Who’s up for a photo post? I actually did things this week outside the three-foot radius that surrounds my couch, so I thought I’d share photographic evidence.
On Wednesday I went to my first Theology on Tap get-together.
I love the concept for this group: they host informal gatherings to chat about Catholic philosophy over drinks. The casual nature of the events lends a welcoming atmosphere, so people of all backgrounds feel comfortable attending. Usually there’s a speaker, and then a chance for Q&A and socializing afterwards. I’ve heard rave reviews of Theology on Tap events, and now I know why.
This week we had Rocco Palmo in all the way from Philly to speak. He’s a well known Catholic writer and commentator whose blog, Whispers in the Loggia, gets half a million unique visitors per month, and regularly scoops the mainstream media. It was a pleasure to finally meet him in person.
His talk was as inspiring as it was entertaining. I’d planned to just sit back and listen, but it was so good I had to take notes.
I took my notes the old fashioned way, but the guys from Austin Catholic New Media went the high tech route and live-tweeted the talk.
Throughout the talk, Rocco’s love of his Church and his Faith came through in every sentence. This was especially refreshing, given that he covers Catholic current events, and thus hears about the bad as well as the good. In fact, in the Q&A, someone asked if he ever gets discouraged by hearing all the dirt about the Church. His response was dead-on: He admitted that, yes, it’s always a bummer to hear about bad stuff within the “engine room.” But are those bad things not within him — and within every one of us — as well? The Church is composed of people, and people sin.
He also pointed out that people tend to talk about bad news more than good news. He told us, from his insider perspective, that for every horror story you hear, there are at least 10 other stories going unreported of people throughout the Church humbly serving the Lord and making the world a better place.
In addition to the talk, I loved having a chance to talk to the Austin Catholic New Media folks.
How’s this for an inspiring mission? From their website, their goals are to:
- Network – Connect with others and collaborate on new and existing new media projects in the Central Texas area
- Create – Develop new media projects that will entertain as well as catechize
- Promote – Promote what others are doing in the realm of new media by featuring their work
- Educate – Provide those who are interested in new media with education and support to get a new media project up and running
- Serve –Serve the Church and do all we can to spread her message of God’s love and mercy. We submit to the authority of the Magisterium and our local Bishop to ensure our message is faithful and orthodox.
With a group like this, it’s no wonder that the restaurant owners had to (politely) kick us out when it was time to close up.
Then this weekend was the parish Fall festival. There was a bunch of good stuff going on (in which I would have included the makeshift sports bar they set up to watch the Texas-OU game, but now we all have horrible memories of that). But there were Ballet Folclórico dancers!
My dad grew up in Mexico, and one of our favorite things to do when we’d go down there to visit friends would be to check out the Ballet Folclórico. Seeing the dancers today brought back warm memories.
Our church has been praying for rain for months and, naturally, it came right as the festival was getting in full swing. But that didn’t stop the intrepid dancers:
Then, finally, we went over to my grandfather’s house and created a concrete tablet with all the kids’ hand prints in them — even the baby’s!
And after we all left, my grandfather asked my dad if the cement was still wet enough to add one more thing: He wanted the number 38 inscribed in the corner of the piece. Because, he explained, he and my late grandmother were married in October 1938, “and that was the start of this wonderful family.”
I hope you all had a great week as well.