I had the great good fortune last weekend to go to the University of Notre Dame for a Catholic women’s blogging conference.
I have been scheduled and registered to attend at least three other blogging conferences in past years, but one thing or and another and another forced me to cancel plans.
I wish I could say this Lent has been all about renewal, but instead it’s more like the Lent you are given. Those are often the most fruitful Lents, but at the time it can feel like hard, hard work.
The opportunity to be with other Catholic women for an entire day, pray with them, learn from them, and just enjoy fellowship and great food, was a gift and a grace.
I must confess I enjoyed being the oldest at the conference, often by several decades. But best is that I was the learner, and I’m still soaking up super helpful and encouraging presentations by Nell of Whole Parenting Family and Rhonda Ortiz of Real Housekeeping. I also loved the general conversations and input by the other bloggers, and getting to visit the Grotto, however briefly, and eat dinner with the group at this delicious restaurant.
As shared here before, I’ve been in blogging burnout, off and on, for several years. I hoped the conference would help inspire and encourage. It’s done that and more–here’s hoping that will be reflected here a Reading Catholic in coming months. Baby steps.
No one will be surprised to learn that I spent much of my time in conversations with the other women suggesting … books. And so, as part of the Mid-Lent Reset, I’m going to share books chosen specifically for the Catholic Women’s Blogging Conference.
Some books are ones I individually recommended to women last weekend, and others struck me (on a scan of several bookshelves) as apropos of last weekend’s the group. I wanted to pick a range of non-obvious books perhaps off the radar of younger women, but are worthwhile reads.
Ralph McInerny’s memoir is a good fit since the conference was at the University of Notre Dame, and he was a longtime professor there. I wrote about it briefly here (and talk about what he thought about my chocolate cake).
This one just jumped out at me. So good. Here’s my review.
It turns out this book was updated several years ago as G-Dog and the Homeboys: Father Greg Boyle and the Gangs of East Los Angeles. Adding that to the TBR list.
I mentioned this book as several “background reading” ideas to one of the bloggers who’s working on a book. I’m not sure if her book plans are public, so I won’t name her or the topic, but I am very excited to read and review it when it does come out. Here’s my review of Gawande’s book.
Mary Eberstadt wrote what is one of the best, if not the best, retellings of C. S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters. I re-read The Loser Letters a few months back when my older teen was reading it, and I still loved it. I reviewed the book here and interviewed Mary Eberstadt here.
I read this book in late 2013 or early 2014, and my younger teen and I did a modified version of her “seven” during last year’s Lent (seven foods, seven articles of clothing, etc.). I was reminded that I still have not written about this terrific book and its impact on us yet when our family recently discovered re-runs of her home renovation show on HGTV. Someday…