PAGE 28:

A School For Apostles

A study by
Maurice Billingsley


& Sources
click on any reference in the text to find it

"A School for Apostles: The White Fathers' Junior Seminary at Bishop’s Waltham, Hampshire, 1912 - 1967"

Junior Seminaries, in the shape of the monastic schools, existed from the earliest years of the English Church. We know from the Venerable Bede that he himself entered the monastery as a young boy around 670. (1) In Murphy's eyes, the whole system of priestly training was based on the Regula Pastoralis of another Benedictine, Gregory the Great, who sent his confrére, Augustine, to Canterbury in 597. (2) McGrath saw evidence of this monastic tradition still alive in the,junior seminaries of the 1960s (3) .

The Junior Seminary, as distinct from the monastic school, was a boarding school for boys wishing to become Roman Catholic Priests. It was shaped by the 1563 Decree of the Council of Trent (4) which envisaged training boys from the age of 12, for ordination at 25; its rulings were in force until the 1965 Decree of the Second Vatican Council. (5)

The Trent decree was based on the plan of Cardinal Pole, Mary Tudor’s Archbishop of Canterbury, to reform the Cathedral schools of England, starting in Canterbury. The monks had gone, so it was decided to re-fashion the schools to provide an educated diocesan clergy. Here a debt to Anglican thought and order must be acknowledged — Pole based his plans on Cranmer's 1553 revision of ecclesiastical law. (6)

This tradition of training priests from boyhood in special boarding schools has only recently been abandoned in England. The last, at Upholland in Lancashire, closed in 1986.(7) In other parts of the world, such as Kenya, local circumstances mean that junior seminaries still play a useful role. (8)

The Priory, Bishop’s Waltham, Hampshire, served the Missionaries of Africa, called 'White Fathers’ because of their Arab-styled habit, as a junior seminary from 1912 to 1967. Some 1,000 boys passed through it in that time, of whom 163 became White Father priests or brothers, three of them bishops in Africa. Another 36 became priests or brothers elsewhere, of whom Abboy Cuthbert Johnson, a Benedictine from Bede’s home town of Jarrow, is a world authority on the Church's liturgy and Michael Fitzgerald became Archbishop. A front-bench Labour MP, England’s first doctor in Adult Religious education, (9) and many professional men among the old boys, indicates that the school provided a good secondary education, especially in the years when this could not have been guaranteed to every boy.

The school, according to its First Rule, had in fact been founded in France for “ younger boys in whom Our Lord inspired the desire of devoting themselves to the apostolic work, but who were held back for want of the means of formation. (10)

That was in 1875; nine years later, Fr Hugh MacDonald, the English provincial of the Redemptorist Fathers wrote of “ the difficulty of finding young men sufficiently advanced in their studies . . . and at the same time uncontaminated by the world " (11) when he founded their junior seminary, the Juvenate.

The protective motive was not absent from The Priory — the 'hot-house seminary’ (12) has until recently been the norm in the Catholic Church. As late as 1965 McGrath defended junior seminaries on the grounds that in a Catholic Grammar school the preoccupation of his fellows with girls and careers would be hostile to the development of a boy’s priestly vocation : " adequate standards of piety for run-of-the-mill Catholics are not quite adequate for the aspirant to the priesthood. " (13)

These same Catholic grammar schools were criticised the following year by Kevin Nichols as too protectionist. (14) They were afflicted with " rigidity and literalism, not to mention syllabism " in their understanding of the Catholic faith, said Dom Sebastian Moore of Downside school. (15)

It was a different sort of protection that the White Fathers sought in England in 1912. Anti-clerical measures of the French Government threatened the whole work of the society. The headquarters and the senior seminary (which took men from school-leaving to ordination at 25) were both in French North Africa. (16) There were real fears that these might be seized under the Law of Associations of 1901. (17) The Redemptorists had brought their French boys to England before this (18) ; they spent some time with their English counterparts before going to Belgium in 1907.

The 'hallowed battle between Christians and Freethinkers' (19) in France was bitter in those days. Many other orders fled to England. They included the sisters who founded many of our convent schools and the de la Salle brothers who set up St John's College in Portsmouth with a handful of boys in a rented sea-front guest house. (20) Two of the first six English boys at The Priory came from St John's, as did many others and the College was to play an important role in the last years of The Priory.

The Bishop of Portsmouth, William Cotter, welcomed the White Fathers in return for their taking on what became a parish of some 100 square miles, based at Bishop's Waltham. This was against their usual practice outside Africa. (21) They cared for this area throughout their stay and made a significant contribution in other places. Almost every weekend saw an exodus of priests to help out or 'supply' at Churches all over Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. (22)

The Fathers, brothers and boys who opened the community were all French; it was a French school on English soil. They began learning English at once. (23) Cardinal Lavigerie, the founder, insisted that his men were to live the life of the local people in Africa and speak their language. (24) The same rule was observed in England. In retrospect, it seems a little strange that the White Fathers took so long to open a house in England as they had been working in British Colonies since 1876, (25) while Lavigerie had ties with the Anti-Slavery Association (26), and moreover had lectured in London. Indeed he intended his society to be international, taking pride in sending caravans of four and more nationalities to new mission fields. (27)

Rural Hampshire was not quite a mission field but the Catholics were few, and scattered across the parish of Our Lady Queen of Apostles. (28) Bishop's Waltham itself had about 3,000 inhabitants. They were served by a branch from the L.S.W.R. at Botley, with connections to London, Portsmouth, and through Southampton to France. (29)

Moving in was an enviably smooth affair. in July 1912 the Fathers found the property — a Victorian infirmary with room to build on a new headquarters if the worst came to the worst. Bishop Cotter and his canons gave their blessing on September 27th ; completion was on the 30th, and fourteen boys moved in on October 12th. (31) The house had been named by a previous owner, who had bought it after the infirmary failed to prosper; the White Fathers do not call their superiors priors, nor their houses priories as a rule.

What is a rule for the White Fathers, if an unwritten one, is to make the best of available resources and have every penny do the work of two. They did not wait for the educational suppliers to furnish the place. Nor did they wait till the Brothers had built the school wing, or Boys' house on to the rear of the infirmary building, which became the Fathers’ house. This tradition continues — recent editions of their house magazine tell of Fathers building roads with Malavians, using hand tools, and an old boy of The Priory helping build dams and wells. (33)

The need to be able to do such things was recognised by the society from the beginning. They recruited craftsmen, as brothers, or non-ordained members of the society, who could devote their talents to building work, farming or mechanics and pass on these skills to Africans. They also insisted that manual work was part of everyday life for the boys. No White Father should find himself as stranded as some of the missionaries in Dutch New Guinea described by Smedts in 1954. (34)

Apart from daily chores around the house and grounds and regular spring cleaning with, in earlier days, haymaking and other work on The Priory farm, the boys helped with a number of civil engineering projects, often giving up free time to work alongside the Fathers. Two separate football pitches were levelled, though many hands could not make light of Hampshire clay, a grass and later a hard tennis court were built ; army huts were dismantled and re-erected for recreation rooms and extra dormitory space ; path-laying, tree planting, and in 1963, more digging, came the boys' way. This was the last fling of what the bursar called "excitin' shtin’ glory "— a new sewage system was constructed to replace that which gave the 'Blue Danube' brook its aura and title.

