>This being a Friday before a long bank holiday weekend, gentle reader, allow me to share a few brief snippets with you, rather than my usual tome, so I can get some things put away on this desk:
– I’ve been asked to write a guest piece, more or less dealing with sacred and profane love in art, for a local DC blog’s St. Valentine’s Day edition. More news to follow, assuming that the resulting piece is accepted by the editors. Of course if you would like me to write a guest piece for YOUR blog or publication, I am at your service.
– The big news today, of course, is the Vatican’s announcement on Pope John Paul II’s beatification, which will take place on May 1st of this year. I never had the privilige of meeting JPII; the closest I ever came was attending a Papal Mass celebrated by him in Camden Yards. As with many adult Catholics under 40, I grew up not knowing of any pope *but* JPII. He often had horrific taste in vestments and liturgy (even for someone like me who is not by any means a Latin mass aficionado), and he was a bit too ecumenical at times for my personal taste. However, bringing down Soviet Communism is nothing to be sneezed at, and the personal saintliness recognized in him by those who knew him has clearly been borne out.
– I do not yet have the pleasure of knowing Lauren Warner, but her husband the redoubtable Matt Warner over at Fallible Blogma has become a friend over the past couple of years. Matt works tirelessly to connect faithful young Catholics through blogging and social media. Matt and Lauren recently added a new member to their family, their daughter Katherine Grace, who was born with Down’s Syndrome. In a very thoughtful (and beautifully photographed) piece, Lauren introduces us to their little one in a post which I am sure you will find touching and inspiring. God knew that this little girl was going to need a very special family to take care of her, and He clearly found the right one.
– Regular readers know of my love for the SQPN podcast “Catholic in a Small Town”, hosted by Mac and Katherine Barron. Through their podcast I learnt of another which I heartily recommend to you, called “Just A Catholic Dad”, which is hosted by Sean McCarney. Sean is an air traffic controller in England, a practicing Catholic, married and with a very bright and charming three-year-old daughter who occasionally gets some time on the show (at the very least in the beginning promo.) He talks about family life, trying to raise his daughter in the Faith, and gives his views on news in the Church and in society which, for those of us living on this side of the pond, often provides a very interesting perspective as to how Europeans are seeing things. Having chatted with him last evening I know that he is at work on Episode #25, but with a long and sleety weekend ahead of us, why not spend some time catching up with his past episodes?