Scraps from a Scrapbook

Recently someone left us a scrapbook. It is an amazing collection of religious trivia, and some of its not so trivial in some respects. Herewith, in keeping with the recent archival theme, some samples (which, when clicked, will show the full size photo).

First is a photograph of Maurus Caruana (†1943), monk of Fort Augustus and Archbishop-Bishop of Malta. I suspect this photo is of him back at Fort Augustus, wearing a very monastic mitre.

Bishop of Malta

Next is a photo of an extremely youthful Abbot of Buckfast. Anscar Vonier was a German, abbot of Buckfast before it was aggregated to the EBC. He is pictured with Bishop Graham of Plymouth, who died in 1912; Vonier became abbot in 1906, so this photo must be from the period 1906-1912, which would mean Vonier is here aged between 31 and 37. He wrote popular works on the Eucharist.


In the previous post there were a number of missals which received their Imprimatur from Josef-Ernst, Cardinal van Roey (†1961) who was Archbishop of Mechlin (Malines). This photo has been signed by him, but seems to date before he received the red hat, so must be from the period 1926-7.

Van Roey

Lastly, a letter. An original letter, from Bede Polding (†1877), a monk of Downside who was the first Archbishop of Sydney from 1842 till his death. He was amazing in his capacity for work and his pastoral care, especially of convicts. He had a vision of Catholics taking a leading role in the life of the nation, and founded my old university college, St John’s at the University of Sydney, to train Catholic men for leadership in society. His dream of restoring the medieval model of an abbey-diocese was pursued with short-lived modest success, but the arrival of Irish secular clergy put an end to his dream; they would not be given orders by either (1) an Englishman or (2) a monk!

This letter is addressed to a “Bernard”, who is most likely to be Dom Bernard Paillet of Downside, who was rector of Cheltenham from where this scrapbook originates. I am not sure if this letter is known to Polding historians. Polding is writing from Fords Hotel, which I am yet to identify.

Polding letter 1.pngPolding letter 2.pngPolding letter 3

If you have any information to add, please do!


3 thoughts on “Scraps from a Scrapbook

    1. Boyish is almost inadequate to describe him!

      By the way, I apologise for the delay in your comments appearing. WP insists on all your being approved individually. Normally after one approval a commenter goes automatically on a whitelist, but for some reason it will not do that for you. I am stumped. At least it doesn’t put you in the Spam folder. #smallmercies


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