The cooking and some washing up was done by ladies from the village, but there were no cleaning staff until the boys were going to St John's in the 1960s, spending up to 2 hours travelling.

The boys did some decorating around the house, but the diaries suggest that this was largely done during the holidays by brothers or students from the senior seminary at Totteridge.

It is interesting that with inflation after the second world war, the experimental boarding school at Dartington Hall introduced 'useful work' like The Priory's manual work. This was originally an economy measure, but by 1958, the headmaster, W.B. Carry, was able to say, " I do not doubt that useful work can be defended on educational as well as economic grounds ". (35) Before the war, pupils had dug their own swimming pool. (36)

The Redemptorist boys tackled some major jobs too (37) , but one senses a different attitude to 'menial work' in the suggestion, made in 1925, that the boys should not be involved in such activity. The present writer, as a student at The Priory, was more than once reminded of the shock received by a visitor to the Hughes' home in Leyton who saw the Archbishop, an Old Priorian, in shirt sleeves, drying up for his mother. She was poor ; but the notion that the priest should be 'aloof' from the poor, not converse with, but always have great consideration for the servants in the presbytery ’ was still current in the 1940s. Murphy would not have him seek his'pleasure or recreation'with the poor lest he'spoil ’ them. (38) It was not the attitude of the White Fathers.

Another aspect of what might now be called education for life skills was ever popular at The Priory, as the ' Priorian ’ and ''Pelican' magazines record - camping at Galley Down. A sympathetic landowner allowed the boys to use his beech wood on the other side of the village, and all were expected to be able to cook a simple meal over an open fire. An extra day's holiday would often be given for a feast day, a distinguished visitor, outstanding performance by a form or house in the monthly marks, or even a fine day. A supply of suitable food always seemed to be on hand in the kitchen.

Although The Priory rule of around 1917 forbids the boys to converse with the ladies in the kitchen, the writer recalls from the 1960s respectful and friendly relations between them and the Fathers, and a more relaxed relationship with the boys than Murphy might have approved, although there was still an enforced distance and the kitchen was usually sacrosanct.

The kitchen and the boys' house were built by the brothers of local bricks, said to be the hardest in the world. ( The railway had been laid to carry bricks to line the Suez Canal ). Furnishings, to the end, were monastic, if not spartan, as in other junior seminaries. (39) Hot water for daily ablutions was not introduced until the 1960s, ( the old rule prescribed a bath at least every other week ), curtains never appeared at the windows, the dormitory (photo) was a long, uncarpetted room with a bed and locker for each boy — no cubicles or dividing walls.

As is other junior seminaries (39) there were bare tables in the refectory, and the food was plain though 'wholesome and substantial ’ according to Fr Bouniol (40) , though references to the food made by some Old Priorians suggest a regime like that tasted by Kipling at Westward Ho!, meant to keep their minds off other distractions by a healthy hunger. (41) Be that as it may, 'Missionaries must learn to dispense with luxuries'(40) was a keynote of the house. The lack of luxury could be a shock, even a shattering one, (42) by the 1960s but one accepted by Priorians and their counterparts elsewhere as part of the " ‘job lot’ for such time as they are on the premises.(43)

Redemptorist juvenists also had to make the best of a bad job. The school moved frequently, and was usually housed in buildings meant for other purposes. It was not until 1961 that ‘ an historic moment ’ occurred and the ‘ first purpose built classroom the juvenate had ever had ’ was opened. (44) While in Bristol, the juvenate chapel had benches taken from old horse-trams, with the shorter leg suitably supported. (45)

The juvenate was not the only school to make the best of converted suburban or country houses for living and teaching space. (46) Among them were many seminaries like that of the Capuchins (47) . Prior Park school, near Clifton, was a former stately home, which had been intended as a Catholic seminary and university; it nearly bankrupted the local diocese. (48)

The Priory chapel (photo), built and furnished by the brothers, served also as parish church for the local Catholics. Here was the centre of the house; the timetable shows it loomed large in the life of the boys. Daily Mass with morning and evening prayer in common, as well as a shared time of silent prayer before lunch were the order here as in other establishments. (49)

On Sundays the boys sang a full Latin High Mass attended by many parishioners. Preparation for this was thorough and an important part of the week's work, as laid down by the Council of Trent. (50)

For many years this was led by Mr Heath (photo), a musician of the parish, who taught Palestrina and other polyphonic settings of the Mass and hymns for special occasions. The diaries also tell us that he played no small part in preparations for the annual concert in November, on the feast of St Cecilia, patron saint of music.

Prayer life at The Priory, as in other junior seminaries was different from that of the boys' homes. However, McGrath found that the differences between one seminary and another were not great. Daily Mass, morning and evening prayer in common, monthly retreats or days of recollection were the pattern everywhere. He suggested it was not an entirely appropriate one for teenage boys. (49)

The present writer finds this area difficult to judge. To begin with, Catholic worship has changed almost out of recognition since the 1960s. If a junior seminary were being set up today no-one would teach the boys the Latin chants every week, for example. It is also true that one took the way of life as it came; the prayer regime was accepted as part of the process of becoming a priest.

Furthermore, McGrath's suggestion that part of a renewed prayer life might be a conference of the Legion of Mary, which would include the duty of open criticism of oneself and one's fellows would not have commended itself to this old Priorian, then or now. (49)

What The Priory certainly fostered was an understanding of and love for the liturgy, within the constraints of a rite that was only beginning to change as The Priory closed its doors. Among those old Priorians the writer is in contact with, it has perhaps so accustomed them to good liturgy that they have little patience with the mediocre.

Past generations, too, seem to have graduated with an ability to relate prayer to daily life. Fr Gerry Scriven, a student in the 1920s, was giving retreats to primary school children in 1941. His account shows imagination and an ability to speak and pray with children as children, not as small adults. (51)

The Fathers in the 1960s were introducing other forms of prayer. The diary tells of Fr Moloney's Bible vigils, and of walking pilgrimages to Winchester and local shrines. Boys helped handicapped children go to Lourdes, as they had done in the 1930s

Laborare est Orare’ was also something of a Priory motto. It was during the three days 'Holy Week retreat, or time of intensive prayer, that much of the annual spring-cleaning was done before Easter as well as extra singing lessons for the solemn celebrations. These were common to all junior seminaries. When Easter holidays at home began under Fr Duffy, they started with a Sunday morning coach ride to the London Termini.

It was not just the liturgy that junior seminaries had in common —the modern reader is amazed at the waste involved in so many small schools trying to do the same thing quite independently, even when they were close to each other, as The Priory was to the Montfort Fathers school in Romsey. It was a sign of the times that Fr Burke of Upholland should have noted this publicly in 1965, (52) for the following January, for the first time, the White Fathers' provincial called the various societies together to discuss 'joining forces in our grand pursuit'(53) His initiative led tol the later establishment of the Missionary Institute London in 1970, which was followed by the Franciscan Study Centre in Canterbury , efforts at all levels of seminary training were fragmented.

