mercoledì 30 maggio 2018

Notizie dal Trust della Chesterton Library

Happy Birthday GKC!

** 29 May 2018

** Greetings from the
GK Chesterton Library in Oxford!

~Welcome to our bi-annual newsletter~
Keeping you up to date with developments at the Library
and sharing news from the wider Chestertonian world.
"To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it." – A Short History of England, Ch.10

"In the struggle for existence, it is only on those who hang on for ten minutes after all is hopeless, that hope begins to dawn." – The Speaker, 2-2-01
Aidan Mackey recording some of his memories at the Library recently

Recent donations to our collection

Trustee William Griffiths raises a pint with members of the Croatian Chesterton Club

As you know the Library welcomes Chesterton scholars and "pilgrims" by appointment. Visitors in recent months have included:
* In December 2017, Pedro Erik Arruda Carneiro, from Brazil, while in Oxford to present a paper on "God and the Dystopias" at a Symposium on Religious Studies.
* In March 2018, Gustavo Arango from the State University of New York, who has translated Chesterton's essays into Spanish (available on ) and was interested in the annotations in GKC's own books.
* In April 2018, Nikola Bolsec, Ivo Dzeba and Ivan Dadic, three leading members of the Croatian Chesterton Club (http://Croatian Chesterton Club, Faculty of philosophy and religious studies, American Chesterton Society) ,  who were making a pilgrimage to the England of Chesterton, Belloc and Shakespeare prior to the opening of the first Chesterton Festival or #ChestFest in Zagreb (see below).
You may have seen us share the CCC's fantastic "Che-sterton" t-shirt design on Facebook (photo also above!). Big fans.
* Also in April 2018, Marco Sermarini, of Italy, accompanied by students from the Chesterton School ( he has founded there with other members of the Tipi Loschi.
* In May 2018, Cameron Moore from Spring Arbor University, author of the chapter on Chesterton's Arthurian Poems in "The Inklings and King Arthur" (ed. Sorina Higgins), who was interested in our holdings of Chesterton letters.

In other news, Aidan Mackey, the original collector of the G.K. Chesterton Library, recorded some of his memories on site recently. We're very pleased that we'll be able to add the footage to our archives.

** Wider still and wider
The first Croatian Chesterton Festival took place in Zagreb from the 11-13th May, organised by the Croatian Chesterton Club, the Faculty of Philosophy and Religious Studies, and the American Chesterton Society. Speakers included the heads of the English, American, and Italian Chesterton societies, and the founder of the Croatian Chesterton Club. The programme also encompassed a concert and poetry recital, and, on Sunday 13th May in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Mass was celebrated for the Beatification of Gilbert Keith Chesterton and his wife Frances, which was broadcast on several national and Catholic radio stations! You can read more about the festival here ( , and below you'll find a special report from our own William Griffiths.
There seems to be a resurgence of Chestertonian theatre! We heard that GKC's old school, St Paul's, produced The Man Who Was Thursday last week, and in February The Oxford Troubadours performed The Suprise for a two-night run to full houses. Written for production in 1932 and published posthumously in 1952, this tale of a master puppet-maker who longs for his clockwork creations to be made free has been performed rarely since then... the good news they are taking the play on tour to Pisa later this year, and then, who knows? Keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates.
News from the United States:
* The big annual GKC Conference (  will be held in Orlando from August 2-4 on the theme of "The Test of the Imagination" (appropriate given the Disney proximity).
* Fr. Paul Rowan just released book titled The Scrappy Evangelist: Chesterton and a New Apologetics for Today ( . We haven't read it yet but have heard great things about it.
* Word on Fire recently published a "Classics" edition of GKC's Orthodoxy ( , with a Foreword by Bishop Robert Barron and a charcoal sketch of GKC also by Bishop Barron.

Do you have Chesterton news or pictures?
If you would like us to share them next time, email us at


"Croatia plays a notable part in the Chesterton Revival, which has occurred worldwide since his centenary year in 1974. In 1993, as the countries of Eastern Europe were emerging from Communist rule, the International Chesterton Society put on an important Conference in Zagreb, chaired by the late Stratford Caldecott, and described in the Chesterton Review issues of February to August 1994. In more recent years, the Croatian Chesterton Club was founded by Ivo Dzeba, collaborating closely with the current Chairman, Nikola Bolsec, both working in the field of Christian media. Many of their members are students in the University of Zagreb's Faculty of Philosophy and Theology, entrusted to the Jesuits, who co-sponsored the Congress or (better capturing the joyous ambience,) the ChestFest. The three principal organizers gave themselves a short break from their endeavours to come to England in the previous month on a "pilgrimage" to the lands of Chesterton, Belloc and Shakespeare.

