A Parliament of Saints
Bernard Basset was born in London in 1909. He was educated at Hodder and Stonyhurst and entered the noviciate in 1927. He spent some years as a teacher and in parishes at Bournemouth and the Scilly Isles (where he became friends with Harold and Mary Wilson). He was described as “one of the great priests in England and Wales in the 50s. He certainly put the laity on the map. Many of his actions were in advance of the Decree of the Apostolate of the Laity of the Second Vatican Council”. He was very popular as a retreat director and preacher. He was well known for producing successful pantomimes in many of his educational postings. He wrote at least 10 books of popular spirituality, and a comprehensive history of the early British Jesuits. He suffered a heart attack in 1984 and died in Oxford in 1988.