Latin Overview

My study of the Latin language was concurrent with doctoral studies in liturgy in Rome, and led to collaboration as assistant and eventual colleague with Reginald Foster OCD, Papal Latinist for forty years.


Ossa, the Bones

is teaching Latin during the academic term has given an opportunity to develop and test a proper method of drawing others into and guiding them in their dealing with the language. This method of teaching has been recorded in our first book Ossa Latinitatis Sola ad mentem reginaldi rationemque The mere bones of Latin according to the thought and system of Reginald (Catholic University of America Press, Washington DC, forthcoming) which presents the mere bones or skeletal structure of the language through one hundred and five encounters over three academic years.

Ossium, the Bones’

There is projected an accompanying volume titled, Ossium carnes multae: The Bones’ Meats Abundant, which will provide 51 of Cicero’s letters with references to specific encounters in the teaching book. To accompanying these examples, we have also begun to record recitations of the letters of Cicero. We call this collection: Os praesens Ciceronis epistularis: The Immediate Mouth of Cicero in his Letters. We have yet to begin on two further volumes.


Using Reginald’s method, I teach Latin at Ealing Abbey, London during a two week session in late August. We provide instruction in Latin from the first day through proficiency. My courses are Latin for Liturgists and the Latin of Cicero’s letters.

Commentaries on Latin prayers

Book cover, Listen to the Word, on the Latin opening prayers of the liturgy


In addition to teaching the Latin language and promoting its teaching through our publications, I use Latin for my own research in Liturgy. I have published weekly commentaries on the Latin prayers of the Missale Romanum with original English translations published in The Tablet of London, England from 2006 through 2011. The commentaries on the opening prayers or collects have been collected and are available as Listen to the Word, (The Tablet Trust, London 2009).

Photo of the cover of the book Appreciating the Collect with chapter on LatinThe method of interpreting the Latin prayers is presented along with the first published chapter of Reginald’s method for teaching Latin, adapted with reference to the prayers, in Appreciating the CollectAn Irenic Methodology, (ed. J.G. Leachman – D.P. McCarthy, St Michael’s Abbey Press, Farnborough Hants 2008).

Latin speeches at Vatican II

I am currently translating numerous speeches given during the Second Ecumenical Vatican Council selected for their reference to church architecture. These will be included in a publication on church architecture for a fuller ritual celebration of liturgy.

Invitations to speak

I am prepared to give workshops or presentations on the Latin language of the prayers of the liturgy or in the letters of Cicero upon request.

Latin resources

I have begun to develop a page of Latin resources for the use of my students and others interested in our publication projects.