For those who could arrive on Thursday 10th May, the Congress began in the Church of the Jesuit Faculty, with a packed Mass, followed by Adoration and a party. On Friday, we were back in that campus for the talks. Robin Harris is an English historian living in Zagreb, author of a Life of Blessed Aloisio Stepinac, and spoke of the many things GKC would have loved about Croatia. He was followed by Marco Sermarini, the ebullient Italian, writer and translator concerning GKC, about the remarkable Chestertonian school he founded in San Benedetto del Tronto. This was quite independently of, but roughly contemporaneously with Dale Ahlquist's Chesterton Academy in Minnesota. Dale's own talk had the intriguing title "The Glorious Side of Social Decline", which comes from one of GKC's talks, and refers to King Arthur, who came into being due to the Roman social decline in Britain. The fourth of the speakers in English (several other papers being given in Croatian) was Martine Thompson, recently
appointed Chairwoman of the Chesterton Society in England. She spoke of Chesterton's concept of Awakening and the inner journey towards self-realisation. The fifth was Aleksandr Pravnikov, a Russian poet and translator of Chesterton. Another delegate from Russia brought a new translation of "The Superstition of Divorce", and our Croatian hosts launched their translation of "The Catholic Church and Conversion".

There was also time for a tour of Zagreb, focussing on the Cathedral and its treasury, and for visits to the tavern where Club meetings are often held. The culminating day was Sunday 13 May, when the Jesuit Provincial celebrated Mass in their city-centre church of the Sacred Heart, for the intention that both Gilbert and Frances may be raised by the Church "to the altars", that is, if it be God's will, to recognition of their holiness in the processes that lead to canonization. The church was packed, and the Mass broadcast by Croatian National Radio. The homily was in Croatian. I only caught the words "beef", "wine" and "cigar". I am told it was a brilliant and moving homily, dealing in turn with various of GKC's principal works and the virtues displayed in them. Copies of the Chesterton prayer card (with the photo "The Gift of a Dandelion") had been available, and Mass concluded with the Provincial leading us in the recital of the prayer. As the church emptied, we drove away into the
hills, to the vineyard and garden planted by Nikola's grandfather, for a truly convivial barbecue and a mulling over the blessings of the Festival."

—  William Griffiths, 23.5.18


"Five years ago my Bishop, Peter Doyle of Northampton, asked me to undertake a preliminary investigation into Chesterton's holiness. It was in response to the repeated requests he had been receiving over recent years from around the world to open the Cause for Canonisation. Now that investigation is nearing its completion. I am still eager to hear from anyone who would like to make a contribution to that investigation. But you need to get your skates on!

In particular, I am keen to hear from those whose admiration for G K they have found developing into devotion. I should like to know how long you have had such a devotion? Have you explicitly been seeking his intercession? Are you conscious of the effectiveness of that intercession? Also why you think it might be a good thing for the Church to open his Cause at this time?

Having said this, I am also very much open to hearing from those who may have objections, reservations or misgivings about any such move. Any potential obstacles must obviously be seriously considered in the discernment that Bishop Doyle has to do before coming to a final decision. But I am hoping to have my investigation completed by the end of July. So please don't delay!  Please send any contributions to me at this dedicated email address:

Then it will be up to my Bishop after reading the report, and having consulted with the Bishop's Conference as well as the Congregation for the Causes for Saints in Rome, to make his discernment as to whether or not it is timely and fitting to open the Cause. I am sure he would welcome your prayers in that process of discernment.

I am speaking at an event at Tooting Bec Christian Education Centre on 14th June at 7pm. As well as being the 82nd anniversary of his death, it is the day his sanctity is already celebrated in the Episcopal Church. That evening it will be GK's influence on others as an apologist that I will be exploring. Specifically his impact on some key historical figures, on the people he knew in his lifetime, on people who have written testimonials of the huge difference he has made in their lives, as well the blessing of his influence in my own life. It will also be an opportunity to share some of the personal highlights and insights of my investigation. Come along if you can!"

— Canon John Udris

** Stay in touch

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