The blog of the Dominican student brothers at Blackfriars, Oxford.

Built on the four pillars of our Dominican life – preaching, prayer, study, and community – Godzdogz offers many resources for exploring the Catholic Faith today.
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What we've been reading

Sunday, June 16, 2019
As the end of term approaches, the student brothers comment on their latest literary pursuits.

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Christmas Crackers 9: Another friar's passion

Monday, January 03, 2011
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Christmas Crackers 2: A friar's passion

Monday, December 27, 2010
As a Norwegian brother assigned for studies in Oxford for two years, I’d like to present one of my passions. And what could be more natural for a Norwegian than the Norwegian mountains? I was raised in the mountains of Telemark, and during the last few years, I’ve become more and more interested in climbing them. I’m not a very skilled mountaineer, but in fact you can manage quite well with the help of others who do know the art of ‘vertical walking’. The mountains have a special place in the Norwegian soul, and one of our philosophers, Arne Næss, who died in February 2009, stated that the mountains are not ordinary landscapes. They appeal to us in a special way. They are a place of refuge, of renewal, and a place of challenge. They appeal to our senses and to our spiritual life, and their powerful presence demands attention, participation and respect Read more

Friars’ Passions 11 – A Pilgrim’s Progress

Sunday, February 08, 2009
In via Read more

Friars' Passions - 10 Laudate Dominum, Omnes Gentes

Friday, February 06, 2009
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Friars' Passions - 9 Wanderlust

Wednesday, February 04, 2009
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Friars' Passions - 8 Cricket

Monday, February 02, 2009
My interest in Cricket started during my teenage years. Growing up in rural Wales, the sport of preference was Rugby, so I had little opportunity to play Cricket. My interest grew from watching England playing test matches on the television. As many people will know, cricket is a very complicated game, and test matches are played over a five day period. There is a lot to learn before gaining an idea of what is going on. As I learned about the rules, the various techniques and so on, I became fascinated by the game.

There are several things that I love about it. The first thing is that within a five day game, there are lots of little battles that go on: the contest between the bowler and the batsman and the little psychological games that go on between the two, the strategies and planning by the fielding side to get a particular batsman out, and so on. I have learned to appreciate the great skills of a bowler at the top of his game, and to see the beauty of the perfect shot played by a batsman. I also love the various statistics that come with the game, which are indicators of the strengths and weakness of particular players and teams. It is an analyst's paradise! Cricket is not always a high octane, fast paced game, though there are moments of great excitement. However there is an underlying subtlety that is part of its charm for me. Underneath the seemingly sedate pace, there is much strategy and planning, and the team who plans well, holds its nerve, has patience and executes its plans with skill usually comes out on top.
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Friars' Passions - 6 A Design for Life

Friday, January 30, 2009
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Friars' Passions - 5 An enduring interest in History

Thursday, January 29, 2009
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Friars' Passions - 4 O Praise Him with Sound of Trumpet

Tuesday, January 27, 2009
The recent atheist advertising campaign with the slogan “God probably doesn’t exist. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life” seems to suggest that having faith in God is an obstacle to enjoying life. Clearly, someone has got the wrong end of the stick. One of the great joys in my life, something I am very passionate about is playing the trumpet. It never ceases to amaze me that by making a strange buzzing noise down a piece of metal tubing, it is possible to produce such a celestial sound.

I first started playing the trumpet when I was 10 years old, and from the age of 13, I started playing at church for special feasts such as Christmas and Easter. I’ve always felt a great honour in being allowed to praise God and glorify His name in this way.

From a young age, I’ve found the music of JS Bach very inspiring. Works such as the Magnificat, the Mass in B minor and the Christmas Oratorio contain so much joy. As I was growing up, I told myself that one day I would be able to play these pieces. I saved up my pocket money to buy a piccolo trumpet, but I remember the disappointment in discovering that this instrument didn’t make Bach instantly playable. The years went by, and I kept telling myself ‘maybe next year I’ll have the range and endurance to play the Christmas Oratorio.’ Read more
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