Each diocese or society was concerned to establish and maintain its identity — a reflection, perhaps of the whole state of mind of the English Catholic Church. (54) This insecurity was still evident in the Missionary Institute in the 1970s : it prevented the publication of a joint magazine by all the Missionary societies (55) . But in 1912, as we have seen, the White Fathers were looking for rather more than just a junior seminary.

Other societies then, with their own needs in mind, opened independent seminaries. Some diocesan schools traced descent from recusant foundations on the continent, and accepted church and lay boys alike. Cardinal Bourne aimed to make St Edmund's at Ware the 'Catholic Winchester.’ (56)

The White Fathers went to Hampshire, not just to be near France but also because Bourne did not want other societies to compete with the Mill Hill Fathers founded in his diocese of Westminster. (57) Bishop Cotter, though, was glad of the help the White Fathers and Montfortian could give his scattered diocese. (58)

Once separate establishments were in existence, a natural conservatism and a fear of ‘ poaching ’ kept them apart. This fear was not entirely groundless; Fr Bouniol noted in 1930 of one boy, 'Mill Hill tried to have him speaking against the French way'. The writer recalls a similar incident in his own boyhood. Contact between The Priory boys and Romsey was confined to football and cricket.

Most junior seminaries made no claim to public school status; they meant to provide a secondary education that would enable rich and poor boy alike to enter the priesthood. They met a real need — not just to protect a boy from the 'wickedness of the world', but to give him the basic tools for further study. Even in 1944 Evennett was able to record that cities like Oxford, Cambridge and York had no Catholic boys’ grammar school. (59)

Before the FisherEducation Act Of 1918, the situation was bleaker yet. The church had a network of elementary schools, now supported by the local authorities (60) , but secondary education had never been co-ordinated. Orders fleeing from the continent set up schools like St John's, but growth was sporadic. With the best will in the world, they could not offer many free places without support. Even after 1918, Catholic secondary schools could not automatically expect council grants and often went into debt to pay for improvements needed to attract scholarship boys. (61)

Costs doubled between the wars, so growth was slow and the syllabus often restricted. A number of boys came from secondary schools to The Priory to ‘ cram ’ in Latin and French. Among these were Fr Scriven and Bishop Holmes-Siedle from the de la Salle brothers other school at Beulah Hill, and a number from St John's. The Advanced syllabus offered in some elementary schools was limited too, partly by Board of Education policy. (62) No languages were taught. Boys intending to become priests had little option but to enter a junior seminary. In 1919 the Jesuits opened a 'late vocations centre’ at Osterley which continues to offer young men the chance to make up such academic deficiencies. (63) It is used for some students by the White Fathers today.

The Priory had barely found its feet before the 1914 War came. Many Fathers and French boys were called for military service. Six of the 56 French boys died in the War (64) , another of tuberculosis, and two others whilst students in North Africa. Eight were ordained as White Fathers, one became a brother; three were ordained for dioceses in France. (65)

The war prevented boys coming from France, but the Fathers, led for the duration by a stranded Canadian, saw the possibility of recruiting in England. The first English White Father, Arthur Prentice, had met the society overseas and was ordained in 1903. He served at The Priory in the 1920s. (66) The first handful of English Priorians came in 1916 and 1917. (67) They were educated alongside the French boys until the post-war political climate in France allowed them to return and resettle there.

The Priory began its post-war life as a school for English boys, staffed largely by Frenchmen, but a number of Canadians joined the community between the wars. (68) Studies were remarkably similar to those in other schools, apart from the Latin and French essential to the future White Father. Bishop Holmes-Siedle tells of private tuition in these subjects. (69) There was no science other than mathematics, divided into arithmetic, algebra and geometry. The Trent Decree proposed a syllabus of letters, humanities, chant, liturgy and scripture, with dogmatic, moral and pastoral theology for later studies. (70) Doctrine was taught at The Priory in anticipation of this, though elsewhere, at least in the 1960s this was not the case. (71)

The Priory had a system of termly examinations and the boys' monthly marks were read out publicly, the form with the best averages winning a day off. Most students sat the London Matriculation. Of those who did not pass, some repeated the year, others went straight to the next stage of training without it, a few, including a future superior of The Priory, Fr Moran, took it later as a key to advanced study.

He was one of many old boys who taught at The Priory; so did Fathers Howell and Hughes,'the first fruits of The Priory’s early years'. (72) Most had no formal teacher training, but by the late fifties new staff were likely to take a university or teacher training course, or both, before, or soon after, joining the staff. Trained teachers or not, they must have found the small classes easier than those elsewhere. There were never more than eighty boys, in four or five forms.

Another such old boy was Fr Marchant , on the staff in the 1930s, and a frequent visitor in the 1960s. His enthusiasm for sport, and his close relationship with the boys was celebrated often by 'The Priorian’, the duplicated magazine of his time. He ran the school shop, selling stationery, sweets and toiletries (obviating the need for boys to visit village shops). He seems to have had it on such a sound financial footing that profits could be ploughed into sports gear, to the delight of the boys.

The reactions of the Frenchmen to cricket is not recorded, but the writer recalls seeing a postcard, said to date from the days of the French school, of boys playing croquet in the quad between the Boys’ and Fathers' houses. That gentle scene is hardly typical of the sporting life of The Priory. The Fathers clearly were not desirous of asserting any kind of claim to public school standing, (73) , as association football was always ‘The Priory's favourite Game'(74) , even if seen as 'for the lower orders’ elsewhere. (75) Fr Murphy's strictures notwithstanding, the White Fathers were sent to live among poor people in Africa, and a claim to high social status at home would have been inconceivable. (76) (One old boy on the staff in the writer's time did enjoy telling the story of when he played on the wing when the King of Buganda was centre-forward, but that is another matter!) Most Priory boys came from ordinary working or middle class homes. (77)

Old Boy Fr Moloney introduced rugby in 1961, (78) and he and the Beaumont man Fr Garvey, who had also played at Oxford, sold the game to the boys, despite misunderstandings over rules with Northerners who had grown up with the XIII-a-side game. Other games often had a short day — basketball and boxing came and went. P.E. happened every day. Swimming in the early years meant the whole community cycling together to the Solent at Titchfield, but in the 1960s unsupervised visits to Southampton's magnificent pool were allowed. Athletics, especially after the Second War, meant inter-schools' competitions, and an impressive number of county caps. The local secondary school at Swanmore allowed The Priory to use its athletics facilities.

Sport was perhaps the most usual link with the outside world before the more relaxed rules of the 1960s allowed visits to local towns on holidays, and before the daily journey to St John’s in Portsmouth. Matches against local villages, at football and cricket, are the stuff for Priory reporters every year. There were games against local schools, too, The Priory often defeating much bigger establishments, having played often together, being fit, and knowing the pitch they had built and maintained.

