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This Saturday the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham welcomes Professor Tracey Rowland to lead our thoughts on the New Evangelisation in the thought of Pope Benedict XVI, with a particular attention to the role we have in that important work from our unique place in the life of the Church.

Professor Rowland is the Dean and Permanent Fellow of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family in Melbourne, Australia, and the author of numerous articles and several excellent books (including two works on Pope Benedict XVI). She is an engaging speaker and holds a passion for the New Evangelisation, and also for the Ordinariate project, about which she has spoken previously.

I had the good fortune to meet Professor Rowland over a Bloody Mary, no less, in Rome last year during the festivities surrounding the beatification of Pope John Paul II. We’ve stayed in touch since, and I’m looking forward to catching up with her in person on Saturday and hopefully getting a short interview about her hopes for the Ordinariates here and abroad.

Just to give you an example of her enjoyable style and humour, commenting on Edward Short’s excellent Newman and his contemporaries, Professor Rowland says:

Newman and His Contemporaries is like a Victorian Dance to the Music of Time, except the characters are all real historical figures. Social historians, Spectator readers, literate people in general, young BXVI generation Catholics and those old enough to finish the sentence Introibo ad Altare Dei… will love it. This is a book to be taken on a summer holiday and read under a palm tree with a gin and tonic. Social histories can be boring and sag in the middle, but this one isn’t. It’s a soufflé that doesn’t flop.

Let’s hope something similarly fantastic can be said about our work in the Ordinariate, and the efforts we make towards engaging with the New Evangelisation.

There are a few limited places left at the conference, which will be held at Buckfast Abbey in Devon. It’s a beautiful location and will be an excellent setting for the celebration of Mass by the Ordinary and Solemn Evensong & Benediction. If you’re interested in coming, drop me an email.