Where awkward pauses in conversations will get you

Your poor blogger is not the best conversationalist, and the latest attack of this horrid social condition happened on Sexagesima morningafternoon after Mass*. My anxieties have effectively blocked most memories of the event, so I couldn’t tell you what the topic was that caused me to stutter along and shut up, but I can effectively record what my anxieties found as an escape route.

In my flustered state I looked around, and then I looked up. And on a shelf I saw a book.

Our God is a great God. He provideth.

And inside were pages and pages of this:

Pages and pages of it:

So I think this is a(nother) new project: transcribing and translating all this good stuff.

So because I do actually know a little about using Google, I’m no longer totally in the dark about who this Mgr. Bonamie chap is.

Born in 1798 in a place called Albas (presumably in France, though Wiki gives me two places with the name so I don’t know which), he made profession in the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary in 1816. Ordained in 1821, in 1832 he was consecrated tenth Bishop of Baghdad (!) and three years later appointed Archbishop of Izmir (Smirne or Esmirna) in Turkey. Only two years after that he became Superior General of his Congregation and left Izmir, becoming instead titular Archbishop of Chalcedon.

Interestingly (at least to me), catholic-hierarchy.org and other such sites give what I presume is his baptismal name of Pierre-Dominique-Marcellin, whilst this little book, along with documents on the Congregation’s website, call him Raphael.

The notebook contains notes of eleven sermons preached in March 1833. My French still isn’t particularly good, but from what I can see there isn’t anything to suggest where this took place (where is this guy’s biography?!). It’s topped and tailed by notes from, I think, other retreats. My guess would be that Bp. Bonamie gave this retreat to a house of the Congregation’s sisters somewhere in Wallonia, or perhaps northern France.

Sleuthing time! First step is to transcribe (ha ha ha! Have you seen this lovely copperplate?) and then translate it. Perhaps I can find out where the Bishop gave these talks.

PS Yes, I did ask Fr. K.’s permission to take this book with me to examine at home. Stealing is not cool, kids.

*I’d be mortified if you thought that people at my church are in the habit of picking such stressful conversation topics that I’m rendered speechless. I’m just that uncomfortable in society.

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