These labours were largely inspired by Fr Bouniol. He was Bursar to Fr Travers when the community was founded in 1912, and became superior when he died in 1927, his health broken by the War. Fr Travers had built up a great respect and affection in his students; Fr Howell's memories of the whole community cycling to the sea, or even by ferry to Ryde suggest a man far from the conventional, distant headmaster. (79)

Fr Bouniol, himself superior until 1938, is still spoken of with awe by his former pupils.
'Kindly but firm', wrote Bernard Duffy, (80) , himself a 'tough’ superior in later years. (81) Bouniol was ‘able to reduce a boy to complete submission with a few well-chosen, though often mis-promounced, sentences.' (82) Yet he was the one who bought old army huts and supervised their re-erection, who bought bales of wool to be ' "teased" and used to replace the straw of the mattresses.'

The boys would do anything for him, wrote Fr Maguire, in part because he was always there helping, however heavy the work. (82)

The writer discovered among the papers in Highgate a document signed by the prefects in his first year of office, promising to uphold the rule in loyalty to their superior ; a formalisation of the trust aimed for between Fathers and boys, (83) , but also a reminder of the solemn promise which binds the White Father to the Society for life. To this day, seminary teachers are required to promise to uphold Catholic Doctrine and profess loyalty to the Holy See. (84)

The Priory was fed largely on the produce of the farm, run by the beloved Brothers Auberte and Modeste. These men, who had hoped to work as missionaries in Africa, spent their days in a foreign country, but far from the one they expected. That their lives were not wasted is attested by numerous tributes to their influence on generations of boys in the Priorian and Pelican magazines. Their successor, old Boy Brother Patrick, closed the farm and left for Ireland in 1956, where he pioneered the co-operative movement in County Cavan. (85)

It is clear from the register that the boys in the inter-war years came from the widest possible backgrounds. The first to be ordained was the ex-soldier Alfred Howell, who had a year's tuition in French and Latin at The Priory. (86) Arthur Hughes came from East London. His parents could not pay the fees, which were met through a church fund. A boy who would ordinarily have received a secondary education became Papal Envoy to Egypt and an Archbishop — after teaching at The Priory and working in Africa. (87)

A handful of boys’ families were well to do - Bouniol notes a nobleman and an M.P.'s son. But many could not afford the full, or even any of the fees. Sometimes a benefactor sponsored a particular boy. More than one was called home when death or illness meant his earning power was needed ; the health of the nation was not good in the 1920s and 1930s and the prevalence of poverty is seen in the many boys sponsored by church funds.

Among these were a dozen or so from Liverpool Archdiocese's orphanage at Ditton. Not all became priests; one who did was Jim Smith, who took over as Superior from Fr Bouniol. Another was Owen McCoy, who would open the Oyo mission in Nigeria, and become its first bishop, before handing over to a local man in 1973. (88)

Another Ditton boy was one of two English students who died at the Priory. Peter Murphy collapsed after an operation in 1932. Three years before, Peter Flanagan succumbed to pneumonia. The register indicates not that The Priory regime was unhealthy, but that the health of the nation was poor. Furthermore, it reveals that the Fathers were conscious of the heavy demands Africa could make on a European constitution.

Of 400 English boys who joined before September 1936, 37 left The Priory or later stages of the seminary on health grounds. Four died of TB, another in wartime internment. Two later became White Fathers, but six were ordained for easier climates. Five left with epilepsy.

Discussion of health suggests the question of sexuality, always a problem in boarding school. Hurstpierpoint's headmaster today feels that his boys study better without girls. In 1965 McGrath wanted the seminary to protect boys from any sexual feelings or experience at all. (89) The Priory rule included the monastic Grand Silence from night prayers to breakfast. Intended ostensibly to give a good night's sleep in prayerful silence, there was surely a fear of sexuality too:

“Wiles of our old arch foe restrain
Lest faltering flesh contract a stain”

in the words of the ancient Compline hymn.

The regimented day and the long open dormitory were certainly restraints. At the time, efforts to avoid sexual relationships were common in religious communities; rules against 'particular friendships' and going out alone or in pairs were common. (90) Fr Bouniol expelled a few boys for 'immoralité' (sic), without being specific, another for a particular friendship, and one on account of an obscene letter received.

One left 'of his own accord and on account of mauvaise liaison avec personne qu’il disait sa tante.’ Perhaps these boys were making a ‘suicide gesture' to force the decision on someone else when they really wanted to leave, as Hurstpierpoint's Simon Watson suggests. (89) In any case The Priory was of its time, and managed to produce well-balanced happy priests.

The Grand Silence may have been intended to give the boys a good night’s sleep, but the Second World War brought disturbed nights in the boys' home-made shelter. Local ports and barracks were important targets — a burned out flying bomb still lay in a nearby field in 1964. Sleep, safety and schooling were all disrupted, so most boys were evacuated to St Boswell’s, Roxburghshire.

A dozen remained - the matriculation class, sharing the Fathers' house; their own had been requisitioned by the army. The intimate community needed no rule, but the larger post-war one apparently did. (91) It is said that the soldiers supplemented the boys' diet - Spam and dry bread may have been sustaining, but an appetising breakfast it was not !

The Redemptorists’ boys were also in danger, for they were at Bishop Eton in Liverpool. They left for the congregation's house in Shropshire, where their coolness in air-raid alerts was admired, but returned as the danger receded. Debate about a fresh start had already begun though. (92)

The War saw the great debate on education, and the Butler Act of 1944. This provided free primary and secondary education for all children, and went some way towards meeting the costs of voluntary aided church schools. Running costs, including salaries, were covered, and half the money for buildings to replace inadequate old ones, although new start building would be the churches' responsibility. (93) An expansion of higher education also occurred and among the increasing number of University graduates were many old Priorians, of whom a number returned to teach at Bishops Waltham. (94)

The Catholic Church had to find vast sums to expand and improve its school system. (95) There were few boys' secondary schools; some, like St John's in Portsmouth, strove for Direct Grant status; others, like St Phillip's in Birmingham, achieved voluntary aided status. A few all-age schools became ‘Secondary Moderns’. (96, 97)

Co-operation with the state was hotly debated. (98) Many Catholics felt that the examination system was too secular, (99) and did not allow studies to centre on Christian teaching, but saw Christianity as an addition to 'pagan culture’. Catholics should seek an 'integrated Christian education ’ (100) , applying Newman's words, 'Religious truth is not only a portion, but a condition of general knowledge.(101)

Fr Boyle of Beaumont, a Jesuit public-school, sought an ecumenical syllabus, with leaving examinations of equal value to the state ones. (98) But the future Archbishop Beck of Liverpool felt it impossible for Catholics even to pray the Lord's Prayer with other Christians. (102) Other Christians might be saved as 'unconscious Catholics ’ (103) but only the Catholic Church 'of itself, tends to procure our salvation'. (104)

Clearly, although many Christians shared Boyle's view (105) ecumenical schools or syllabuses would not thrive (106) in a church whose atmosphere of distrust led to the banning of Karl Rahner, who developed the idea of ‘unconscious Catholic' into the ‘anonymous Christian’. (107) Had the former teacher and diplomat Cardinal Hinsley lived, greater ecumenical co-operation and more government concessions might just have been won. But Butler told Archbishop Amigo of Southark after Hinsley's death that the Act was the best the Church could hope for. (108) Catholic secondary education would become available, even if at great cost, (109) , and this would call into question the need for junior seminaries.

