Thursday, November 02, 2006

Instead of playing golf

Many priests spend their day off on the golf course and I can see why this is a good way for priests to spend the day but alas despite many opportunities I have never got around to trying it. I was a student at St Andrews where golf was available at student rates. I was a curate at Morpeth where, uniquely in my experience, there was a parish golf club. I expect the nearest I`ll get to golf is if Fr Charles Briggs ever takes me for lunch at the Chislehurst golf club.

Instead of playing golf, I teach Latin at Newcastle university. It`s not a big commitment: only one hour a week in the first semester and two in the second. I do `intermediate` Latin. I used to feature on the department website and may do so again. This year there are nine in the class. In first semester I go through Aeneid book one and in second semester we`ll be doing the second half of Suetonius` life of Nero. I began last week ( I start half way through the term) and was impressed by their grasp of things. About half have come in with A-level ( although this does not always mean they have a firm grasp of the basics nowadays) and half began from scratch last year. I hope I`m doing my bit to keep Latin going in these difficult days. If we get a universal indult for the 1962 missal then maybe Latin studies will revive somewhat. In Gateshead I twice put on a Latin and once a Ancient Greek for beginners course for parishioners using the Peter Jones books which featured in the Daily Telegraph. It aroused a lot of interest with about 14 people beginning the Latin courses although we lost a few along the way.


roydosan said...

The Oxford Latin Course is an excellent introduction to learning Latin, albeit at GCSE level.

Fr Michael Brown said...

Thanks roydosan. The Peter Jones book was great fun but admits it does not cover everything included at GCSE. For example it does not cover the future tense. We tried for a while to continue the classes looking at the Gospel and prayers of the Mass for the following Sunday but it was difficult to sustain without havng covered all the basics. All I really hoped was that people would be able to look at the the Gospel or parts of the Mass and be able to have some idea of what was a noun and what was a verb etc. As I don`t have a Sunday TLM at the minute I`m not likely to try the course again. Maybe I should start the course and then the participants will demand a Sunday Latin Mass!