'Catholic Herald Reporter
FI FTY-TWO orders and congregations of priests, nuns and brothers will present and explain the work and character of their foundations at the Clifton Diocesan Vocations Exhibition, which opens at 2 p.m. on Sunday in the Victoria Rooms, Bristol.
Bishop Rudderham of Clifton will celebrate Pontifical High Mass at 4 p.m. and the exhibitors will be busy at their stalls until 10 p.m.
During next week, from Monday to Thursday inclusive, the exhibition will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. with Benediction at 9.45 p.m.
Archbishop McGrath of Cardiff. Archbishop King. Bishop of Portsmouth, and Bishop Murphy of Shrewsbury. are to attend on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday respectively, and will address the visitors.
The souvenir catalogue for the exhibition. says Bishop Rudderham, writing its foreword, is designed to have its main usefulness after the exhibition.
It contains 52 short summaries outlining the nature and activities of each of the congregations represented at the exhibition stalls.
"And if it should be, as please God it will be for some of you," writes the Bishop. " that what you see and learn at the exhibition will open your eyes to the realisation that God is calling you, this hooklet may well help you to decide the particular life which most appeals to you."
1 saw a cross-section of the vigorous Catholic life in the Clifton diocese the other day when Mgr. Cyril Hookway, diocesan treasurer and parish priest of Westbury-on-Trym, drove me round a six-mile radius in the Bristol area.
Mgr. Hookway is one of those people who are no sooner there than gone. He reckons on travelling 14,000 miles a year in a life made up of rapid decisions and heavy, responsibility.
"After all. I have to pay the bills," he says.
We flashed our way from the Pro-Cathedral to the Sacred Heart Church at Westbury-on-Trym. then to the Good Shepherd Convent at Henbury, on to Avonmouth and Shirehampton, and so back along the f1.000,000 Port Way, with the Avon Gorge on our right, to the heights of Clifton Hill.
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In a rapid fire commentary. Mgr. Hookway pointed out the brand. new primary school-opened two days before-where 367 pupils already crowd into 350 places, and one new building estate after another.
" There are 1,300 Catholics here." he would say, or " another 1.000 of us there." And we walked up gravel paths and peered into church new and in the making.
At Avonmouth I saw the nearly completed Church of St. Brendan, with its little tower, planned to meet the needs of the many seamen passing through the port all the time. Its building has been sponsored and aided by the Apostleship of the Sea. It will be served from the parish of Shireham pton.
We called there for a cup of tea with the parish priest, Fr. Richard Norris, who has, incidentally, succeeded Mgr. Canon Dillon on Bristol's education committee. He is the Avonmouth port chaplain.
Only the day before. he told me, he had gone round 14 ships and found 47 Catholics, 22 of them from South India.
'Wheel' chapel " 1 go on all the ships as they come in," he said. " and pick out the Catholic seamen as they work away, often up to their eyes in muck."
W.e found a beautiful oasis of quiet at the Good Shepherd Convent, where the sisters care for unmarried mothers and for the girls in their special training school. From the grounds they look over one of the finest views in the West Country-across the Bristol Channel to Cardiff and Newport. The sisters have been in the Bristol area for many. years. They were bombed out of the city and subsequently found their new home at Henbury.
Their new chapel, nearly finished, is built on traditional Good Shepherd lines -in sections. so that the public, the sisters, and those under their care are all separated from each other. but each section has a full view of the altar. The effect is that of a part of a wheel.
Fr. Cecil Phillips, diocesan treasurer and parish priest of St. George's, Bell's Close, Newcastleon-Tyne, has been named a Canon of the Hexham and Newcastle diocese.
Our Lady's Catechists' autumn meeting will be held at the Convent of the Sacred Heart, Hammersmith, on Saturday. September 24, at 2.30 p.m. Mr. Frank Sheed will speak on " The Art of Teaching Religion."
AN ILLUSTRATED LECTURE on the Life of Our Lord and the Holy Land was given on Sunday by Fr. Richard Foster in St. Francis's Hall, Handsworth, Birmingham, for the Leper Fund sponsored by the Catholic Pharmaceutical Guild.