The Dispatch: More from CWR...

June workshop to focus on the meaning of the vocation of the Catholic writer

The writer’s retreat, led by Fr. Peter M.J. Stravinskas, will be held at Seton Hall University on the weekend of the Solemnity of Pentecost, June 7-9, 2019.

(Image: Mikhail Pavstyuk |

Readers of Catholic World Report are familiar with the work of Fr. Peter M.J. Stravinskas, who is a regular contributor to CWR. He is the editor of The Catholic Response, which focuses on apologetics, has written several hundred articles for numerous Catholic publications, and has also penned several books, including The Catholic Church and the Bible and Understanding the Sacraments. In addition to his many works on apologetics and theological subjects, Fr. Stravinskas has also written on art and literature, and next month he is hosting a seminar for Catholic writers. He recently spoke with CWR about this upcoming weekend retreat, which will be held at Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey, June 7-9, 2019.

CWR: What is the nature and purpose of this initiative?

Fr. Stravinskas: We have “guild” associations for a variety of Catholic professionals: lawyers, medical personnel, teachers – but, in the wake of Vatican II, it seems that Catholic writers have not had much support.  Participants will be able to probe the meaning of the vocation of the Catholic writer, guided by the wisdom of the Catholic Tradition, especially through the inspiration of Cardinal Newman, St. John Paul II, G.K. Chesterton, Hilaire Belloc, Venerable Fulton J. Sheen, and other notables of the Catholic intellectual tradition.

Attention will be given to providing useful information on proper theological and ecclesiastical terminology, as well as Church history and structures, thus enabling the writer to portray Catholic life with accuracy. There will be ample opportunities to engage with experienced authors and to meet fellow-travelers.

All of this professional engagement will be inserted within the Church’s liturgical life: Liturgy of the Hours, Holy Mass, and opportunities for the Sacrament of Penance.  By a happy coincidence, the weekend is that of the Solemnity of Pentecost.

CWR: What kind of support have you found for this project?

Fr. Stravinskas: I have been thoroughly impressed by the support that has surfaced. This event is co-sponsored by the Catholic Studies Program and Communications Department of Seton Hall University; Holy Apostles College and Seminary; Catholic World Report; Ignatius Press, The Catholic Thing; and First Things.

CWR: Besides yourself, who else will be involved in the retreat?

Fr. Stravinskas: At the beginning phase of this project, we already have a great line-up of retreat leaders, including: Dr. Robert Royal of The Catholic Thing; Fr. Nicholas Gregoris, who is the managing editor of The Catholic Response, and who has covered the last three synods in Rome; and Dr. Mark Bauerlein of First Things.

CWR: What are the particulars?

Fr. Stravinskas: As noted, the venue is Seton Hall University, which is a fifteen-minute ride from Newark Airport.  Further, Seton Hall’s personnel are most enthusiastic about hosting this event. The cost for the retreat weekend is $250. Participation is limited to 40. For further information or to register, interested parties may contact me at:

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  1. A question: Must a Catholic writer speak in a Catholic voice to Catholics and non-Catholics attracted to Catholicism? Is there a place for those informed/enlivened by the faith but who speak to, and in the vernacular of, the Areopagus, the lost sheep, the prodigal son, those skeptical of Christianity?

  2. Yet another wonderful catholic event NOT meant for those less financially blest. Sad. Yet, all too common. Actually – par for the course these days. Enjoy yourselves guys.

    • $250 isn’t really much these days. The Red Roof Inn near my office frequently goes for over $200 for one night just for a room. It may be high compared to other Catholic conferences, but many business-oriented seminars are in the $1000+ range. For what they are offering, it seems quite reasonable.

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