HDYGH – Episode 12 Show Notes

In today’s episode, I sit down with Ruth Baker, a new friend from Lancaster, England–all the way across the internet (and the Atlantic Ocean). Ruth is a writer, part-time lay chaplain at Lancaster University, and an admin worker for Aid to the Church in Need. I ask her, “How Did You Get Here?”

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Ruth Baker of Lancaster, England. And the Internet.
It’s more than our time zones that differ.

In the show notes for Episode 11, I included a link to an article about St. Therese and encouraged readers to petition its author to be on my show:

Here is a great blog post on the subject: I Didn’t Like St. Therese of Lisieux… Until I Learned These 8 Little Known Facts About Her. Tell the author of that post I sent you. I want her to be on the podcast. Here’s a bonus post from her that is just lovely: A Love Story In The Time Of Quarantine.

It worked! Today’s guest is Ruth Baker (soon to be Ruth Kennedy) and she was a delight to interview. Before the interview I got this text from my wife, who knows how much I like English culture and how excited I was to interview Ruth:

Genesis 2:18

When I insisted that being overwhelmingly excited was part of my charm, she made it clear that I was incorrect: “No. It is not.”

Who has a better wife than I do? No one, that’s who.

Meanwhile, you can find Ruth on the internet at Catholic-Link.org or at her new blog / lockdown project about the beauty of English Catholicism, Lingering Echoes.

Note: Links to books theoretically earn me money at Amazon. I’m still waiting for this to happen.

Show Notes (more or less in order of appearance)

Castlerigg Manor played a huge role in Ruth’s story. It is much lovelier than its website, which could very well be the worst site I’ve ever seen on the internet. If you think I’m kidding, click that link. It will make you want to bleach your eyes.
  • God, like Genie in the clip below, goes more than halfway to save us.
  • Keswick, Cumbria. Some people believe the name of this town means “farm where cheese is made,” which is a perfect segue into this:

Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.

Cheese” by G. K. Chesterton, published in Alarms and Discursions (1910)
Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Lampeter, Ceredigion, Wales (Image from explorechurches.org)

The Welsh Blues

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An untranslateable Welsh word with a reasonable number of consonants. Translated.
  • Longing for Narnia, Yearning for the Good
  • The poem Ruth mentioned was “Barbed Wire.”
  • I mentioned a song called “Let Them In.” That link includes this (evidently erroneous) backstory on the song:
    Let Them In was made into song by John Gorka from a poem found in a hospital in the Philippines during World War II. The nurse that found the poem kept it all these years until the recent war brought out all the memorabilia. Luckily, her daughter sent a copy to John.
  • The truth is–and I just learned this today–that the original poem was a sonnet penned by a woman named Elma Dean. The poem was read into the Congressional Record of the Senate on June 12, 1944.
“A Letter to St. Peter” by Elma Dean
  • Here is the cover version of Gorka’s song by David Wilcox that I like. Loads of hiraeth in this song.

The Usual Links

Special Thanks:

  • To COVID-19, for making this interview possible.
  • To Ruth Baker for coming on the show (and not writing me off as a cyber-stalker).
  • To the English Jesuits, St. John Fisher, and St. Thomas More who gave all to preserve the Faith of Our Fathers in theLand of Our Mother Tongue.
  • To BPD for producing the show. How are we ever going to top this?