Greetings to you all from Birmingham, Alabama! I know I said in my last post that the blog would go silent for a couple of weeks, and it may just yet, but imagine our surprise when we discovered we have a computer and Internet access in the EWTN guesthouse. Fr Owen suggested I continue to blog - recording the filming process - a sort of diary, but I'm not sure about that because the schedule is packed. But if I get a moment, I will blog a post, or post a blog, or whatever the correct phrase is here.
Now of course an online diary might just be fun, recording the producer's tantrums, the camera men's strike, the joys of make-up ("Wrong shade, Harvey! No thanks, I think I'll pass on the lip-gloss".), the re-recordings, the slips, the frustrations, the subsequent confessions and holy hours in reparation - all the tragedy and the underlying comedy which is TV. But, to be honest, it is much tamer than that - working with solid and good people for whom EWTN is more than a job, it is a mission. God bless them all.
We had a very long day yesterday - three flights. The Dublin to Atlanta direct is gone, so we had to fly to New York (JFK), then to Atlanta and then to Birmingham, AL: we were like zombies by the time we arrived. Thanks to numerous cups of coffee, Neurofen (I have a cold and a touch of tonsillitis) and prayer, we kept going. We almost lost our bags at one stage - or at least we thought we lost them, but all was sorted thanks to lovely lady in Atlanta, Miranda, pure southern belle! Our producer Brian and Al, one of EWTN's volunteers, collected us, and brought us to the guesthouse. We also met a new friend (Hi Chris!) as we were anxiously waiting for our luggage at baggage claim in Birmingham airport, he was travelling back to Birmingham from Illinois - a long journey for him too . So it was an interesting day.
This weekend we will continue our preparation, recording starts at 8.30am Monday morning: our producer wanted us here for a day or two before recording so we would get over the jet lag and look refreshed and good on camera. God bless his innocence - all the sleep in the world will never a beauty out of this priest! Not even the make-up man, trowel in hand, could do that. Anyway, please keep us in your prayers.
So what's happening in the world? A quick scoot around the net reveals that the bishops of the US are getting ready for battle over Obama's attack on religious liberty. I must say I am delighted. In a post on Thursday I compared Cardinal-designate Dolan to St Ambrose, well the spirit of Ambrose is reawakening all over the US as bishops are refusing to fold and are leading their flocks against Obama and his cronies - among whom are a number of high profile liberal Catholics. This battle is actually uniting orthodox and liberal Catholics, so those in Obama's administration are probably finding that their allies are deserting them - or at least I hope they are.
Bishops are now even talking about civil disobedience (see here also)! Well the spirits of Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr are on the move too. If Catholics in the US actually united and faced Obama on this they will effect a change. It seems the most obvious option is to bring Obama down in the election later this year. The Catholic vote is a significant one, and now as the freedom of religion is at stake (not only for Catholics, but for others as well), it is time to put aside political differences and party politics and to unite behind one candidate who will give a guarantee that he/she will stop Obama's bill. Time for Catholics to talk to the Republican candidates. William Oddie has a very good article in the Catholic Herald.
It is also time for Notre Dame to redeem itself and take back the Honorary Doctorate of Laws it gave to Obama a couple of years ago: here is a good excuse. I doubt if Fr Jenkins could endorse Obama's actions, seeing as the President of Notre Dame was at the March for Life this year. Time for him to rebuild bridges here, I think.
In other news, I see the spirit of Obama is moving in University College London - the Catholic chaplaincy has been told that it must now invite pro-abortion speakers to even up their pro-life talks. Time here to say "No". As one person asked, does this mean the pro-abortion clubs must now invite a pro-life speaker "to even things up" ? I doubt it - such decisions tend to go in one direction. In the world of culture, Matthew Archbald writes about some new movies coming out of Hollywood - they do not seem to be too favourable to the Catholic faith.
Anyway, that's all for now. Work awaits. I will be offering Mass at 1.30pm (Central) in the friar's chapel, so I will remember you all.