Maturin, Basil William

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Spiritual writer; b. Grangegorman, Dublin, Ireland, February 1847; d. at sea, May 7, 1915. His father, a Tractarian clergyman, was the vicar of Grangegorman. Basil studied at Trinity College, Dublin, and was ordained deacon in the Anglican Church in 1870. On becoming curate in Peterstowe, Herefordshire, England, he was ordained priest there. On Feb. 22, 1873, he entered the novitiate of the Society of St. John the Evangelist (cowley fa thers) at Oxford. In 1876 he began a mission in Philadelphia, Pa., where he stayed for ten years at the Episcopal church of St. Clement, first as one of the assistant clergy, then as rector. In the U.S. and later in England he was much esteemed as a preacher, retreat master, and spiritual director. After long heart-searching, Maturin joined the Catholic Church on March 5, 1897. He studied for the priesthood at the Canadian College in Rome, was ordained in 1898, and then returned to London to do parish work and preaching. In 1905 he joined the newly formed Society of Westminister Diocesan Missionaries and took charge of the parish at Pimlico. In 1910 he tried his vocation as a Benedictine at downside, but proved too old. When he returned to London he was not attached to a parish, but had a confessional at St. James's Church, Spanish Place, and great numbers of penitents. In 1914 he became chaplain to the Catholic undergraduates at Oxford, but he did not serve long in this capacity, for in the following spring he was one of those who lost their lives in the sinking of the "Lusitania." Maturin published several books of spirituality and sermons: Self Knowledge and Self Discipline (1905); Laws of the Spiritual Life (1907); Practical Studies on the Parables of Our Lord (1908); Some Principles and Practices of the Spiritual Life (reissued 1915); Fruits of the Life of Prayer (1916); and Sermons and Sermon Notes, edited by F. Wilfrid Ward (1916).

Bibliography: b. w. maturin, The Price of Unity (New York 1912). m. ward, Father Maturin (New York 1920).

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