Thursday, 25 June 2009

The Workshop has changed

I first came to the Lonergan Workshop in the summer of '92. It was an exciting thing to hear the greats speaking: Fred Crowe, Fred Lawrence, Bob Doran, Phil McShane, Charles Hefling, Pat Bryne, and so on. Added to that, I was sharing a condominium, if that's the word, with Phil McShane and his wife. (I remember him teasing me for saying the Breviary; he was reading Insight early morning, and I thought: what a wonderful way of beginning the morning).

The Workshop has changed. The first generation Lonergan scholars do give papers, but not all of them: there is Pat Bryne this time, and Bob Doran, and David Burrell. Fred Crowe is 94 years old and in the Jesuit Infirmary at Pickering, Canada. Fred Lawrence has no paper. But there is a whole generation of new Lonergan scholars, many of them extremely competent, intelligent, and capable: Dominic Doyle who spoke on Christian Humanism on Monday, Jeremy Wilkins who spoke on the Beatific Vision in an astounding way yesterday, Paul St Amour who took us through the economics thing in a brilliant way despite it not being his field, Gordon Rixon SJ from Toronto, Gilles Mongeau SJ again from Regis College Toronto, and so on. I loved also the Rosemary Haughton paper from Sr Kathleen Williams.

One nice thing about the Workshop is that they vary the venues: the mornings and late afternoons in McGuinn Auditorium; the afternoon workshops at Carney and another place; the evening sessions at the 5th floor auditorium at Fulton. It helps. There is usually coffee, tea, soft drinks and snacks at 1030, then again at 1530, and perhaps also in the evenings. That way people can supplement their meals, because it does become very expensive eating in the Campus Messes.

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