Saturday, March 13, 2010


You are warmly invited to come to a free evening conference celebrating the 80th anniversary of the great Catholic writer G.K. Chesterton’s visit to America and the College of the Holy Cross.
When: Thursday, 25 March 2010
What time: 7:30 pm
Where: Rehm Library, Carol and Park B. Smith Hall, Holy Cross
The great English writer, author of over 100 books and the world’s most famous convert at that time, visited the College (and was made an ‘Honorary Crusader’) in December of 1930.  He planted a tree at the College and recited Joyce Kilmer’s celebrated poem, ‘Trees,’ when doing so.

The program, ‘Chesterton in America,’ will be a delightfully warm presentation and ‘conversation’ on Chesterton’s celebrated visit to the United States, captured eloquently in his book, ‘What I Saw in America.’ This event is being co-sponsored by the G.K. Chesterton Society of Worcester and the Holy Cross Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture.
The presentation will be offered by two wonderful speakers: Father Ian Boyd, C.S.B.,  editor of The Chesterton Review, and Professor Dermot Quinn. Both scholars teach at Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey, and are associated with the G.K. Chesterton Institute for Faith and Culture.
The program will begin with Professor Dermot Quinn making the point that it was during Chesterton’s second visit to America (and especially during his visit to the College of the Holy Cross) that he really experienced the richness of American Catholicism. He had to come to America to see how Catholic the Catholic Church in America, in her myriad ethnicities, really was, and paradoxically, how European. Professor Quinn will incorporate remarks about Paul Claudel’s introduction of Chesterton at Holy Cross and how those remarks captured the essence of both men.
Fr. Boyd will then present an abbreviated paper on Chesterton’s insights on America.
The remarks of these two scholars will lead into a dialogue between Boyd and Quinn on the following: the difference between Chesterton’s first and second American visits; G.K.’s famous remark about America being “a nation with the soul of a Church;” how G.K. delighted in the exuberance of America, yet worried about its “false materialism;” how G.K. was concerned about America’s “standardization by a low standard;” G.K.’s concern about the real threat “not coming from Moscow but Manhattan;” and how Chesterton’s America has changed and how it has stayed the same.

1 comment:

  1. Nancy,

    Thanks for the post - we hope any of your readers who can make the trip will join us. It will be a fun evening. Note that we are from Worcester, Massachusetts - after the English city of the same name.


    Anthony Zamarro
    Chesterton Society of Worcester


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