Wednesday, September 19, 2012

An Interview With Patrick Coffin - Host of Catholic Answers Live

Support a Catholic Speaker Month 2012 is a project designed to promote Catholic speakers and introduce speakers to those who may not know about them. It also connects bloggers to speakers, who write about them.
Matt Warner, who came up with the idea in 2009, says it best:
"The goal is to create a rising Catholic tide on the Internet that lifts all boats, including speakers, bloggers, Catholic websites, and more." 
Brandon Vogt took over the project this year and took nominations for speakers to build a list of more than 250 Catholic speakers. From there, over 11,100 people cast more than 82,000 votes to narrow the list down to 100.

I was blessed to be voted into the top 100 Catholic speakers and I also volunteered to interview one of the other speakers who made the list. I chose Patrick Coffin.

Patrick is best known as the host of Catholic Answers Live, the most popular Catholic radio show in the nation. He is witty, intelligent, and charitable - and his voice works perfectly on the radio. He is a husband, father, and author as well. As a speaker he trains others to be better defenders of the Catholic faith.

He will be visiting College Station in November as part of a fundraiser for the local Catholic radio station KEDC 88.5 FM.

Below is my interview with Patrick:

MARCEL - As a way of introducing yourself to us, can you tell us what you are passionate about?

PATRICK - A very good question. I am first of all passionate about learning how to love Jesus better and to make him better loved. I am also passionate about finding more effective ways of being a husband and dad, and about how to fix my short game of golf, about sharing the revolutionary concept of shaving the way your grandpa did (traditional wet shaving with a safety razor and soap brush), about blogging in a way that is non-cliché and helpful, about finding the perfect pipe tobacco, and about the movies of Frank Capra.

MARCEL - You are from Canada, why don't you use the Canadian interjection of "eh" more?

PATRICK -As a Christian, I am obliged to extend forgiveness to you for employing this hateful stereotype of my people.

MARCEL -I am going to speak in Canada next month, should I use it to fit in?

PATRICK -The best way to fit in has nothing to do with linguistics and everything to do with apparel. Don’t come to Canada without your parka, mukluk boots, fur hat – and it wouldn’t hurt to bring some beaver pelts for trading in case your host can’t pay you.

MARCEL - You are the host of Catholic Answers Live (most popular Catholic radio program around), an author, husband, father, and also a magician. Please tell us more about how you became a magician?

PATRICK - I was born with magical powers. That’s all I’m permitted to say at this time. Okay, it’s also true that I started when I was about 14. I was asked to do something for a Boy Scout jamboree and I picked magic. I got a cool magic set, and did everything I could to prepare for the big night except rehearse. I was so nervous at the prospect of getting up before 200 peers (and my poor father in the first row) that I sabotaged my own performance. Every trick failed, I kid you not. But the bug had bitten and I eventually picked up some books and teaching DVDs, and found I had a natural facility for sleight of hand and what magicians call “audience management.” I’ve been doing it as a part-time professional for over 10 years. So…pick a card!

MARCEL - You haven't always been a fired-up Catholic. How did you leave the Church and how did you make it back?

PATRICK - Well, I didn’t write am official “I’m Outta Here” letter to the Pope, but as a callow young man I drifted mentally and morally from the bosom of the Church. Among some other trendy but embarrassing things I did was to hang around a Buddhist Temple (long story), and all of it was an elaborate strategy to rationalize the sins I was committing. My journey back to Christ and the Catholic Church began with an uncharacteristically sincere prayer that God might show me Himself in a way that I knew was not a psychological wish projection (I was very influenced by atheist writes like von Feuerbach) but really and truly the Holy Spirit. Once I opened my heart up just a tiny little crack, the Lord did what I asked and I rather quickly discovered the books and tapes of Bishop Fulton Sheen, G.K. Chesterton (they were good friends, btw, with Sheen attending G.K’s 1936 funeral), and many other Catholic intellectuals and poets. The scales of my dissent fell, and, thanks be to God, they’ve have never returned. I love being a happy Catholic. People don’t know what to do with you.

MARCEL - You will be coming to College Station later this Fall, what do you know about Aggieland?

PATRICK - Another good question. I have always let the child in me come out and just enjoy amusement rides and the sight of plush-costumed cartoon figures strolling about. I’m sure Aggieland will be a ton of fun, even though it doesn’t have that Epcot thing like in Florida.

MARCEL - Has anyone told you about the mandatory snake-handling?

PATRICK -Lo siento, mi amigo, no hablo ingles.

MARCEL - What do you think is the secret to winning back the culture for Jesus and His Church?

PATRICK - Being a saint. The old culture has heard all the arguments save the one irrefutable one: personal holiness. We are perpetually tempted to favor grandiose media empires, schemes and programs. These can add great value, but the game plan of Jesus was to launch His revolution with 12 hicks from a backwater region of a dying Empire, and that has turned out quite well, no? I can’t wait to get to thank the good folks at KEDC and to meet those who live in and around College Station plus, you know, I’ll get to see the station itself and the college that serves it so well.

MARCEL - Any final words for our readers (remember - Jesus is watching)?

PATRICK - Yes, and what a powerful way to conclude. My final words, in no particular order, are: endoplasmic; wrench; brandy; ineluctable; misfit; petal; topping; and meander. Especially meander.


Brandon Vogt said...

Great interview, Marcel! I could listen to you two all day.

Unknown said...

Why focus so much negativity on his Canadian culture? Canada is a beautiful and rich Country....The Real Heaven on Earth.