Sunday, June 11, 2006


This Web-Log ('blog) was established in October 2006 during the author's final year of Medical School. It is dedicated to his first born; the joy of his heart.

Lacrimarum Valle are two simple words in the hymn Salve Regina. It means Vale of Tears, and this Blog is committed to this sentiment, reminding us that our life is transient and temporary; a pilgrimage of Grace towards our heavenly destination. It was this hymn that the author always appreciated after the years of wandering, taught him by an unpopular Chaplain at boarding school.

This Blog may seem overtly 'Catholic' in flavour. That is because its author experienced a profound conversion and renewal in his character whilst studying, and shortly after his marriage, which led him to rediscover the Faith he barely knew as a child. His wife is an intricate part of this story because it was her prayers and faith which led him towards this encounter. It so happened that, born into the anglican church, she converted to Catholicism and brought her husband with her.

This Blog has been extended to welcome her contributions also. It was begun with the following introduction:

I warmly welcome you into my life! It will take a long time for this blog to get up and running, and I cannot hope for it to be nearly as interesting as those blogs I read regularly... but in any case, here is my humble attempt!

I imagine my musings with revolve around the world through my eyes:
  • the eyes of a medical student, soon to be a doctor;
  • the eyes of a young Catholic perplexed and transfixed by the Faith;
  • the eyes of a married man;
  • the eyes of a new father.
I hope that anyone interested in these things will glean some joy to see my struggling with life in all its complexities! I shall especially enjoy posting the photographs I love taking, and sharing these with anyone who knows me.

I am also excited to turn my unproductive web-browsing into something useful and concrete: and to reach out to the blogging community to share some of the experiences which would otherwise remain private.

An overriding theme which has developed from a personal perspective is an increasing knowledge and practice of traditional Catholic devotions. Tradition is often a concept attacked in the Church, from within and without. It is an aspect which is especially important to our family, leading to our choice of The Oratory for regular attendance. Many may argue that Sacred Tradition and 'traditions of men' can be distinctly separated. But the one breathes life into the other, and we hope this is clearly evident from our reflections.

You can browse the contents with the tabs at the top (common themes and sections) or through the Archive by date, on the sidebar. I hope you enjoy reading our family's journey in Faith, with all the joys and challenges that brings.


If you have a particular opinion on any of my material, please click on the comments feature at the bottom of the relevant post, where you are invited to contribute publically. All comments will be moderated by myself, so will not appear immediately for everyone to read.

(Naturally I reserve the right to selectively publish or reject comments for no given reason. Please avoid being overtly offensive, since this will automatically be rejected by me.)


External Links - Sites I link to may be for a specific purpose, or just to show I enjoy reading the contents from time to time. In no way does it imply that I endorse or agree with all commentary contained therein.

Photos - I endeavour to display original photographs taken by myself from my own archive. These are distinguishable from other embedded pictures by their ability to enlarge upon clicking them (which I'd recommend!) Feel free to use these photos by following the licensing rules (see below) and giving myself due credit (preferably with a link).

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Above all, the opinions expressed on this weblog are solely my own, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Birmingham Oratory, the National Health Service, the Latin Mass Society, Englishmen, Irishmen, or South African Immigrants, nor do they necessarily represent a perfectly balanced Catholic mentality. I am what I am and nothing more, although I am learning and growing and would welcome constructive criticism. In the unfortunate event that I misrepresent the Magisterium of the Holy See, I humbly confess Mea Culpa and beg God's mercy and forgiveness, and well as your own.