I cannot seem to concentrate for anything today! I’m not sure why. All I know is that all day I’ve been trying to buckle down and Get Something Done, and so far have accomplished, well, not much beyond spreading papers artistically across my desk, get a couple of needed signatures, fetch lunches for a noon meeting (alas, my lunch was not among them), and figure out why another student’s time card wasn’t going through. There was some other stuff in there too, and honestly, it’s not a bad day’s work, but still. My sense of accomplishment? Utterly lacking. I also keep trying to write this blog post, and then getting distracted by online cartoons, articles about the Catholic perspective on Obama’s health care plan, wedding pictures that just got put online, and rehashing last night’s TOT with my friends.
Truthfully, Theology On Tap last night was kinda awesome. We had Archbishop Dennis Schnurr, the new Archbishop for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, at Theology On Tap last night, and he was great! People really turned out, and we were standing room only. The whole evening was Q&A, and we had some really good questions. There were questions about the role of lay ministers in the Church, why women can’t be priests, liturgical dance (the questioner seemed to be bizarrely in favor of it), how to respond when Mass is so changed by a priest that it’s almost unrecognizable, how to deal with ultra-conservative Catholics who seem to be edging over into schism, the whole Notre Dame/Obama scandal, priestly celibacy, why Eucharistic adoration isn’t more available in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, what NFL football team the Archbishop roots for (he claims not to have a favorite), what that gold chain was that he was wearing (it was his pectoral cross), and whether there is any way around the six month engagement waiting period. And the good bishop answered everything, without ducking or dodging, straightforward and thorough, and with a sense of humor. It was wonderful.
I have to admit that I was nervous. What if people didn’t show up to hear the Archbishop? What if the Archbishop didn’t show up? What if someone started heckling the Archbishop? What if I embarrassed myself while I was MCing? And also, what does one wear to MC for an Archbishop? It turns out that one wears a nice black dress with a sweater over it (I made Johnsy get off the phone with her brother to tell me which of three sweaters I should wear), I think I did a very good job MCing (especially after we figured out how to pass the microphone back and forth without tangling our hands), and although I had Mick tapped to act as bouncer if needed, everyone was very respectful and we didn’t need Mick to do anything besides get the Archbishop a glass of water. I did have a very bad twenty minutes when 7pm came and went and the Archbishop still wasn’t there. But I smiled and kept making announcements for the growing crowd to squeeze together to make room for newcomers, and at 7:22 one of my friends told me that the Archbishop was outside the door, having been waylaid by a group of seminarian wannabes who were hanging out there while one of them snuck a quick cigarette (seminarians smoking?! horror!). I ran outside, quickly extricated the Archbishop, and we had just enough time to shove the accumulated questions in his hands for a fast review before it was time to start. (Me: “How would you like me to introduce you?” Him: “As Archbishop Schnurr.”) And then we were off, and it was a great evening.
Also, as of last night, I have now successfully helped put on six years worth of Theology On Tap. That’s twelve series, with 5-6 speakers each time. That’s a lot of speakers, friends. My mind boggles.