Friday, December 12, 2008

Merrily on High and Walsingham Way

I have learned just today that Canterbury Press of Norwich, England has this past October issued reprints of two of the most quintessential and entertaining books on Anglo-Catholicism ever written, both by Father Colin Stephenson, sometime Administrator of the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. Both are available at

Merrily on High. When I read this book for the first time in my late teens, there were moments when I literally fell out of my chair howling with laughter. It is the funniest book on Catholic Anglicanism - period. A must have and a must read for every Anglo-Catholic. Over the years I have heard wonderful priests and bishops quote from it by memory. In fact, I recommend it to seminarians as a way by which one may begin to learn the joys and intricacies of our not uncomplicated yet glorious heritage. One simply must have a copy of this book.

Walsingham Way. The definitive and magisterial work on Father Alfred Hope Patten and the restoration of devotion to and the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. Any Anglo-Catholic who wants to deepen his appreciation for Anglican devotion to Our Lady must indeed have this book. It supplies information on Father Patten and the Shrine found nowhere else. The book also provides a fascinating rehearsal of the history of the Walsingham devotion in England from its inception, and also offers a very good history, through its narrative of Father Patten's life, of the entire Catholic Movement in the Church of England. Another must have, must read gem.

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