To begin with, though, The Priory would continue preparing boys for the priesthood. Better qualified teachers arrived, trained at university or college after seven years of senior seminary, but apart from Mr Heath, the singing master, no lay teachers were appointed until Mr Williams arrived in 1960. Boys in forms 1and 2 were taught at St Boswell’s.

Two other seminaries were established rather nearer The Priory — the noviciate at Dorking, and St Edward's, Totteridge, near Mill Hill, London. The society was now officially bilingual in English and French, and this was an international, English speaking community, housing the last four years before ordination. Regular exchange visits with The Priory began; that the end of the long training was almost in sight was a source of encouragement to Priorians.

The Redemptorists’ new start was in Erdington. This North Birmingham parish had tried to set up a Grammar School in 1881, and again in 1921 (110) , otherwise boys travelled six miles to St Phillip's. Mr Burns, the elementary school head, hoped to provide a primary and a comprehensive school on re-organisation, with Grammar stream places available to juvenate boys, who would live with the existing Redemptorist community until new buildings were permitted.

The scheme went ahead without permission, and without sufficient resources, and inspectors' visits in 1952 and 1954 ended it. The juvenate had to stand alone, (111) Erdington had a secondary modern school and had to wait ten years for its Catholic comprehensive. The Redemptorists began sending Fathers to college, and recruited some lay staff. (112)

The Capuchins raised their standards simply by opening a hostel near Beulah Hill school in Norwood. They had not enough teachers, and their old building 'did not have the requirements of a then modern school.' Latin was now taught at Beulah Hill, unlike in Bishop Holme-Siedle's time. (47 , 69)

Old boy Fr Moody , a graduate of St Andrews, became The Priory superior in 1954. He asked newly-ordained Fr Fowles to start a science course from scratch. But one sympathises with Fr Fowles, who only took his Teacher training in 1959, and before that had to assemble his laboratory — with second-hand equipment, naturally. After teacher training he is recorded by the diary preparing his own 'A’ level physics.

Under Frs Moody, Fitzgerald and Duffy, in the 1950s and 1960s, The Priory aimed to be comparable to a grammar school, yet in 1962 most of the fifth form went on to philosophy without ‘A’ levels. All boys sat 'O’ levels in both fourth and fifth years, not all at once. (112a) Mr Williams, now ordained and parish priest of Milford Haven remembers Frs Fitzgerald and Duffy as tough characters, who ruled with authority, (81) , but they relaxed The Priory regime in many ways.

They allowed more holidays; they boys began going home for Christmas Day, not waiting till the feast had been celebrated at The Priory. From 1964 there were Easter holidays at home, after the Vigil had been celebrated. Boys visited factories, football matches, Parliament, (a trip organised by the future Sean Hughes, M.P.), and this writer once organised a visit to Courages Brewery. Fr Garvey's outings were more cultural — to Bournemouth Symphony Concerts, or the Australian cricketers at Oxford. A holiday in Southampton allowed boys, in effect, to amuse themselves as they liked.

This writer considers that authority, having been boys, and even Priory boys, often turned a blind eye. Most notably, none of the boys caught drinking at the Jubilee Tavern near Galley Down were expelled, the diary records, and it is inconceivable that certain other events all went unnoticed. How did the advertising manager of the Pelican magazine enlist so many licensed premises ?

1961-2, the Golden Jubilee year of The Priory, saw the experiment which led to its end. The two sixth-formers now travelled daily to St John's in Portsmouth, spending ten hours away from the house. The following year, the fifth form joined them, using a second-hand coach driven by the Fathers.

The question was being asked whether the well-qualified staff at The Priory were being used to best effect, when they had been ordained to work in Africa. Since a Catholic grammar school education was now readily and freely available, by 1965 junior seminaries were academically redundant, as even their champions had to admit (113) , and boys without academic qualifications could still study with the Jesuits at Osterley before senior seminary. Mr Crosland's circular 10/65 on comprehensive education was discussed by the Fathers, as the diary shows.

Rather more important in the decision to close The Priory was the Second Vatican Council, which issued its Decree on Priestly Formation that October. (114) The bishops suggested that the formation provided by junior seminaries could be found elsewhere. They stressed the role of parents; boys should go home often. The syllabus should be like that in other schools, allowing boys who leave to to resume their studies elsewhere easily. Indeed, equal care should be given to fostering vocations in other schools. The family was an 'introductory seminary'; it was for parents, schools and parishes 'in whose pulsing heart young people have a part', to foster vocations. No talk here o f 'contamination by the wickedness of the world’ (11) . Detailed planning was left to the local level. (115) The centralised system of Trent was no longer deemed necessary. (116)

Another Council Document called on religious communities to reform themselves in the light of the Gospel and the needs of the modern world, following the spirit of their own foundation. (117) They should 'abandon whatever activities are today less in keeping with the spirit of the community’ and wherever possible, co-operate with other societies.

The diaries tell that The Priory had been under review before this, even before the fire that destroyed St Boswell’s in 1963. Now the discussions in Rome, even before the documents were published, brought Fr Walsh, an Assistant to the Superior General, from Rome. He consulted with the staff in July, and later that summer the Society decided to close all its junior seminaries. Since the Fathers’ talents could be better used in Africa the closure was inevitable, sooner or later.

Fr Williams points out that

The priests . . . were working under considerable pressure because they wanted to be working in Africa. Fr Duffy told me again and again how difficult he found it settling down in Bishop’s Waltham, and he longed for the day he could return to Africa . . . The Fathers also found their lives to be rather restrictive, and it is to their credit that they kept their sense of humour. (81)

It is also to the White Fathers’ credit that they closed The Priory when they did. The Redemptorists were still building in 1967 (118), and only closed the juvenate in 1971. (119) Other junior seminaries lasted longer; Liverpool archdiocese's Upholland survived until 1986, although boys had been going out to lessons for some years.

Despite the fire at St Boswell’s and increasing costs at The Priory, the decision to close was made on principle. A hostel near a grammar school had been considered and rejected in 1963, although one was opened temporarily in 1967 for boys to finish examination courses at St John’s.

The White Fathers led the renewal of seminary education at this time. In January 1966 they called the first ever joint meeting on priestly formation in England, (120) which was to lead to the founding of the Missionary Institute London , embracing Totteridge and Mill Hill, and welcoming students from other societies which had each had their own establishments. No such project emerged for junior seminaries.

