Or, more likely, reminded by a pilgrimage not made this year of memories of travels long ago, I took it into my head to look at moving in my retirement to Baker City, here in Oregon; the cathedral of the diocese of Baker is there (although, as turns out to be the case, the chancery and bishop's palace and presumably the greater number of Catholics are all in Bend), a man friendly to Tradition sits on the episcopal throne, and a river (the Powder River at Baker City is about as great a water as a half- or third-sized Little Miami River in Ohio: I make comparisons to what I'm vaguely familiar with, after all). Otherwise, there seem to be numerous cows and goats, and a state correctional facility. A diversion for an hour on a lazy afternoon. As I was out walking this morning, having just completed the decade of the Ascension, about to begin Pentecost's Pater, it occurred to me that what I ought to do is move to Veneta, where are two churches wherein the Traditional Rite is celebrated. Why this hadn't hit me over the head like a baseball bat some time ago, I have no idea. Veneta's about the size of the town I lived in when I was a child, there's a farmers market from May onward until the end of the season, the bus runs into Eugene (once a day, but still it runs), there is access to the Internet (if perhaps not top-of-the-line access). Now of course there remains the necessity of finding a place to live out there, ahem.
I see that there is a great deal of grumbling about the French government's requirement that those attending the celebration of Holy Mass wear masks but the more important news this morning was that the Macronians caved and opened up the churches. As grumpy as I am about wearing the mask (I didn't when I went for Thursday's blood-letting-- the leech told me she wouldn't wear it, either, except that her employer is requiring it-- and, eh, the looks I got from some of the old folks...) that aspect of the re-opening of the archdiocesan churches here didn't much bother me although my recalcitrance is perhaps growing (I'm already a sufficient distance from anyone else to prevent the plague from jumping from my mouth to a new victim-- the 'social distancing' business-- and it is coming off when I go to receive Holy Communion, if I do: I don't see the point except as display of the state's majestic power, which isn't great enough to actually suppress the plague, after all), particularly since I've yet to be allowed a place on the Mass attendance schedule.
I will continue here but it is time for None.
Professor Eamon Duffy wrote in the Catholic Herald the other day about 'two best novels about the Reformation'-- two "unequivocal masterpieces" in the text; it's an extract from his new book A People's Tragedy: Studies in Reformation. One is what's his name's, Robert Bolt's A Man for All Seasons and the second I had never heard of, nor did I know the author's name: Hilda Prescott's The Man on a Donkey, published in 1952 and, I discovered, re-published by Loyola Classics in 2008 in two volumes, edited by the wonderful Amy Welborn. A very long novel by an historian about the Henrician catastrophe, happily on Kindle; I will give it a go. That awful woman Hilary Mantel has an awful book on an awful prize list....
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