Ladydale Diary

St. Francis Borgia 2019

We have had the great pleasure this week of hosting our friends, Michael and Crystal Kurek, who stayed with us from Tuesday till Thursday. Michael is a world-renowned composer of wonderful classical music and the author of the newly published book, The Sound of Beauty, for which I was honoured to write the foreword. His wife is a fine soprano who works in musical theatre. I got to know them during the three years that I was working in Nashville as the Director of the Center for Faith and Culture at Aquinas College, often staying with them during my monthly visits to Music City. They are truly delightful company.

While Michael was staying with us, I took the opportunity to record two podcasts with him during which we discussed his book. These will be broadcast as part of the series of weekly podcasts that I’ve been doing for Faith & Culture. Check out faithandculture.com for further details.

The other news this week has been the very sore back with which I’ve been coping since last weekend. It stems from pushing our seventeen-year-old son on a two-mile walk alongside the river in his new wheelchair. For those who don’t know, our son Leo has Down syndrome and autism which means that he is a real handful when we’re out in public. We finally succumbed to buying the wheelchair as a means of getting him around without having to drag him and coax him to walk in the right direction. He enjoyed himself but I realized that pushing him uphill was a real workout. On the following morning my lower back was so sore that I could hardly move!

I go to the gym frequently but usually avoid working the lower back because I’ve had problems with it in the past. In consequence, and as I’ve just discovered anew, it is not as strong as those other parts of my body which get more attention during workouts. On this coming Saturday, we’re planning on going to the zoo and will once again use the wheelchair. This time, Susannah and Evangeline will need to help me by sharing in the pushing and Leo might have to get out and walk up the hills!

On Monday, I wrote my regular weekly essay for the Imaginative Conservative, choosing to focus on Brexit and why the leaders of the European Union are doing all that they can to prevent the UK from leaving the EU. For those wanting to know more, the essay has already been published and can be read here: https://theimaginativeconservative.org/2019/10/brexit-or-leave-it-joseph-pearce.html

I’ve also spent time this week putting the finishing touches to the next issue of the St. Austin Review which will be on the theme of “Brideshead and Beyond: The Genius of Evelyn Waugh”. It’s another fine issue, even though I do say so myself!

Having enjoyed two weeks at home, I’m now preparing for a week of travels. On Sunday, I speak in Arlington, Virginia on John Henry Newman, on the very day of his canonization. On Monday I fly direct from DC to Denver for my regular sojourn at the AI, for which I am Director of Book Publishing. On Monday evening I’m giving a talk about my own conversion at Theology on Tap and on Tuesday I give another talk on Newman at a local parish.

And now, my bad back notwithstanding, I’m heading to the gym.


Yesterday, my wife read me Father Dwight Longenecker’s post on his own website listing the things he likes most about his native land. I am not a native American, unlike all those born here irrespective of ethnic origin, but I am a fairly recent American citizen and thought it might be fun to list fifty things that I like about the United States.
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