Fr Mark Withoos, Antonio Cardinal Canizares Llovera, and Fr Glen Tattersall, following the Cardinal’s celebration of Holy Mass according to the Extraordinary Form at St John Lateran Basilica on Thursday 7 January 2010.

Conferences do not just “happen”: they have to be organised. Some one remarked that organising priests is like herding cats! Add to this the fact that the Conference occurred in Rome, where “pazienza” is the watchword, and it is amazing that the Conference “happened”! and happened with efficiency!

The selection of speakers was dazzling; the selection of principal celebrants for the liturgies was dazzling; the music for the liturgies was wonderful; the venues amazing – and all the hard work from our Secretariat (which means Mrs Carmel Negline!), the work in internet promotion (which means Dr Chris Steward) bore fruit! From the Australian end, Father Glen Tattersall of the Archdiocese of Melbourne, was the primary mover. And from the Rome end, another Melbourne priest, now working in the Congregation for Divine Worship, Father Mark Withoos, was the primary mover. The last also bore the biggest burden for “making things happen” during the Conference itself.

There are other names who deserve to be remembered and who should be specifically mentioned (our hard-working Treasurer, Father Andrew Wise, for example), but in all fairness, the faces in the top righthand photo deserve the greatest prominance, and the greatest thanks for all that they did for the bishops, priests and deacons who were so blessed by the hard and generous work undertaken for the Conference.

We were extremely fortunate in having the Domus Sanctae Marthae in the Vatican City as our main venue, and nearby Casa Pastor Bonus, conducted by the Vicariate of Rome, for additional accommodation, and are grateful to the Directors and staff of these venues for their kind attention to our hospitality. We also were extremely fortunate in having the use of a lecture room and gathering space at the nearby Pontifical Teutonic College in the Vatican for most of our Conference lectures. The different presenters to whom we are specially indebted are acknowledged with the presentation of their papers in this special Conference Issue of our journal. A selected photographic record of this our first International Conference is presented at pages 25-26 of this issue, and remarks by the Chairmen of the two Confraternities are found at the opposite page.

Rev Dr Paul Anthony McGavin is chaplain to the University of Canberra in the Archdiocese of Canberra-Goulburn. He was editor of The Priest from 2000 to 2011.