by PETER OWENS
A Yorkshireman now in retirement in Dunedin has written a biography that is said to be arousing considerable interest.
Father Michael Hill, IC, was the second headmaster of St Peter’s College Gore, from 1974 to the end of 1979. He returned to Gore last month to launch his biography of Antonio Rosmini, who founded the Institute of Charity, known as the Rosminians.
There is also an order of nuns in Europe, the Sisters of Providence, who also follow the Rosminian rule and tradition.
The book, Antonio Rosmini — Persecuted Prophet, is the first biography of Rosmini in English for more than 50 years.
Fr Hill was born in Yorkshire and educated by the Rosminians at their public school, Ratcliffe, and then at the University of Cambridge.
There he found he had a vocation to the priesthood and entered the Rosminian Order after completing his degree.
Ordained to the priesthood in 1964, Fr Hill came to St Peter’s College as head of the science department in 1970, just one year after it had been opened by the Rosminian Fathers and the Sisters of Mercy of Dunedin diocese.
The new book has aroused considerable interest, in that Rosmini was a prominent figure in the Catholic Church. He sent
his priests and brothers all over Europe, and particularly England and Ireland.
Although Rosmini and his followers accomplished astonishing work, they were not always understood by Church authorities.
Some of Rosmini’s political writings were placed on the Catholic Church’s Index of Forbidden Books, but he was later exonerated
and today is highly regarded in the Church.
More than 50 people from throughout the south attended the book launch at St Peter’s College Hostel on October 17.
The function was organised by the St Peter’s Foundation, which supports initiatives within the college and raises funds to offer scholarships to deserving cases.
• Fr Hill’s book will be launched in Auckland at the Flanagan Lounge, at St Joseph’s, Takapuna, on November 7.