Fr. Reginald Foster in Latin on youtube

There is a youtube video available of Fr. Reginald Foster speaking in Latin to some German media outlet.  There are helpful subtitles in Portugese.


Fr. Foster is talking about the problem of the loss of Latin, which leads to the closing off of thousands of years of thought.   We have to recover Latin. 

Biretta tip  o{]:¬)   to I see a light.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. There are helpful subtitles in Portugese.

    I’m sure they’re very helpful to those who understand Portugese…

  2. Michael Roods says:

    This Father also lost his cassock…

  3. Michael: Since Fr. Foster is a Carmelite, it would be odd to see him in a cassock.

    Also, what you see him in is precisely what he wears every day. It is his habit. There was a terrible battle in his community over the habit, which he stuck to for a long time. But at last, he adopted this sort of bus driver’s uniform (I think from Sears in the USA) and it is his habit. He keeps it in good repair and is unvarying in it, except shifting to something a little cooler in the blazing Roman summer.

  4. Terth says:

    I think I’ve seen that on PBS before (in English). It was a show called “My Vatican” about Cardinal Ratzinger that was filmed before his election but televised after. I remember watching intently because I know someone who was a student of Fr. Foster for a while. I also think it was that show because the final seconds of the clip with the soccer game was very similar to another shot “My Vatican” of the Swiss Guard team against some other group in either an annual Vatican or Roman tournament.

    I’m sure someone could dig up a video of this from PBS or YouTube for the narration in English.

  5. RBrown says:

    I think his “uniform” resembles the garb of a plumber–and of course he is from a family of them. I used to tell him that after all the years of sophisticated education, he went back to his roots.

  6. Victor says:

    I really did understand pretty much everything – not only the german parts! This is so cool…

  7. RBrown: Did I every tell you the story about the time he came to the office of “Ecclesia Dei” and our secretary took him back to the bathroom to fix our clogged drain?

  8. As a linguist, Fr. Foster has nothing on Cardinal Guiseppe Caspar Mezzofanti! Cf.

  9. There was also a terrible battle in the Secretariat of State, with the result that Fr Foster but on the traditional O.C.D. habit when he arrived at the office, and then took it off, leaving it there, when he left. Isn’t it?

  10. That was fun. I did have to struggle, just because I don’t have much of an ear for spontaneous Latin (I’ve never really learned to “hear” a foreign language because I only studied Latin in high school and college). I’d love to have more practice though, this was great.

  11. Michael says:

    Didn’t Fr. Reggie have some negative comments about the Usus Antiquor last summer?

  12. Michael: He is not a fan of the TLM. But that is neither here nor there, really.

  13. Thomas says:

    There’s something about casual, conversational Latin that tickles me. I’ve never heard it before, but I love it.

    How does one go about learning the language without full-blown grad school?

  14. A Philadelphian says:

    Jamie: Lighten up on Fr. Foster — he has followed holy obedience in giving up the habit (even if his superiors are wrong).

  15. Bogdan says:

    The clip is a mess and overburdened with German and Portugese. It would have been better to hear Reggie speak in gallous Latin.

    And forget about the habit business – he is just a genius and one certainly devoted to the most primnitive form of the Carmelite life. So, just let him alone!

  16. elizabeth mckernan says:

    That was fascinating to hear Latin spoken conversationally as opposed to prayers at Mass. And did I see latin instructions on the cash machine?
    However, the film being prefaced in German and subtitled in Portugese reminded me of a video film I saw last year in an exhibition. The sound track was in German but the sub titles were in Spanish and the exhibition was in Paris. I gave up trying to understand it and was told that they had been delivered the wrong film. At least German or Spanish visitors would have understood it!

  17. Jamie says:

    A Philadelphian: one’s superiors can not override directives from Rome – a saintly Catholic monk would rather be martyred than disobey Rome surely?

  18. Jamie says:

    A Philadelphian: according to Wikipedia: “Returning to Milwaukee every August, Foster is sure to order another one of his blue outfits of wash pants and jacket from JC Penney–“they have my measurements.” He does not wear the traditional habit of a Discalced Carmelite friar because, he says, it intimidates people. ”

    If that is true, Father Foster did not give up his habit because of his personal feelings that it alienates people. That didn’t seem to be a problem for St Francis and so many other wonderful saints of our Holy Church.

  19. Jamie says:

    Of course – in my previous comment what I MEANT to say what that Father Foster did not give up his habit from obedience, but rather his person feelings that it alienates people. Apologies for having to comment twice on that matter.

  20. I didn’t post this so that some of you could pick at Fr. Foster and completely ignore the important point.

    Another entry derailed.

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