I presented a breakout session at the seventh annual Eighth Day Institute's Symposium on January 13, 2017:
Long Live the Queen: John Henry Newman and the Place of Theology in a Liberal Arts Education
In 1854, John Henry Newman was asked to establish a Catholic university in Ireland. Although his project for the university failed, his great vision for higher education, The Idea of a University, has had great influence on the idea of a liberal arts education. His warning that Theology, the Queen of the Sciences, must have a central role in the curriculum, has not had the influence it should on secular universities, however, and Stephanie Mann will discuss how that circumstance has led to the problem we are addressing today: if the college educated public is not aware of the meaning of theology, how can a theologian influence society and culture?
I presented the August Documentum lecture at the Spiritual Life Center on August 18, 2016, as described in this article for The Catholic Advance:
When Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI beatified John Henry Newman in September of 2010, local author Stephanie A. Mann said, “Something changed about the way Catholics should view this great nineteenth century writer and intellectual. Blessed John Henry Newman is an intercessor and a heavenly patron now, not just an academic interest and research project.”
In the decades after his death in the late nineteenth, his Cause for Canonization moved slowly, Mann said, but one reason some Catholics believed Newman should be canonized was his influence on others to become Catholic, both in his lifetime and for more than a century after his death. “Some even thought those conversions should be considered the miracles needed for his canonization,” Mann commented.
While Newman has had tremendous influence among converts, his own family rejected Catholicism entirely, and his brothers might even be said to have rejected orthodox, Trinitarian Christianity, in spite of his efforts. His equals in the Oxford Movement, E.B. Pusey and John Keble, didn’t follow his example but remained Anglicans.
Why did someone so persuasive fail within his own close family and friends? What does Newman’s failure mean for those of us whose family and friends have fallen away from Jesus and His Church?
Stephanie A. Mann will explore this aspect of Newman’s life and legacy as part of the Docentium series at the Spiritual Life Center on Thursday, Aug. 18. “Blessed John Henry Newman is a model for us of how to follow Jesus and to reach out to others to follow Him too, despite the cost, difficulty, or failure,” Mann concluded.
Dusty Gates, Director of Adult Education at the Spiritual Life Center for the Catholic Diocese of Wichita, Kansas offers this recommendation:
“Stephanie Mann is an outstanding presenter, who invites her audience to engage with the topic at hand in ways that are both enlightening and entertaining. She is able to blend top notch scholarship with practical wisdom and humor, and is conversant in multiple disciplines, which allows her to cross between subjects effortlessly. Stephanie is always well prepared, and always delivers strong and faithful Catholic teaching.”
This was my Eighth Day Institute Summer! My second presentation for EDI was on July 23 at the Second Annual Inklings Festival:
Are Women Human? Can We Be Divine? Dorothy L. Sayers Takes the Case: While not an active member of the Inkling group, mystery writer and Anglo-Catholic theologian Dorothy L. Sayers was known to Lewis, Tolkien, et al. This presentation will serve as an introduction to Sayers’ life and work - particularly her examination of the role of women in society and the Church. Her dedication to essential Christian doctrines as the guides to creating great drama and framing true morality will also demonstrate her support of the Inklings’ literary and religious revivals.
On June 21 (the eve of St. Thomas More's feast--shared with St. John Fisher), I spoke on Margaret More Roper at the Sisters of Sophia monthly meeting at The Ladder (Eighth Day Institute) in Wichita, Kansas. Ladies only!
On April 23, 2016, I spoke at the Spiritual Life Center's Catholic Culture Conference. My topic: "Cobbett and Chesterton on Merry Old England".
For Church Militant, I participated in a Mic'd Up episode on the English Reformation, with two others authors, Nancy Bilyeau and Father John Vidmar, OP.
For The Tudor Society, I provided an "Expert Talk" on St. Thomas More in April 2016: subscription required. At the end of the month I participated in an on-line chat.
A discussion and objection to the portrayal of St. Thomas More in the currently running miniseries on PBS "Wolf Hall"
The 1966 movie A Man for All Seasons has been the most popular and familiar depiction of St. Thomas More. Based on Robert Bolt’s play, the movie presents More as a family man, a man of conscience, faith, good humor, wit, and of course bravery. Hilary Mantel’s novel Wolf Hall and the BBC miniseries based on it, now airing on PBS on Masterpiece Theatre, gives a very different view of St. Thomas More.
Mann will present this morning program at the Spiritual Life Center on Saturday, May 2 from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. She will discuss the life and martyrdom of St. Thomas More and review some of the controversies of his era, including state prosecution of religious heresy and the issues of loyalties to secular and religious authority.
“One of the headlines in England when the miniseries first aired asked ‘Sir Thomas More: Saint or Sinner?’ and the answer is yes,” said Mann, “so we’ll reexamine what it means to be proclaimed a saint in the Catholic Church. It certainly does not mean that a saint never committed a sin.”
St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More were canonized as martyrs in 1935 by Pope Pius XI and Pope St. John Paul II named St. Thomas More the Patron of Statesmen and Politicians in 2000. More is also the patron saint of lawyers, large families, and adoption.
