SPANISH WILL HAVE OWN CHURCH HERE
CARDINAL GODFREY has approved the proposed erection of a church in central London for Spanish-speaking people. It will be under the direction of the Spanish Fathers of Opus Dei, whose London house is at Swiss Cottage.
A centre for social and cultural activities will adjoin the church, and the clergy will look after a large number of young Spanish women, numbering about 7,000, mostly domestic and hospital workers. now in England.
These women and girls arrive in this country at the rate of 6,000 yearly, but most of them return borne after a year or two.
Plans for the church and centre, the site for which is still to be determined, have been discussed between the English and Spanish bishops, and the Spanish Embassy here.
The Spanish hierarchy set up an Episcopal Commission for Emigrants, which recently announced it was " worried over the situation of Spanish girls arriving in London in large numbers."
The Commission only last month spoke of the need for " two or three priests and financial assistance in order to enable them to carry out a most necessary work among the girls ".
Fr. J. A. Galarraga, head of the Opus Del in London, has stressed that the church and centre would be for all whose mother-tongue is Spanish, be they Peninsulars or American-born. Apart from the need to cater for the girls, there is also the problem of young men from Spain coming to work here in hotels and hospitals, for whom the Church has been able to do very little so far.
There are, too, many fruitgrowers from the Canary Islands who stay in London from October to May and who, lacking a church of their own, are known to be many of them lax in the practice of their religion.
People from Sotith America, resident here or passing through. number few in comparison. But as Opus Dei will cater for them as well, the Fathers of this Institute are insisting that the church and centre shall be non-national.
Opus Dei, the most important of Secular Institutes, with sections for both men and women, is a Spanish foundation, In England it runs hostels for students.