Mike Aquilina

A Little Bit Country, A Lot of Patristics

Thursday February 11th 2010, 3:00 pm

I just got back from Music City — Nashville, Tennessee — where I was featured speaker at Aquinas College‘s annual St. Thomas Aquinas Forum. This year’s theme was “Champions of Orthodoxy: The Fathers of the Church,” and I gave four talks. Among the other speakers was Richard H. Bulzacchelli, author of Judged by the Law of Freedom: A History of the Faith-Works Controversy, who delivered an excellent “how to” lecture on patristic biblical interpretation. I believe the good Dominican Sisters are making the talks available on CD.

I traveled with my lovely daughter Mary Agnes, who runs my book table. We ended up stranded in Tennessee because of the snowstorms. There was no storm in Nashville, so the extra time made for a great vacation. We went out for a night on the town with Bill and Marie Bellet. Marie is a country and Gospel singer, and I’m a longtime fan. She must be the only country artist EVER to set a Church Father to music. Check out “Late Have I Loved You” on her album Ordinary Time. You’ll come to know and to believe: St. Augustine was born for the Grand Ole Opry.

While in town, we also enjoyed a leisurely lunch with Michael Gilstrap, who is the U.S. representative of Rome’s Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, a charity well worth a portion of your tithe.

The highlight of the trip was lots of time spent with my former colleague Joan Watson, who’s now working in campus ministry and catechetics at Aquinas College. You probably remember her as the blogger Joan in Rome.

The college is an amazing place. Parents and prospective students, take note!