Most of you have heard the news that the in/famous Fr. Reginald Foster will not be allowed to teach his Latin "Experiences" at the Gregorian University. Various reasons are being offered about this. I have known Fr. Foster since the early ’80s when I was in his first summer Latin experience, long before the days were divided into the Iuniores and Seniores. Talk about high impact! I did several of the summer Latin experiences, as a matter of fact. I also wound up frequenting the Fifth Experience for several years, simply because there was nothing beyond Fifth Experience. I had already had lots of Latin through grad school (major: Classical Studies), and it was interesting, but with Foster it started to turn into something else completely.
Fr. Foster is likely to say some rather shocking things. He likes to say shocking things and get reactions out of people. This is clearly not the thing to do in the environment he moves in, but he is simply too good to get rid of completely. He has experienced great pain at what he has seen in the Church over the last decades and in his own religious order.
I also recall one summer when I was laid up with a badly injured ankle and could not make it up the hill to the Teresianum for classes. He came to see me nearly every day and bring me ludi domestici (homework sheets). I have seen him sit down in a gutter and share his lunch with a beggar. I have seen him find rooms for people who came to Rome without a clue. This is a man with an admirable spirit.
Here is a Reggie story: As you know, Fr. Foster wears very simple blue work clothes (jacket and pants) and carries a briefcase or plastic sac everywhere. He looks like he could be something like a bus driver. When I was working in the Pont. Comm. "Ecclesia Dei", he stopped in for a visit. Our receptionist, a very nice lady, answered the door when he rang and, seeing him, welcomed him in and immediately lead him through the long hallway to the back of the office and into the bathroom. There she began to explain the problems we were having with the toilet, as she would have to any plumber who came to the door. He fairly exploded and made it very clear that he was not the plumber and why he was there. We laughed about that for years and still chuckle over it when I stop in to visit my old haunts.