A Graced Moment for the NEW OXFORD REVIEW
As announced in our December 1985 and January-February 1986 issues, the NOR held a reception for its subscribers on the afternoon of Saturday, February 15, in Newton, Massachusetts, just outside Boston. Also present at the gathering were NOR Editors, Contributing Editors, and members of the NOR’s Board of Directors, as well as Bernard Cardinal Law, Archbishop of Boston, and several of our writers and benefactors. The reception was remarkable in several respects. In addition to a multitude of local Boston-area subscribers, we were delighted to meet other subscribers who journeyed from other locales, such as Providence, R.I., Manchester, N.H., Albany, N.Y., Washington, D.C., and even as far away as Chicago.
During the last hour of the reception, Cardinal Law introduced Franciscan Brother John Michael Talbot, the troubadour/balladeer, who, together with Brother John Peter Slauson, inspired us with song. After an encore, Cardinal Law spoke informally of his sense of the significance of the NOR. Several Bostonians, who had seen Cardinal Law speak formally to gatherings of thousands, told me how thrilled they were to be with “their” Cardinal as he spoke “off the cuff” in a relaxed and rather intimate setting.
The reception was only part of a series of NOR events that weekend. There was also a dinner the evening before, at which many of us who labor for the NOR in various capacities got to meet one another for the first time. There was also a seminar on the morning of the 15th, where we were able to discuss the vocation of Christian writers and intellectuals in general and the function of the NOR in particular. Finally, there was a special Mass on Sunday, the 16th, whose principal celebrant was the Rev. James Parker, the first married Episcopal priest to be ordained a Roman Catholic priest under the Pastoral Provision announced by the Holy See on August 20, 1980, and a member of the Board of Directors of the NOR. At the Mass, we were again treated to music by John Michael Talbot and John Peter Slauson.
The original idea for this series of events came from Contributing Editor Robert Coles, who writes our Harvard Diary column, and who, like some latter-day Moses, was unable to participate in what he had dreamed of and led us toward: sadly, he was severely stricken with influenza and hence unable to attend.
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