Saturday, January 31, 2015

Kansas Has Three Local American Chesterton Societies!

While attending the Eighth Day Institute Symposium I was very happy to see Father Robert McElwee and his wife Ginger. Father McElwee is a retired Catholic priest of the Diocese of Wichita--he had been an Episcopalian minister but as a convert to Catholicism was able to become a (married) priest under Pope St. John Paul II's Pastoral Provision. The Pastoral Provision was kind of an antecedent to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI's Anglican Ordinariate.

I gave Father McElwee a review copy of my book--he later told me that he would read it during Lent (my husband said that's a perfect penance; I love my husband, but . ..). We hope to collaborate some time in the near future when Father can broadcast some "local" programming (right now he's just carrying EWTN's schedule).

Father McElwee has started a Catholic radio station in Southeast Kansas, KOOJ, which stands for Kause of Our Joy, and he and his wife host the local American Chesterton Society group in their home, according to this article:

For the past year and a half, Fr. McElwee, retired priest, and his wife, Ginger, have hosted a Chesterton discussion group on the second Sunday of the month in the living room at their home, 4084 Mt. Carmel Road, Frontenac.

“I’ll do a traditional Latin Mass at 4 p.m. for those who wish to attend it, then around 5 p.m. we have our Chesterton discussion group with food and some adult beverages,” Fr. McElwee said.

“We do designate a book, a chapter of a book, a poem or essay for discussion,” added Michael Ehling, an avid member of the group who assists the priest with it.

They are going to read The Flying Inn at their February and March meetings. Our Greater Wichita group is reading The Well and the Shallows, as I've mentioned--but I'm not sure what the Northeast Kansas group is reading (they meet in Eudora, Kansas). Perhaps we'll all meet up together at the Catholic Culture Conference in Wichita this April, at which Dale Ahlquist will speak!

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