Thursday, 28 October 2010

Who Wants to Invite Me to Notre Dame?

Today I got a lovely piece of fan mail, and suddenly it occured to me that I wouldn't mind speaking at Notre Dame, the next time I am on that side of the pond. And, come to think of it, Ohio is not so far from Indiana, so I wouldn't mind speaking at Franciscan University of Steubenville, too. Doing so would probably please Liguori, for appearances sell books and, lo, they pubished the American version of my book.

My daddy went to Notre Dame, and somewhere or other at Notre Dame is a statue of Father William Corby, who was my great-grandmother's best friend and therefore the namesake of my grandfather and my uncle, too. So I think fond thoughts of Notre Dame, and when I was studying grad theology at a different American college, I used to encourage "accepted students" to go there instead. After that, nobody asked me to help with the Accepted Students Days, ROFL.

Steubie U, Christendom and Ave Maria are also American Catholic schools with good names among North American Catholics who prefer Thomas Aquinas to Thomas Merton and ETWN to NCR. I think people would enjoy what I have to say at those schools although I am not, you know, the most obviously OBVIOUSLY "solid" person in the world (like, for example, George Weigel). I mean, I am solid, but I am solid with a sense of humour and I share a publisher with Sister Joan Chittister, which tends to make people go "Hmm."

Anyway, I don't have a speaker's fee, and if any group at ND or Steubie would like to pay or defray the costs of a round-trip (plane or train) from Toronto to hear little me, send a little email to I'm thinking of going home to Canada Februaryish. Meanwhile, please buy my lovely book!

Update: My conscience tells me I have to say something nice about Sr. Joan now. Well, I know this guy who took one of her classes, and he was the only guy in that class. And he loved her class because he was (and, as far as I know, still is) a committed feminist. Meanwhile, he is also a very, very nice man--unlike most committed male feminists I have known. Anyhoo, there he was in Sr Joan's class, and the only man, and one day one of the girls in the class started attacking him for being a man, and Sr. Joan stood up for him. (Mary Daly, the historians among you may know, would not have let him into her own precious class at all.)

I always enjoyed this story, and now I appreciate it even more because later I was in an [X] Theology class, the only non-[X] (being [Y]), and one of the [X] students (a male religious) announced that [Y] women made bad wives. He told a long rambling anecdote to prove it, and instead of suggesting that one failed [X]-[Y] marriage failed to prove that [Y] women made bad wives, the [X] professor, nervously eyeing me, agreed that [X]-[Y] marriages were indeed very problematic. Bastard. I mean, bless his little ugh ugh heart.

Oh well, he gave me an A. Still, give me Sister Joan over Father Bigot any day. It's not like he was orthodox, even. Au contraire. In fact, he is the only professor I ever even considered shopping to the CDF--as if they'd care about such small potatoes, anyway. He gave a stronger impression than any prof I've ever met that he got his theology degree out of a cracker jack box.

Okay, I'm stopping now.


berenike said...

And in Poland you're sharing a publisher with Bernard Haering :D

I wonder who the Bible's shared a publisher with? Penguin publish all kinds of things...

Weigel is dodgier than an improperly-pasteurized jar of aubergine.

Invite Seraphic To Speak!

fifi said...

...been workin' on it, Seraphic!

Seraphic Spouse said...

Berenike, they are a Redemptorist press and Haring WAS a Redemptorist, so they HAVE to publish him. Ah ha ha ha ha! You see, I did some research on this.

As for Weigel, I am amazed. Amazed! I wonder if a Weigel War will erupt now in the combox. I can't think what you mean unless it is, er, war related.

Fifi, well done! I'm feeling a sudden nostalgia for the Midwest. WHERE is this coming from? I think its coming from my beautiful Midwestern readers. Goodness, I went to Edinburgh to meet British readers and ended up married to one of them, so what could happen if I came to Notre Dame or Steubie? The possibilities boggle the mind!

Notre Dame Girl said...

Just curious, Seraphic - what speaking topics would you want to tackle? The gears are turning in my head to make this possible...

Seraphic said...

Yee-hah! I can do "Courtship vs Dating" and "Waiting for Your Call" and "Being Single and Catholic in a World Obsessed with Sex." Dawn Eden does that last one already, though. I could also go totally off-topic and do a presentation on "The Spirit of the Liturgy: How the 1962 Mass points to the real meaning of Vatican II."

I possibly could also get away with "Men, Man Up, and Women, Be Ladies" unless Notre Dame has a Women's Studies department. Eeek!

I would get a ton of material out of my book and blog and do a lovely presentation. But the real reason you want me there is for the Q & As, the official one in the hall, the sneaky one on the way to the pub/restaurant and the one in the pub/restaurant.

I gave a talk at the University of St. Andrew's (too long and I was too nervous) and nobody asked me any questions--until they got me alone. Once alone, I was pounced on for personal advice. It was very cool.

Christine said...

Love you Seraphic,

but I think Thomas Merton semi-bashing is undeserved. (anyway I'm not prepared for a discussion of it, I'm just saying.)

Seraphic said...

No no no! I love Merton! He was an amazing writer, and looking down on me from a shelf is a beautifully printed (and ready for framing) excerpt from "Rain and the Rhinoceros". I just prefer Thomas Aquinas because, well, come on! Thomas Aquinas!

I admit it was a bit naughty to put Merton anywhere near NCR, but I get tired of people saying he should be canonized BECAUSE he had an affair with a nurse. I have actually heard people saying that.

Good for you for standing up for your monk. Oooh, there's a song in that! "Stand by your monk..." ;-D