June 15, 2009

Stepping Outside of Life for The Portsmouth Institute's Catholic William F. Buckley Conference

Community Crier

From Justin:

Back when I was a catechumen in the process of joining the Roman Catholic Church, a priest giving a Holy Week lecture in Fall River spoke of the need to step outside of life periodically in one's search for a closer relationship with God. The lesson applies beyond we who are explicitly religious: The noise of our habits and routines can disguise universals and drown out the wonder of life.

As I recall, the priest was talking about physical dislocation into the desert, but one needn't travel far for the same (or similar) effect. Indeed, I'm expecting much the same opportunity to arise from taking two days off from work and one off from errands this week to attend a conference at the Portsmouth Abbey School hosted by the newly formed Portsmouth Institute, with the help of a list of familiar personages who will address William F. Buckley's work and life and the role of Roman Catholics in intellectual society:

  • Rev. George Rutler, Pastor of Our Saviour Church NYC
  • Maggie Gallagher, author and nationally syndicated columnist
  • Joseph Bottum, Editor, First Things
  • Roger Kimball, author and editor of The New Criterion
  • E.J. Dionne, author and syndicated columnist
  • Kathryn Lopez: Editor, National Review Online
  • Lee Edwards, The Heritage Foundation
  • Tony Dolan, chief speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan

Other activities during the June 18-21 event include meals, tours of the school's church and wind turbine, and classical concerts by pianist Lawrence Perelman and Portsmouth Abbey faculty. Register online.