APROPOSAL to close the convent of the Sisters of Charity of St. Paul, at Maryport, Cumberland, and transfer its five nuns elsewhere was so much opposed in the town that 4,000 people signed a petition against it.
Now, after a request by Bishop Foley. of Lancaster, the Sisters of Mercy at Wigton, 15 miles away, have agreed to take the convent over.
Er. Edward Croft, parish priest of Maryport, said last week: " We have had nuns in the town for 92 years. Many people were dismayed that they were leaving and that the convent would close."
Dr. Robert Rattrie, one of the organisers of the petition, said: " The nuns do excellent work here. We did not want them to leave. We are pleased that the convent is to stay open."
The decision to withdraw the nuns was made on " economic grounds " by the Mother General of the Sisters of Charity of St. Paul at Birmingham.
Jews and Catholics meet 'Dialogue' has reached Golders Green, London. Last week more than 30 young Jews, mostly men, from the Reformed Synagogue there, attended a talk by Fr. R. H. Fastwell, S.J., on "The Catholic Idea of the Church". The modern Jewish approach was then given by the Rev. N. Atkins. a Jewish theological student.
The meeting was arranged by the Synagogue Youth Club and Fr. de Fellici, parish priest of St. Edwardthe Confessor, Golders Green. It has been decided to follow up this, the first, with a series of such meetings.
Tracked by Beatles
Mgr. John Bennet, Provost of Liverpool Cathedral Chapter, who is just back from a 40,000-mile tour of Australasia, says he was in Australia at the same lime as the Beatles. "At one time they seemed to be following me around," he said.
Mgr. Bennet, who is head of child welfare in the Archdiocese, and parish priest of St. Anne's, Freshfield, has made a number of visits to Canada and America, but this was his first to the southern hemisphere.
Swansea school for 900
Work began this week on the first Catholic school to be built in Swansea for more than 40 years. Called the Bishop Vaughan secondary school, it will take 900 children from Mynydd Garnlwyd, one of Swansea's most densely populated areas.
Take-over from Baptists
A disused Baptist chapel will form the nucleus of a new Catholic parish in the southern suburbs of Liverpool. The 57-year-old red brick building, which was bought by the Archdiocese for about £6,000, is now being converted.
The new parish will be run by Fr. Gerard Reynolds, 53, from St. Charles' and will have more than Pirtute: See New Guinea at jast 1,000 parishioners. It will take in parts of St. Austin's, Cirassendale, and St. Charles', Aigburth.
Ware priest retiring
Fr. Cuthbert Boddy, who has been parish priest of Ware. Hertfordshire, for 20 years, and will celebrate the golden jubilee of his ordination in Novembet, is retiring from parish work in September. His parishioners have set up a committee to raise funds for a presentation and neighbouring parishes are being called in to help.
New Guinea at last Fr. Vincent Theobald, S.V.D., headmaster of SI. Richard's College, Hadzor, Droitwich [picture above] left last month to do missionary work in New Guinea for which he had volunteered. He had spent most of 12 years on the staff at Radnor. Fr. Theobald was born in 1919, in Sioux City. Iowa, and entered the Divine Word Seminary for foreign missions. He was ordained in 1949, and though anxious to go to New Guinea was sent instead by his superiors to England. Later he spent a year at Harvard University. The Society of the Divine Word has two large mission territories in New Guinea. One is in the highlands. and the missionaries keep in contact by planes which They pilot themselves.
" Radio Priest " to move
Fr. George Songhurst, Liverpool's "Radio Priest", is to take over the parish of St. Austin, Thee° Heath, St. Helens, this month. It will be his first appointment as parish priest.
Formerly an assistant to Fr. Agnellus Andrew, O.F.M.. at Hatch End. he went to Liverpool BBC in 1954 and has been in demand for broadcasts and preaching ever since. He succeeds Canon A. Maguire, who is retiring.
Fete raised £3,000
More than £3,000 was realised at the annual garden fete last week at St. Michael's Hospital, in Hayle, Cornwall. The Mayors of St. Ives and Penzance and Lord and Lady St. Levan attended the fete.
Trade unions' seminar
Trade union leaders from Africa, Asia and Central America, as well as Europe, are attending a three weeks' seminar at the Catholic Workers' College at Boars Hill, Oxford, organised by the Inter national Federation of Christian Trade Unions. The theme of the seminar is International co-operation and social progress in developing countries.
Babel and Pentecost film
"The Tower and the Dove", a film on Pentecost and world religious unity, which took the Catholic artist and film-maker, Joan Morris, of Holborn, London, three years to make, was shown at the Conference of Modern Churchmen at St. Hilda's College, Oxford. More than 500 paintings are used, and the music was specially composed by Sister Margaret Mary of Sion.
The film compares the profusion of tongues in the Tower of Babel with the gift of tongues at Pentecost and then gives the contribution of each of the 16 nations recounted by the Acts as being in Jerusalem then, to an understanding of God.
Christians and Jews
Three working groups at an international youth conference organised by the Council of Christians and Jews at Boldern, Switzerland, next week will discuss these three aspects of Christian-Jewish relations: "How far has the inertia of religiously-minded people been responsible for past anti-Semitism?" "What concrete proposals do you advocate for promoting Christian-Jewish understanding between young people today?" and 'What are the main points of Christian teaching about the Jews which need revision?"
The annual Rosary pilgrimage to the Lady Chapel. Mount Grace in Osmotherley, North Yorkshire, will begin at 2 p.m.. Sunday, August 16, in honour of the Assumption and the English Martyrs, Bishop Brunner of Middlesbrough will celebrate a pontifical High Mass at 4 p.m. and Bishop Wheeter, 'coadjutor of Middlesbrough, IA ill preach.
Five Anglican nuns joined with Catholic teachers from all parts of Britain last week for a course in psychology at Acton Burnell convent, Shrewsbury. The course, the third in a series of Summer Schools, was organised by the Sisters of Our Lady of Sion. Fr. E. O'Doherty, professor and director of Psychology at University College, Dublin, gave the lectures.