It’s been an exhilarating week or so since I last wrote. I was at EWTN filming a new thirteen part series of The Quest for Shakespeare, based on the book upon which I am currently working. The quality of the acting by members of the Theater of the Word Incorporated was simply superb. We also drove to Hanceville, to the shrine established by Mother Angelica, to film an hour-long special on Tolkien’s Catholicism and the Catholicism of The Lord of the Rings. It was fun to wander in the woods surrounding the shrine as we shot this special on location. It was a beautiful sunny day, even though it was still early February, and the sun was warm enough to turn my pale anglo-saxon skin a lobster-shade of pink! Although the mildness of the southern winters is one of the things I love about the South, and one of the reasons that my family and I chose to move to South Carolina, my sunburnt face caused some technical problems when we returned to the EWTN studio in Irondale to film the Shakespeare series on the following day. It was necessary to smother my face with so much make-up, seemingly an inch thick, in order to hide the embryonic sun-tan that I felt like the aging Queen Elizabeth who was notorious for coating her visage with paint to hide her wrinkles and therefore, presumably, her mortality. I am told that viewers of the series will not notice the make-up. I hope so!

I returned from EWTN on Thursday evening and left for Raleigh, North Carolina, on the following morning. I gave two talks at the Ignited by Truth Catholic Conference at the Raleigh Convention Center. More than two thousand enthusiastic local Catholics, presided over by the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbage, the dynamically orthodox bishop of the local diocese, heard talks by, amongst others, Tim Staples of Catholic Answers; Immaculee Illbagiza, author of Left to Tell: Discovering God amidst the Rwandan Holocaust; and Philip Rivers, NFL quarterback. This conference has grown in leaps and bounds in the few years since it was first started and is living proof of the vibrant health of the Faith in the South.

I returned home from my wanderings on Saturday evening and enjoyed a much-needed restful sabbath with my family. It’s good to roam, especially in the service of Rome, but it’s oh so good to be back Home!