Celebrity Blogger Week: Hugo Olaiz

As a member of the staff at Forward Movement, Hugo Olaiz is the ultimate Lent Madness insider. Not bad for a first time Celebrity Blogger. There is no truth to the rumor that Tim has placed Hugo at FM, to serve as a mole into Scott's nefarious activities. None whatsoever. Keep moving. Nothing to see here.

If you're a first-time Lent Madness participant, you may enjoy this brief video Hugo made with fellow Forward Movement staff member Peggy Sanchez which explains the basics of how to play.

Hugo Olaiz

Hugo Olaiz is associate editor for Latino/Hispanic resources at Forward Movement. Hugo grew up in La Plata, Argentina — a country where provinces and cities are sometimes named after saints. After completing a degree in literature and classics, Hugo spent two years on mission in Paraguay. He later moved to the U.S. to do graduate studies in Spanish, linguistics, and translation, pursuing a Ph.D. in Hispanic linguistics at Berkeley, California. He later moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, where he became the news editor for Sunstone magazine. Upon moving to Carrboro, North Carolina, Hugo stumbled into an underground network of home-based businesses — hair styling, sewing, cooking — all run by Mexican immigrants; these contacts led him into Latino ministry and advocacy in the Diocese of North Carolina. Hugo lives in Oxford, Ohio, with his husband John-Charles Duffy and an aging beagle mix named Patches. In his spare time, he loves to entertain friends, edit Wikipedia entries, and watch opera clips on YouTube.

1. Since being named a Celebrity Blogger is obviously your greatest lifetime achievement, how will you handle the inevitable post-Lenten letdown?
On April 2, I will go to a nearby theater to watch Madama Butterfly’s broadcast live from The Met. Later that evening, I shall don my silk kimono, cry bitterly, and sing “Un bel dì.” Unlike Madama Butterfly, I will survive.

2. What is the single strangest thing you’ve learned about one of your assigned saints?
After being decapitated on Paris’ highest hill (today known as Montmartre), Dennis reportedly picked up his own head and carried it 6 miles, preaching repentance the entire way. That’s what I call determination!

3. What is your favorite saint-inspired food and why?unnamed-17
I grew up in Argentina, where many dishes have religious names. For example, croissandwiches are called “sacramentos” and Berliner donuts are called “borlas de fraile” (friar’s tassels). But I love carbs too much, so God cursed me with celiac disease. I love chili with a slice of gluten-free communal bread. And if we could put some of St. Brigid’s ever-replenishing butter on top of that slice, wouldn’t that be truly heavenly?

4. Besides Lent Madness, what do you most look forward to during the season of Lent?
We live near Cincinnati, so on Good Friday my family, along with thousands of pilgrims, climbs the steps of Inmaculata Church. For my husband and me, climbing that steep hill is a form of cardiovascular penance. For our dog, it’s a reward (Watch my video clip, and you’ll hear my panting!).

SEC NOTE: And with that, you have met ALL of our fabulous Celebrity Bloggers! Thanks for following along during Celebrity Blogger Week.


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12 comments on “Celebrity Blogger Week: Hugo Olaiz”

  1. YES ! Finally the South really rises again with a Tar Heel Blogger-Senor Olaiz! Although I live in Nashville TN now, I was born and bred in Salisbury NC and I know about Carrboro NC. Welcome to LENTMADNESS and FORWARD MOVEMENT and bloggerdom. I looked at the video clip and heard only heavy breathing, a sign of your cardiovascular penance, for sure. I look forward to your blog as you have led a fascinating life and let's assume it will continue to be even more so. Welcome and can't wait to read your take on Dennis, the decapitated Hola! ( I think)

  2. Hey, some of us live in cities in the USA that are named after Saints. I live in St. George, Utah. Cool huh? Except this St George isn't named after a Roman/Anglican/Orthodox dragon slayer, but an LDS pioneer and member of the Quorum of Twelve.

    Some would disagree, but they would lose. Since Brother Brigham so named the town he sent folks down to found over 150 years ago.

  3. Almost as much fun reading the bios of the celebrity bloggers as in reviewing the saints! Almost.

  4. Nice meeting you. I enjoyed reading your meditations in Forward Day by Day. You've had an interesting life, so far. I don't live too far from you (Indiana). If I ever get out your way I'd love to look you up and meet you and/or your husband in person. And your puppy, too, of course. Blessings.

  5. Truly enjoyed reading your meditations in Forward Movement, and looking forward to your Lent Madness blogs.

  6. What did you do in Carrboro NC? I'm Tar Heel born; Tar Heel bred; When I did I'll be Tar Heel dead. Enjoyed you last year and expect to this g-round. Welcome back

  7. Well, I didn't proofread and I meant : "When I die, not did...Jeez Louise !" Also..."this go-round..."

  8. I join the chorus - I really loved your Forward Movement meditations and look forward to your Lent Madness blogs!

  9. Hugo, my parish (St. Stephen's, Pittsfield, MA) offers gluten-free wafers for those who need them. Just a note should your travels ever bring you to the bucolic Berkshires!