Did you know Fr Thwaites? Did any of his books or recordings bring you into the Church or inspire you to more ardent practices of the faith?

Here he is, the one and only, Fr Thwaites, née Fr Hugh Simon-Thwaites, with his gleeful smile and dancing eyes. I included him on the list as one of the world's most amazing priests when he was on this earth and 'living on the edge of eternity'.  Now, Fr Thwaites has gone to God, and we are pondering his great legacy.

There was a time when I thought that I was in a minority - I didn't think that many other Catholics had been as influenced as I was by his booklets and recordings. But, after writing about him in July of this year, many people, even people I had known for years, got in touch to say that 'something profoundly simple' that Fr Thwaites said, had 'stuck' in their minds and had made them more aware and appreciative of the faith.

I'm interviewing people who were influenced by Fr Thwaites. A big trend in the interviews is the memorable metaphors and comparisons-to-ordinary-life that Fr Hugh Thwaites employed.

If you would like to share what you learned from Fr Thwaites, get in touch, via my comment box. I would be delighted to hear from you, and feel free to leave an e-mail address where I can contact you.


  1. Thank you to the readers who got in touch - and to those who left comments with contact details and with requests that these comments not be published. Fear not, I promise not to publish a comment that you have marked as being private and not for publicaton, nor will I pass on your details to anyone.

    Once, I have all the info collected and the interviews with people who knew Fr Thwaites done, I look forward to doing the article! There is something about studying the life of Fr Thwaites that is energising and edifying.

    God reward you all,


  2. I can remember when we arrived for a Traditional rite Mass in his Parish in Thame - this must have been twenty years ago, our daughter banged her head ona benchand began crying. Fr Thwaites told us not to worry and to remember the Five Marks of the Catholic Church:One, Holy.Catholic,Apostolic and Children Screaming all the way through Mass. I first got to know him in 1985 Alan Robinson

    1. Thanks, Alan. There will an article in this week's Catholic Herald on Fr Thwaites; a collection of interviews with people who knew him.

  3. Dear Mary,
    thank you for your wonderful articles on Father Hugh Simon Thwaites. I emailed you some time ago about the importance of taking steps in time to preserve what must be an absolute treaeure trove of information of the kind you ask for - namely the correspondence in his email account at catholic.org - an organisation that has alarming policy of deleting briefly inactive accounts. I note you never replied and wonder if you took action. Clive Burton

  4. Dear Clive Burton,

    Thank you for getting in touch via my comment box. To be frank, I have never received an e-mail from you and your comment above is the first time that I have received correspondence from you. I looked up Catholic.org and they offer a free e-mail service, which is generous of them. It is probably with good reason that Catholic.org delete inactive accounts, most e-mail companies have similar policies. It could be to ward off e-mail hacking.

    I will not be asking them to allow me access to Fr Thwaites' e-mail account. I feel this would be an invasion of privacy, not just of Fr Thwaites, but of all the people who may have written to him in confidence. I suggest that had Fr Thwaites wanted people/a biographer to have access to his e-mail account, he could have arranged that before his death. Not giving anyone access to a personal e-mail, so that they e-mails may never be seen again, could be seen as the same as when people ask for their letters to be burned when they die.

    Yours sincerely,

    Mary O'Regan


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