You think the Lent Madness publicity machine is impressive? I mean, what other online Lenten devotion has been on national TV, NPR, Sports Illustrated, and USAToday? Neva Rae Fox isn’t just a Celebrity Blogger but a public relations professional who has assisted the SEC in getting the penitential word out over the years.
We’re grateful for her expertise but we’re most impressed that she serves on the Altar Guild at her own parish. All clergy know the cardinal rule of parish ministry: Never. Cross. The. Altar. Guild.
Neva Rae Fox is honored, thrilled, and downright delighted to return for a second year as a Celebrity Blogger. Neva Rae is the Public Affairs Officer for The Episcopal Church and many many people at General Convention 2015 identified her as firstname.lastname@example.org. However, to her surprise and delight, she has also been recognized as a Lent Madness Celebrity Blogger on assorted occasions. Still the Jersey Girl of the bunch (you got a problem with that?), Neva Rae remains active in her own Episcopal Church in the Diocese of New Jersey, serving on the communications committee, Altar Guild, ECW and as a reader, preacher, and lay Eucharistic minister. She is a frequent presenter in dioceses and organizations throughout the Church and is dedicated to other volunteer and philanthropic causes. She remains a diehard Philadelphia Phillies and Eagles fan – thereby proving she knows how to suffer. During the 2015 baseball season, she and her husband Bob were able to check off Fenway Park from their “bucket list.” And the great things continue — while her cat Duke adorned the back cover of the 2015 EpiscoCats calendar, Neva Rae has been informed that her other cat Bugsy will grace the February pages of the 2016 EpiscoCats calendar.
1. Since being named a Celebrity Blogger is obviously your greatest lifetime achievement, how will you handle the inevitable post-Lenten letdown?
It will be hard to deal with, but I anticipate facing the post-Lenten letdown with copious amounts of coconut eggs, chocolate bunnies and – my personal favorite – Peeps (made in my hometown!)
2. What is the single strangest thing you’ve learned about one of your assigned saints?
That Tekakwitha – as in Kateri Tekakwitha – means “She who bumps into things.”
3. What is your favorite saint-inspired food and why?
During Lent, I try to fast as much as possible and stay away from my favorite foods. However, based on my assigned saints for this year, I would have to say Baked Beans, in honor of Vita Dutton Scudder who lived in Boston – and I do have a wicked recipe for Boston Baked Beans.
4. Besides Lent Madness, what do you most look forward to during the season of Lent?
Throughout Lent, I focus my personal reading on topics of spiritual awakening and understanding. Sometimes I focus on a topic (Methodists, Mormons, Quakers, Islam) or authors (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Bruce Chilton, Henri Nouwin, Katharine Jefferts Schori) or areas of interest (MLK’s letter from jail and the aftereffect,) or biographies (Charles Wesley, Mary Baker Eddy) or noted books (Confessions of St Augustine). Last year I tried Thomas Merton and I could not — COULD NOT — get past page 100 in the Seven Storey Mountain (I understand that failure to finish that book qualifies me as a heretic by some people). I am still seeking suggestions for reading during Lent 2016.