Second Archdiocesan Prayer Breakfast features Father James Martin, S.J.

June 21, 2011

HOUSTON — On July 13, the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston is holding its annual Archdiocesan Prayer Breakfast featuring keynote speaker Father James Martin, S.J., author of "The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything" and culture editor of “America” Magazine. The title of his address is “Between Heaven and Mirth: Joy, Humor and Laugher in the Spiritual Life,” which is also the name of his upcoming book due for release this fall.

Father Martin has written for the “New York Times,” “The Wall Street Journal” and a host of other newspapers and websites. He has also appeared on CNN, Vatican Radio, the Fox News Channel, NPR, PBS, BBC and Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report.” He has written several books, including "My Life with the Saints," which has sold more than 100,000 copies and has been translated into Spanish. 

The Archdiocesan Prayer Breakfast is at the Hilton-Americas in Downtown Houston from 7:30 to 9 a.m. This is the second year for the event, which allows local Catholics a chance to share faith and fellowship. Contact Deborah Johnson at 713-652-4461 or for more information. 

Father Martin recently visited with the Texas Catholic Herald via telephone to discuss new media and the upcoming Archdiocesan event.

Texas Catholic Herald: As someone with a great deal of personal experience in multimedia, what are your thoughts on the various ways of spreading the Good News?
Father James Martin: No medium should be beneath us if it helps us spread the Gospel. Jesus used a very simple medium, a parable, along with very simple images – seeds, birds, clouds, bushes, trees, farmers. So it should not be beneath us to use new media to spread the Gospel. If Jesus wasn't afraid to speak about the birds of the air, it shouldn’t be beneath us to tweet. Whether it is print, online, Facebook, Twitter … anything that proclaims the Gospel (should be welcome).

TCH: The Archdiocesan Prayer Breakfast offers Catholics an opportunity to gather in faith and fellowship. Why are such opportunities for faithful to gather so important?
Father Martin: Any time you have an opportunity to gather as community it should be welcome. It reminds us that we are part of the Body of Christ. We are reminded that we are in communion with Him. We are all bound together in Christ. Getting together at an event like this gives us an opportunity to experience the joys in human life.

TCH: Can you give us a brief tease of your new book or what you will discuss in the keynote address?
Father Martin: My keynote will actually be a little bit of a preview of the book, which is about getting to the heart of spirituality and reminding people that faith leads to joy and laughter which is a gift of God. Catholics tend to forget that. Just count how many times the word “joy” is used in the Gospels. Joy, humor and laugher are truly an essential part of spiritual life. †