I had some unexpected space free up in my weekend, courtesy of a change in a church calendar, and my husband being away on a business trip. So I asked the Lord — what should I do with my time?
I think I was one of the last ones to sign up for the Catholic Apologetics Academy being held in Massachusetts. I was fortunate that there was a seat available, because the meeting room at St William Church in Tewksbury was full of 100+ eager students from around MA, New England, and some folks coming even farther distances!
Patrick Madrid’s Envoy Institute brought together not only the man himself, but also the always amazing Peter Kreeft, and Kenneth Hensley.
From Thursday night, to two full days on Friday and Saturday, and Mass and a morning program on Sunday, all three gentlemen offered talks to help us learn to defend the faith better, and to do it all with love and gentleness and reverence for Christ and the other. (See 1 Peter 3: 15.) And they did it all — from offering lectures, to taking questions and tackling thorny problems — without an ounce of ego between them. What very calm, yet strong teachers. I’m grateful for their service and commitment to passing on their knowledge and conversational tips and etiquette to the rest of us.
I think Patrick said it best when he offered: “This is not about winning arguments, it is about winning souls… authenticity must accompany our apologetics.” That could be a billboard for New Evangelization 101.
Finally, adding a touch of class and aural beauty to our experience, was the unexpected gift of Anna Maria Mendeita, a world-class harpist, who sat in on the weekend talks — and sat behind a harp she borrowed from a generous local person. Anna Maria played at Masses, and accompanied our meals and wine and cheese gatherings. Magnificent!
Some photos courtesies of Catholic Apologetics Academy website.