Idea of a Village Conference

June 1st, 2019

Friendship: The art of happiness

Tickets now on sale! 

        "...We could further call friendship the art of happiness, recognizing that it is not just one art among others. It has unique position in its connection to virtue and holiness, to human fulfillment and happiness."

excerpt from True Friendship by Dr. John Cuddeback

Since 2016 friends of Our Lady of Clear Creek Abbey have been hosting an annual conference we call 'The Idea of a Village.'


The goal of the conference is to deepen understanding of our rich Catholic culture as it radiates from the prayers of the monks and into our lives.  It also means to provide a venue where attendees can gather to hear edifying talks, engage in spirited conversation, and experience some of the beauty of the monastic ideal of ora et labora.


We are grateful to have Father Abbot Anderson's blessing on this endeavor, and hope that attendees will leave The 'Idea of a Village' conference invigorated in their pursuit of authentic restoration of Christian culture.


Father Dwight Longenecker

Catholic priest, author and speaker

Raised in an Evangelical home, Fr. Dwight Longenecker studied theology at Oxford University and served as an Anglican priest before becoming a Catholic. In 2006 he returned to the USA to be ordained. He is the author of a number of books, including Mystery of the Magi: The Quest to Identify the Three Wise Men. He now serves as parish priest of Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Greenville, SC. 

Sean Fitzpatrick

Headmaster, Gregory the Great Academy

Sean Fitzpatrick is the headmaster of St. Gregory the Great Academy. He is a graduate of Thomas Aquinas College and has taught with St. Gregory's Academy for 15 years. In addition to his administrative duties, he teaches Literature I and II, and Senior Captains’ Table. He lives in Scranton, PA, with his wife Sophie and their six children.

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Dr. Mitchell Kalpakgian

Professor and author

A native of New England and the son of Armenian immigrants who escaped the Turkish
genocide in 1915, he earned degrees in English from Bowdoin College (B.A.), The University of
Kansas (M.A.), and The University of Iowa (Ph.D.). He has taught for over fifty years at schools like
Simpson College in Iowa, Christendom College in Virginia, Northeast Catholic College and Thomas
More College of Liberal Arts in New Hampshire, and Wyoming Catholic College. He is the author of
The Mysteries of Life in Children’s Literature, The Lost Arts of Modern Civilization, The Virtues We
Need Again, The Virtues That Build Us Up, The Marvelous in Fielding’s Novels,
and An Armenian
Family Reunion
(a collection of short stories).

Sam Guzman

Author and blogger at 'The Catholic Gentleman'

Sam is the founder and editor of 'The Catholic Gentleman.' He lives in the rolling hills of the Oklahoma Ozarks near Clear Creek Abbey. By day, he is a marketer at Covenant Eyes.

He is a blogger and author who has been published in such publications as The Christian Science Monitor, Catholic Exchange, Aleteia, Truth and Charity Forum, and Jesus the Imagination. He is currently anticipating the release of his first book, also titled The Catholic Gentleman, from Ignatius Press. 

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The conference was fantastic!




It is not enough to keep the Commandments, though we must; it is not enough to love one another as ourselves, though we must. The one thing needful, the unum necessarium of the Kingdom, is to love as He loves us, which is the love of joy in suffering and sacrifice, like Roland and Olivier charging into battle to their death defending those they love as they cry "Mon joie"; that is the music of Christian Culture.

John Senior, Restoration of Christian Culture (Ch. 1)

© The Idea of a Village LLC 2018