The Priory closed in 1967, when most boys had completed their GCE courses; there was a note of disappointment in the diary when one left in the Christmas term of 1965, but he returned to become a White Father after schooling. (121)

Contact with candidates would be maintained by vocation directors. They have three roles : publicising the society through parish appeals; befriending potential candidates, helping them perhaps over a period of years to make the right decision, and visiting schools. Here they challenge children and teachers to examine the implications of their Christian commitment. They work as a team with other priests, sisters and lay people, and the school’s religious education department. (122)

Schoolboys are no longer actively sought as candidates. Recruits are mostly men who have finished school, and perhaps followed a university or employment career. Fr Michael Hollings discerns a 'second or third calling' to become priests or religious. He considers that parishes and families together can keep a boy on the road to the priesthood, but like other observers, feels that the enthusiasm for a vocation in the family has evaporated. (123) Nurturing a vocation arising from mature questioning is quite a different task from that tackled by The Priory.

White Father vocation directors work closely with the White Sisters (124) , who were founded by the same man, for the same work in Africa — yet there had been no contact between The Priory and the Sisters at all. A changed world. As Fr Williams remarks, "What attracted me to the church 25 years ago would have as much appeal for me today as Aberystwyth on a wet Sunday afternoon." (125)

In its day, The Priory did its work well. If the three bishops are conspicuous examples of this, there are also 200 priests who have lived out of the limelight, but whose lives were formed at The Priory. This writer cannot agree with Fr McGrath that every boy who left represented a priest lost through the faults of the system. (126) The Vatican Council was more realistic, as were the White Fathers, as can be seen from notes in the Register and Pelican magazine.

The Priory's influence on its lay old boys was considerable. The compulsory study period, thinks Fr Williams, contributed to good academic results. He got a group through ‘A’ level history in one year, and many of the boys would have done less well elsewhere, without the discipline imposed at The Priory. (81) The respect held by White Fathers today for long-gone Priory staff bears out Fr Williams’ observation that 'without fear of contradiction, I can say that the Fathers took a real interest in the lads.’ (81)

The Priory was founded as an Apostolic School; that it is remembered thus is a measure of its living up to that calling. St John recalls these words of Jesus to his Apostles:

You did not choose me
no, I chose you;
and I commissioned you to go out and to bear fruit,
fruit that will last;
and then the Father will give you
anything you ask him in my name.
What I command you is to love one another
. ” (127)

Despite much that a later generation might question in the life of The Priory, this commandment was fulfilled. The fruit of The Priory is above all in Africa — churches nurtured by Priorians, now strong enough to send missionaries themselves ; strong communities of Christian men and women, and African bishops witnessing to the dignity and ability of their people. And in these islands are professional men, now elderly, who would not have received a secondary education elsewhere; diocesan priests, teachers, nurses, solicitors, family men, all owing something to The Priory.

What has replaced The Priory is better suited to today's world, but in its time The Priory was a school of its time, and in its time, did good work.


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1. Bede : A history of the English Church and People. (Tr Sherley-Price, L.) — Penguin Rev ed, 19689 p336.

2. Murphy, J.P : The Education of the Pastor — The Clergy Review, Sept 1941, ppl25ff. Quote p125.back

3. McGrath, J : (b) Where have all the young men gone? The Crisis in Vocations. I I — The Clergy Review, Jul 1965, p465ff. Quote p465 back

4. O'Donoghue, J.A : Trent and the Diocesan Seminary — The Clergy Review, Oct 1964 p616 ff. back

5. Second Vatican Council, Decree on Priestly formation, 'Optatam Totius'— Abbott, W.M. (Ed) The Documents of Vatican II, Geoffrey Chapman, 1967, pp437-456. (abbreviated to O.T. henceforward.) back

6. O'Donoghue : op cit. p618. back

7. Lowe, J : Part of the Community, The training of Seminarians today — The Tablet, 17-10-1987 p1121 back

8. Shorter, A : A voctaions club in Kenya — White Fathers - White Sisters Magazine, Feb/Mar 1989, p18-21. back

9. The Universe, unsigned article, Nov 1988. back

10. Anon : The Apostolic School, Directory of Students. (The Rule) — A manuscript on pages of a French style exercise book, found among papers at Highgate; dating from before 1920 when it was amended. back

11. Mythen, J : Tamquam Lectissimae Plantae, a history of the Redemptorist Juvenate by its last headmastert issued for ‘private circulation' 1971, p9. back

12. Ryan, C : Snarks in the seminary — The Tablet, 15.1.1966, p70 back

13. McGrath, J : (c) ' Where have all the young men gone? The Crisis in vocations, 111 — The Clergy Review, August 1965, p613 ff. back

14. Nichols, K : The Tablet, 10.12.1966. back

15. Moore, S : Training in the Junior Seminary — The Clergy Review, Oct 1965, pp798 ff. back

16. Howell, A.E : The Priory 1912-1922 — The Pelican, Summer 1962, p7 back

17. Mythen : op cit p13 back

18. ibid p13, p33 back

19. Marnham, P : The Independent, 23.2.1989. back

20. Evennett, H.O : The Catholic Schools of England and Wales — Cambridge, 1944, p56.
Mangham, M : Cradled in History — Portsmouth, 1968-tells the story of St John's back

21. Constitutions of the Society, quoted by Bouniol, J — The White Fathers and Their Missions. Sands,1929, p67-8

22. In the diary for 19.2.1961 is the entry : 'All the Fathers are at home for the weekend, which is unusual enough to deserve a note'.
Adrian Hastings, in Ch 40 of his History of English Christianity, 1920 - 1986, Collins, 1987 notes the effect of the closure of Junior Seminaries on the supply of priests in rural areas. back

23. Diary back

24. Bouniol : op cit p84, p71 back

25. ibid. p302 back

26. ibid. p56 back

27. ibid p299 back

28. The name was retained when a new parish ohurch was built on the closure of The Priory.
See The Catholic Directory, 1982 edn p343 back

29. Wignall, C.J : Complete British Railways Maps and Gazeteer, 1830-1981 — Poole, Oxford Railway Publishing, l983. p4-5, p6. (different numbering systems for each section). back

30. Bernard Duffy : A History of The Priory — The Pelican, Summer 1962, p4. back

31. Bernard Duffy (op cit) notes 14 boys, but the register implies that 24 actually arrived in October 1912 - which must have been a tight fit in the Fathers' house. back

32. Turnbull, W : The Nsumbi Road Project — White Fathers-White Sisters Magazine, Feb/Mar 1989, p4-9. back

33. Tryers T : News & Notes. White Fathers-White Sisters Magazine, Oct/Nov 1988 p28. back

34. Bouniol : op cit p307. & Smedts, M : No Tobacco, No Hallelujah ! — Kimber, 1955, p109 -111 back

35. Curry, W.B : The School. In Bonham-Carter, V. Dartington Hall — Pheonix House, 1958, p194-5 back

36. ibid p194 back

37. Mythen : op cit p43-44 back

38. Murphy : op cit p127 back

39. McGrath : op cit (c) back

40. Bouniol : op cit p308 back

41. Kipling, R : Something of Myself — Macmillan, 1937, p23 back

42. McGrath : op cit (b) p500 back

43. ibid p501 back

44. Mythen : op cit p91 back

45. ibid p15 back

46. Evennett : op cit p56 back

47. Denton, S : In private correspondence with the writer, n.d. Summer 1988 back

48. Chadwick, 0 : The Victorian Church, Part I — London, 1966 p274 back

49. McGrath, J : (a) "Where have all the young men gone? The crisis in vocations” — The Clergy Review, June 1965, p4 . See also the Timetable of The Priory provided within the text back

