June 2009

CNMC 2009 Day 3

by admin on June 30, 2009

Saturday was an action packed day, just like all the other days have been.  It began bright and early with breakfast (no time for a workout!).  I met Fr. Roderick, Inge and Luke for breakfast and got my food.  Before too long, Zina, Jeff and Myra arrived!  We had some hugs and shared our joy in meeting each other finally.  Just before 8 a.m. we went to sit on the the shuttle bus to the University of the Divine Word, where CNMC was to be held.  Deacon Tom was the tour guide, which made it much better.  Once everyone had gathered on the bus, we headed over to the University.  We were dropped off and then we had to walk around a bit to find where it was we were to go.  I grabbed my t-shirt from Maria and then headed into the Skyroom.

The event was kicked off by Fr. Roderick.  He had a bit where he claimed there was way too much to do, so he called Mac and asked him to be the host.  Hilarity ensued on film as Mac got to San Antonio by way of Conners, GA (to consult Greg Willits).  The bit they filmed the day before was included.  Mac made it there and was a great MC.


P1020281He introduced Fr. Dave Dwyer of BustedHalo, who was the keynote speaker.  He gave a great talk about how St. Paul relates to what we do in new media, which was very enlightening.  I love listening to Fr. Dave on his podcasts, but he was even more amazing in person.  He moved around the stage quite a lot, which challenged the Padleys who were doing the camera work for Ustream and those taking photos like myself.  P1020292The day was jam-packed full of excitement.  There were breakout sessions, a great luncheon and ended with an amazing concert by Sarah Bauer!  The first session I went to was how to make exciting audio programs with the Rod Father, Mac and Katherine.  Listening to their shows you can tell that they know a thing of three about that! 😉

P1020302 P1020307

The next session was with Fr. Bill Kessler, Fr. Jay Finelli and MyCatholicVoice.  Fr. Bill talked about how he uses social media and technology in his parish and the possibilities for others to use it.  Fr. Jay talked about how he uses new media in his parish, especially how he can broadcast in his church with cameras.  Then Reid from MyCatholicVoice ended the session by talking about his site and the possibilities for how it can be used.  It sounds like a site where you can posted video and audio and be part of the community that posts there (or something like that).  It seems like a great service that others should check out.

After this session it was time for the most important part – lunch! 😉  We had a fabulous catered lunch with rice, beans, enchiladas, salad, tortilla chips, cornbread and cake.  I decided on Thursday that I wasn’t going to deprive myself during this trip when it comes to food.  I went full force and ate what I did, and although they weren’t always the best choices, I hope in the end (when I weigh in next week) that the result won’t be horrible.  I sat with Chris Cash, Steve, Zina, Jeff and Myra, Pat and Nick and it was a great meal.  We were pleased to welcome Patrick Madrid as the luncheon keynote speaker.  Patrick is an apologist, writer and so much more and he was able to relate what how we can defend our faith through stories and experiences.  He was great.

At lunchtime, Mac then got back on stage and shared some useful spanish.  The translations were pretty funny.  A really awesome youtube video was also debuted.  Dr. Paul was showing this off during the day on Friday, but he and his son (mostly his son) created an amazing iPhone Catholic app commercial.  Here it is, so please check it out! [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5KftViTzRM&hl=en&fs=1&]

After lunch, there were more breakout sessions.  I went to another one with the Rod Father and he called a few podcasters/bloggers on Skype.  On Friday, he changed the original plan, which was to call podcasters from around the world.  However, since it would be in the afternoon and most of them would be sleeping, a new plan was made to call people that were closer.  It was really cool to see them live.  He called Greg Willits on location in the only place he could get a signal where he was at the time.  Then he talked to Father Z and Cliff Ravenscraft, who both had video cameras running.  Here’s Father and Cliff on the big screen:P1020323


Fr. Roderick shared his session with two other people.  Fr. Seraphim took over and talked about how new media can be used in the classroom.  This is something that I already do at a low level because I don’t have computer or any other kind of tech in my room.  Last week’s class showed many other ways that tech can be used.  But it’s difficult if you don’t have the equipment.  Fr. Seraphim had some great ideas and resources to share on how to use technology in the classroom.


Maria finished by promoting Rosary Army and explaining the making, praying and giving away rosaries.  She did this in a really neat way by taking out a twine rosary, handing it to someone and then having that person hand it to someone and so on for several people.  Then all the people who got it stood up.  She then connected this to social media.  Making, praying and giving rosary isn’t done on a computer.  It is done in real life by connecting to other people.  Each person then got their own rosary.  This was a really great connection, especially because there were probably people there that hadn’t really known much about Rosary Army since Greg and Jennifer now have moved on from SQPN.  It’s a really wonderful apostolate and am grateful for all that they do.  I didn’t get a photo of Maria because she kept moving, but they’re all over Facebook and other sites.

