Archive for April, 2008

Online Conference Begins Soon!

April 30, 2008

There are 316 people signed for the Catholic Writers Conference Online.  I’m a presenter for that conference, on the topic of “The Feature Article in the Catholic Press: Developing Ideas and Contacting Editors.”  The whole conference is a pretty exciting idea to me, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it all goes off.

Welcome to visitors who have found their way here through participation in that conference! 


Barry on the Air!

April 23, 2008

Here’s some fun news. After my article on talking to Mormons went up on yesterday, I got an e-mail from Sacred Heart Radio, a Catholic radio station in Cincinnati, asking for an interview about talking to Mormons.

So tomorrow morning, at 6:40, I’ll be interviewed for about 20 minutes on the topic, on their morning show, called Son Rise.

Here is the station. You can even listen live online!

The Mormons at Your Door

April 22, 2008

My article on talking to Mormon missionaries that come knocking at your door, which originally appeared in The Catholic Answer earlier this year, is up at today.

Nicholas Explains It All

April 13, 2008

Our Nicholas (4) to Abigail this week:

“God gives Mommy milk for you. My milk comes from happy cows.”

Top of the Wish List

April 6, 2008

Here’s a new book that automatically jumps to the top of my wish list. Ordinarily, I’d wait for a new hardback I wanted to come out in paperback (especially one that costs 42 bucks!), but no chance for this one. It’s the diaries of Dorothy Day, sealed from publication since her death in 1980 until now. Dorothy rocks.

Like a Drop of Wine in a Glass of Water

April 5, 2008

In connection with the now-imminent visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the United States, here’s an interesting interview with Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the Vatican’s nuncio (equivalent to the post of ambassador) to our country, here.

There’s a lot of worthwhile stuff there, but this quote struck as especially insightful and important for American Catholics:

How would you analyze the situation facing the Catholic church in the United States?

When you are a minority, as Catholics are in this culture, you need three strong principles. The first is a clear identity, a clear sense of what you are and what you want to be. As a minority, if you lack a clear identity, you’re like a drop of wine in a glass of water … you’ll disappear. The second thing is a strong sense of belonging. I would express it in this way: you need a community, and the community needs you. Whoever walks alone sooner or later will be lost in the desert. Third, when you are a minority, you need a deep commitment to excellence. You must excel in human qualities, in family qualities, in professional qualities, in the qualities of Christian life, in order to be a light for others. If you don’t have a sense of excellence, you will be submerged by the majority.

When you have these three qualities — a clear identity, a sense of belonging, and a sense of excellence — then you’re ready to collaborate with everybody, ready to engage yourself for a better humanity and a better future.

Is the Pope Catholic?

April 1, 2008

Here’s a pretty good column on the upcoming visit of B16 to the United States.  It’s called “The Pope is Coming, as Is Cliched Coverage in the Media.”

The opening is the best of it:

Is the pope Catholic? That used to be a sarcastic way of saying, could anything be more obvious? Is fire hot? Is water wet?

Now, however, that nothing in the world is obvious, when Pope Benedict XVI arrives in the United States on April 15 there will surely be voices in the media apparently disconcerted to discover that, yes, the pope is Catholic.

Yes, he disagrees with Richard Dawkins that atheism is necessary for salvation. Yes, he believes that Jesus of Nazareth is the son of God and the center of human history. Yes, he thinks that Catholic Christianity is truer than Islam or Buddhism or Hinduism or even Protestant Christianity. Astounding. What next?