Catholic Speaker Month!

Voting opened yesterday at!  He’s collected the names of 250 Catholic speakers, and is asking people to vote for their favorites — or for lesser-known names who deserve more recognition.  You can choose 15 names.

You may notice my name is on the list  — thanks, Brandon!  I am now booking speaking engagements, mostly in the New England area for now, because Benny is only 8 months old and she wuvs her muvver.

I am especially interested in finding a reason to be in the D.C. area around November 11.  I’ve been invited to join a panel of U.S. Bishops and Catholic bloggers to discuss Catholicism and social media.  I really want to go, but D.C. is a little further than I want to travel at the moment — but if I could combine trips, it would make more sense to attend.  (Anyone else going to be there?)


  1. I would love for you to come to DC as well – my wife is a huge fan of your writing. The Institute of Catholic Culture is near DC and they host speakers… are you familiar with them?

  2. Please come to DC! I would love to hear you speak. And you can be the voice of reason here – try to balance out the insanity a little.

    • Opus Dei, eh? I’ll have to make sure I don’t wear my bikini in the swimming pool, then. No, but seriously, thanks! I think my brother used to work for them – I will see if he has any contacts still. Ugh, I’m just blundering around here.

  3. I voted for you. Yay. Just promise that behind that brilliant writing and some of those wonderful, spicy “smack downs” (on the ones, *sorely* deserving a bit of tough love)–there isn’t a scarey Boston accent. ;)–or a shy girl like me, in front of a big crowd. I still can’t get over how my 7th grade teacher from the East Coast used to put “r”s after “a’s”. I could hardly tell if she was saying my name. I’m glad your wuvey dovey widdle Benny holds the place of honor in your busy schedule. LOL My 3 yo just handed me a wad of bubble gum and said “Do that with MY gum!” (Blow a bubble) Ah, the things we do for love…(I said “no” that time!)

  4. Oh darn. Scruples here. Sorry East Coasters,, who boast an interesting cultural spin on the language… I spoke a bit of “valley” in my youth. Nothing is worse than that. Ask The Jerk, he’ll tell you. 11 years in NorCal hella cured that.

  5. My wife and I love your blog, an live here in D.C. We would gladly feed you delicious foods, serve you wine, and make you your favorite type of cake or pie (or both!)

  6. LOL. Okay, more to fess up–when we moved to NorCal I noticed that all the teens spoke like they are tired or stoned or both, even the really smart ones! Annunciation seems to be a lost art. So guess what? Two of my middle kids talk like they are tired or stoned or both…I have to get the other kids to translate their voice mail. Hopefully this is strictly a local, cultural phenomenon.

    • Every region has its own outrages.

      What makes me sad down here in the deep South are all the young ladies who turn up at the University with slight to no Southern accent…those dulcet tones having been drowned out by the aggressively nasal, grating tones that they learned from I-don’t-know-where.

      I never feel like I’m describing this properly, so here’s an example of a gal in Utah who speaks exactly the way, say, an orthodontist’s daughter from exurban Atlanta tends to. Yes, it’s a bizarre clip for me to have found (I stumbled across it looking for something else Mormon-related)…anyway, just listen to the voice for a minute or so and see if you know how this started happening, and how you would describe it.

      (P.S. I’m sure that she’s a lovely person in many respects, but just doesn’t hear herself when she talks.)

      • Kevin, by all means prepare yourself if you need to visit CA. It aint gonna be pretty. Maybe some of us can be redeemed by learning to emulate Madonna, during her Guy Ritchie stage, when she sported that clipped, almost-British- put-on accent. Anyhoo, I was just pulling Simcha’s leg, I’d go listen to her speak with any accent including the Mormon child bride’s..

        • That almost-British accent was hilarious. She doesn’t do that anymore? How sad.

          I suppose what astounds me, as someone with sometimes finicky ears, is that young ladies can obsess so much about how they look, and yet not devote any apparent attention to trying to sound appealing.

          Or maybe some of these vocal stylings are considered appealing by the young?

  7. I voted for you, even though you don’t sound enthused about traveling as far as Nebraska. But you could bring the kids! (And anyone who doesn’t behave on the trip could be stashed at Boys Town when you got here.) And no one in our homeschool group has ever reprimanded me for wearing pants! (Though there are enough people with a snarky sense of humor that your own Pants Pass would probably be demanded frequently.) And you would be a great speaker at IPF too; I’m more and more convinced that “Sympathy for Families” should be part of seminary formation. Like, every seminarian should have to accompany a family with small children to Mass, once along with one parent and once alone. Plus they can’t be good fathers if they’re too disconnected from the domestic church.
    @Anner Liser: our Art and Architecture prof in Rome had that accent. It was always a bit odd to listen to her explain the features of “basilickers” with paintings of the Madonner and Child.

  8. I’m a big fan. I’m not able to feed you delicious food, wine or pie (just boring basic food) but if you want to feel at home, I have 8 kids. Only 7 at home. Is that enough noise and chaos for you?

  9. When you are ready to come to DC, you should feel out the Archdiocese’s Theology on Tap for speaking possibilities. It’s a great one. When I was living there (granted, 8 years ago now) they filled up the bar/restaurant — standing room only (maybe 300 people?) — pretty much every week. I’m still local-ish and haven’t heard that it’s declined.

    And being local-ish, I’d also be happy to offer you lodgings. This weekend we’re moving into a big ol’ Victorian about 45 min from DC. We’ll have plenty of room. I used to work for the Church (the Maryland Catholic Conference, which represents the bishops of Baltimore, Washington, and Wilmington), so there are a number of people I could point you to in the Archdioceses of Baltimore and Washington and the USCCB to verify that I’m not some crazy person. 😉

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