As you may have seen, the National Review Institute is cosponsoring two events at the Sheen Center for Thought & Culture in lower Manhattan this upcoming week. We cosponsored a number of virtual events there during the pandemic, and I hosted a few additional events there for them. The idea of a center for thought and culture through a Catholic lens in a, frankly, very dark part of town (in many ways), is a wonderful one. Especially if its source is Christ and is life-giving and tells the truth. That’s certainly the goal with these two events. The first, on Tuesday night, is Francis in Iraq, a documentary on the pope’s visit to Iraq last year and its impact on the persecuted Christian minority there. The film is inspiring, seen through the lens of the people who have stayed in the wake of genocide.
The second event is a conversation with Ross Douthat about his book, The Deep Places: A Memoir of Illness and Discovery. It’s a moving read about his battle with Lyme disease and family life.
I’m a little bummed they are back to back, because I know a lot of people can’t make two nights in a row work out, but we plan to be conscious of your time.
And I make a plea with you. These two nights are substantive and human and powerful on the merits. But another thing, in case this is something that concerns you, too. The Sheen Center is next door to an abortion clinic. My prayer is that beautiful things can happen there — most especially prayer — to have that block counter the death with grace. My heart was touched when I attended an Irish concert at the Sheen Center earlier this week and a woman who listens to me on weekdays on The Catholic Channel on Sirius XM (I have a two-minute weekday feature that airs throughout the day) told me the first thing she did when she parked her car was pray in front of Planned Parenthood because she had heard me talking about doing the same. If you are in the New York area and it makes a difference to you: Consider coming to one of these events to support something good happening on that block to counter the misery on the other side.
And before you leave the Sheen Center, stop in the chapel and pray to God for miracles on that block.
The tickets aren’t much, and they help keep the building open — NYC, as you know, is expensive. Click here for Francis in Iraq details and tickets. Click here for the Ross Douthat event details and tickets. (And if price is an issue, e-mail me.)
(For people far from NYC, enjoy some previous virtual programming:
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