Sunday, February 12, 2012

#Lent Madness Begins This Year on February 23

Yes, I'm participating in this Lent...Madness!

I was an observer and voter the first time the Rev. Tim Schenck (blogging at Clergy Family Confidential) crafted this clever crazy alternative to March Madness (aka, the annual NCAA basketball tournament).

Last year, I was invited to be one of four "Celebrity Bloggers" writing compelling blather for the Final Four round. I wrote about Clare of Assisi and was bummed when she was beat by C.S. Lewis. In fact, I'm still somewhat steamed about that. C.S. Lewis?!? Saint?!? Oh right, I support ecumenical dialogue.

This year, Tim has teamed up with the Rev. Scott Gunn, Executive Director of Forward Movement and Lent Madness is getting very snazzy. It now has its own website and I'm one of eight bloggers. Tim and Scott will post a video conversation each Monday after the competition begins on Thursday, February 23.

How does this work? If you understand how brackets work, bless you. I don't, even after staring at this one for a while. What I do know is that every day you'll have an opportunity to read up on a saint and vote for your favorite.

During the first round, you'll get to read simple biographies of the saints. During round two, you'll be treated to Quotes and Quirks of the Saintly Sixteen. The Elate Eight round features Saintly Kitsch. God only knows who will make the Final Four and what adroit bloggery will win votes.

I'll be blogging on behalf of St. Catherine of Siena, St. Margaret of Scotland, St. Mary Magdalene, and John Cassian (considered a saint by the Eastern church but never canonized by the Western church).

You can get to the Lent Madness website by click on the widget in the sidebar of my blog or by subscribing directly by clicking here. Lent Madness is also on Facebook. It's a great way to learn more about saints and watch otherwise faithful and cordial colleagues succumb to electioneering faster than you can cross yourself after receiving Communion.