Sunday, June 25, 2006

Remembering "The Mons"

The great aussie habit of abbreviating honorific titles in Church circles probably works best in Catholicism where such oddities abound. For generations the elder priest in a community who rose to the rank of Monsignor has been known as "The Mons" Readers from outside the tradition may be more familiar with the title from Christopher Reeves worst movie.

Well today, June 26th is the 50th anniversary of the death of a national treasure who is slowly being reclaimed as one of Australia'a most interesting Monsignori, John Hawes.

The life of this truly remarkable man has inspired me for many years.I first came across him in a set of his writings published in the now defunct Capuchin Annual. He also featured in a BBC production screened in the early 1970s which seems impossible to trace now.

Known as the Hermit of Cat Island, Hawes has left the Australian community a legacy in architecture and spirituality that we have yet to explore and discover. I invite you to celebrate this anniversary by taking some time to learn about and promote the life of this man of God who died as a Franciscan tertiary,Fra Jerome.

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