50. O'Donoghue, J.A : op cit p616 back

51. Scriven, G : Retreats for Schoolchildren — The Clergy Review, Jan 1944 p67 back

52. Burke, J. F : The Crisis in Vocations — The Clergy Review, September 1965, p723-5 back

53. Ryan : op cit p70 back

54. Nichols : op cit back

55. Brankin, J : in conversation with the writer back

56. Evennett : op cit p72 back

57. Though he later wrote the preface to Buoniol's book, and allowed a 'procure' and student hostel to be opened in Heston, 1928. (Bounioll : op cit p310) See also below, p11, par 1. back

58. Hastings : op cit ch 40 back

59. Evennnett : op cit p54 back

60. ibid p9-10 back

61. Hastings : op cit p136-7 & Evennett : op cit p56. back

62. O'Dea, W : Advanced Instruction in Elementary Schools — In Proceedings of the, Eighth National Catholic Congress, C.T.S.Salford Branch, 1926. back

63. Unsigned articles : White Fathers-White Sisters Magazine, April/May 1989 p13-14.
No longer used for this purpose since 2003 back

64. Bernard Duffy : op cit p4 back

65. Register notes back

66. Howell : op cit p9 back

67. ibid p8 back

68. Maguire, J : "The Happiest Days . . . " — The Pelican, Summer 1962, p12. back

69. Holmes-Siedle, J : Memories of a year at The Priory — The Pelican, Summer 1962 p11. back

70. O'Donoghue : op cit back

71. McGrath : op cit (c) back

72. Holmes-Siedle : op cit back

73. Evennett : op cit p117 back

74. The Priorian, Christmas 1936 back

75. Evennett : op cit p119 back

76. Murphy : op cit. pl29 back

77. see below, p15 ff back

78. Lockey, R. & Moran, A : Rugby at The Priory — The Pelican, Summer 1962, p29 back

79. Howell : op cit p8 back

80. Duffy, B : The Priory, 1936-40 — The Pelican, Summer 1962, p14 back

81. Williams, D : In private correspondence with the writer April 1989 (a) back

82. Maguire : op cit p12 back

83. Bouniol : op cit p308 back

84. Burtchaell, J : The Tablet, 8-4-89, p388 & The Tablet, News & Notes, 11.3.89 back

86. Howell : op cit p6 back

87. Maguire : op cit and Register back

88. Obituary : White Fathers-White Sisters Magazine, Oct /Nov 1988 p11. Bishop McCoy is still remembered with reverence and affection in Northern Nigeria, according to Fr Sylvester Oremokwe (2003) back

89. Dunn, E : The Independent, 6.4-89 p2l & McGrath : op cit (c) back

90. Pasco, R : The Tablet, 15.4.89 p414

Mellitus, M, Sr : The Tablet 13.8.88 p928-9 back

91. J.O'D : The Priory at War — The Pelican, Summer 1962 p15. (? J. O'Donoghue WF) back

92. Mythen : op cit p59 back

93. Clifton, M : Amigo, friend to the Poor — Fowler-Wright, 1988, p222-3 back

Lawson J. & Silver, H : A social History of Education in England — Methuen, 1973 p417-8 back

94. ibid p430 back

95. Evennett : op cit p33 back

96. ibid p44 back

97. Battersby, B : Secondary Education for Boys — Ch 11 of Beck, G.A., Ed
The English Catholics — B & O 1950, p334. back

98. see for example, Boyle JD : Towards a Christian Education — The Tablet, 30.5.42; p268ff and Sandeman J.B : Education and the Divided Mind — The Tablet, 29.5.43, p257ff. back

99. Evennett : op cit p104 back

100. Sandeman : op cit p257 back

101. Newman, J.H : The Idea of a Liberal Education. (A selection edited by Tristram, H) — Harrap, 1952 p37 back

102. Hastings : op cit p489 back

103. Knox, R : In Soft Garments — B & O, 1944, p97 back

104. ibid p104 back

105. Lawson & Silver : op cit p417 back

106. Evennett : p62-4, 102, 104 & Battersby : p376 back

107. Hastings : op cit back

108. Clifton : op cit p211ff back

109. Mythen : op cit p83 back

110. Evennett : p33 back

111. Mythen : op cit p74-86 back

112. ibid p130-131 Stephen Naidoo , a South African boy, was a juvenist at this time. He was ordained for the congregation and became Archbishop. back

112a. GCE Results sheets and Pelican reports back

113. McGrath : op cit (b) p501 back

114. OT par 3 p441 back

115. ibid para 1 p438 back

116. ibid. footnote 4 p438 back

117. Second Vatican Council : Decree on the Appropriate Renewal of the Religious Life — Abbott, W.M. op cit p466 ff back

118. Mythen : op cit p92 back

119. ibid p104 back

120. Ryan op cit p70 back

121. Diary 17.12.65 back

122. André Filion W.F. in conversation back

123. Hollings, M : Musings on Late Vocations — Beda Review, Rome, June, 1985 p58-62
'Pastor Ignotus' Parish Diary — The Tablet, 1.10.88 p1122
Irish Catholic Bishops, Joint Pastoral on Vocations — reported in The Tablet, 22.4.89 p466.

124. Kent, P : Vocations Walk — White Fathers-White Sisters Magazine, Feb/Mar 1989, p28. back

125. Williams, D : The Convert and the Church today — Beda Review, Rome, June 1985 p46-54.back

126. McGrath : op cit (b) (It would be interesting, though, to see how many would consider ordination if a non-stipendiary married priesthood were re-introduced by the Catholic Church. back

127. John : 15. 16-17 — Jerusalem Bible Translation back


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The Main sources for this study have been manuscripts from the schools, most notably the registers and diaries kept by the Fathers; an important supplement to these has been an incomplete collection of school magazines. The Jubilee edition of The Pelican issued in July 1962 was especially helpful, with articles by White Fathers who were pupils at different periods of the Priory's History.

The Registers are first of all the 'Black Book’, a leather-backed foolscap volume that must have been specially printed and bound. The 970 boys whose details are entered fill only about a third of the book. It has space for 'place and date of birth', ‘remarks', ‘date of departure and reason', 'previous schools', 'fees and minor expenses paid by', as well as more routine information. The writer had to put aside much of interest here because of the pressure on space. The second register gives numbers each year, and information on examination results; sheets from the GCE Boards also exist.

The diaries are handwritten in hard-backed exercise books; the pages unnumbered for the most part - one or two have been numbered for the first 20 pages or so. Other manuscripts include the pre-1920 rule mentioned in the text, and the prefects' promise sheet.

The second headmaster, Fr Bouniol, wrote a book on 'The White Fathers and their Missions’. He devotes a few pages to the Priory as he saw it; Adrian Hastings mentions the community in passing in his History of the Church in England. These and other books consulted are detailed in the bibliography.

