An Apology from An Apologist, A Summer Update, and An Exciting Announcement
I have an exciting announcement to make regarding the St. Jerome Study Center, but first I wish to apologize to my website visitors for not having been able to update it (before now) since March!
As many of you know, I had a horrendously hectic speaking schedule for the entire month of April, giving over two dozen talks in over a dozen cities up and down the East coast (having to drive to each one).
First, I left home on April 1 for a 4-day whirlwind speaking tour (with Michael Semin, Director of the St. Joseph Institute in Prague) of New York City, Newark NJ, Philadelphia PA, Baltimore MD, and Washington DC. From Washington I had to immediately drive the 5 hours back home to Scranton PA, pick up materials, and drive to a five-day traditional Catholic symposium in New England, which I helped moderate and where I gave two presentations.
On the fifth day of the symposium I had to leave, drive back to Scranton to pick up two of my children, and immediately drive 10 hours down to Winston-Salem NC, arriving at 7 am, two hours before I had to give an all-day seminar. The moment I finished this seminar I had to drive several hours to Georgia for a late night dinner meeting, then give a talk after Mass the following day in Atlanta, then another 10-hour drive to Orlando FL to speak that evening, followed by talks throughout Florida in Tampa, Ft. Myers, Naples, Miami, and Melbourne -- each day with little time to do anything but drive, give the talk, catch a few hours of sleep, and then drive to the next city.
May and June were already guaranteed to be hectic just in terms of having to catch up on the thousands of e-mails, voicemails, letters, faxes, etc., that came in my absence. (I still have no secretary or staff to "hold down the fort" whenever I'm on the road), but matters were further complicated these past two months by some unexpected but necessary business trips -- two to the West coast and one out of the country -- all of which required many additional days of preparation. It is only just now, on the last day of June, that I'm able to momentarily catch my breath and re-access my website to provide you with this long overdue update.
So my deepest apologies to all of you for my having been forced by my circumstances to be so incommunicado for the past several weeks; I will get to returning all your phone calls and e-mails eventually, as I chip away at the backlog each day. And I will try from this point on not to fall so far behind any more.
Many of you have inquired about my summer speaking schedule, since, until today, my website had only listed engagements up through April 16! Here's the scoop: due to the strong stand I've taken in my April talks against the New Mass and related issues -- e.g., the new (post-1968) ordination rites (about which I'll be writing in my next essay, which I hope to post here next week) -- all but one of my 2005 speaking engagements have been canceled, including:
1) the Chartres pilgrimage in May I was to have once again (as in the previous 9 years) joined The Remnant for,
2) the Dietrich von Hildebrand Institute in Lake Gardone, Italy, in June for which I was to deliver several lectures on the doctrinal controversies in the early Church and the formation of the New Testament canon,
3) the annual St. Benedict Center Conference in Fitchburg MA in July (at which I've also spoke for nearly ten years now),
as well as ALL my other summer speaking engagements.
Although these cancellations (more about which I will write in my next "Gerry's Word" essay) entail a devastating loss of income (so donations to help us through these next several weeks will be gratefully appreciated!), I refuse to compromise, or to be intellectually dishonest, on these issues. I will be giving a full defense of my positions on these matters, quoting the authoritative teachings of the Catholic Church, in my next essay.
The good news is that I will have correspondingly more time to devote to the St. Jerome Study Center, which will be opening its doors in mid-July! (For a description of the St. Jerome Study Center, see the 4-page appeal letter elsewhere on this website.) Although we have so far raised only half of what we need to purchase a house in which to permanently locate the study center, there are so many donors eager to begin their studies with me this summer that I could no longer put them off, so I have decided to rent a fair-sized apartment three blocks from my home to serve as a temporary site for the study center.
Not as large as the small house we still hope to eventually acquire, the apartment's four rooms will nevertheless hold the bulk of my library in nearly 50 large bookcases, still leaving room for 2 sofas, easy chairs, a brand-new state-of-the-art Windows XP Media Center computer and a large LCD TV monitor. There is also a kitchen and a bathroom.
During the past six weeks I have been working around the clock transporting dozens of bookcases and thousands of books from my home to the new study center, purchasing 25 additional bookcases and assembling them, and attending to the hundred and one other details to make the study center fully functional in time to receive our first students the week of July 18-22. I anticipate a steady stream of students the rest of the summer and throughout the fall.
That's all for now, but look for a new "Gerry's Word" essay, with updated information on all our apostolate's many projects, to appear in this space, hopefully each week. May God richly bless you as you seek first what His truth entails and His righteousness requires (Matthew 6:33).
In Christ our King,