Sunday April 29th
In hot sunshine yesterday, to Fulham, where I got caught up in the massive football crowds. It was good to escape and settle down at my destination, the pleasant study where I handed over the entries for the judging of the Catholic Young Writer Award, sponsored by The Keys, the Catholic Writers' Guild of England and Wales. A winner and two runners-up will finally be chosen - no, I'm not giving their names until they have been personally notified - and the winner will come to the Writers' Guild meeting in a couple of weeks' time, to recieve the shield, cheque, and certificate. A number of Certificates of Merit were also awarded, including several to one particular school which sent in a good number of entries. In fact, the enthusiasm shown by this particular school, was such that it was decided to award the school itself a certificate - the first time we have done this.
Discussion on this blog re home-education, ie families not sending their children to school but teaching them at home. Of course this is an excellent thing for families that want to do it - and was standard for daughters in middle-class and upper-class homes throughout the 19th and well into the early part of the 20th century. And the families that do it today tend to be those who tackle it with great dedication, and produce superb results. But it would be terribly cruel for the Church to announce this as the norm: it's like suggesting that because some families can cope well with ill or frail elderly relatives, there is no need for any care-homes or visiting nurses, or day centres! I know a number of families who educate their own children at home - they tend to be highly committed, and if they are Catholic they tend to be v. devout, keen on lots of Latin etc etc. All very delightful and splendid. But what about all the other children in Britain? Are we meant to mumble that "it's up to the parents" and ignore their needs?
...is the title of a beautiful new hardback illustrated book of traditional Catholic prayers, produced by Stonyhurst College. It was an initiative of two pupils and is the result of research among some of the College's fabulous collection of old manuscripts. The result is a feast of medieval artwork, together with a collection of prayers, some taken from the Sarum Primer. It also has the whole Rosary - including the new Mysteries of Light - and an explanation of how illuminated manuscripts were made (did you know that the thick ink was made by boiling oak-apples, and that the bright blue colours came from lapis lazuli from Afghanistan?). Warmly recommended: £12.95p from St Omers Press. Contact www.stomerspress.co.uk or phone 01254 836345 Jan Graffius.