UPDATE: Want to study Latin with the famous Fr. Reginald Foster? Now you can!

Ossa Latinitatis Sola


UPDATE 14 July:

I will, along with you readers, take partial credit for this:



From what I can tell from my Amazon stats, you have purchased, so far, 276 copies.

That’s a good start!

UPDATE Published on: Jun 22, 2015 @ 11:23

I’m reposting this so more of you can have this opportunity.

So far I see that 211 volumes have been ordered through my link.  Happy people!

Now available for order in the UK – £23.75! HERE

___ Original Jun 11, 2015 @ 17:52 CDT ___

I was blessed to have many years of study of Latin with the former Latin scribe for 4 Popes, Fr. Reginald Foster, OCD.

Foster had intense courses for all comers during the academic year and super intense courses during the summers. The homework sheets took most people several hours to complete. There were amazing field trips. You learned to write and to speak. Latin became a working, active language, not a dormant passive tool.

After some health problems and changes, after 40 years of teaching and writing Latin, Foster returned to these USA. Being a force of nature, he still has summer classes in his native Milwaukee.

Last week I spoke by phone with Fr. Foster, “Reggie”, who told me that his collected years and year and years of homework sheets and other materials, decades of work and experience, had been edited for publication in several volumes by Catholic University Press.

The first one will be released on 8 September: Ossa Latinitatis Sola – 800 pages!

This is Reggie’s compilation of the whole Latin language – 2300 years – in 105 encounters. This can be used by individuals or in a classroom.

To Pre-Order click USA HERE  – UK HERE

There will later be volumes of his famous – infamous – homework sheets or Ludi Domestici and also his field trip materials.  I still have lots of them squirreled away.  Having them bound in volumes will be invaluable.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Rachel says:

    Cool! And I come to this page just after encountering an example of a reporter who needs more Latin in his life: http://abc7.com/777375/ I’m glad this is being published. :)

  2. moconnor says:

    Classical or Ecclesiastical?

    [It covers over 2000 years of Latin. BOTH, of course!]

  3. Wasn’t Fr. Foster the one who pointed out that Latin is not reserved to the experts as every bum and prostitute in ancient Rome spoke it?

    [Indeed he was. So, priests should be able to handle Latin, too.]

  4. msc says:

    This is wonderful news. Unfortunately, the fact that the author is a priest and that the book is published by CUAP guarantees most teachers will ignore it.

  5. Jerome Vincent says:

    Any rough estimate of how advanced the Latin is throughout or by the end of the book? I teach a brilliant high-school sophomore who finished AP Latin last year, and now I’d simply like to immerse her in the language and help her approach fluency. So do we know, by “Ossa,” whether Fr. Foster means the basic grammatical rudiments, or the essential authors (some at an advanced level)? I’m not nearly as familiar with his style as Fr. Z would be.

  6. Magash says:

    It’s listed at $40!!!
    I expected typical academics prices. It’s on my list. I’ve see Harrius Potter et Philosophi Lapis for that much.

    [And it’s 800 pages.]

  7. Bob B. says:

    I used to teach Latin in all of my middle school classes, which included teaching altar servers because there were none available during weekdays. The students loved it and so did the parents. That was until I was told not to do it anymore by a principal who went to a Jesuit college.
    Regardless, I look forward to getting a copy when it’s released and see how much I’ve forgotten from the early 60’s. Thanks Father.

  8. andia says:

    My dream is to read “Summa Theologica” in Latin- Can I assume that this is the book I need to be able to do that?

  9. ChesterFrank says:

    Its on my list. Do you think it is a good book to begin learning the language with, with no prior background and no additional source?

  10. Rachel,

    In that KABC article that you linked, about the Verbum Dei (“Word of God”) school in LA, the reporter’s sentence

    ‘Translated from Latin, “The Verb” gets students to achieve more . . . . ‘

    made me think of Sports Illustrated’s weekly feature entitled “This Week’s Sign of the Apocalypse”. Because, with reporters as clueless as this, the end–of civilization, at least–must surely be in sight.

  11. chantgirl says:

    This is going on my co-op wish list!

  12. Justalurkingfool says:

    I just forwarded this to my son who has fond memories of Fr. Foster when my son lived in Rome. I wanted to make sure he saw this.


