St. Swithin takes a knock from U.S.
THE recent successes of the American long-range weather forecasters has finally undermined the confidence of a correspondent in St. Swithin, The saint's feast on July 15 reminds him of the old saw
St. Swithin's day, if thou dost rain,
For forty dais it will remain:
Sr. Swirlt1n's doe' if thou he fair.
For forty days 'twill rain nae malt. A little research shows how badly the saint has been off form in recent years. In 1952, St. Swithin's day was fine but during the following forty clays no fewer than 21 were wet. The following year. was also fine and there were 33 dry days afterwards. In 1956 it was again dry on July 15 but before August 24 there were no fewer than 24 rainy days. 1957 was fine and 1958 wet, hut in both cases 23 rainy days followed St. Swithin's. 1959 came close to proving the truth of the old legend when a fine July IS was followed by only 12 wet days.
Christian names ANYONE who has struggled with the task of naming a new baby will be interested in the views of Mgr. Anthony Reynolds of the Borough on this problem. In the latest issue of his dynamic weekly news-sheet, The Borough Piper, he speaks of the growing practice of giving children names which are not those of Saints. He is against Shirley. Lesley. Perry, Fraser, Tracey though he admits a present-day Shirley may one day be canonised. He himself favours the name and surname of the English martyrs — e.g, Edmund Campion Smith, Thomas More Jones. Names he thinks it unwise to confer on a child — because of the sound or associations — are Boniface. Martnaduke and Scholastics.
Alan. Audrey, Trudy and Gladys are. however, saints' names. There are no less than five Mans (Manus) among the saints and blesseds. all of whom lived before 15(X). Audrey is the same as Etheldreda. Trudy is. or course, St. Gertrude and Gladys. according to Mgr. Reynolds is the same asClaudia, although the "Hook of Saints" lists a separate St. Gladys of Wales, who lived in the fifth century.
In the news MR, PETER PALMER, the 301 year-old Northolt draughtstitan who was reported dying from a kidney complaint earlier this year. found himself the eubject of close scrutiny in daily newspapers last week. He had made medical history as the first person to use the unique artificial kidney in London's Royal Free Hospital. and ws pa per reporters, hearing that the treatment had enabled him to return to his skewing board, were set on recording all the events surrounding his recovery.
They missed out on one point. however, The day before the national press descended on him, Mr. Palmer had been received into the Church by Fr. Michael Buckley, assistant priest at St. Gabriel's, South Harrow. Four days later, on Sunday, Mr. Palmer was Confirmed by Bishop Cashman.
Fr. Buckley told me: "Everyone is absolutely staggered at Mr. Palmer's recovery, He had gone blind as a result of the kidney breakdown when I began to give him religious instruction, The doctore said he was a dying man. Now his sight has recovered and he is back at work end able to play with his children at home."
Sales talk 1* HEAR that two smart mission
ary nuns from the North have cashed in on the sales in London. Identifying themselves merely as Sister Mary and Sister Madeleine, they arrived at a well-known store with £5 subscribed by 11 to 13year-old pupils at their convent school.
With it they planned to buy the hest barge ins they could for girls at the Order of St. Michael's Orphanage, Banegalore, South
And they were in luck. They found a rail of school-uniforms reduced from over £3 to five shillings for the sale. So for their £5 they bought 20 assorted dresses and pleated green flannel kilts with tops.
400 years old PON' FICAL High Mass. to Twhich all will be welcome, will be sung at Westminster Cathedral tomorrow (Saturday) at 8 to celebrate the Fourth Centenary of the founding or the first Sodality of Our Lady. This was in Rome in 1563 for the boys of the Rommel College. Soon, English socialists were runnine a printing press (which published some of Campion's works) and a hostel for Priests in Chancery Lane. at the height of the Elizabethan pereeetition, Today, sodaliets are active in Enelish school, universities and training colleges and parishes. The Maas will he sung by the Rt. Rev. Thomae B. Pearson. Ph.D.. Bishop of Sincle. and National Director of the Englieh and Welsh Sodalities. Fr. Donald Proudman. 0.P._ will preach. and the ministers of the Mess will be Fr, R. 11. Festwell, S.J.. National Sodality Promoter. Fr. William Lawson Si., and Fr Patrick Purnell S.J.