The last breakout session was with Joe McClane, who talked about promoting your podcast or blog.  It was a great session, but it wasn’t very relevant for me at this time.  Yes, I have a blog and want people to read it, but I’m okay with just spreading the word to my online friends.  One of the most interesting things is that within the session he promoted a new website and showed their bumper sticker and within minutes the information had been reposted on Twitter 7times!  The power of social media is pretty cool! 🙂 Real Men Pray the Rosary is the name of the organization, by the way.


The day of amazingness ended with a concert by Catholic singer, Sarah Bauer, accompanied by her husband on guitar/keyboard.  At one point she even invited the kids in the audience up to the stage to ask them what they love the most.  I really enjoyed her music and look forward to listening to all the songs I downloaded before leaving (and intended to listen to before the concert).  It was a great concert, especially being at the same table as Lisa Hendey (aka the superfan).


The day ended with Mac bringing up Lisa Hendey, who in turn brought up the amazing SQPN board.  Lisa presented Mac and Katherine with a bottle of champagne and Riverwalk mugs to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary.  Fr. Roderick said a few words and invited Fr. Bill to say a closing prayer.  Then Dr. Paul came forward to say his famous line that finishes all the SQPN podcasts and invited us to say it along with him: SQPN – Leading the Way in Catholic New Media.  He has such an amazing voice for that!


After the concert, we headed back to the hotel and a few of us made plans for dinner.  We met after we had a chance to drop off their things in their rooms and headed down to the RiverWalk for dinner.  We were surprised to find many SQPN groupies and podcasters in a boat about to head out.  It was divine providence that we were there at the same time because we were invited to join a second boat and get a free dinner.  Barb did ask if it was okay for us to join, and David said it was fine!  Once we got to the swanky restaurant, we all gathered outside for cocktails and appetizers.  The dinner itself was amazing.  In fact, I didn’t have any bad food on this trip, including at the airport!  I had a chicken marsala, but there was also a salad and this fantastic ice cream/brownie dessert.  It was great.

After dinner, we were told that there were Mexican dancers on the Riverwalk, so afterward we went over to check that out.  We joined a few other people including Katherine and Kathyrn already there watching the show.  I just caught the end of the show, but it was a lot of fun.


After the show, our original group walked back to the hotel.  We had to take the street since we were locked out of taking the river, but we made it back just fine.  Our group merged and was joined by several other people walking back from dinner.

It was again an amazing day!  Thanks for reading all of this.  It is my way of remembering it and looking back on the experience later.  Lisa Hendey mentioned on Thursday night that she does status updates for the same reason so she can remember what she did!  I admit I checked my Twitter page and photos to remember the sequence of events on Saturday since I was updating those all day long.  Day 3 has been recapped, and the final day comes soon! 🙂


CNMC 2009 Day 2

by admin on June 30, 2009

I spent part of Thursday night recapping my day on Inge’s MacBook.  I never found the time to do that on the other days of the weekend, so now I attempt to do that.  It is now Tuesday, but I’ll do my best.

Friday was a great day.  Unfortunately, it was over 100 degrees all day with a heat advisory and air quality warning, so we were advised to stay inside.  It would have been great to go out a bit, but it was just way too hot.  I started my day by working out in the hotel gym.  I actually ran a mile, but had to stop a few times.  I figured it was a good idea since the day’s eating would be erratic and not very healthful.

After I came back and showered, we headed down to the mezzanine level for breakfast provided by the hotel.  I had the pleasure of eating with Fr. Roderick and Inge.  We sat at a large table and waited for others to arrive.  Eventually Capt. Jeff came and we got our food.  Jeff took an awesome photo of us and posted it on Twitter.  It’s funny because Inge is wearing a Daily Breakfast shirt and we’re eating with a priest (sorry, had to explain to those that don’t get it).  Fr. Roderick, Inge and StephThe rest of the day was pretty much meeting new people and exploring the hotel.  At one point, we saw that Fr. Roderick was “working” by streaming online from his hotel room.  We joined the chat as one identity to confuse people in the chat (which was fun!).  Once the Rod Father figured out we were in the chat, he said “why are you in the chat?  You can just come up here!”  So, obviously, we thought that was a great idea, so we went up to the clubhouse to surprise him.  Eventually, Steve Nelson also showed up, followed by Lisa Hendey and David, Luke and Kathyrn Sweeney.  I also saw that Jeff Young was in the chat and in the hotel.  I asked if he wanted to come up and met him at the 6th floor to show him the way.  We did some furniture arrangement for the others that were coming soon, but when David showed up he reminded Fr. that the meeting was just about to start and he really needed to get going.

