Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Thank you

The event tonight at St. Paul's Cathedral in Worcester, Mass., where I spoke on behalf of the Cardinal Newman Society about the Catholic approach to "Preventing Teen Pregnancy" (as opposed to the approaches that will be touted tomorrow at Worcester's College of the Holy Cross) went wonderfully well. No, it was beyond wonderful. It was a high point of my life.

"Only nervous speakers need water." — Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
Photo by Tim Post.

From all appearances, everyone in the audience of nearly 150 — including numerous Holy Cross alumni, some of the college's current students, and the leaders of Harvard's True Love Revolution club— were behind the event's mission, which was to show support for Bishop McManus, who is urging Holy Cross to be faithful to its Catholic identity.

Among the many joys of the evening for me was getting to meet so many longtime Dawn Patrol commenters, including Chris Arsenault and his lovely wife; Bud (a Holy Cross alum); and Christopher J. Casey — who I learned has, in the time since he first began commenting on this blog years ago, become Father Casey.

The event was also a reunion of sorts, as the Cardinal Newman Society's videographer happened to be Julian Ahlquist, the oldest son of the American Chesterton Society's Dale Ahlquist, whom I first met on the Chesterton pilgrimage to England in August 2004. Also there, by coincidence — okay, it's corny, but I have to call it a "God-incidence" — was Monsignor Tom Sullivan, who was among the 29 other people on that same pilgrimage. Both had seen me at a time when I was vehemently Protestant (as I was when I first became a Christian). It was beautiful to have their presence and prayers as I talked about the grace God had worked in my life, including how I came to enter the Catholic Church.

Which brings me to why I typed "Thank you" uptop. Thank you if you are one of the readers who prayed for me and for this event. In the coming weeks, there should be video available on the Cardinal Newman Society's Web site. In the meantime, please know that it was successful beyond my imaginings. It was a great blessing to be part of such an outpouring of faith, fellowship, and support for a wise and brave bishop.