on her adventures in Scotland:
I am delighted to be writing to you today from the historic Greyfriars Convent in the beautiful town of Elgin, Scotland, where I am one-third of the way through the nine speaking dates of my U.K. tour sharing the message of My Peace I Give You (see a list of my speaking dates here).
Before my arrival, there was a great article in the Scottish Catholic Observer announcing my tour, in which Diocese of Aberdeen Bishop Hugh Gilbert, O.S.B., said,”“It is worth stressing that her talks are not relevant only to those who have experienced sexual abuse, nor is she intent on raising spectres from the past. It is on the broader theme of the wisdom available within the Catholic tradition for coming to terms with suffering.”
Also prior to my tour, an excellent piece in the U.K. Catholic Herald by Francis Phillips drew attention to my recent interview for John Burger at Catholic World Report. Phillips wrote, “Eden’s powerful witness to hope shows that evil never has the last word.” I have since contacted her, and am looking forward to being interviewed by her this Friday after I arrive in London.
The tour is going wonderfully so far, and I feel very prayed-for. My favorite experience was speaking to about fifty young adults on Saturday night at the Bishop’s House in Aberdeen.
It is also a thrill to be in Scotland for the first time. The drive yesterday from Aberdeen to Elgin was gorgeous, with rolling hills and more sheep than I have ever seen in my life, and I am told the scenery will only get better as I head to Inverness today, and then tomorrow to Fort Augustus, on the far end of Loch Ness. Please especially pray for my Fort Augustus talk, as that tiny village has been hit hard by revelations of abuse that took place at a school which was operated there by Benedictines until it closed in the late 1990s.Here in Elgin, I am being hosted by the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, who have recently taken root at the invitation of Bishop Gilbert at Greyfriars. As you know, the Dominicans are very special to me, so I feel right at home. Yesterday, I was delighted when Sister Anna Christi showed me the atrium where, starting tomorrow, she will soon be teaching about 85 children, ages 5 through 8, the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Sister Anna Christi, who has been through all three levels of training for the catechesis program, has been painstakingly assembling the handmade materials for the atrium for the past five years. In case you are among the many people (myself included who appreciate the truth and beauty of this approach to catechesis, I invite you to become part of the Dominican Sisters’ effort to aid the New Evangelization by giving to their congregation. If you let the congregation know that you wish your donation to go to the atrium at Greyfriars, I can tell you that it will make a big difference in the faith life of the town.
In other good news, I am deeply honored that Anthony Esolen, the great Catholic author, Dante translator, and professor of renaissance literature, has written a powerful opinion essay occasioned by My Peace I Give You, which he calls a “remarkable and profoundly wise book.”
One final note–a big thank-you for your prayers for my skin-cancer surgery. It couldn’t have gone better, and I am healing very well.
Thank you so much for all your support, encouragement, and most of all your prayers. Besides praying for me on this tour, please also pray that I may be able to complete my sacred theology licentiate, as I have a lot of work to do if I am to graduate in May. Normally I would be doing schoolwork this week, because it is my spring break, so there will be a lot of catching up after I return home a week from today.
Praying for you with much thanksgiving.
Enjoy the trip, Dawn!