The National Catholic Review

September’s end 1877,
the year called his annus mirabilis,
because his gift for poetry was dis-
covered afresh, given inscape and leaven
by his imitation of Christ in the heaven
of third-year theology. Bridges dis-
missed his friend’s faith as medieval, but this
calling was his solace and source, the seven

sacraments his soul’s instress, a selfyeast
that could praise the grandeur of God contained
in the splendid thisness of things. Of least
importance to Hopkins then was fame gained
from writing: he sought only to be a good priest.
And in that gift of gift was he ordained.

Ron Hansen is at work on a novel about Gerard Manley Hopkins and his writing of The Wreck of the Deutschland. Hopkins was ordained on Sept. 23, 1877.

Recently by Ron Hansen

The School of the Heart (February 16, 2004)
First Fridays (March 10, 2003)
Hotly in Pursuit of the Real (November 12, 2001)
My Daily Bread (March 18, 2000)
Fatherless Son (April 25, 2011)

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