Watch the Presentations

In an age aglow with screens, the battle for the imagination, particularly of our youth, is a battle we are almost universally losing. Why does it matter and what is at stake?

In case you didn't make it or if you just want to watch one of the talks again, they're available below:

Professor Esolen teaches Renaissance English Literature and the Development of Western Civilization at Providence College. He is a regular contributor to Crisis Magazine and the author of many books, including The Politically Incorrect Guide to Western Civilization, Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child, and Reflections on the Christian Life. His most recent books are Reclaiming Catholic Social Teaching, Defending Marriage, and Life Under Compulsion.

A renowned G.K. Chesterton scholar and speaker, Dale Ahlquist is the host of EWTN's The Apostle of Common Sense.  He is the author of G.K. Chesterton: The Apostle of Common Sense, Common Sense 101: Lessons from G.K. Chesterton, The Complete Thinker, and All Roads: Roamin' Catholic Apologetics.  Dale is a regular columnist for The Catholic Servant, and his articles have appeared in Chronicles, Crisis, Catholic Rural Life, St. Austin's Review, Faith and Reason, and Envoy.  Dale is also the co-founder of Chesterton Academy based in Minnesota, rated one of the Top 50 Catholic High Schools in the U.S. by The Cardinal Newman Society.

Christopher Check is the President of Catholic Answers, the largest lay-run apologetics and evangelization organization in the English-speaking world.  Chris holds a degree in English Literature from Rice University.  He served for two decades as Vice President of The Rockford Institute and before that for seven years as a field artillery officer in the United States Marine Corps.  His writings have appeared in, among others, Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, This Rock, Touchstone, The Wanderer, Angelus, New Oxford Review and The Chicago Tribune.

Alan Hicks was the founding Headmaster of St. Gregory’s Academy, a classically inspired traditional Catholic boarding academy in Northeast Pennsylvania. He is a recognized and respected educator who has been involved in Catholic education as a teacher and administrator from elementary through high school and college on the East Coast, the Midwest and now in California. He has presented at Catholic conferences and seminars throughout the country on topics educational, philosophical and cultural.

Kevin O'Brien is the founder and artistic director of the Theater of the Word Incorporated, a Catholic theater company which tours the country evangelizing through drama. Although he was an atheist at an early age, Kevin's experiences with the dramatic arts began a conversion process, that, with the help of the writings of G.K. Chesterton, eventually brought him into the Church. Kevin hosts the television series The Theater of the Word on EWTN and can also be seen on episodes of EWTN's The Apostle of Common Sense, The Quest for Shakespeare, and The Journey Home.


Friday February 17

Alan Hicks
The Muses as the Pedagogues of Wonder
Kevin O'Brien
J.R.R. Tolkien on Fairy Tales
9pm - 10pm
Cash Bar of Conviviality

Saturday February 18

Coffee & Registration
Christopher Check
Dale Ahlquist
The Signature of Man: Chesterton on Art
Lunch on your own
Fort Scott has three local eateries within a short walk of the Symposium venue
Anthony Esolen
The Christian Imagination
Rosary and Confessions
Q&A Panel Discussion
Holy Mass at Mary Queen of Angels, Fort Scott
7pm (with VIP pass)
Whiskey & Cigars with the Speakers
Light fare will be provided

Frequently Asked Questions

What lodging options are available in Fort Scott? 
We have a block of rooms reserved at a group rate at the Sleep Inn & Suites here in Fort Scott. The Sleep Inn is new, rooms are clean and commodious, and it is very conveniently located just two blocks from the Liberty Theatre. Please call 620.223.2555 by January 31st and mention the Symposium to guarantee the discounted rate.

Are there discounts available?
Yes, discounts are available for students, youth and members of Mary Queen of Angels parish. Please email and we will send you the appropriate discount code that you can use at checkout.

Are there any options for child-care during the Symposium?
Yes! We are currently working on arrangements for child care for Saturday only. If you plan to attend, please email with pertinent details (number of children, ages, names, etc) as it will help us in planning.

About Us

The Prairie Troubadour is named in memoriam of poet, song-writer and man of the Kansas prairie, Gerald Francis Kerr.

What is the Troubadour?

Faithful to Holy Mother Church, The Prairie Troubadour is a group of friends inspired by the likes of Cardinal Newman, ChesterBelloc, John Senior, and other stalwarts of the Faith, to live and share the Joy of Christ through stories, song and good red wine.

Through our annual symposium, we intend to create an authentic Catholic experience where the Good, the True and the Beautiful are glimpsed through lively discourse punctuated by earnest prayer, toothsome food, strong drink and the real mirth found in friendship.

Catholicism needn't be stodgy and narrow.  Quite the contrary! As G.K. Chesterton reminds us, the walls built by the Church through doctrine and discipline are not the walls of a prison, but the "walls of a playground."  And as Belloc wrote, "Wherever the Catholic Sun doth shine, there's always laughter and good red wine.  At least I've always found it so.  Benedicamus Domino."

Indeed it is so.  Let us bless the Lord!

Dr. Gerald Kerr

1944 – 2015Patriarch, physician, poet, farmer, troubadour, true Kansan and lover of the prairie.  Beloved husband, father of 6 and papa to 31 grand-children.  Catholic son. 

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