Ransom pilgrims remember and honour a London Saint
By Marian Curd HILE thousands flocked to Olympia on Saturday to see and admire the worldwide work and achievements of the religious orders and congregations, some 300 people went in the opposite direction-down the Thames to the Tower of London following the last journey of a man who 418 years ago died to defend that same Catholic heritage.
They were members of the Guild of Our Lady of Ransom taking part in the only public demonstration in honour of the Feast of St. Thomas More.
Led by the Master of the Guild, Fr. Laurance Goulder. the pilgrims. after attending Mass at the Church of the Holy Redeemer, Chelsea, walked in procession escorting a relic of the saint to the Convent in Remfort Street, Chelsea.
There, in a little courtyard by the old mulberry tree that shaded him when in happier days his home stood on the site of the present convent, St. Thomas's relic was venerated in the morning sunshine.
It was from this house that the man who had been page-boy, seminarian, lawyer. Speaker of the House, and Lord Chancellor of England left his family home one April morning and went down the river on the journey that took him to the scaffold.
The pilgrims of 1953 did not sec a rural Chelsea or a marsh and fieldflanked river, but they passed Sir Thomas More Buildings-huge fiats erected by the local council-and boarded the Thames launch Royalty instead of a Chancellor's barge.
They passed Lambeth Palace, where from a garden summer-house St. Thomas More watched the Catholic men of England sign away their heritage while he himself, the first layman of England to be called to take the oath. was left for a while to "meditate" on his decision.
On the river. and then while with special permission the pilgrims stot d in St. Thomas's cell at the 'lower, Fr. Goulder told the guild of the life, work and death of the saint.
Up on to Tower Green went the 300, some of them elderly, some of them crippled, and one blind man led by a friend, to stand and pray at the site of the scaffold.
Benediction at the church dedicated to the English Martyrs, in Prescott Street, was followed by a tour of the City-and still those pilgrims were not tired.
Home and school
They walked to Milk Street, where St. Thomas was horn. They walked along Cheapside-his way to St. Anthony's School in Threadneedle Street.
And then they walked down to Printing House Square, home of The Times but formerly connected with the saint. On to Carey Street, where a guild member had on the feast day climbed a ladder to place flowers by the statue of St. Thomas More standing above the entrance to the Women's Press Club, Mr. Richard O'Sullivan. Q.C., welcomed the pilgrims on their last call, which by special permission was at Lincoln's Inn Hall, Here the Benchers of the oldest building in the Inn were preparing for Sunday, when Mass was to be offered in the Hall by Fr. Hilary Carpenter, 0.P., for the members of the St. Thomas More Society. The special preacher was to be Fr, Bernard Fisher.
Beneath a Hogarth picture of St. Paul pleading his case before Felix. an altar had been erected. At one side of the Hall a stained-glass window depicts St. Thomas More who as High Chancellor dispensed justice in that building, and at the far end a framed picture still looks down on students of the law, reminding them of the man who in the steadfastness of his Faith went to the scaffold with a clear conscience-the man of tremendous popularity at whose death it was said: "Laughter was banished from England,"
Masses will be celebrated front 6 a.m. to noon on the summit of Croagh Patrick-St. Patrick's Mountain on the west coast of Irelandduring the national pilgrimage on Sunday. July 26. Archbishop Walsh of Tuam will he present.
Special trains and buses will take pilgrims from many parts of the country, Priests wishing to celebrate Mass on the summit should communicate with Fr. J. Burke. Administrator, Westport. Co. Ma'.
'This stand is vital to
our cause' THE parents of every Bournemouth . Catholic child awarded a grammar school place have received a letter from the parish priests of the borough urging them to resist attempts to the local education authority to induce them to send their children to the authority's non-Catholic schools.
The clergy ask them to "insist that your child is going to the Catholic school of your on n choice," and they add: "This stand is vital to our Catholic cause. Any wavering now will do untold and lasting damage."
Protests are being gathered from all the Catholic residents against "the sudden and unfair decision" of the education committee to end the seven-year-old arrangement allow Catholic children awarded free grammar school places to go to SI. Peter's School, Solithbourne, and the Convent of the Cross, Boscomhe.
The members of the committee are urged to reconsider the decision and to recognise the "conscience" rights embodied in the 1944 Education Act.
The chairman of a Brighton Catholic Action group has written to Bournemouth asking for information about the Catholic protest and saying: "What has happened in Bournemouth could very quickly happen elsewhere with extremely serious effects."
Papal honours for 3 laymen of Westminster
Mr. Stanley Sumpter. Mayor of 'Hendon, London, in 1952-53, has been created a Knight of the Order of St. Gregory the Great by the Holy Father, at the request of Cardinal Griffin, for his services to the Church, particularly in social affairs, Also at the Cardinal's request, His Holiness has conferred the Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice upon, Mr. A. Sluman for his services totheChurch, particularly in the field of education in the parish of Greenf ord. Middlesex.
Similarly, Mr. E. '1'. Looney has been awarded the Benemerenti Medal for his services to the Church, particularly in the Dominican parish of Haverstock Hill, London. where he has been active in various parish societies for 50 years.
The parents planned this new school
With the approval of Cardinal Griffin a new independent day school for senior girls is to be opened in September at More House, 53 Cromwell Road, London, S.W.7.
'I he idea for the school came from a group of parents who are taking an active part in its development. There are a few vacancies for pupils of 14 plus and all particulars may be obtained from the Reverend Mother.
