Friday, August 3, 2007

Fr. Foster Roundup

Quantitative Metathesis is back from Rome. Welcome home, QM! I loved reading your Roman dispatches, especially the one where you were at San Gregorio ai Muratori and you saw a man come into the chapel from a private door, with a giant dog in tow. (Par for the course with the FSSP in Urbe, I suppose.)

For those who have not yet read QM's posts on her experience with the legendary Fr. Foster, I compile them all below:

The Latin Pedagogy of Father Foster
Other endearing idiosyncrasies:
1. He loves dictionaries. Big, beautiful ones. And he loves reading them.
2. Physically, he’s a mess, and it’s obvious that walking is very painful for him, yet one never hears him complain.
3. He loves deeply, a fact which is very obvious when he sees or speaks of his former students.
4. He’s 100% eccentric curmudgeon.
5. He really would cut off his right arm to teach you Latin.

Consecutio Temporum
Fr. Foster does not like the conventional labels such as “imperfect,” “future,” “pluperfect,” etc. He scraps all of them. Instead, he labels verb tenses by numbers....

Vatican Calligraphy
All the texts for these documents are newly composed by Fr. Foster or one of his five colleagues, then copied out by the calligrapher. It was fun to see Tonino teasing Father about his characteristic verbosity. Apparently they have to use extra-big pieces of vellum for his bulls!

Loca Thomistica

Roccasecca (or Roacca Sicca) is the location of one of the castles of the Aquinas family and the place where little Thomas spent his first years.... his sister was killed by a lightening strike during a storm because his mother didn’t care enough to go check on her (she only checked on Thomas)

Horace's Villa
These two months have changed the way I approach Latin texts and have given me my first real exposure to comfortable, conversational Latin.... And perhaps the coolest thing is that I can now listen to someone speaking Latin and not really notice that they’re not speaking English.

Latin wedding – Two former students of Fr. Foster were married in San Pancrazio today, with Fr. Foster celebrating the wedding Mass (Novus Ordo, in Latin). I got to be part of an 11-member Renaissance choir that sang Palestrina’s Sicut Cervus for the occasion, and the liturgy was laced and gilded with Gregorian chant, which the entire congregation sang. Everything – even the vows and the homily – was in Latin.


Sheila said...

This is way cool! I don't know QM personally, do I? Do you? The utter coolness of all the Latinitas ... and the papal bulls especially ... what a cool blog.

Anyway, I wanted to tell you I've started to post a new project on my blog, one in which I expect you to be quite interested. I can't give you a sneak preview of the whole thing, though: I'm only about six stanzas in, and am hoping my slow posting will give my slow writing time to catch up. Anyway, go and see; I really want to hear what you think. I'm sure I must be leaving stuff out, but you might just be the only person who'd notice if I did.

See you in 2 weeks! :D

Meredith said...

Unfortunately, neither of us know QM personally. But what is this about a new project? I must go see...

Anonymous said...

Hi Meredith,

You might remember me (my real name is Mary) - we met at an art talk of Erik's (of rants and recipes).

I'd like to send you an email about an upcoming event that we're trying to get young adults in the Bay Area to attend, but I don't have your email address.

If I could somehow get in touch with you, that would be great! My email is:


Meredith said...

Hi Mary!

My email is I guess I should add that to the site...

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