Famished for Christendom


Chartres - Christendom

The north transept rose of Chartres Cathedral donated by Blanche of Castile. It displays the Blessed Virgin Mary as Queen of Heaven, surrounded by Biblical kings and prophets. Photo courtesy of Eusebius (Guillaume Piolle) – Own work. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.


Today, we have a bit more about (and from) my upcoming book The Gentle Traditionalist from Angelico Press.

First, we have a book description which I suggested for the back cover. To my surprise, Angelico Press liked it! It might be altered a little between now and publication – but here is my version:

Geoffrey has a problem. All his life he’s lived according to ‘sensible’ sceptical, secular values. Then, his true love left him for a New Age community in Scotland. But it gets worse: now she wants to be a traditional Catholic nun!

Geoffrey is bewildered, angry, lost. Until, one Valentine’s day in Ireland, he meets a mysterious guide – the Gentle Traditionalist.
Together they commence a most unusual dialogue of ideas concerning:

  • The Heart of the Gospel
  • The Real Nature of the Church: A Supernatural Mystery
  • The Crisis in Catholicism today: the Loss of Tradition
  • The New Age Movement
  • Catholic Ireland
  • Why Secularism gets away with murder

Both whimsical and serious, the dialogue in this book offers a probing exploration of the Catholic Mystery, Christendom and the crisis of the West today.

Join us for a very special Valentine’s day when Geoffrey’s barren, rational world gets turned upside down …

Sacred Heart Basilica

Sacré Coeur de Montmartre

There ends my blurb proposal for the back cover.

And, now, that you have the ‘springboard‘ for the plot, dear Reader, the following small snippet from the book should make sense.

In this small extract, Geoffrey – also known as GPL – has fallen asleep in his chair, whilst GT – the mysterious Gentle Traditionalist – is praying.

And GPL begins to dream.

He dreams of being in a large church and the priest is the Gentle Traditionalist.

GPL realises it’s his wedding! Then, he sees his true love Anna walking down the aisle.

But just as she was about to join me at the altar, she suddenly fled, weeping. I stood there devastated. GT bent over and whispered in my ear, “I’m sorry, GPL. She has to go. She hasn’t had enough to eat. She’s famished …”

I woke with a start. GT was talking to me. “Your Anna may have a vocation,” I heard him saying, “which would of course be the ultimate impediment to you marrying the girl, a divine impediment. But listening to your story, I’m not so sure that’s the case here. I wonder if it’s more a matter of hunger.”


“She’s hungry in her soul. Honestly, I think she’s famished. Famished for Christendom.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” I said, flabbergasted.

GT: I’d like to explain it to you, GPL. But it won’t be easy for you. It’s so utterly alien to your outlook. But if you’ll permit me to be frank—even brutally frank—I’ll try. I am afraid, though, it may prove difficult to be completely gentle with the truth.

GPL: Go on, hit me with it.

GT: Very well. Anna may not admit it—even to herself— but she longs to marry you. I am sure of it. It isn’t you she can’t bear. It’s your world.

GPL: My world?

GT: Your secular world with its new religion. Your world that claims to stand for equality and rights, but crushes anyone who dares to stand for Christian principles. This is how she sees it, I’m afraid. Her world has meaning, grace, beauty—life. It feeds her soul. Your world leaves her empty, hungry, cold …

Her world—the world of Christendom—built Chartres Cathedral, the Sistine chapel and the Sacré Coeur de Montmartre. Your world builds tower blocks and suburbs and billboards and monotonous offices with cramped little cubicles. Not to mention pornographic television networks.

Your world is dedicated to power, profit, a purely materialist metaphysic.

Her world is dedicated to HIM …

The Gentle Traditionalist will be released by the end of the month. [UPDATE: Out now here] You can read further extracts here.

And there are reviews for the book here.

Finally, a request if you appreciate this website.

I would greatly appreciate it, in return, if you would consider sharing this particular post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.

It’s unlikely any of my posts will ever go viral. But if I could have a post go viral, it would be this one.

There are little buttons for Facebook, Twitter etc. just under the green advert below. Many, many thanks if you see this fitting to do!

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  1. Posted 17 November 2015 at 11:09 | Permalink

    I just posted about this on Facebook, Roger, and will also post about it at the FishEaters forum! I’m so excited to read your opus and just “know” it will be a wonderful read!

    To folks reading over my shoulder, remember that Christmas is coming up “soon enough” — and I’d betcha $10 that Mr. Buck’s book would make a great gift for your bookish secular friends and family! Or for the already-Catholic ones, for that matter. It might give the latter ideas as to how to approach people who are outside the Church.

    • Posted 8 December 2015 at 12:26 | Permalink

      Dear Tracy, your line about a great gift for your secular friends made me _truly_ laugh out loud. Especially if you want to see their hair stand on end … : – )

      Seriously though, I appreciate all your support, here and elsewhere.

