Tuesday, 7 April 2015

A family update

I started this blog, many years ago, with the intention of sharing and discussing life as a father attempting to raise Catholic children.

Somewhere along the way, I seem to have got side-tracked into all sorts of other issues. Occasionally I reflect on family life, but it has scarcely been the main focus.

So I thought it about time to bring my enlightened and discerning readership up to date.

I think I mentioned that Ant got married last year, having graduated with an accelerated Masters in Maths (1st) from St Andrews. She and her husband now live in the North East, and she teaches Maths in a rather tough school over there, on the Teach First programme. She is finding that challenging and rewarding in roughly equal measure. She still retains her love of sailing, and is taking a number of pupils on a voyage on a Tall Ship sometime soon.

Bernie graduated with a degree in Fine Art, and is now spending some time working with the Holy Spirit sisters in Zambia, in the diocese of Monze, with which Lancaster diocese is twinned. She is working with them in a school and an orphanage at present, and will later be working in their health centre. She is there for three months, returning towards the end of June. After that, she has no definite plans.

Charlie is just completing a foundation course in Graphic Design, having had an academic change of direction after his A Levels. He seems to be enjoying it, and is doing very well. He already has a couple of unconditional offers for undergraduate programmes in Graphic Design, and will be starting at Northumbria in the autumn.

Dominique is preparing for her GCSEs. Her (unacknowledged) target is to beat her eldest sister by getting A*s in all subjects. She might just do it, too. She is sure that she wants to study History at A Level - for the rest, she is less clear, but will probably do English , and maybe philosophy.

Ant, Charlie and Dominique are all coming on the Chartres pilgrimage this year. Bernie is upset to be missing out, and did briefly toy with the idea of flying from Zambia to France for Pentecost weekend, but concluded that it wasn't really such a good idea.

So reflecting on the project - to raise Catholic children who love their Faith - I feel that we have done pretty well, by the grace of God, with the first two, who, having left University, I feel really count as adults. Charlie and Dominique are both work in progress, so I don't want to tempt Providence by saying too much about them yet; but the fact they are both keen to come to Chartres is at least a partial indication of the journey they are on.

Anna continues to run the local pro-life group and the baby store, as well as run the parish finances (and my business, her aged mother and so on).  And I plod on.

You may expect another update within the decade.


umblepie said...

Congratulations to you, your wife, and all your family. Deo Gratias.

Jonathan Marshall said...

Bravo, Ben - you've obviously done a great job as a father. I look forward to seeing you (and A, C and D!) on the way to Chartres.

Mind you, I'll remember about the drink this year (a large Jupiler, please!!)