  13. Veritatis Splendor says:

    Andia: the only book you need to read the Summa in latin is the Summa in latin and the Summa in English. The latin is so straightforward, and with so many congates that with a basic knowledge of Scholastic terminology and maybe some of the verb and noun forms memorized, you could teach yourself latin using the Summa alone. [No, I don’t think so. You can get the “gist” of the Summa that way, but you can’t learn Latin that way… not with the Summa alone.] Sola Summa =D. Do not attempt the same thing with Augustine.

    I was considering getting myself a copy of Wheelock’s, but now that I see this, I think I’ll just get this. Maybe I’ll get a copy for my pastor as well, since his birthday was yesterday. The only reason he won’t celebrate the EF is because he doesn’t know enough Latin to read and understand everything (and a misconception that the only difference is the language). [Many priests can’t tell you what the texts mean in their native tongue! Furthmore, they’ll blithely celebrate Mass in Spanish, but pronouncing it rather than really knowing Spanish. Double standard?]

  14. jeffc says:

    I’m looking forward to this book! I’ve heard great things about Fr. Foster and I’ve known Fr. Daniel for more than 30 years (I’m from Atchison, where he is a monk, and I was also in simple vows at the same monastery for a short time).

  15. Packrraat says:

    I have Wheelock’s book but didn’t get very far in it. Learning Latin by myself is not enjoyable. First, I lack the self-discipline to study it a little every day, and second, learning something like that alone just can’t compare with being part of a class where you can interact with the instructor and other students. I doubt there is anyone in my parish that would be interested in something like this either. One fellow parishioner in her mid to late 60’s said to my wife, “Oh, I don’t go in for all that Latin stuff”. Typical.

  16. Lepidus says:

    I wonder how this compares with the notes that Fr. Coulter put up? http://www.frcoulter.com/latin/index.html

  17. acardnal says:

    Latin is not a floccinaucinihilipilification . . . an English word which has four Latin components!

  18. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    Reggie is not ignored by mainstream academe. He is not an academic, but they all know who he is and, priest or not, they acknowledge his greatness as a Latinist. Even if they don’t get him, quite.

    As for the Ossa, it’s been in the works for some time, and I will of course check it out carefully. But Reggie is, well, Reggie, and how much of Reggie, and Reggie’s system, will come thru in Reggie’s book is, in my mind, an open question. Esp. to someone who never had Reggie. Or anything like Reggie. So, we’ll see.

  19. Elizabeth D says:

    I wrote to Fr Reggie Foster one time and I got a card back written in multi-colored ink. Like, he switched to different ink colors through the course of the note. For real. I have never met him other than getting a rainbow colored note from him. It made me uncomfortable and I don’t think I kept it!

    [Nah… don’t worry about the color. He has always done that. He get’s bored with one color.]

  20. Elizabeth D says:

    Can you get him to come to Madison to give an intro course in Latin as part of Seat of Wisdom Diocesan Institute or something? I was writing to him because he was offering free Latin classes in Milwaukee to total beginners (and because I love Discalced Carmelites), but I didn’t really have a way to get there.

  21. pj_houston says:

    You might want to check out Dr. Pepino’s Latin courses, which are held online in a classroom-like setting. I believe he studied under Fr. Reginald Foster, and he teaches Latin at the F.S.S.P. Seminary in Nebraska:


  22. acardnal says:

    A video profile of Fr. Reggie Foster was done by WITI-TV in Milwaukee where Father is from and resides. It is kind of a day-in-the-life of Fr. Reggie and a biography. I think the readers will appreciate this as I did.


  23. IPSB says:

    I kind of start regretting I bought ‘A Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin’ just a few weeks before this one went up for pre-order…

  24. joque says:

    Bene, sed idem Reginaldus ritum traditionalem et (varia dogmata fidei!) in suis conlquiis omnino abiecit saepissime. Oportet nos latine loqui, utique! sed etiam catholice vivere.

  25. Suburbanbanshee says:

    The Lord gave me a new job so that I could afford to pre-order this book and not feel guilty about it. :)

    Someday soon, we have to get Fr. Foster together in the same room with David Drake, the sf writer/Latin maven. They are both originals, and I have a feeling they would get along like a house on fire.

    Either that, or there’d be a terrible incident of spontaneous combustion that would destroy several city blocks and a large number of computers (Drake is notorious for being in the vicinity when computer malfunctions happen).

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