Highlights from 2013 through 2015:
The 2015 Cardinal Newman Day Lecture at Newman University: As part of Cardinal Newman Week, the annual week-long celebration of Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman, Newman University will present local author and speaker Stephanie A. Mann.
Mann will deliver the Cardinal Newman Lecture, which is entitled “Blessed John Henry Newman on Lent: Affliction and Love.”
The event will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 18, in the Dugan-Gorges Conference Center, inside the Dugan Library on the Newman University campus, 3100 McCormick. The event is free and open to the public, and is presented by the Gerber Institute for Catholic Studies at Newman University. Ash Wednesday Mass will follow the lecture at 9 p.m. in St. John’s Chapel, inside Sacred Heart Hall on the Newman campus.
Mann’s lecture will explore how Newman expresses the Church’s age-old call to prayer, fasting, and alms-giving during Lent to conform to God’s Will in preparation for Easter, and Eternal Life. Mann will also describe how Newman “practiced what he preached” with examples from his life and personal devotions.
This two part series on Blessed John Henry Newman will focus on two of his greatest contributions to modern Catholicism: his teaching and example of conversion and his defense of the true meaning and function of conscience. Newman's conversion to Catholicism in 1845 was a bellwether event in his day and has influenced many other converts, especially from the Church of England and the Episcopalian church. His defense of the true meaning of conscience against what he called its counterfeit, self-will and false consistency, is even more important today. By highlighting Newman's conversion and conscience, the series will explore Newman's guidance for the New Evangelization and the laity's great role in spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ and His Church.
I was one of the presenters at the Kansas Authors Club Convention, held in Wichita, Kansas, October 4-6, 2013 at the Holiday Inn, Wichita East. From the conference website:
Stephanie A. Mann, author of Supremacy and Survival: How Catholics Endured the English Reformation, earned Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in English Language and Literature from Wichita State University. She has taught English and History classes at W.S.U. and Newman University, as well as ministry and spirituality-based courses at various religious venues. Working on a second book about the stories of the English Catholic Martyrs, Stephanie has also written articles for online and print publications, and blogs at www.supremacyandsurvival.blogspot.com.
"Marketing a Non-Fiction Book to a Niche Audience: It’s Quite a F.E.A.T.” —Stephanie will describe strategies she has developed and techniques she employs to promote her non-fiction, historical work to a niche audience of readers interested in the history of religion in England. With humility and humor, Stephanie outlines her successes and failures, offering insights and lessons learned by using the acronym F.E.A.T.: F = Finding a Publisher and an Audience (research and success); E = Establishing a Platform (broadcast, print, and on-line social media); A = Addressing Challenges and Opportunities (current events and limitations); T = Tracking down Contacts and Customers (networking and working).
I enjoy public speaking and sharing my knowledge about the English Reformation and the Catholic Martyrs. Please contact me about dates, travel arrangements, and other logistical matters. Of course, I desire the opportunity to sell and sign copies of Supremacy and Survival, but we can negotiate other matters. Please see my C.V. here.
Here is a sample of the presentations I am prepared to give:
• Narrative of the English Reformation (day-long or multi-part program)
• The English Reformation in Historical Fiction
• Great Saints and Martyrs of the English Reformation (selection or overview)
• Cavalcade of English Converts in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Century (selection or overview)
• Blessed John Henry Newman: Life and Works (day-long or multi-part program)
• Blessed John Henry Newman and the Catholic Revival in England
• Experience of Writing, Publishing and Promoting a Non-Fiction Book
• Church History and Apologetics: Tools for Defending the Church
• Sixteenth Century Europe: The Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Reformation
• Anglicanorum Coetibus: Pope Benedict XVI’s “Bridge over the Tiber” for Groups of Anglicans
Here are some examples of presentations I've made:
• Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri Diocese’s Bishop Helmsing Institute Apologetics Conference Presentations: “How Catholics Survived the English Reformation” and “Church History and Apologetics”, March 13, 2010
• St. Paul’s Parish/Newman Center, Wichita, Kansas: “Blessed John Henry Newman: Guide for the Laity and for Conscience”, September 22, 2010
• Serra Club (and other organizations in 2009 and 2010), Wichita Kansas: Experience of Writing and Promoting Supremacy and Survival, January 5, 2011
• Theology on Tap, Young Catholics of Wichita program, "Blessed John Henry Newman and Evangelization", June 14, 2011
• Marketing Presentation at the Catholic Writers Guild Conference, Thursday, August 4, 2011 in Valley Forge/King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
• “Church History and Apologetics”, at the St. Paul Parish-Newman Center at Wichita State University, Wednesday, October 12, 2011
• Serra Club Presentation, “November 15 and the Catholic Martyrs of the English Reformation”, Tuesday, November 15, 2011
I am also available for interviews, having appeared many times on the Son Rise Morning Show, on Barbara McGuigan's The Good Fight, Al Kresta's Kresta in the Afternoon, and other radio programs.
Send me an email: englishreform(at)cox(dot)net and we can set something up.