Fr Bryan Houghton's life was full of pivotal moments. He gradually awakened to the truth of the Faith as a Protestant child educated in a Catholic school and eventually converted. He answered the call to the priesthood, which he understood in the traditional sense as an office of sacrifice, reconciliation, feeding the spiritually hungry, and preaching divinely revealed truths. When the Second Vatican Council arrived, and the subsequent waves of liturgical reform in the 1960s, Fr Houghton faced a crisis of conscience: how could all this lust for change be compatible with the rock-solid Faith to which he had given his life? Why must the Church's noble, ample, and orthodox rites of worship be savaged? Houghton, a man who valued the maxim lex orandi, lex credendi, watched the dismantling of liturgical tradition with growing dismay, and when the substance of the Mass was changed beyond recognition and he couldn't bring himself to say a rite that belied his faith, he resigned his curacy and drove to southern France, where he bought a house in which to live, pray, offer the Tridentine Mass—and, thankfully for us, compile his memoirs.
The never-published English manuscript of the resulting book, unique in its blend of entertaining stories and precise critiques, was long thought to be lost, with only its authorised French translation remaining in print; however, the recent discovery of the original manuscript allows us access to this masterpiece decades later, when the situation in the Church is eerily similar to the one that faced its author in his time. Fr Houghton, a steady priest content with tradition in the midst of mandated modernizations, gives us a moving and insightful account of why a priest would rather be "unwanted" than betray his innermost convictions in his autobiography.