Monday, January 05, 2009

David Foster RIP

David Foster (not to be confused with my predecessor as LMS Rep for Oxford, David Forster, who is in rude health!) has unexpectedly died. I'm not aware of any particular connection with Oxford but he was the founder and leading organiser for a quarter of a century of the 'International Summer School', which took place in the Oratory School outside Reading, which was very much the inspiration for the St Catherine's Trust Summer School. David was very happy to see his work being extended; he visited the SCT Summer School in 2006 and gave a talk to the SCT Family Retreat in 2007 (picture). A number of people have taught at both Summer Schools, sometimes in the same year. I am glad to see that the International Summer School will continue; these schools are very small in relation to the Catholic population, and we could do with a great many more of them.

Here is what Fr Tim Finnigan has posted on him, which includes a short obituary.

During the Faith Winter Session, I received the sad news of the death of David Foster, a great teacher, a faithful Catholic, a tireless defender of the faith, and an enthusiastic communicator of Catholic truth to young people. Here is a short obituary that I have received:
David Foster died on the 29th of December 2008, the day before his 76th birthday, after a short illness which began just before Christmas. He died fortified by the rights of Our Holy Mother Church. These he received from the hospital chaplain, Fr Mark Swires, a priest who had been a student at both the Summer School (see below) and at Campion School, where David taught for over 30 years.

David was an English teacher, husband of Dora for 49 years and father of three sons; John, Stephen and Martin. He became a Catholic in the 1950's and for 25 years ran the 'International Summer School'. The week of the Summer School gave those who attended a varied curriculum where everything was taught within an orthodox Catholic framework and integrated our Catholic heritage. Vocations to the priesthood and several religious resulted among those who attended (at least 4 priests, 3 sisters and a brother). Dominic Sullivan, also a teacher, who has been involved in running the Summer school over recent years will continue this work. (This year the dates are July 25th-August 1st 2009, further details can be obtained from Dominic Sullivan on 0208 788 8659.)

During recent years David continued the Pro Fide Forum meetings in London after the death of John Edwards.

He supported Burnley Football club (his father's hometown) and attended cricket matches whenever possible throughout the Summer.

He is fondly remembered by many, for many reasons. For my part I knew that he would proof read articles and newsletters; once he had done this one could rely on there being no spelling or grammatical errors remaining!
David Foster's Requiem Mass will be celebrated at the Cathedral Church of St Mary and St Helen, Brentwood on Tuesday 13th January 2009 at 1pm. The celebrant will be Fr Nicholas Schofield (Roman Miscellany).

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