allowed married clergy converts from Protestantism to be ordained priests. In 1991, Fr. Ryland retired as full professor of theology from the University of San Diego and moved to Steubenville, Ohio, to work as an adjunct professor at Franciscan University. He served in St Peter Catholic Church, lectured widely, and was a regular columnist for The Catholic Answer magazine.

“I wholeheartedly recommend the wisdom of Fr. Ray Ryland. I knew him well for the last quarter of his remarkable life. I still treasure the gift of his friendship and wisdom, his deep insight and good humor. Like many others, I learned a great deal from him through his preaching, teaching, and our many conversations. This collection will preserve his many gifts for years to come.” said Scott Hahn, biblical theology professor and author.

The ebook Catholic Q&A: Essentials of the Faith Explained by Father Ray Ryland can be purchased by visiting For details of the Web & Electronic Indexing SIG Awards, see


For media and interview information contact: