It is nice to be appreciated!

You might imagine my pleasure at opening an Email advising of a new comment on this Blog, to find that the distinguished Dom Hugh Somerville-Knapman OSB of "DOMINUS MIHI ADJUTOR" Blog had bestowed upon me a " Liebster" Award!

Now, lest you imagine I shall be walking away with a Cheque for USD 1,000,000 or the like a la Mr.Obama and his Nobel Prize for doing nothing, please save all the requests for financial assistance!!

No, this is partly a serious effort to get our community of less known Bloggers better known, and at the same time a way to have some gentle fun - there is not enough of that around these days!

So, mein " Liebster" comes with responsibilities:

1. I must post the Liebster Award graphic on my site - Ecce!

2. I must thank the nominating Blogger and link back to his Blog  - I have tendered my thanks to Dom Hugh personally and now happily do it publicly , and I have provided the link to his superb Blog above.

3. I must write 11 facts about myself so that those following the Liebster post will know more about me. Hmmm........retreats into the recesses of brain , trying to see if enough can be brought forth to meet the needs of the situation, decides " Yes, probably.." and decides to begin :

i.  I am a cradle Catholic, Australian born of 50% Irish (paternal) and 25% German and 25% English (maternal) ancestry.

ii.  In 4 days on 9th April I will celebrate my 73rd Birthday.And I remain a completely unreconstructed steam locomotive enthusiast!

iii. My wife of 43 years is a person of prodigious talent in quilting, dressmaking , desktop publishing, bookkeeping ,cooking(Yes!) and has a memory for " trivia" that rivals Google!

iv. I spent about 4 months in the Minor Seminary at Springwood NSW - Saint Columba's that was - before deciding that was not for me.(1957)

v.  When I was not selected in the National Service Ballot in the 1960's, I volunteered for the Royal Australian Naval Reserve where I served for approx 5years - still have " NAVY" woven in my spirit.

vi.  Some have noted that I am a tad conservative - my approach is : " if it ain't broke don't fix it" as our American friends say. I believe the least Government is the best and I do not like the concept of " social engineering" needless to say.

vii.My favourite Authors are Patrick O'Brian (Aubrey/Maturin Series), Colm Toibin ( except one of his works in particular) and Archbishop Alban Goodier S.J.( whose works on the Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ are magnificent)

viii.Of all the cars I have owned in my life ( there have been a few) my favourite remains the 1948 ROVER Six Light ( six side windows) Sedan - a joy to behold: mudguards, running boards, a proper bonnet, massive Headlamps and a whisper quiet start after a few gentle sucks of air by the Solex Carburettor! ( What in Heaven's name is he talking about? I hear you ask.)

ix. I enjoy Good Wine, and even quaffing wine in the right circumstances, I like an occasional Whisky - but it is so occasional the last one was 15 months ago, and on a really hot day a couple of ice cold beers are just right!

x. Chilli Con Carne as my dear wife makes it, would keep me happy per omnia saecula saeculorum!

xi. I have a deep and abiding love for the Sacred Liturgy and its proper celebration, including the intelligent proclamation of the Readings - no monotones, no mumbles and no dramatics either.

NOW, if I have it aright, I am required to answer the the 11 questions from the post of Dom Hugh! So : 

 What inspired you to start blogging?  Well, in Vexilla Regis , the desire to get a wider public for material I had written for a Catholic Newsletter " FOUNDATION" since replaced by the Blog which has long since had a life of its own. I also have a persona,l and several family history, blogs mainly aimed at family but with some general readership.

Religious Leader you admire?  Well of course Pope Emeritus Benedict, but on a different level, Cardinal George Pell : " I simply teach what the Catholic Church teaches, do what the Catholic Church does, and let the chips fall where they may!" What a shame all Bishops are not similarly minded.

Do you think having pets changes you? Only in so far as they can make one irritable when they foul up! ( Sorry, I know that is not the P.C. answer)

Is family important and why? Family is FUNDAMENTAL - firstly it is the very hub of one's life and love, it is the centre at which one cares, and is cared for ,without question, it is the one place one can ALWAYS expect respect. That is why it is so great an honour to be regarded as truly family by anyone God introduces to our lives.Being family is beyond price.

Do you pray regularly? Yes. And I have done so since about age 7yrs. A habit to which I was introduced by the Sisters of Saint Joseph. At its simplest level it is communicating with the omnipresent God and with His Angels and Saints. Routine of Morning and Night Prayers helps . Mass most days is of course the high point of daily prayer. I don't always pray as ideally as I should - human nature shows I guess.But even at 72/73 I am getting steadily better at it.

Why is your Christian witness important?  The witness of every Christian is important. Our Lord sent the Apostles and Disciples forth into the world to bring the Good News. The first Pope, Saint Peter, reminded the early Catholics to always be prepared to give an account of the hope that is in the. Witness is in our Catholic DNA.

Do you think Jesus' message is radical?  It could not be more so . But not in the shallow political sense. But in the sense that He reveals to us that He is God - God has broken into Time from all Eternity for love of us , to save us from our Sin.And, killed by Man, He brought Himself back to Life in the Resurrection and returned to Eternal Glory -  promising us the chance in due course to join Him there! Radical enough for me!

What's the favourite habit of your Parish Priest. Preaching lutheranism and ad libbing the Sacred Liturgy and fostering the most appalling " worship music" ( 1960s saccharine guitar stuff - stuck in a time warp.)  

 But here I shall have to pause for deep consideration  - more to follow!


Congratulations on receiving the Liebster Award! Having visited Vexilla Regis, with much appreciation, I have linked to it from the Blog section of Conservative Catholic Oasis (, a home-grown aggregation site intended for traditional Catholics. Please let me know if you wish the link to be removed.

Yours truly in Christ,

Ben Quivenit
Conservative Catholic Oasis

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