AMID the ever-present debate on what constitutes a news story, Joseph Wilkins has had his say. "News," says Joseph, "is a bundle of information about the world at the moment. Some is false, and some is true."
An astute observation indeed — even more so when you realise that Joseph is a primary school pupil. His comment was included in a recent one-off edition of the "Our Lady of Pity Times", his class newspaper.
The paper was put together by six to eight-year-olds at Our Lady of Pity, which is in Hoylake, Merseyside, and sent to the Catholic Herald office for a professional opinion! Well we think it's great !
A lot of thought and hard work has gone into producing the paper — just like any newspaper, it's full of news items, features, pictures and cartoons. There's a story about author Berlie Doherty's visit to the school, a report on a wildlife evening, and an account of a hospital stay. And even an advert is included it's for Our Lady of Pity School, of course . "an exciting school", we are told.
NEWS from another school also reached our office this week. Despite the awful weather of late, deputy headmaster Caimin Lynch completed a cycle ride from Lands End to John O'Groats in eight days.
Mr Lynch, who works at Sion Manning School in London, did the ride to raise money to help the handicapped. His daughter, Lissadel, is disabled. A keen cyclist, Mr Lynch apparently cycles to school every day all the way from his home in Beckenham in Kent.
IN WALES, of course, helping other people is nothing new but a centre which opened in Swansea this week will remind locals of a very special way of assisting those far away. CAFOD, the Catholic Church's official Third World charity, has set up a new resources centre at the Stella Maris Centre at Eaton Crescent in the town, and Bishop Daniel Mullins of the diocese went along on Wednesday to declare it officially open.
Information, educational resources and booklets on all aspects of Third World development are available from the centre, which is being run by a group of Ursuline Sisters.
CAFOD has projects all over the
globe — in at least 75 countries,
in fact — and people from almost as many places got together recently for an international ecumenical congress in Liverpool. The conference was organised by the Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and followed the theme "Mary in Theology and Devotion".
Amongst the speakers at the event were Archbishop Derek Warlock and Bishop David Sheppard of Liverpool, and papers were given by theologians from Oxford, Uppsala, Virginia, Chicago and many other places. On the lighter side, the participants had trips to cathedrals and other places of interest in the area, and Dr Mary Remnant gave a Soiree musicale with slides and ancient instruments.
The society, of course is all about ecumenism, so the conference included various services in the different traditions represented.
HOW much, though, do we really understand of other faiths? Not much, if we are truthful, suspect. The Catholic Bishops' Conference Committee for Other Faiths has come up with the answer — a series of six fly leaflets covering Islam, Buddhism, Buddha, Hinduism, the Mosque and other faiths in Britain.
The leaflets are available, price £3.00 for 50 or 6p per leaflet plus 50p p&p, from the secretary, Committee for Other Faiths, 6a Cresswell Park, London SE3 9RD.