**Blushes** I’ve been liebstered.

Well, you could knock me down with a feather. The wonderful 1catholicsalmon has generously put me up for a Liebster Award! I am beetroot with blushing. Do go read that soothing blog if you have not already: it is gentler than mine, and reflects balanced Catholicism at its best.


The Liebster Award seems to be a way for small-scale bloggers to recognise and encourage other small-scale bloggers. It is an award that carries responsibilities, and not some mere frippery. So on to my happy duties.

The requirements for accepting this award are:

1) Post the Liebster award graphic on your site. Done
2) Thank the blogger who nominated the blog for a Liebster Award and link back to their blog. Done, but inadequately I fear
3) The blogger then writes 11 facts about themselves so people who discover their blog through the Liebster post will learn more about them.

(i)  I am 44 years young (yes, I know – who am I kidding?).
(ii)  I am Australian by birth, but have dual nationality by law.
(iii)  I was once a Jesuit, though not for long!
(iv)  I can eat almost anything but offal.
(v)  My favourite job “in the world” was with Police Communications Branch in Sydney. Still miss it…
(vi)  Somehow I have managed to study in 3 different countries. What a world…
(vii)  Uncomfortably for a monk, I am a night person.
(viii)  I take sugar in coffee and tea. I am an unreformed Benedictine…
(ix)  What frightened me most when first preparing for priesthood was preaching.
(x)  I am a Pope Benedict XVI Catholic (in case you haven’t guessed!)
(xi)  My guilty pleasure is the works of Frederick Rolfe, Baron Corvo – Hadrian VII is amazing!

4) In addition to posting 11 fun facts about themselves (oh dear, they were supposed to be fun… now they tell me!), nominated bloggers should also answer the 11 questions from the post of the person who nominated them.

Not 11, but only pedants keep score!

  • What inspired you to start blogging?  It was partly from a need to be involved in spreading sound Catholic teaching, however small my circle, and partly as self-imposed therapy!
  • Religious leader you admire? Most admire maybe? Definitely Benedict XVI.
  • Do you think having pets changes you? Sadly I never had one; but my brother’s dog Amba never fails to fill me with joy so if that counts as change…
  • Is family important and why? Family is important for so many reasons, but the first that comes to mind is that it is where we first learn to love and to forgive.
  • Do you pray regularly? Yes, but not sufficiently.
  • Why is your Christian witness important? If it is actually important, I hope that it occasionally strengthens a fellow Christian or two and reminds them they are not alone in orthodox Catholicism. Perhaps some find it easier to ask me than their local parish priest.
  • Do you think Jesus’ message is radical? Well, yes. It cuts to the root (radix) of our existence and our destiny. No cross, no salvation.
  • What’s the favourite habit of your parish priest? Well, I do not have a parish priest as a monk, but I do have an abbot. And his favourite habit is reading.

5) The nominated blogger will in turn, nominate 9 other blogs with 200 or less followers (We’re guessing for our nominees) for a Liebster award by posting a comment on their blog and linking back to the Liebster post. This is tough: I can guess the obviously big blogs but some of the other ones can have more followers than might seem obvious, and some of my choices have already been Liebstered. Anyway…

  1. http://badvestments.blogspot.co.uk – he’s been quiet of late but if you like watching the liturgical equivalent of car wrecks, this is your blog.
  2. http://marklambert.blogspot.com – calm, reasonable, faithful
  3. http://australiaincognita.blogspot.co.uk – some straight talking from Kate in the land Down Under, unflinchingly Catholic
  4. http://forestmurmurs.blogspot.com – a tradition-minded parish priest in the north-east of England: a clerical foot-soldier’s perspective
  5. http://lmschairman.org – a philisopher faithful to the Church and the classical Roman Rite with a broad outlook and razor-sharp analysis
  6. http://restlesspilgrim.net – a Pommie Catholic boy in America’s classiest city who enjoys his Catholicism
  7. http://scecclesia.com – a thoughtful Australian convert who has brought the best of his Lutheran patrimony with him
  8. http://vexilla-regis.blogspot.com – a faithful Catholic layman in northern Sydney making his voice heard
  9. http://adriansharp.wordpress.com – a priest fresh from higher studies now teaching and priesting in Brisbane archdiocese
  10. http://catholiccravings.wordpress.com – another convert, young and ladylike in my home town

6) The nominated blogger will create 11 questions for their nominated blogs to answer in their Liebster post.

  1. Who inspires you most?
  2. Your favourite saint?
  3. In an ideal world, who should be Pope?
  4. Monarchist, republican or something else?
  5. Your favourite theologian?
  6. Beer, wine or spirits?
  7. Your favourite cartoon character?
  8. One thing you would change at Mass?
  9. Where else would you live if you could?
  10. Where should Benedict XVI spend his retirement?
  11. Should Pope Francis call Vatican III?