Who am I?
I’m a priest of the Roman Catholic Church belonging to the British Province of the Society of Jesus. That’s what the “SJ” at the end of my name stands for.
I spent most of the 1990s living in Berkeley, California, where I was working as a doctoral student at the Jesuit School of Theology — part of the Graduate Theological Union. Though ill-health stalled the dissertation my particular interests are in theological cosmology, the theology of creation, and ways of doing theology out of the practical experience of God, particularly in spiritual direction.
From 2001 to Easter 2014 I lived at the now closed Loyola Hall Jesuit Spirituality Centre in the north west of England. I worked there as part of the retreat team giving various courses, retreats, and spiritual direction and doing some writing. While there I became ill with ME (or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), a condition that persists and limits my activity to this day. From 2008 to 2014 this web site lay fallow due to ill health.
In May 2014 I came to live at Campion Hall, a ‘permanent private hall‘ of Oxford University. Living within the limits of my health I hope to continue to give spiritual direction and do some writing. I also hope to bring this blog back to life!
This site hosts most of the homilies I have preached since being ordained. Most of the Berkeley homilies were given for the assembly at the church of St. Mary-St. Francis de Sales in downtown Oakland or in the Chapel at the Jesuit School of Theology. The parish community was fascinating in it’s diversity–three largely non-geographical communities trying to live and worship as one. A large Vietnamese community and a smaller Filipino community made up the church of St. Mary. The remnant of the Oakland cathedral community joined them in their pilgrimage when the Cathedral of St.Francis de Sales had to be demolished after the 1989 earthquake. The negotiation of change and the challenge of multi-cultural ministry echoes through these homilies. The parish has since been absorbed into the new Oakland cathedral community, which now has a new name, the Cathedral of Christ the Light.
The more recent homilies were preached in a retreat setting at Loyola Hall. They tend to be shorter and less formal than the parish preachings.
I am not sure how coherent any of them will be to the casual reader since they often show their location in time and place only too clearly, referring to events that seemed important in the news or issues alive in the community. I have also resisted the temptation to edit these homilies or winnow out the weaker ones. They are all here much as they were delivered, typos included. Some continue to move me deeply on re-reading; others hardly touch me at all. I hope that you experience some sense of spirit through them.
Sadly, presiding and preaching at liturgy, something I loved deeply, came to an end in 2008 when it became to difficult for me.
This site also hosts some papers and reflections I have written on theology and spirituality and the occasional ‘thought’.
I’ve also included a collection of components I wrote many years back for the Delphi computer programming language. They are all rather dated now but might still be useful in some way.
More recently I added a number of plugins written for WordPress, the content-management software which powers this blog. Though they still work in most circumstances (including this web site) they have not been updated since 2008 and I cannot answer any support requests. If anyone would like to take charge of them and develop them into the future I would be happy to talk.