I’ve mentioned before my love of Arlington’s Monday night Theology on Tap series. Their spring series looks incredibly good:
- Tonight: Fr. Terry Cramer on “Franciscan and Diocesan Priesthood: Exploring Charisms.” Since he’s been both a Franciscan and a Diocesan priest, he’s in a pretty unique position to address this topic.
- April 19th: Fr. Keith O’Hare will be speaking on “Are We Aware of Our Untold Wealth?: Stories from the Mission.” Before we knew his name, my girlfriend and I would refer to him as “Fr. Awesome.” He’s just a great priest: one of the best priests I’ve ever encountered. In June of 2008, he was abruptly sent to Banica, Dominican Republic, to serve as a missionary, running the local parish and school. He had a sporadically-updated blog talking about the mission, the needs of the people of Banica, and so forth. So he’ll be speaking on a topic (mission) with which he’s well acquainted, and it should be very good.
- April 26th: Cathy Ruse of Family Resource Council speaking on “Authentic Freedom: A Glimpse from JPII.” This should be good as well. A lot of people understand “freedom” to mean “license,” the ability to do evil. In fact, the Church has always understood it to mean the opposite: that freedom is the ability to say and do what we know is right. George Orwell’s novel 1984 provides some secular support for this notion, when his protagonist defines freedom as the ability to say “2 plus 2 equals 4.” A person can’t, in good faith, claim that “2 plus 2 equals 5,” or even, “2 plus 2 equals 5 for me” – there’s no world in which those phrases are even coherent thoughts. So true freedom is being able, in a world which declares 2 and 2 as 5 to bravely speak the truth.
- May 3rd: Monsignor Robert Panke, director of vocations for the Archdiocese of Washington, on “Spiritual Direction: What’s That All About?” A lot of Catholics have spiritual directors with whom they meet every few weeks for one-on-one guidance for the problems they’re facing.
- May 10th: A Dominican, Fr. Bruno Shah, on “Finding the Right Spirituality Is Easy: There’s Only One.” Don’t know anything more about this one.
- May 17th: A Franciscan, Dave Pivonka, TOR, on “Tongues, Healing, & Heartfelt Prayer: The History & Purpose of the Charismatic Movement.” The growth of the Charismatic Movement within the Church has been one of the most important developments of the 20th Century, and (like all of major developments within the Church) not without controversy, so I’m eager to hear his take.
As always, these are at Pat Troy’s Irish Pub in Alexandria, Virginia, and they begin at 7:30. As we get nearer summertime, the crowds swell, so think about getting there early and grabbing dinner.