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From "A Good Discourse" to a better one . . .

Updated: Jan 2, 2021

We began creating this conference as the result of a nag in the heart, over the loss of community that should be and for a multitude of reasons, isn't. Four women met virtually to discuss the ideas, and our goals with the conference. We needed a name and came upon the quote, "A Good Discourse is that from which nothing can be retrenched without cutting into the quick." It was attributed to Saint Francis de Sales, patron saint of Writers and Doctor of the Church. We shortened it to "A Good Discourse," and thought how perfect and carried on. Seeking speakers to delve deeper into how we could forge a "good discourse" amongst the community of Catholic writers, one of our potential speakers researched and found, the quote to be misattributed to the saint. Saint Francis de Sales said plenty of things about governing one's words, and about writing and witnessing, but "a good discourse" wasn't one of them. Now we faced a decision. Change the name or own the error.

Thus the name stuck, but with proper attribution and thanks to Erin Arlinghaus for the research! What will our conference cover? 1) The Call to Universal Witness (there is no off time). 2) Fraternal Correction (what it is and isn't)

3) Gossip/Slander/Calumny 4) Strategies for Talking about Hard Stuff (panel). 5) Humility: How to be a light put on a pedestal and yet humble. 6) Humor 7) Community, remembering always our audience. As Catholics, we seek the truth. As Catholic writers, we hope to spread the Gospel by our words. However, when we get caught up in the world of our ideas, it can be difficult to see the souls behind the screens. Proving a point or winning an intellectual battle can result in lost friendships.

The remedy is a community of Catholic writers who are committed to Christ in all our words, published or not. This community inspires a deeper faith, rooted and grounded in truth and charity.

A Good Discourse seeks to build up Catholic writers of all kinds and bring them together to inspire dialogue, creativity, and comradery. The conference is designed to form this community and fuel the dialogue. Will you join us?

Sherry Antonetti, author of The Book of Helen, freelancer and blogger @Chocolate For Your Brain!

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