Theme: "Cultivating and Passing on a Catholic Worldview"
October 13 and 14, 2023.
File Size: 476 MB
Brother André Marie’s Opening Remarks
Sister Maria Philomena, M.I.C.M. — Choosing Your Words Wisely: The Rhetoric of Passing on the Faith
Hugh Owen — The Dogma of Creation as Integral to a Catholic Worldview
Br. André Marie, MICM — ‘Virtue is the Order of Love’: Charity as Informing the Catholic Worldview
John Sharpe — ‘Neither to the Right Hand nor to the Left’: Integral Catholicism in Confrontation with Modernity
Charles Coulombe — The Uses of Enchantment: Fantasy Literature and Folklore as Means of Instilling a Sacramental View of Life
Mike Church — Repossessing the Real Estate of the Catholic Mind
Chris De Vos — Sacred History as Vital to a Catholic Worldview: Lessons from Catholic Notables of the 19th Century
Mr. C. Joseph Doyle — Hilaire Belloc’s Catholic Understanding of History
Panel Discussion (all speakers / moderated)
2023 Talk Summaries
BAM’s Opening Comments: Explaining the Theme of “Cultivating and Passing on a Catholic Worldview”
Delivered with an aim to address the problem of modern man cubbyholing the different aspects of his life—Faith, family, work, recreation, etc.—Brother Andre Marie gives a poignant synopsis of ten areas about which Catholics simply must think correctly. Among these are: putting God first, man’s origin and destiny, marriage, science, art, law, and the true progress of history.
Sr. Maria Philomena
After outlinging a brief history of the art of rhetoric, Sister Maria Philomena, M.I.C.M., director of the Saint Augustine Institute of Wisdom, proposes that, of Aristotle’s classic “ Three Modes of Persuasion”—Ethos, Logos, and Pathos—traditional Catholics in general need to deepen their appreciation of the value of Pathos specifically as an apostolic tool. Knowing full well that “conversion is not our work, it is God’s work,” Sister nevertheless points out that we, as His instruments, can and should always strive to improve our effectiveness. To this end, she hones in on the first three ‘tools’ of persuasion given in Chris Vos’ Never Split the Difference: Tone, Mirroring, and Labeling, showing how even these natural communication skills are invaluable when it comes to breaking down the barriers that our loved ones often have to receiving the True Faith.
Quintessential to the notion of an integrally Catholic worldview in the basic question of the origins of man. In this compelling, easy-to-follow presentation, Mr. Hugh Owen, Director at the Kolbe Center for the Study of Creation, shows that “evolution is a fantasy invented by arrogant human beings” who could not accept the fact that there are some things we just cannot know apart from God’s revelation. Quoting Church Fathers and the Church’s own Liturgical texts, Hugh gives the lie to the notion that natural selection over millions of years is something new; he explains why the evolutioinary system is completely impossible; and he demonstrates why theistic evolution is unthinkable in light of the self-revelation of Our Lady at Lourdes. This talk is the perfect introduction to the Catholic position on these and other such critical questions.
Brother Andre Marie
In this talk, Brother André Marie, M.I.C.M., Prior of the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, sets out to liberate the exalted concept of “love” from the false modern conceptions that have been attached to it. Calling upon and incorporating the teachings of such masters as St. Thomas, St. Augustine, St. Maximus the Confessor, Dante, Josepf Pieper, and Dom Gueranger, Brother grounds his audience in the theologically orthodox understanding of love, first within the Blessed Trinity itself, then as extended towards man as the microcosm of creation, looking finally at the Church as the locus of God’s love on earth. “We are in a time of great and intense hatred,” Brother argues. “What we need to do is rise to the occasion—to a life perfected in charity.”
In a presentation as humorous as it is profoundly compelling, Commander John Sharpe, retired Naval officer, publisher, and schola director, urges his listeners to abandon the inadequate labels of “left” and “right” with regards not only our current political system, but as an unnecessary and ineffectual dichotomy within the Catholic worldview as a whole. “When you have sanity and history and reality, you don’t have a label for it,” he says. “Labels are for all the weird stuff.” Going further into the heart of classical liberalism (a “right-wing” conception), Commander Sharpe shows that its essential contention with the Church is not one of moral issues, but of the very existence of and salvific necessity of Revelation. “It’s what you can think or cannot think that really makes the ‘right’ upset.” If we are going to reclaim the West for Christ, we must build our efforts on reading and study and a clear understanding of the State’s duty to help souls get to Heaven.
“I would like to tell you,” says Mr. Charles Coulombe, author of The Pope’s Legion, “that we Catholicss are at the height of fervor all the time. But the truth is that we get bogged down.” At its best, fantasy can remind us of the incredible mysteries of our Faith that we tend to forget. Drawing on his rich understanding of history and literature, Charles shows that when the Protestant Revolt came, it did untold damage to culture by initiating the long, slow process of putting the miraculous into the category of folklore. But, for the Catholic mind grounded in reality, the overwhelming and inspiring truth is that “we are living in a universe governed by a God Who wants us to come Home—to see beyond the lies around us.”
While most Catholics would claim without hesitation to believe in miracles, Mr. Mike Church, founder of the Veritas Radio Network, challenges us to examine ourselves on just how far that belief will go. We are all, to some extent, products of our age, and the Protestant world we live in has sought for centuries not only to strip God’s agency from the miracles commonly associated with great sanctity, but to credit the devil himself with such phenomena. Yet the miracles of the Ages of Faith are not mere fantasy, nor need they be excluded from our age. Mike ends with an appeal to believe as our Fathers did, to become “childlike in our thought.” Conferences are great, but Mr. Church is emphatic—“Now go out and DO something.” Pray for real miracles, he urges us; learn and share the stories of miracles; and, above all, don’t worry about what the future may hold. God is still—always—in control.
Chris De Vos
To Catholics who may be afraid to espouse the idea of a 6,000-year-old earth lest they sound too much like Protestant fundamentalists, Mr. Chris De Vos has a clear piece of advice—don’t be! The label “fundamentalist” has been misapplied, and it is high time we took it back. “To say you’re a Catholic who follows the fundamentals [of the Faith] should be a beautiful compliment.” Believing strongly that doctrine needs to be girded by history, Chris cites countless 19th and 20th Century sources to prove that to date the origin of the universe as 4,000 years from the Incarnation of the Word is no mere fantasy proposed by well-meaning Medievals who did not have the technology to know better.
In our efforts to return to a wholly Catholic—and therefore correct—worldview, Mr. C. Joseph Doyle, head of the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts, proposes in this talk that Hilaire Belloc will be of invaluable service to us. A man of “profound political wisdom,” a great thinker and historiographer, Belloc deserves to be remembered as one who was not part of “the culture of deference,” a man who “spoke frankly and forthrightly,” and was “unafraid to tell the truth.” By listing point after point in which Belloc was right in dissenting from the historical narrative of the ruling class of his day (a narrative very much in vogue in our own day!) Mr. Doyle illustrates the depth of insight in Belloc’s famous words, “all academic history is a conspiracy against the Truth.” An important lesson for today’s culture warriors!
Featuring Br. Andre Marie, Sr. Maria Philomena, Hugh Owen, Charles Coloumbe, Mike Church, Chris De Vos, Joe Doyle, and Commander John Sharpe, this Q & A session covers a wide range of topics, including:
- The reliability of modern canonizations
-Basic guidelines for navigating good fantasy/folklore from bad; recommended reading for elementary school students
- “Why should God work a miracle for me?”
- The historic location of Sodom and Gomorrah
- What are we to think of so-called alien abduction stories?
- Who is really “the bad guy” in the Hamas attacks?
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