Being Catholic)The room was actually full. I only had one troublemaker, so to speak - a woman who just refused to cede the point that Catholic teaching is not based solely on Scripture. She was either a fundamentalist plant or a really stupid Catholic. I didn't mind. Plus I had one very nice, soft-spoken Irish nun who helped clarify my point. The woman walked out anyway.
Speaking of nuns with accents. While I was signing books, a Polish-named and accented nun came up to me, sitting there with Joseph on my lap, and just showered him with affection. She blessed him. Talked to him. Hugged him. He laid his little head on her shoulder several times. It was very sweet.
Saw a lot of the exhibitors. I was mainly looking for high school religion textbooks, seeing what the situation was there in the years since I've left the classroom. Most publishers, it seems, haven't changed their textbooks much. One has, producing a Sacraments textbook with a Rather Prominent Sacramental Theologian's name listed as author. I thumbed through it and was appalled. When you're wondering what someone is about theologically, see what they have to say about the Real Presence. This guy said that the belief in the Real Presence became a part of Catholic teaching when early Christians experienced the divine in their sharing of bread and wine in their re-enactments of the Last Supper. Nothin' about Jesus' words. Or Paul's.
I also glanced at the same publisher's morality textbook, to see what was said about abortion. The discussion on abortion starts off, right off the top, with several paragraphs about how different people have different opinions on the question of when life begins, and because of this, will have different views on the morality of abortion.
How's that for confident Catholic teaching?
Here's the breakdown of the nature of the exhibitors at the NCEA: 20% textbooks. 10% school furniture and PE equipment. 30% expensive new technology. 40% fundraising companies so the schools will be able to buy (the probably unnecessary) technology.