It is never easy to make this sort of announcement, but one must do one’s best.
Over the past two years it has been a great honor and privilege for me to work with some truly wonderful people over at the Star Quest Production Network (“SQPN”) on the “Catholic Weekend” show. For those of my readers who are unfamiliar with it, Catholic Weekend is a videocast/podcast, where a group of Catholic friends get together via Google Hangout and talk about all sorts of topics: the news of the day, what is going on in their lives, etc. Many times there are also interesting guests who join the show to discuss their own latest adventures and projects. There is much laughter and teasing, but there is also a lot of love and good will.
However, I recently told my co-hosts and our CEO Father Roderick Vonhögen that I need to step down from co-hosting the show. This was not an easy decision, but one which was made through careful consideration. Much as I enjoy hanging out with these great people every week, I need to find some more free time in my own life to figure out where I am heading, on a number of fronts, and took the decision that this was the most practical way for me to do so. Stepping down from the regular Saturday morning coffee klatch is saddening, quite frankly, but it will allow me a block of time I would not otherwise have, for matters that need my attention.
I want to thank Father Roderick, Jeff Nielsen, and Maria Johnson of SQPN in particular, for agreeing to take a chance on me as an unknown broadcast quantity. When I joined the show I had no experience of broadcasting whatsoever, having only done public speaking as a lawyer in a courtroom, or as a lector at church. Whatever abilities I have gained with respect to being able to speak off-the-cuff to an audience, with no prepared opening statement or reading from the Book of Sirach before me, are due in large part to their example and influence. And the opportunity to address a large group of people at the Catholic New Media Conference in Boston a few months ago was really a privilege and eye-opening for me, not only in terms of personal experience, but also for seeing what wonderful, good people are associated with SQPN.
I must also thank my co-hosts Steve Nelson, Angela Sealana, and Sarah Vabulas for their friendship, support, and humor during my time at Catholic Weekend. They have been more like siblings than co-workers to me, and I shall miss working with them, as one misses a sibling who moves across the country, not knowing when you will see each other next. Thank you also to our fearless and patient producers over the past two years, initially Inge Loots and later Lyn Francisco, who were a tremendous help in getting the show going out in one piece, whatever trainwrecks may befall us along the way. They took the time to make sure that any links I wanted to put in the show notes, in order to support people and things I care about, were accurate and there for our listeners to reference.
And finally I must thank the listeners, who stuck around over the past two years to hear what I might have to say. A number have also become friends through social media, which means we will still be in touch, even though I am no longer on the show. And of course, SQPN is a network which encourages the use of new media to make these kinds of connections, so there will be plenty of opportunities to both enjoy their programming and share feedback together in the future.
As to that future, I am not sure what I will do next, but then this is precisely why I need some time for reflection over at the Fortress of Solitude. It will be odd actually *listening* to Catholic Weekend again, which is something I have not downloaded since I joined the show. It will also be odd not to be sitting there, laughing with these folks on-air about a well-placed joke, or some silly technical snafu, a/k/a “The Betty Rubble Incident”.
Yet I wish them well, as I know from their very kind messages of support to me that they wish me well also. As a community of believers, we are never truly separated from one another if we try to live in Christian love. For His example of love, which guides SQPN and the efforts of those who work on Catholic Weekend, is typified by its constancy and perseverance, no matter what happens. I have seen it, first-hand, in the people I have worked with on the Catholic Weekend show. And that love is something which I will be taking away with me as I go. God bless you, kids.