James Cheong at Cuddeson College, Oxford, c. 1903

Cuddeson College, Oxford. c. 1903

Cheong is shown here seated in a larger student group. His appearance matches a description in a slightly earlier reference from a former school principal as 'a thoroughly refined and educated English gentleman'. As well as studying for his theology degree (some of his books of lecture notes remain in the St Peter's archives), his time at Cuddesdon was significant in other ways. He made his first confession to Father Stanton at St Alban's, Holborn, in 1903, choosing a priest famous throughout England for his spiritual direction. Another link was also important. By 1897, while still in Australia, he had already become aware of the work of the Society of St John the Evangelist (Cowley Fathers), an Anglican male religious community centred in Oxford. During his time at Cuddesdon he became a priest associate, and formed a lifelong friendship with Father Puller; they corresponded regularly over the next three decades.

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