So I’ve been in Chicago for a few days and I thought I’d tell you what I’ve been up to.

A couple years ago, I was invited by Rev. Ed Foley to join a project being undertaken in Chicago at the Catholic Theological Union, funded by the Templeton Foundation, called “Preaching with the Sciences.” 

Since COVID hit, we’ve been meeting by Zoom for informal discussions, lectures, evaluations. Finally, though, that came to an end.

This weekend was the first face-to-face meeting between the 11 of us: preachers who are cobbling together homily outlines — each of us doing 10 apiece — designed to assist homilists and give them resources to make those 8 or 9 minutes in the pulpit relevant and real.

The idea is to ground scripture in science and use different disciplines (psychology, physics, chemistry, primatology, you name it) to help illuminate God’s word.

It’s a great idea and a great group of people — you can read about the contributors here — and while I had a lot of angst about this (my scientific knowledge and academic abilities are nothing to brag about), it was a wonderful weekend, full of smart people, inspiring conversation, and more than a little bit of grace. Who could ask for anything more?

I am blessed to be a part of something so ambitious and creative. (How I ended up in this esteemed crew is a mystery that science can’t explain and only God can answer.)

We posed for a “class picture” below.

The homilies will be posted online, beginning in early April. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, as I pack my bags and prepare to leave Chicago, I’m working on my next project, a presentation that I’ll be delivering this Saturday at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress. The title of the talk is: “Are Deacons the Answer?”  I’m still trying to figure out the question.

But: If you’re hanging around the Anaheim Convention Center next weekend, stop by and say hello. This is always a memorable event, and I’m looking forward to connecting with new friends and reconnecting with old ones.

More soon…!