Monday, November 30, 2009

Fr. Thomas Geoffrey Holt, S.J. "Rest In Peace"

80 Years A Jesuit
His Requiem Mass will be celebrated at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Farm Street, London W1, on Tuesday, 6 October at 11am.

Fr. Thomas Geoffrey Holt, S.J. was born on April 17 1912, the son of Arthur Holt, the Anglican town clerk at Hereford and Oxford, and his wife Mary Frances Wilding, who raised their sons as Catholics. Educated at Stonyhurst College, Lancashire, Geoffrey entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1930 at 18.

He owed his vocation to a school retreat given by Fr. Martin Cyril D'Arcy, S.J., who made a lasting impression that was consolidated when Holt went up to Oxford in 1936
to read History at Lutyens's newly-built Campion Hall, where D'Arcy was Master.

After completing his theological studies at Heythrop College, Holt went on to teach briefly at the Jesuit preparatory school at Corby, Sunderland, followed by two years at Stonyhurst. Ordained priest in 1945, he taught for three years at Mount St Mary's College, Spinkhill, Yorkshire, before returning to Stonyhurst where he remained for 16 years and became head of the history department.

As a boy he had been taught history by the writer Christopher Hollis, and later he taught the subject to Hollis's son, Crispin, the current Bishop of Portsmouth. During this time he edited the school magazine, where he published his first historical articles – models of accuracy that require little revision even today. This period deepened his love for the school, its history and traditions, and he continued to take a keen interest in its fortunes.

In 1966 Holt was appointed writer and assistant in the province's archives at the Jesuit curia at Mount Street in London, and 19 years later he was made archivist in succession to Fr Francis Edwards. For 40 years he remained in London, publishing his books and articles but doing little pastoral work in Farm Street Church beyond occasionally celebrating Mass and hearing confessions.

Charming and fastidious in dress and appearance, Holt embodied the best of the Jesuit tradition.

Without fanaticism he continued to celebrate privately the old Mass and say the unreformed Roman Office;
he only concelebrated once, at a family funeral.

Link (here) to the full article in the Telegraph

More (here)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a pleasant change to read the obituary of a real Jesuit. Would that there were more.