MORE than 200 Poles from all over Britain will meet in Birmingham this weekend to make plans for celebrating the Polish millennium—the 1,000 year of Christianity in Poland.
The Year has already aroused speculation that Pope Paul might visit Poland in May. Last month the Communist Government there strongly reprimanded the Polish Bishops for sending a "Let's forget our differences"
letter to the German Bishops,
which the Government felt betrayed a conciliatory attitude over Poland's western boundaries.
Premier Gomulka then refused a passport to Cardinal Wyszynski, who was invited to Rome for inaugural millennium celebrations there.
Since then Vatican Radio has been beaming broadcasts to Poland, denying that the Bishops had been "interfering in politics" by their letter, which they said was purely a fraternal gesture.
This weekend Bishop Rubin will fly from Rome—where he heads the chaplaincy for all Poles living abroad—to the Birmingham meeting, which is the annual meeting of Britain's Polish Institute of Catholic Action.
He will talk on the lay apostolate, as expressed at Vatican H. There will also be discussions of millennium celebrations all over the world and preparations for pilgrimages to Poland and Rome.
The main celebration in Poland will be on May 3 at the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa. Cardinal Heenan is to lead a British pilgrimage to it. In Rome the main celebrations will be on May 15 and 16. In Britain there will be a noon Mass at White City Stadium, London on May 22, and a youth rally in London on May 9. Next Monday. Bishop Rubin, Cardinal Heenan and Archbishop Cardinale, the Apostolic Delegate, will officiate at a reception in London to launch the book Poland's 1,000 Years, a history of the Church in Poland written by Mr. Moray McLaren and published by the Catholic Institute for International Relations.
'ARSENIC GALA. — A gala performance of "Arsenic and Old Lace" in aid of the Catholic Housing Aid Society will be given on Tuesday, March 8, at 8 p.m., at the Vaudeville Theatre in the Strand. The all-star cast will include Sybil Thorndike, Athena Seyler, Richard Briers, Desmond Walter-Ellis, Julia Lockwood and Lewis Casson. Tickets, from one to five guineas, may be obtained from The Organiser, 58 Brompton Square, S.W.3, STUDIO SERVICES.—Clergy of eight denominations will take part in two religious services to be recorded by TWW in a studio, with a congregation of 250, shortly before Easter for transmission to the West of England and Wales on Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. Religious advisers who will work with the production team under producer Anthony Hoyland include Mgr. Joseph Buckley. CORK TO ROME. — Dr. Columban, O.F.M. Cap., of Holy Trinity Church. Cork. leaves for Rome shortly to become Spiritual Director of the Ethiopian College, the seminary for African students established in the Vatican gardens by Pope Pius XI. It is under the direction of the Capuchin Fathers.
SCHOOL BLESSED.—Bishop Foley of Lancaster opened and blessed new premises costing £51,000 at St. Bridget's Primary School, Egremont, West Cumberland. He was shown round by the headmistress, Sister Scholastics, and the parish priest of Egremont, Fr. Francis Clegg.
CONVENT FIRE. — Fire destroyed the domestic science block at St. Gertrude's Convent, Penzance, last week. The equipment and the rooms were destroyed and there was damage to the dining-room below.
NEW KNIGHTS.—Mr. Frank Cassidy, education executive officer for North Surrey, and Mr. James John Dwyer, of the Catholic Truth Society, have been appointed Knights of St.
Gregory. Mr. Richard Ford, retired chairman of the Catholic Police Guild, has been awarded the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Cross. The Rene Merenti Medal has been awarded to Mrs. Doris Bausor, formerly of the Catholic
HOLY SEPULCHRE POST. —Cardinal Tisserant, Grand Master of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre, has appointed Capt. Francis Henry Formby as Chancellor of the English Lieutenancy of the Order in succession to Mr. James Walsh, who has resigned after 12 years in office. Mr. Walsh has been made Honorary Lieutenant of the Order.
PRACTICAL ACTION — A conference for Christians and others who recognise the need for practical action in their personal lives, the social services, trade unions, politics, education and local government, will be held at Spode House, Rugeley, Staffs., from February 25-27. Among the speakers will be Sir Tom O'Brien, a T.U.C. leader, and Julian Snow, M.P. for Lichfield and Tamworth.