Summer vacation has arrived and I’ve got loads to do. After tidying up from the loose ends at school, I’m heading for El Salvador on Saturday for a week. I’m leading a school mission trip to help at the CIDECO community. CIDECO is a village built with help from the papal foundation. The poorest of the poor are given a place to live, a school, a clinic, a church and a community that helps them break the cycle of poverty. We hope to build permanent relationship between CIDECO and St Joseph’s Catholic School.

I’ve got a long list of article that have been commissioned for This Rock, National Catholic Register, Crisis Magazine, St Austin Review and Touchstone. Joseph Pearce also wants me to write an essay on Jane Austen and the Clergy. I also need to finish The Gargoyle Code so it can be released for Lent next year. I hope to work on my conversion story too. The working title is There and Back Again.…I thought of competing with Scott Hahn’s punny title Rome Sweet Home by calling my conversion story Done Roamin’, but I think I had better leave the puns to Scott. He’s sort of cornered the market on that one.

Add to that are the usual summer activities for the family. No family vacation as such, but summer camp, music lessons, the pool, a visit to the beach and maybe a theme park. I admit to a weakness for theme parks. I love the carnival atmosphere. It’s like my love of the circus. There’s something about cotton candy, junk food and shameless entertainment that appeals to me. There’s a child like abandon that I enjoy. There is a more subtle and shameful appreciation to these things too. I like the fact that my enthusing about them annoys my more tasteful friends. There’s something shocking about the circus for middle class ladies (and I am referring to middle class ladies of all ages and both genders…)

I almost forgot: I’m going to be a camp chaplain for a week as well. Camp Kahdalea in North Carolina is run by a splendid Catholic family called the Trufaunts. Should be fun…”Almighty God, bless this kayak, and all who sail in her…”