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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.