This month’s letter from Fr Julian Tenison Woods to Sir Willliam Archer was written from Bathurst at the beginning of 1878.
It was written in the midst of a busy time for Fr Julian. Obviously the period between Christmas and the middle of January was a popular time for priests and religious to be on retreat and Fr Julian was much in demand as a retreat director. No doubt the retreat experience would have involved his giving several talks each day over six or eight days. The timetable would have been structured around daily Mass, recitation of the Divine Office and other prayer devotions.
In the midst of the busyness, Fr Julian had found time to write a scientific paper on Corals. No wonder he wistfully remembered that, twelve months earlier he had been rambling in the mountains with the Archer family. Now the memory gave him cause to remark that maybe, one day, when life slowed down for good, they would all be rambling together again in the beautiful fields of heaven!
It is interesting to note that Fr Julian was a member of the exclusive Australian Club in Sydney and certainly was a regular visitor there during 1878. This suggests that he was comfortable with people no matter their religion or rank in society. Wherever he travelled, he also remained interested in his own extended family.
Once again, we are given a fascinating glimpse of a man of many activities…
This month we present a tenth letter, written on 10 January 1878: