This Spanish basilica
honours St. Patrick
IHAD always been aware of the considerable links between Irish Catholics and Spain forged by the Wild Geese and other exiled Irishmen, but had not heard before one Spanish city's particular devotion to St. Patrick, whose feast is on Sunday.
M rs, Cathaleen Hindmarsh has written to tell me that Spaniards in and near the city of Lorca on the Mediterranean coast celebrate his feast every year in thanksgiving for a great victory over the Moors on March 17 five centuries ago.
In the mid-I6th century the city's most magnificent Church was dedicated as a Collegiata and Basilica in honour of the saint, sharing the, privilege only with St. Patrick's Basilica on Lough Derg.
During the St. Patrick's Day ceremonies in the city, the Irish flag shares pride of place with that of Spain, and within the basilica itself there is a relic of the saint which is honoured every year.
Our man at FAO MGR. LUIGI LIGUTTI., whose special message to THE CATHOLIC HERALD is printed on page one, has been the Holy See's Official Observer to the FAO since 1948. His devotion to agricultural problems has also earned him a position as a consultant of the American State Department.
Son of an immigrant Ttalian family, he was born in Italy but
brought up in the United States, where he was a parish priest in Iowa farming country for several years. In spite of his important position he remains simple, humble and approachable, very charming and intensely practical. One of his favourite sayings is "A lot of little people doing a lot of little things in a lot of little places can solve very big problems".
On the dotted line IAM glad to report that the contract for the Newman Society's lease of IS Carlisle Street, Soho (featured on our front page some time ago) has been signed by the Trustees, and work on the building is already in hand.
Mr. Austin Winkley, the architect in charge, tells me that it will be a month or two at least before the alterations, which are to be extensive. will be finished.
For the time being the Newman's national office will remain at 32. Portman Square, but it is hoped that it will be able to move into its new premises around the end of this month.
Challoner change SQUADRON LEADER C. R. BROOKE, who has just been appointed as the new Secretary of the Challoner Club. will spend the next month "learning the ropes" before he takes over officially, he told me this week.
Squadron Leader Brooke, who is 46, has had a distinguished career in the R.A.F. and was until recently C.O. of the R.A.F. Search and Rescue organisation. He took up residence in the Club last week and will eventually take over from the present secretary, Brigadier J. D. S. Keenan,
Brigadier Keenan, who has served in the Indian Army, tells me that he will be returning to the profession of Chartered Land Agent, which he practised before coming to the Challoner Club. He qualified at the Royal Agricultural College. Cirencester, after leaving the Army, and is a member of the Chartered Land Agents Society.
Vatican approval T SEE that Christopher Fry's 1 adaptation of the Old Testament for the screen. which I mentioned in this column some months ago when it was first announced, has been completely approved by the Vatican, surely a rare distinction for Biblical epics.
His version has been approved both by Mgr. Salavatore Garofalo. of the Pontifical Commission of Biblical Study, and Dr. Moelwyn Merchant, an Anglican clergyman. Both Mgr, Garofalo and Dr. Merchanthas also given their unequivocal approval to a visual presentation by Signor Dino de Laurentis, the eoted film producer.
Red faces THE reddest faces at the Albert Hall last Sunday belonged to
a nun and her flock of convent girls. Clutching tickets for the Vienna Boys' Choir in their hands they marched through one of the entrances to discover that the seats they thought were theirs had already been occupied.
The afternoon session had been booked for the Daily Worker birthday rally.
U.N. singers AFTER two years' work, the fruit of an unusual United Nations operation has appeared in London. Called "All Star Festival", it is, in fact, a long-playing record, and all profits from it are to go to the U.N. Refugee Fund. World-famous singers, including Bing Crosby, Doris Day, Edith Piaf, Ella Fitzgerald-almost all the big names in the singing world are involved. and there should be something to please everybodyall for a mere 20s.
England's Anne Sheshon, long connected with the Catholic Stage Guild. is included with a version of -Greensleeves", and there is a Greek folksong by Nana Mouskouri, Judging by comments in this office after a few hearings, it's a bargain.
Radio reviewer THE B.B.C. has chosen a Catholic priest to review a new book by an Anglican minister in its "Christian Outlook" series on the third programme on March 28. The priest is Fr. William Burridge. W.F., and the book he will be considering is The Primal Vision by the Rev. John V. Taylor, Both are experts on Africa, the subject of the book. Fr. Burridge has worked there and visited it frequently. For the past four years he has been engaged exclusively on popularising the missionary activities of his society. He is on the committee of the Council for British-African Relations.
Mr, Taylor, who has published Iwo earlier books on Africa, settles in a place. lives there for several years and then writes about it.
Coming of age THE Union of Catholic Students celebrates its 21st birthday this year. Colin McArdle, present general secretary of the Union, tells me that the first meeting was held on May 10, 1942.
The occasion, I gather, will be suitably commemorated at the U.C.S. Easter Assembly, but it is not known whether the first President, Mr. A. Wilbourn, will be present.
The present President of the Union, Michael Philpot. is a postgraduate student of mechanical engineering at Queen Mary College, London. The potential strength of the Union, Cohn MeArdle added, is about 7,000-the total number of Catholic university students in the country. He thought that well over half of these were active members of their local university Catholic societies,