Mon Nov 6th Columbus, Ohio
The Coming Home Network Conference has been a feast of excellent talks on the theme "The English Reformation" - highlights include Paul Thigpen, former Pentecostalist pastor, on the English Martyrs, and author Joseph Pearce (his books include a superb biography of Belloc) on Shakespeare's Catholicism. Mass every morning - over 700-800 of us, and it is somehow extremely moving to se the Host and Chalice lifted high with great devotion in the surroundings of a big conference room transformed with candles and altar into a sort of cathedral for the Sacrifice.
Jamie emailed me a final version of his talk on Mary Tudor - at 4 am, Ohio time! - so I was able to deliver it on his behalf. Later in the day I gave my own talk, which covered the years following Elizabeth's reign, and thus involved going into some detail on things like the Gunpowder Plot and then the Jacobites, Bonnie Prince Charlie, etc. I enjoyed doing all this, and have found the whole weekend extraordinarily inspiring and informative. Tapes of all the talks are on sale from the Coming Home Network - why not Google the name, get their website, and order some?
A vast range of excellent books, children's games, DVDs, educational materials, toys, devotional items, statues, rosaries, and more on sale, from all sorts of groups and organisations, in a well-appointed display area where people could also gather to chat and to watch the talks on a TV screen. Delicious meals served very agreably and efficiently by the hotel, and large round tables with crisp white cloths and friendly staff.....everything made it pleasant and agreable for talking and meeting people. There are so many interesting individual stories of Evangelical, or Episcopalian ministers who have found their way Home to the Catholic Church. I chatted at length to Linda Poindexter (wife of Admiral John Poindexter, a leading figure in President Reagan's administration), who is a former Episcopalian minister. We met when she spoke at last year's "Path to Rome" conference in London, describing her conversion to Catholicism.
While I am here, I am able to read my emails....memo to people who want to contact me via this blog: all COMMENTS to this blog come to me first, and I decide whether or not they are published, so if you simply want to reach me, send me a mesage this way but INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESSS!!!!!!!! I won't publish it, but it does mean I can get back to you! Marita, in Australia, this includes you! I can't reach you unless I have your email address.....