This coming Friday and Saturday: I am attending the 2016 Eighth Day Institute Symposium. As this article in The Wichita Eagle described this year's topic and speakers:
The ecumenical Eighth Day Institute that seeks to renew culture through faith and learning is using the Paris Climate Conference and Pope Francis’ recent encyclical on the environment as a backdrop to its 2016 symposium, “Soil and Sacrament: The World as Gift.”
Mike Aquilina, Hans Boersma, Rod Dreher and Vigen Guorian will be among the speakers at the symposium from Jan. 14 to 16 at St. George Orthodox Christian Cathedral.
The symposium will explore the notion of creation as a gift from God and humanity’s role as grateful stewards of the gift.
Guorian, who is an author, gardener and professor of religious studies at the University of Virginia, will give two keynotes: one, a view from the garden called “Soil & Sacrament: Earth Meditations,” and the other a view from the classroom: “World as Gift: The Earth Poetry of Wendell Berry.” The event also includes a banquet with reflections by the speakers and live music.
On Thursday, February 4, I am scheduled to present at the Church of the Resurrection for a book reading group. The book they are reading: Supremacy and Survival: How Catholics Endured the English Reformation! I'll follow up with a presentation in April to conclude their series.
On Saturday, February 13, I am scheduled to present at an all-day Chesterton Conference hosted by the Four States G.K. Chesterton Society at the St. Pius X Newman Center, Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas. More information to come! (I'll be talking to one of the organizers today.)
The Eighth Day Institute is hosting an important meeting about the situation of Christians in the Middle East and what we can do to help them in February. More info here.
In April, I'll be one of the presenters at the second annual Catholic Culture Conference at the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita, Kansas, which will be headlined by Professor Anthony Esolen, with the topic "Reviving the Catholic Imagination." (My presentation will be on Chesterton, Cobbett, and Merry Old England.)
The Catholic Culture Conference is an opportunity for faithful Christians to come together for formation and fellowship. The program intends to promote Catholic values in personal and family life, as well as in society at large.
The Conference will consist of multiple sessions, each geared towards some particular component of Catholic life in our modern age. A combination of large group lectures and smaller breakout sessions will give each participant the opportunity to learn more about how Catholicism relates to–and is intended to positively change-our culture.
Our Catholic Faith is not just a notional idea. It is a concrete reality with the power to open the hearts and minds of all peoples. It can make the societies in which we live flourish in the way God intended. This Conference will give participants knowledge and inspiration to go about doing just that.
Our Keynote speaker is teaches Renaissance English Literature and the Development of Western Civilization at Providence College. He is a senior editor for Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity, and a regular contributor to Crisis Magazine.
On June 21, I'll be speaking on an English heroine, Margaret More Roper, at the Sisters of Sophia meeting of the Eighth Day Institute. (Ladies only).
Finally--so far--I'll go back to the Spiritual Life Center to present in the Docentium dinner/speech series on Blessed John Henry Newman: Faith, Family and Friends (August).
Every month the Wichita Area Chesterton Society meets on the third Friday at Eighth Day Books to discuss Chesterton's works. Once we finish The Wells and the Shallows, I think we are going to read the biography of Chesterton's wife Frances: The Woman Who was Chesterton by Nancy Carpenter Brown. I also look forward to the monthly meetings of the Sisters of Sophia at the Ladder.
If you want me to speak at an event or meeting, please contact me and we can work something out. Part of our negotiations must include effective promotion of the event, an opportunity (if my talk is related to the English Reformation) to sell and sign copies of my book, and travel expenses if outside Wichita. For Catholic churches in the Wichita diocese, please contact the Speakers Bureau to start the process of scheduling an event.
Thank you very much and Happy New Year!