Chapel standard HOW does Catholic hymn-singing in Wales measure up to the high standard set by the chapel tradition of the Land of Song? Badly as it compared in the past. it is now "quite up to standard" according to our Welsh correspondent. Henry Edwards. Leet Sunday morning, when a parish mass in Latin and Welsh
was celebrated in the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Larnpeter, Mr. Edwards took the opinion of some chapel friends of his. They were, it seems, impressed. Except for the USaintaris, which was sung in Welsh at the Communion. all the hymns were by the great Protestant composer Pantycelyn and Ann Griffiths. A commentary on the service was provided by Fr. John Fitzgerald 0.Carme and the Mass was broadcast on the Welsh radio,
It is over a year ago since the first "Welsh Mass" was broadcast. Welsh-language journals were on the whole kind in their criticism, but said that the hymn singing was inferior to that heard in the chapels. It is evident that some hard work has been done in the meantime, and it is good to know that it has been rewarded, John XXIII at show I AM also interested to hear from
Wales that there will he a Catholic stand at the Royal Welsh Show, which takes place at Builth Wells from July 23 to 25, The theme of the exhibit will be "Pope John XXIII, his life and work for peace and Christian Unity".
The stand is being organized by the South Menevia Catholic Parents and Electors Association. which hopes to have a permanent building for future Catholic exhibits.
Catholics who are on holiday in South Wales later on this month would do well to pay a visit to Radnorshire and so encourage this Welsh initiative.
Busy M.P. MAURICE FOLEY, the new M.P. for West Bromwich. will be adding one more responsibility to a life which most people would find busy enough already. For he is, of course. extremely active in Catholic circles. as chairman of the education committee of the Catholic Social Guild. and a member of the Africa committee of the Sword of the Spirit. He hopes to continue with all these activities by "organieing the time available", Mr. Foley told me this week that his ambition to be an M.P. had grown on him as the result of the gradual assumption of public responsibil itee lie was. for inetance, a member for 6 years or the Merton and Morden 'Urban District Council, on which he held the position of vice-Chairman of the Old People's Welfare Committee. "T am extremely interested in old people and their needs". he said. Mr. Foley resigned from the Council last year.
Jewish evidence WHEN 1 mentioned some weeks ago that Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park would soon be saying farewell to Fr. Donald
Proudman, its most famous Dominican speaker since the days of old Fr. Vincent McNabb, few could have anticipated how unique this farewell would be. It will be made at the Catholic Evidence Guild's Hyde Park pitch this Sunday by a Jew who has been battling with Fr. Proudman and other Catholic speakers for some six or seven years.
Mr. David Cohen is almost as well known for his heckling as Fr. Proudman is for his lectures. He has a mind like greased lightning. and it strikes at the root of discussion with deadly consequences r for some of the This Sunday, however, Mr. Cohen is going to lay off from discussions about doctrine and dogma (at least for a few minutes) and say what he realiv thinks about Fr. Proudman. Moreover, the Catholic Evidence Guild is giving him the platform on which to say it—another unique gesture, surely, Paradise Isle Ttalk of spending a long weekend in Malta to me savoured a little of the ridiculous, hut the enthusiasm of colleague Marian Curd back in the °flee on Monthly after three full days in the kiln' of summer weather we yearn for temperatures in the 90s, warm blue seas and a guarantee of no rain. shows not only what a Paradise Isle Malta is, hut also what wonderful value for money are the pilgrimages run by the All Night Vigil Group wilt their indefatigable founder and leader. Hon. Mrs. Henrietta
This marathon flight to Malta cost pilgrims about £30 a head, and the only rigorous part of the trip apart from two nights flying is of course the Vigil-but even this, I was told, was somewhat mitigated when Rabat put on a giant pre-vigil itsta, and the most hospitable members of the Legion of Mary served up coffee and biscuits at 3 a.m. Hospitality all the way was overwhelming: people met casually were firm friends within hours.
Better than a hotel rr HE Mater Admirabilis College, Tal Virtu, opened by the Queen for the English Province of the Sacred Heart nuns, accommodated the women members of the Vigil Group, and says my colleague enthusiastically "We were more comfortable than in a great many English Or foreign) hotels." Two hundred and forty four girls are accommodated yearly at Mater Admirabilis for a two year course. Most find teaching jobs in Malta, many marry very soon: not its the least a wastage as some would say, but a mammoth insurance for the future of young Malta. Another happy note about this flight was the fact that the ANV group were able to join Maita Metropolitan Airlines on the inaugural flight of their new charter service to Malta, a route which will no doubt he a great boon to many of our Maltese friends in England,