Primary sources (see above)

Registers of The Priory.

Community diaries

Rule Book (amended in 1920, so predating that time)

Assorted manuscripts, including the prefects’ promise, (Pl5)

The above all kindly lent by the White Fathers' English Province.

Letters to the present writer from Rev D Williams, sometime teacher at The Priory, (1989) and Fr Simon Denton, sometime Superior of the Capuchin’s Junior Seminary in Norwood (1988).

Oral testimony from a number of White Fathers who were once pupils at The Priory, from (the late) Sean Hughes MP; and concerning the present means of training, from Andre Filion W.F

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Secondary Sources : Books

Beck, G.A : Ed, The English Catholics, 1850-1950, Burns & Oates, 1950

Bede : A History of the English Church & People. (tr L Sherley-Price), Penguin, 1968.

Bonham-Carter, V : Dartington Hall, Pheonix House, 1958

Bouniol, J : The White Fathers and their Missions, Sands & Co, 1928.

Note: This has been transcribed on to CD and arranged by Robbie Dempsey.
Details are available in the PUBLICATIONS section of this website

Catholic Truth Society : Eds. Proceedings of the Eighth National Catholic Congress, C.T.S., Salford, 1926.

Chadwick, 0 : The Victorian Church pt I. London 1966

Clifton, I : Amigo Friend of the poor, . Fowler-Wright 1988.

Evennett.H.0 : The Catholic schools of England & Wales. C,U.P. 1944.

Hastings, A : History of English Christianity, 1920-1986. Collins 1987

Kipling, R : Something of myself. Macmillan 1937

Knox, R : In soft garments. B & O 1944.

Lawson J & Silver H : A social history of education in England. Methuen, 1973

Mangham, M : Cradled In History, Portsmouth, 1968.

Mythen, J : Tamquam Lectissimae Plantae, Private Publication 1971

Newman, J.H : The idea of a liberal education. (a selection ed H Tristram) Harrap1952.

Smedts, M : No Tobacco, No Hallelujah ! Kimber, 1955

Second Vatican Council : Decree on Priestly Formation, and Decree on the Renewal of religious life. From the Translation edited by Abbott, W.M., 1968.

Wignall, C.J : Complete British Railways Maps & Gazeteer, 1830-1981, Oxford Railway Publishing, 1983

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Of national Journals the 'Clergy Review'and 'The Tablet' have provided useful articles, as have the White Fathers & White Sisters house magazine and the Catholic Herald and the Portsmouth Evening News and The Independent.

Most immediate to The Priory though, were the incomplete set of school magazines, called ‘The Priorian' from cl927-1955, during which time it was roneostyled, and ‘The Pelican' from 1956, when in print.

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Boyle J.D : Towards a Christian Education. The Tablet 30.5.42 p268 ff

Burke, M : The Crisis in Vocations. TheClergy Review, Oct 1905.

Burtschael, J : Article in The Tablet, 8.4.89 p388

Catholic Herald : 20.7.62

Duffy, B : The Priory, 1936-40. The Pelican, Summer 1962, p2

Dunn, E : Article The Independent, 6.4.89. p2l.

Hollings, M : Musings on Late Vocations. Beda Review 6/65

Holmes-Siedle : J. Memories of a year at The Priory, The Pelican, Summer1962.

Howell, A.E : The Priory 1912-1922. In Pelican Summer62.

Irish Catholic Bishops. Pastoral letter : The Tablet 22.4.89 p466

Kent, P : Vocations Walk, White Fathers-White Sisters magazine 2/3, 89.

Lockey R & Moran A : Rugby at The Priory. The Pelican, Summer 62.

Lowe, J : Part of the Community - the training of seminarians today. The Tablet 17.10.87 p1121

Mellitus, Sr M : The Tablet 13.1.88 p928-9.

McGrath J : “Where have all the young men gone?” 3 articles in CR, June, July, Aug 1965

Moore, S : Training in the Junior Seminary, CR Oct 65

Murphy, J.P : The Education of the Pastor. CR, 9/41.

Nichols, K : Tab, l0.12.66

O'Donoghue, J : The Priory at War. The Pelican, Summer62

O'Donoghue J.A : Trent & the Diocesan Seminary. CR Oct 64, p616ff

Pasco, R : Viewpoint. The Tablet l5.4.89 p414

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TIMETABLE from the pre-1920 rule book. Later, classes were concentrated in morning and afternoon, and study in the evening, as in other schools, but manual work continued to play an important part in the boys' lives.

06.15 : Rise
06.45 : Prayer and meditation
07.00 : Study. Prep of the 1st Class: Latin or English. Wednesdays and Sundays Religious Knowledge
08.30 : Breakfast . . . Recreation
09.15 : 1st Class
10.15 : Revising / Written tasks
11.00 : Recreation
11.15 — 12.00 : Preparation for 2nd Class - Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays & Fridays: History & Geog;
******************Wednesdays & Saturdays : Maths; Sundays: Religious Knowledge
12.40 : Revising
12.55 : Visit to the Blessed Sacrament and Examination of Conscience, followed by Dinner & Recreation
********Wednesdays and Saturdays, Winter, Outing from 1.45 — 5.00 pm ; Summer : 1.30 — 2.30 Manual Work
02.30 : Study : English or Latin
03.15 : Class
04.00 : Revising - Written class
05.00 : Tea
05.30 : Manual work, Wednesday & Saturday ; Summer Term, outing
05.45 : Study: Monday & Tuesday, Maths; Wednesday, Thursday, Friday & Sunday, French
********Saturday, Conf (?) from 5.45 — English Study
07.15: Revising - Written tasks
07.45 : B. of Blessed Sacrament or 8 Stations of The Cross
07.55 : If no Benediction or Stations of The Cross, Visit to the Blessed Sacrament
08.00 : Rosary and Spiritual Reading
08.30 : Supper and recreation
09.15 : Night Prayers (Winter) or no later than 9.45 pm in the Summer

Singing Practice : Wednesdays, 10.00 —11.00 am, Sundays, 10.00 — 10.30 am & 4.00 — 5.00 pm

Letter Writing & Reading : Sundays, 7.30 — 10 am, 3.00 — 4.00 pm, 7.15 — 7.45 pm

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Expulsions from and Leaving the Apostolic School from the pre-1920 rule book.

1. Those who, after three serious warnings and corrections, do not show any improvement will be expelled.

Still surer will those be expelled, who show scandalous conduct, in inducing others, by their want of discipline to despise (?) the rules, or be insolent towards the directors (?) Anyone culpable of serious breach of morality will be expelled immediately.

On their part, the students are free to withdraw whenever they think that their vocation is not for the apostolic life. They must however take great care not to come to such a decision thoughtlessly—after a difficulty, for example or because of a little weariness or some temptation or other. In deciding on the matter, boys must take time, pray and consult their confessor.

4. In time, those who arrive happily at the end of their studies and persevere in the intention of consecrating themselves to the apostolic life, will pass to the seminary of Philosophy — the vestibule of the Noviciate of the African Missionaries.