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June 7, 2024

Lee Parent: Bringing Life to Philip Howard

June 7, 2024
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This week, we chat with Lee Parent, whose writing guides us into the sparkling world of Elizabethan England. There, we meet Saint Philip Howard, his wife Anne Howard, Lord Burghley, and many other characters who had a massive role in the history of the Church in England. You can listen to the series on Monday, June 10, at!

Writing and Philip Howard

How did you first begin writing?
Writing has been a passion of mine since I was in elementary school. Thankfully, I had some incredible teachers that always encouraged me to write. Flexing my imagination has always fascinated me and provided me with the joy of getting lost in a story.  Professionally, I started writing as a copy writer. I’m a Graphic Designer/Art Director by trade and copy writing just kind of became a natural part of my job.  I discovered that I loved the creativity of word-smithing just as much as designing.  I love the puzzle of words and the abyss of my imagination!  Later in life, I joined a writing group, which turned into writing a novel and then scripts (with my friend, colleague and mentor Judy Zocchi, who lead me to The Merry Beggars!). From there, it has just grew into another way for me to do something I love while also making a living!

How did you first learn about Saint Philip Howard, and why write about him?
I was introduced to Philip Howard by one of the team members of The Merry Beggars. I was looking for a Saint to connect with. When I described my interest in learning about a Saint that turned their life around from sin to Saint, Philip Howard was mentioned. Once I began reading and researching him, it was evident that this was the one for me to write about. His journey was wild and filled with opportunity to choose an easier, abundant life yet he ultimately gave it up to honor God and his beliefs. Truly inspiring!

Lessons Learned

What's an unexpected lesson you learned from Philip Howard's life?
I found it lovely that despite the fact that he did not love Anne initially (despised her, in fact), he grew to respect, admire and then fall in love with her. I think that in the current times we live in, people are so quick to dismiss another person based on their looks, beliefs or any other multitude of things. For me, I learned that love, truly is about growth and commitment. I see Philip and Anne’s marriage as a beautiful model to aspire to. It was her ability to see him for who he truly was and his willingness to open his eyes and heart to her devotion that developed into mutual respect and a commitment to God which ultimately turned into a deep love.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Write! Don’t think too much about it. Just get your creative flow on no matter what. One of my professors taught me the beauty of free writing. When you free write, you don’t edit or stop writing no matter the spelling errors, bizarre sentences that flow out or if what you’re writing doesn’t even make sense. It’s a tool to just get you writing and your subconscious thoughts will surprise you. The other bit of advice is, like anything in life, when it gets really hard and you feel like you’re not making any progress it’s only because something great is right around the corner. You are about to have a breakthrough so don’t give up - keep writing!

What's something that you hope listeners take away from this series?
I hope that the listeners will take in the gravity of how these people’s faith shaped their lives. Their faith drove them to do things that put themselves and their families in danger. What do we care about so much these days that we are willing to sacrifice everything for?

Do you have any upcoming series you can tell us about?
Yes! I am currently starting to write the story of Robert Southwell. This Saint is has the most beautiful, captivating and, quite frankly, drama-filled life. His contribution to the Catholic Faith is paramount, as is his legacy as a writer. As the listeners will learn, he helped shape many writers in history (that we ALL KNOW) through his writing. If you want to listen to a story about a man devoted to God who used his words to shift a nation and many hearts, press play!

Lee Parent is an Art Director/Graphic Designer turned writer and entrepreneur. She majored in set design for theatre at Emerson College, then moved to Los Angeles where she fell into the Graphic Design world and worked for companies such as Twentieth Century Fox and Warner Brothers. After moving back home to Maine, she started her own design firm as well as a family. After decades of design work, she created Kids Unplugged, a family brand that encourages families to unplug and play together. She currently runs her indoor play gym and online brand while she writes and paints to satisfy her creative sides. You can listen to her series Philip Howard at

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