The Importance of Ecumenical Dialogue

The Importance of Ecumenical Dialogue
"Oh PLEASE say I'm the Archbishop of Canterbury!"

Saturday, 30 July 2011

GK Chesterton Joined Catholic Church 89 Years Ago Today



The location was, "the Railway Hotel in Beaconsfield, the dance-room of which had been converted into a makeshift chapel in the absence of any Catholic church in the town. In truth it was little more than a shed with a corrugated-iron roof and wooden walls, fitted with chapel fixtures by Sir Philip Rose and made available by the hotel's Irish landlady, Mrs Borlase. However, if Father Rice had failed to persuade Chesterton to be received in more luxurious surroundings [Douai Abbey School where Father was headmaster], he was compensated amply when Gilbert requested that he be present with Father O'Connor at his reception on Sunday, 30th July. The two Priests breakfasted together at the inn at which Father O'Connor was staying before walking together to Top Meadow [GKC's house]. According to Father Rice, they found Gilbert in an armchair reading the catechism, 'pulling faces and making noises as he used to do when reading'. Greeting his two friends, he got up and stuffed the catechism in his pocket. At lunch he drank water and poured wine for everyone else, and at about three o'clock they set out for the church. While Gilbert was making his Confession to Father O'Connor, Frances [GK's Wife], who was weeping continually, was comforted by Father Rice."

From Wisdom and Innocence, A Life of GK Chesterton by Joseph Pearce, which I am able to quote from as Terry Pratchett has not been round to borrow it yet! So today is no doubt a good day to say the Chesterton prayer for someones Conversion.


God Our Father, Thou didst fill the life of Thy servant Gilbert Keith Chesterton with a sense of wonder and joy, and gave him a faith which was the foundation of his ceaseless work, a charity towards all men, particularly his opponents, and a hope which sprang from his lifelong gratitude for the gift of human life. May his innocence and his laughter, his constancy in fighting for the Christian faith in a world losing belief, his lifelong devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and his love for all men, especially for the poor, bring cheerfulness to those in despair, conviction and warmth to lukewarm believers and the knowledge of God to those without faith. We beg Thee to grant the favours we ask through his intercession, the end of abortion in this Country [and especially for……] so that his holiness may be recognized by all and the Church may proclaim him Blessed. We ask this through Christ Our Lord.


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