Well, folks, with Thomas Becket’s late surge past Constance, the Final Four of Lent Madness 2011 is all set. Tomorrow C.S. Lewis will take on Clare and on Wednesday Becket will battle Perpetua. This has been quite a journey. We’ve gone from the basic biographical data in Round One to the Quotes and Quirks of the Round of the Saintly Sixteen to the Saintly Kitsch in the Round of the Elate Eight. Click Lent Madness 2011 to view the updated tournament bracket.
And now I introduce to you our four celebrity bloggers who will be advocating for the remaining four saints. (Think I’m playing fast and loose with the word “celebrity?” Well, Justin Bieber wouldn’t return my calls). There will be reasoned arguments, trash talking, and passionate pleas. I encourage you to meditate over your vote, perhaps light a few candles, and use your best judgment. Or maybe just jump on someone’s bandwagon and ride it for all it’s worth! Four are called; one will be chosen.
Advocating for C.S. Lewis will be the Rev. Neil Alan Willard, the rector of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Edina, Minnesota. A native North Carolinian, Neil blogs at Laughing Water and is a new father — his second son was born just a week ago. Clearly sleep deprivation played a role in his agreeing to join this madness.
Clare will be represented by the self-proclaimed Supreme Word Goddess of the Universe, Dr. Meredith Gould. Meredith is a sociologist, communications strategist, humorist, writer, and blogger who lives in Baltimore following a recent move from Princeton, New Jersey. Check out her website (and buy every one of her books) and be sure to visit her blog More Meredith Gould. I met Meredith as a fellow author at a book signing at the now defunct bookstore-cafe at 815 (National Episcopal Church headquarters). The event was a dud but we’ve been online buddies ever since.
In Thomas Becket‘s corner is my archnemesis the Rev. Scott Gunn. Scott is an Episcopal priest (most recently rector of Christ Church in Lincoln, Rhode Island). He’s a blogger, former IBMer, and frequent commenter on Anglican and Episcopal affairs. He blogs at Seven Whole Days and refers to me, wrongly, as the “Second most popular Episcopal blogger in New England.” Scott and I first met when we were both on the now defunct Board of Governors of Episcopal Life (what’s with me meeting people at defunct institutions?).
The Rev. Penny Nash will be pushing for Perpetua. Penny is an Episcopal priest and writer in Atlanta who blogs at One Cannot Have Too Large a Party. She generally posts a prayer or reflection each day which makes her blog a terrific spiritual resource for anyone who engages with it. Penny and I “met” this year on Twitter during the first round of Lent Madness. She has been open about voting exclusively for women so it was fun to watch her inner angst when Florence Nightingale took on Clare in the previous round.
So that’s the lineup. The Final Four begins tomorrow!