THE BROTHERS of the Little Oratory, London, S.W.7, have invited Whitefriars and all his readers to tea—not on one afternoon, not two, but on every Sunday afternoon of the year until they have finished a very important job of work. Starting on March 7 the Oratorians plan to ewe tea (after the 4.30 p.m. Mass) in St. Josepn's Hall every Sunday for at least a year, and for longer if necessary. They will charge a mere ?s,—less than the cost of ten cigarettes—and when they have amassed a sufficient total they will send it to a young Kensington girl who ttorks in South Korea.
She is Miss Susie Younger. She tvoiks in the slums and back streets of bomb-scarred cities where people are still in a state of post-war shock. She runs a home for shoe-shine boys aged five and six, another for prostitutes, some of them only 15, who have been rescued from brothels, and a third for girl students who often sell their blood to hospitals to pay for college fees.
Miss Younger, an Oratory parishioner, was converted to Catholicism a few years ago when studying at Oxford. She turned her back on a brilliant career and went to Taegu. Korea, to live Korean and to help poor labourers and their families. Her latest project is a dairy farm. She is reclaiming art uncultivated hillside to support the surrounding villages and her own dependents. She needed £12,000 for this and has raised about £10,000.
Once again I find myself breaking my rule shout appeals—but not everybody can get to the Oratory in London for Sunday Mass. An occasional 2s. will help a great deal and it will be money well-spent.
1AST WEEK. in the quiet of St. Bride's A-4 Anglican Church at the bottom of Fleet Street six leprosy groups of all denominations held a press conference tO focus national attention on the problems of the millions of victims who suffer from the disease throughout the world.
The picture the delegates painted was surprising and not a little frightening. The fact is that even though leprosy can now he cured there are still something like fifteen million people— according to the World Health Organisation— who suffer unnecessarily from it. Leprosy now causes more deformity than all other' crippling diseases put together.
Even though it can be successfully treated with sulfa drugs only three mil/ion on average receive the treatment. Most lepers live in crowded conditions in the developing countries and many of the new governments fail to recognise the disease as a serious economic and social problem which can be effectively dealt with. Even in 1965 lepers are expected to disappear from their community cs kill themselsi's.
Sir Harold Hood. BT., president of the Catholic group. the St. Francis Leper Guild, tells me that in 1964 alone the guild distributed nearly S:30,000 to hospital and leper colonies. They raised the money through parish appeals. voluntary donations and legacies. This year, Sir Harold expects the figure to drop slightly to about .C22,000. He stresses that there is an extreme lack of volunteers willing to take treatment to the lepers, Shiploads of sulfa are not sufficient. Leprosy sufferers need plenty of personal encouragement to combat the stigma they carry.
Popes in oils
A DARWEN, Lancs., priest who began oil 1-16painting in his spare moments a few months ago has found his work so popular that his first two canvases have been obtained for the new Catholic Chaplaincy at Manchester University.
The first was of Pope John XXIII and the second of Pope Pius XII. And now Er, George janered, curate at St. Joseph's, Damen has been asked to paint a third portrait, this time of the present Pontiff, Pope Paul VI, to hang with them.
Fr. Tancred tells me he decided to try painting in the Van Gogh style after seeing a Continental film on painting last summer. He had never done it before but his "splashing paint on canvas"seems to Me to he very effective. His painting of Pitts XII carries the star of David shove the Pope's head : -This is my gesture against those who say that the Pope did nothing help the Jews, He was their protector in many ways," Fr. lancred told me.
He enjoys oil painting very much hut only gets a little time. for it, late at night. The large paintings, bright and colourful with a bold application, arc now hanging on a staircase leading to the Chaplaincy discussion room.
HEAR the Crusade of Service which was ounded six years ago in London by Mr. l'erdinand de Jong has opened its second office in the city. Mr. de Jung tells me that from their new quarters at Excel House in Whitcomb Street, W.C.2, the society hopes to extend its work considerably.
Under the motto "Man helps himself by helping others" the society's volunteers plan to move into the Covent Garden-Soho areas. The volunteers are men and women of all ages and religions and they will ferret out and help the many blind, aged, and infirm people living in this part of London.
During the past six years, from their centre at 61 Tatehhrook Street, Victoria, S.W.1., the Crusade has helped and befriended hundreds of men and women who live alone in bed-sitters. They take them on coach and river outings and treat theta to monthly parties, The highlight of the year's work is at Christmas when they give them a dinner party at some exclusive restaurant The opening of a new centre in the West End is mostly due to support obtained through a 1111C Good Cause appeal in December when Mr. de Jong told television viewers of the society's work. Incidentally, he tells me he k,ilt welcome men and women who have some spare time and interest, to form a virile panel of helpers to establish the centre and extend the work.
AWEEK from tomorrow the girls at the Sacred Heart Convent, Tunbridge Wells, aim to celebrate the school's 50th anniversary by putting on a lavish concert at the Central Hall, Westminster. London.
Every girl in the school will take part in the concert—the non-singers selling programmes. The junior girls tell mc they are especially excited about their folk opera. The Midnight Thief, when the three principals will wear real Mexican costumes. These were given to the convent by the step-father of a new pupil, Marta Laguetteq who comes from Chihuahua in Mexico.
Ile also brought an Aztec princess's costume, but as the heroine in the opera is a bird the girls cannot use it. But they are determined to use an Aztec chieftian'a headdress which is so beautiful they are just going to leave it sitting in the centre of the stage. The senior school girls will sing Benjamin Britten's Missa Brevis and a 13th century motet by Bird which is one of the earliest polyphonies for liturgy. They will also sing St. Nicholas and V. ill he supported irt the adult odes by members 0' four other choirs, including that of the Ministry of Aviation and the City Philharmonic Choir.
HARD ON the heels of the news that Archbishop Heenan has been raised to the Sacred College of Cardinals comes the information that a book is being written on the English Cardinals, front the first one, Robert Pullen, who was created in 1143, right up to modern times.
The author, Mr. Michele L. Nash, of "Heather Corner". Chilworth Road. near Southampton, tells me he would he happy to hear from any reader who remembers personal anecdotes • of recent cardinals. or information regarding the sources as to earlier ones,
YSTERY plays have suddenly come hack into vogue— and one of them has been set to music composed by Benjamin Britten. "Noye's Fludde" will he presented at Coloma Training College, Wickham Court, West Wickham, Kent, February 17 to 20, inclusive. Apart from two characters and a string quartet the cast of this Chester Cycle play' is drawn entirely from the college. The 14th century play about the flood will be well set in Wickham Court, part of which dales to the 15th century.
The Mermaid Theatre in London is revising the Wakefield Mystery Plays which were given their first production in 300 years in 1960. Seventeen of the cycles 32 plays will be presented each evening starting Apr:I 6, and James Bolam will again play Jesus and direction will again bembyysStearly ply Sally Mialess: the foundation of modern theatre, were the result of enacted religious themes moving "out of the church" into the street 600 and more years ago. The three best known "cycles" or series of plays are the Wakefield, York and Coventry, which in various forms showed the Christian story from Creation to the Day of Judgment.