Today, I think, is the Year's Mind (or "Anniversary", if you are a cradle Catholic) of Fr Derek Allen, Principal of St Stephen's House, the once great Anglican Catholic Seminary in Oxford.
Derek took over as princial in 1962, upon the retirement after three decades of the legendary Canon Arthur Couratin, who had himself spanned the peiod between the exuberant, triumphalist Anglican Catholicism of the 1930s, and the reduced but still cheerful Catholicism of the post-War period. Derek maintained the ultramontane traditions of "SSH".
A product of "the House" was guaranteed to prospective incumbents as having been taught strictly according to the liturgical books of O'Connell; a "Staggers Man", so people were wont to say, would know exactly how to extract a fly from a consecrated chalice. I think, incidentally, I was one of the last group to have been so trained before the dismal days which followed 1968. I remember being asked, at a Mass Practice, to say aloud the Offertory Prayers, which we had been required to learn by heart. Most seminarians learned them in English; I launched into Suscipe sancte Pater ... "Oh, all right" said Derek. My Staggers training then has stood me in very good stead since Pope Benedict unloaded Summorum Pontificum ... and me ... upon the Universal Church.
Stalinist Commissars ("Inspectors") used to visit the House in order to catch it inculcating Extreme Illegalities. On one occasion, clutching their notebooks, they dropped eagerly in upon "Mass Practices". They found one young man being trained to offer the Holy Sacrifice according to the Usages of the UMCA dioceses in Africa ... in Swahili. Another student (I think he was a Hiberno-Catholic Chavasse) was learning the Eucharistic Order of the Church of Ireland, with the liturgical manners so precisely codified by O'Connell, but strictly within the Irish canons and rubrics.
The poor simple proddies had, of course, been set up. It's the only sort of language they understand ...
I recall hearing a story about Derek's own First Mass ... that he elevated the Chalice with such joyous enthusiasm that some of the Precious Blood spilled over the lip. I wonder if any reader is able to corroborate that.
Fr Allen resigned in 1974 and served as pp of S Saviour's Eastbourne until his sudden death in 1991.
May he rest in peace.