      And here I would like to pay tribute to you.

      For those who may not know it, Tracy is the founder/moderator of a traditional Catholic forum called Fisheaters, which has not always had a good reputation in the past as it became embroiled in the often conflicting and sometimes toxic strands of Catholic traditionalism.

      To her great credit, Tracy has acted courageously and decisively in the last couple of years to change this situation.

      The result is a more gentle traditionalism at FE. (Indeed I see a link between what she is saying there and what I’m trying to say in my book The Gentle Traditionalist.)

      But there’s more I want to say.

      Tracy is a person of real HEART.

      That heart, often unappreciated, is evident in many ways at FE.

      It’s evident in the caring sensitivity with which she listens to people there and indeed nurtures them.

      It’s evident in her love for humanity – and for the resultant fact that she feels acutely the anomie and horror of modern civilisation.

      It’s evident in the fact that she has slaved her guts out for years at this forum, often thanklessly, indeed often with plenty of abuse, and yet, for all that, she remains warm-hearted, funny, brave, enthusiastic, tenacious, intelligent, acute and deeply, deeply kind.

      Here is a link to the forum:http://www.fisheaters.com/forums/index.php

      You may not agree with everything there. I certainly don’t!

      However, there’s a good group of people there now and Tracy deserves to be recognised for the new direction she has steered Fisheaters in …

      I am proud to call her my friend.

  2. Posted 25 November 2015 at 11:44 | Permalink

    Well, judging by the extracts of the book, I think it is a nice book. Had this book been available in the Philippines I would have bought it.

    • Posted 28 November 2015 at 15:58 | Permalink

      Neopelagianus, thank you for interest. This is just a quick note to say I will send you a private message about this, when I get a chance. So rushed off my feet right now.

      Your blog has real beauty in it …

      • Posted 16 December 2015 at 21:46 | Permalink

        Thanks for the compliment about my blog. It is a work in progress actually, and I am a bit slow in blogging lately. Again, thank you.

  3. Warren Featherstone
    Posted 16 March 2017 at 06:30 | Permalink

    Dear Roger, I am hoping this is the correct place to say ‘a heartfelt thanks’ for Cor Jesu Sacratissimum. I finished it this afternoon (in sunny Adelaide, South Australia). At a difficult time in my life and of the Church in Australia I have found it very nourishing and helpful. It has given me some courage and some hope! To quickly summarise..I don’t have a New Age background, but I was a Quaker for many years. In Australia, Britain and bi-coastal USA the Quakers are ultra-liberal. So there are some resonances with your early life experience. Irish Quakers though are less liberal in my experience (20 years ago). I have been a Catholic for a long time now (also baptised by an Anglican) and whilst I totally agree with you about the great gift Catholic faith has been for me, sharing that with friends and family is not easy. Here in Australia we are undergoing the horrific abuse experience Ireland and the US have been through. A Royal Commission is presently handing down its findings. A depressing time to be Catholic. The anti-Catholic hostility is everywhere. Still, I go to Confession, I attend a place of Adoration weekly and I go to Mass weekly. For health reasons, that’s about as much as I can manage at this time. So thanks again for giving me some hope! Yes maybe like Russia Catholic nations like Austria, Ireland and France will rediscover their spiritual patrimony. Let’s hope so. Every blessing Roger (and Kim). AMDG, Warren.

    • Posted 13 May 2017 at 08:28 | Permalink

      Warren, my belated but sincere thanks to you. I am gratified to hear that at “a difficult time” in your life, both personally and ecclesiastically, my book has furnished “courage and hope”. This is moving and helpful to me, thank you.

      I understand what you mean of liberal Quakerism and am also grateful for your words about Australia, which interest me. It is, after Ireland of course, I believe the most culturally Catholic land in the Anglosophere and although it may not feel like it at present I do wonder if it has certain unusual possibilities for re-evangelisation in the future. I will also add that Kim’s parents are both Australian, though neither she nor I have ever been there. But another reason for my interest in your country …

      I will just add that since finishing that big book, I am feeling even more hope for the future of the Church, despite the terrible things we are presently suffering through. Again, many, many thanks for telling me about what my book has meant for you.

3 Trackbacks

  1. By Praise for the Gentle Traditionalist on 21 November 2015 at 21:04

    […] Gentle Traditionalist to be released by Angelico Press in paperback by the end of this month. (Book description with extract here.) Available through Amazon and this […]

  2. […] to add a very personal note, I am something of a ‘married hermit’. With my new book coming out soon, I am concerned that online activity may threaten my hermit’s task of study and […]

  3. […] Praise for The Gentle Traditionalist now available from Amazon in paperback. (Book description with extract here.) […]

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