1) Being a priest, although it has its ups and downs.
2) The traditional Roman Rite now known as the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. Yes there are problems. I can see what the liturgical reformers of the 1960`s were trying to do but I`m not sure it works. And as for the breviary I am with Fr Hunwicke on this one. I say the modern breviary in Latin. The 1962 version seems unsatisfactory for the reason the good father outlines. On the other hand the pre-Pius X breviary would be difficult nowadays. Rather than oblige secular clergy to say the whole of the Roman breviary I think it would have been more useful if someone had decreed that secular clergy did not need to say the whole thing but only salient parts.
However all this is rather off the point. I meant to talk about the Mass. I love Low Mass and Sung Mass. I enjoy attending Mass almost as much as saying it and am more than happy to be subdeacon or deacon rather than celebrant if it means a Mass will be said with full ceremony. However while the EF Mass is an important reason I remain a Catholic and resist any urge to move East, I am firmly committed to visible and unambiguous unity with the Holy See and am not attracted to other bodies which have bishops of varying degrees of validity.
3) Music. Ok that is rather broad but I have quite broad tastes. If I was only allowed one composer out of all of them I`d have to say Mozart but there`s quite a lot of his earlier music which is not so exciting: from about the age of fifteen it becomes interesting. However my recent forays have been into the music of Landi and Pizzetti although one can`t walk into HMV and hope to find their stuff on the shelves. I also love Purcell and Monteverdi and wish there was more of it. I keep hoping someone will find the rest of Monteverdi`s L`Arriana or some of his lost operas. (Cavalli I have tried extensively as a Monteverdi substitute but he`s just not the same.) I wish James II had employed Purcell and Blow for his Catholic chapel. French baroque also appeals. Debussy and Delius too. I like twentieth century English composers especially. Britten is high on my list but also Walton`s Facade and Warlock`s The Curlew are long-time favourites.
Apart from that pop music especially from about 1977-82 is important as it formed the background of my youth. I particularly enjoy the fairly early Elvis Costello although Brutal Youth I thought was oustanding. While not within this time-frame I have also enjoyed Bob Dylan`s stuff up to Blood on the Tracks. Dance band music of about 1925-1935 I`ve always enjoyed and I am revisiting it at the minute.
There`s lots of other things too but generally I`m not that excited by the 19th century and least of all by its operas although I watched and enjoyed half of the 2004 production of Offenbach`s Grand Duchess of Gerolstein last night with Sandrine Piau and Felicity Lott.
4) Parish Pilgrimages especially if abroad. In my last parish I tried to have one of these about every two years. I particularly enjoy taking groups to Rome. The English College villa at Palazzola is a very special place. Pilgrimages, as well as broadening and deepening an understanding of the faith bring people together socially and help build up the community in the parish. We went last year to Rome from St Mary`s. Previous to that I had taken a group to Santiago de Compostella in about 2004 which was a great success. I`m planning a pilgrimage to Santiago again for this year.
5) My two cats are two of my favourite things.
Will this do Madame E? I have missed out quite a lot such as Latin and books but I was tagged somewhere ages back about books everyone should read.