What’s that, you say? What’s a “writer-in-residence?
(The definition above was adapted from the entry at dictionary.com)
Does it mean I live at the parish, like a little church mouse? 🙂 No, I just write a weekly book review for the Sunday bulletin and a monthly article or review for the religious education newsletter. The articles and reviews are archived below:
Architects of the Culture of Death (a review of the book by Benjamin Wiker and Donald De Marco)
The Great Divorce (a review of a C.S. Lewis classic)
Learn Philosophy in Seconds! (a review of The One-Minute Philosopher by Montague Brown)
Prefer Nothing to the Love of Christ (a review of The Rule of St. Benedict, translated by Timothy Fry)
Answers to Burning Questions About the Catholic Faith (a review of Did Adam and Eve Have Belly Buttons by Matthew Pinto and Did Jesus Have a Last Name? by Matthew Pinto and Jason Evert)
Catholics In Space! (a review of Voyage to Alpha Centauri by Michael O’Brien). I also reviewed this book for the National Catholic Register, and that review is here: “Humanity At Stake in Space.”
Our Treasure in Heaven (a review of Interior Freedom by Fr. Jacques Phillipe)
The Most Important Appointment of the Day (a review of Appointment With God by Fr. Michael Scanlon, T.O.R.)
From Radical Hatred to Radical Love (a review of the autobiography of former white supremacist Joseph Pearce).
How to Get Along With (Almost) Anybody: Read This Book (a review of The Temperament God Gave You by Art and Laraine Bennett)
Everything’s Comin’ Up Catholic, Part 1: Catholic Media Resources for the Whole Family (Catholic radio, television, and books)
Everything’s Comin’ Up Catholic: Part 2: Catholic Media Resources for the Whole Family (Catholic resources on the Internet)
Everything’s Comin’ Up Catholic: Part 3: Catholic Media Resources for the Whole Family (video, audio, and smartphone apps)
Summer’s on the Way: What to Read on the Plane or on the Beach (reviews of Father Elijah by Michael O’Brien, The Secret Cardinal by Tom Grace, The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic by Matthew Kelly, and Rediscover Catholicism by Matthew Kelly)
How did I get to be Writer-in-Residence?
The longer answer: I’ve been writing the monthly article for the religious education newsletter since 2005, so a couple years ago I approached the new pastor, showed him a portfolio of those articles plus a few other things I’d written, a photo of my whiteboard…
…and ideas of what else I could do at the parish. He really liked the idea of writing a book review for the Sunday bulletin, so I’ve been doing that since the summer of 2013. Other ideas include a parish book club, writing classes, readings by visiting Catholic authors, classes and presentations on Catholic literature, and collaborating with the art teacher at the parish school to hold an art fair, and building and maintaining a parish library.
It’s really fun! I write 500 words, usually on a new or classic spiritual book or other book Catholics would enjoy reading. Printed, it’s a half page column in the Sunday bulletin. Sometimes I change it up by writing about other things, like media resources and local places of interest.