Well Fr. got the brilliant idea to take the computer with us to the meeting and figured out that since the hotel has Wi-Fi, he probably would have a signal the entire way.  So, he took the laptop, showed the audience the rest of the massive suite, and carried the computer down the hall, in the elevator and all the way to the meeting room.  We stopped at the place on the 2nd floor where you can see the lobby and everyone who had arrived was looking at us taking photos such as this one courtesy of Maria:

Elevator Cast

Once we got to the meeting room, there were many more people to meet.  They included Nick and Pat Padley, Maria Johnson, Mac and Katherine Barron, Paul Camarata, Deacon Tom and his wife Dee, and a few others.  After meeting everyone, we shared lunch (and like the loaves and fish it had to feed many and did).  The funniest part is that I met Nick and Pat and talked to them for a while, but didn’t realize that they were the voices of the “In Between Sundays” podcast much later that I had just started listening to.  😉

After lunch, the board members and their code names were introduced and then all the riff raff that had crashed the party were kicked out so they could have their meeting.  We went back to our room and watched the Ustream.  The Rod Father put on music to keep us from hearing too much and we enjoyed confusing the chat audience by having one identity again.  I switched to my screenname eventually, but Inge also used it! 😉

Eventually we decided to venture out of the room and went to the lobby.  We quickly discovered that the best way to meet new people is to hang out in the lobby.  We ran into the Catholic Traveler, Sarah Bauer, Dr. Paul, Fr. Jay Finelli and Fr. Seraphim that way.  Mac let us know that he and Kat and Maria were going to the Alamo to do some filming and invited us to come along.  We got to know each other a little better along the way and then eventually got there (it’s only a few blocks from the hotel).  Mac and Katherine formulated a plan and said that it would all become clear tomorrow.  I got a sno-cone and we attempted to stay cool in the heat.  Maria also explained the history of the structure to Inge.

We went back to our room for a bit and followed the comings of people on Twitter and Plurk.  We found out that Barb had arrived and I DMed her to find out her room number.  We went to their room to meet them in person and it was awesome!  It’s so great to put Twitter IDs to real people.  We also met her mom Rosalie and heard their travel stories and they heard ours.

Eventually it was time for the real fun to begin with the CNMC Meet and Greet!  Social events like this always freak me out a bit since I’m such an introvert so Inge and I hung out in the corner for a stretch of time.  We did meet people, such as Matthew Warner, Kien, John, Carleigh, Jeff Geerling, Sr. Anne, Lauren and many others.  Mac attempted to talk more to me and I think I frustrated him a little because I was not being my most articulate.  I did move a few times and met some new people.  Barb was so funny because she was so enthusiastic and happy to be there!  She carried her iPod Touch around to match people with their avatars and had a blast meeting all her online friends.  I was excited too, but not as much as Barb!  Here are some photos from the evening also courtesy of Maria: Inge, Kien and Steph

Meet and Greet Photo

The party went on well into the night and by 9:30 or so, Inge and I were ready for bed.  Right around the time we were leaving, I got a text from Zina saying that they had landed!  I texted her back to find out if she needed a ride, but she didn’t respond.  I was delighted to get a phone call from her later!  She reported that they had arrived and were in the process of getting a rental car.  They also needed to get some supplies for Myra who has lots of allergies and to grab some food.  She said hi to Inge and said she would let us know when they got to the hotel.  At 10:45 I texted her to let her know that I was going to bed, but would appreciate a text letting me know that they had made it.

And so ended a very exciting second day!  These posts are very long, but the days are just so action-packed and fun!  Day 3 and 4 posts are coming soon… 🙂


So Much Drama!

June 29, 2009

Wow it has been a really been a rough couple of days.  It all started last night at around 6:45 when my phone started flashing, which could have meant a few different things.  I checked it and it was reminder for my re-audition for chorus, which I completely forgotten about.  I quickly put my dinner […]

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CNMC 2009 Day 1

June 26, 2009

The first day of my adventure is drawing to a close and it was a great one! I gave myself a good amount of time in the morning to make sure I would have enough time to get myself ready and do a few things around the house before leaving. At 8:30ish I decided to […]

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Thank You, Andreas!

June 15, 2009

Andreas Delfs is a wonderful conductor.  I have had the honor and privilege to sing with him as a member of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Chorus for eight seasons and today we said good-bye to him as our music director.  He has been with the MSO for twelve years and is moving on to bigger […]

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