Mt. St. Mary’s,
Tues. 31st Aug. ’71.
Dear Mum & Dad,
I was sorry to hear about Mrs. Peez, & also about Aunty Ethel being so sick.
Fr. Bernard Chapman died last night at the Home of Compassion, Island Bay. He had been on the staff here for over 40 years, including being Rector during the war years, so he had trained the majority of N.Z. Marists. His funeral will be here on Thursday or Friday, and we are expecting many priests to come. He celebrated his 50th Anniversary of priesthood last month. Cardinal McKeefry studied in Rome with him I never knew him very well, although he was living here in my first year.
The first session of the Provincial Chapter will be finishing on Wednesday or Thursday. I don’t know if I told you, but one of the big things they have to decide is the problem of priests getting degrees. 7 yrs. At the Seminary & then 3 or 4 years at Varsity is a long time, so it is quite a problem as to how to get your degree. It is a possibility that the Seminary course might be increase to 8 years, & that includes a year at Varsity possibly in your 5th year (which is next year for me). Anyhow, as I said, it is only a possibility and we haven’t heard of any definite decisions yet.
Fr. Kevin O’Donoghue came & gave us some classes on “How to Teach”, last week. He teaches English at St. Pat’s Town (hasn’t got his degree yet – although he’s been going to Varsity part time for over 10 years!). His classes were very good. Regarding his University work, he starts studying about 10.30at night because that’s when the phone stops ringing & Wellington quietens down. He goes to bed about 12 every night. On top of that he’s got a full days teaching & classes to correct & prepare - & still hasn’t missed a Unit at Varsity yet. Still, even though you do get a degree after about 10 yrs. (Fr. Head took over 20 yrs!), it is not a very convenient way of getting it!
My sermon went very well the other week. Fr. Haase who takes the class didn’t like it but the rest of the class did.
Some boys from St. Pat’s High School, Timaru, are spending a week of the August holidays out at Waimarama. They came to dinner here last Sunday. I don’t think any of them are coming in here next year.
Well, that’s about all the news.