More House has until now been run RS a residential hostel for women students of London University by the Canonesses Regular of St. Augustine, Members of the Parents' Committee include Mr. Basil. Gray. Mr. Robert Mathew, Mr. James Monahan, Lady Pakenham, the Hon. Mrs. Daphne Pollen, Mr. and Mrs. F. J. Robins, Lady Sempill and Mr. Wells,
Mass at Rhyl Eisteddfod
Mass for the National Eisteddfod will be offered on August 3 at Rhyl, this year's Eisteddfod home. Mgr. Cashman, Vicar General of Mcnevia, will he present, and a sermon in Welsh will be preached by Fr. laud Evans, 0.13.
Councils sponsor nuns' appeal
Flint Corporation and the Holywell Urban and District Councils are sponsoring a fund to collect £1,000 for the Little Sisters of the Assumption who went to Flintshire three years ago.
The sisters wish to build a new convent and domestic chapel in Holywell, Their work among the sick poor in North Wales since 1949 has won high praise from many Anglicans and Nonconformists. With one exception. the committee members sponsoring the appeal are all non-Catholics,
Pontifical High Mass celebrated by Bishop Bright, and art operetta, marked the golden jubilee of St. Joseph's Convent, Stafford.
The community was established in Stafford in 1903 by the Mother Jeanne and seven sisters from France. Their first home was Forton House. a short distance from the present convent.
The Southwark Diocesan Catholic Parents' and Electors' Association at the annual meeting in Lewisham on Sunday re-elected Councillor Miss M. E. Odell. J.P.. as chairman. Mr. P. G. Anley was elected vicechairman; Mr. 0, Heath, secretary; Miss Carrigg, treasurer; Councillor Mrs. T), M. Pettingell, public relations officer.
First Pilgrims at St. David's
"This is the first pilgrimage of its kind to the shrine of St. Da' id's organised by the Catholics of modern Wales," said Fr. Stephen, C.P., of St. Non's, Pembrokeshire. when he welcomed pilgrims from Glamorgan, Carmarthen and Pembroke to St. David's on Sunday.
The pilgrimage was organised by the Maesteg (Glamorgan) branch of Y Cylch Catholig and was led by Er. Francis Murphy, chaplain to the branch.
It included Cs left members front Ahergwili, Carmarthen and a large number of youthful pilgrims from Fishguard, under the care of the Sisters of Mercy.
The pilgrims visited St. David's Cathedral, now in the care of the Church in Wales, where they were received by the Dean of St. David's, who personally conducted them on a tour, describing its treasures and displaying its relics.
A service of the Rosary and Benediction, conducted in Welsh, followed at the Church of St. Non.
Knighted during Royal tour
During the Royal tour of South Wales last week the Queen knighted the Lord Mayor of Cardiff, Mr. James Collins, who is a Catholic. Sir James received the accolade at a ceremony in the Lord Mayor's Parlour of the Cardiff City Hall.
Earlier Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh had been the guests of the Lord Mavot• and Corporation at a civic luncheon.
Rome choir coming to Aylesford
The Polyphonic Choir of Rome which gave recitals at the Welsh Eisteddfod and at Westminster Cathedral last year is to return in August for a series of cisncerts under the auspices of the Anglo-Italian Operatic Society. '
The choir will be at Aylesford on Sunday. August 16. and subsequently will give performances at Se Pancras, Wembley, Lewisham, and Chelsea Town Halls; Westminster Cathedral Hall (August 21 and 28). and a final performance at the Royal Albert Hall on August 30.
410 years of marriage
In cars decked with flowers, eight husbands and wives went to the little church in the village of Chalmazet to renew their marriage vows.
Cardinal Gerlier. Archbishop of Lyons, went out of his way to presidefor seven of the couples were celebrating their golden weddings and the eighth their diamond jubilee.
Their wedded years add up to 410.
Death of school founder's son
Mr. Francis Bernard Leighton. assistant master at Leighton House Catholic Preparatory School Birmingham, died on June 26, He was the son of Mr. F. T. Leighton, principal founder of the school, and was educated at St. Philip's Grammar School and Birmingham University.
The school choir sang at the Requiem Mass which was celebrated by Fr, Romuald. C,P„ and attended by all the school and staff, and members of the Old Boys' Association.
The only student from Holly Lodge School, Smetliwick, ever to attain the priesthood, the Rev. John Bums, will he ordained priest on Sunday at St. Gregory's Church, Bearwood. Smethwick,
The Bishop Bright Cup for the Four Hand Reel at the Irish Fair in Birmingham last week-end was won by the children of Nazareth House, Rednal, against competitois from many parts of the British Isles.
CWL will make newcomers feel at home
Nearly 600 members of the Catholic Women's League from many parts of the Brentwood diocese went to their annual assembly at Brentwood last week and attended Benediction given by Bishop Beck in the cathedral.
o help the Travelling Missions, Members presented the Bishop with £40; and to help the ecclesiastical education fund they gave £187. It was announced that £20 had been given to the Hospital of St, John and St. Elizabeth to buy altar linen.
The Bishop hoped that members would welcome newcomers to the new estates at Collier Row, Hainault and Harold Hill and make them feel at home.
Cause of modern friar is opened
The Sacred Congregation of Rites has published the decree by which the Holy Father authorises the introduction of the beatification cause of. the Servant of God Fr. Victor of Eggenfelden (Antony Weiss), five times Minister Provincial of the Friars Minor Capuchins, who died on October 8, 1924.
Fr. Victor was born in 1848 in the diocese of Ratisbon. Germany. He won a brilliant doctorate in theology and was ordained a priest, Later, he joined the Capuchins and very quickly became famous for his outstanding sanctity.
Men's walk to Sussex shrines
Two pilgrimages on foot to shrines of Our Lady are being made this summer by men members of the Sodality of Our Lady.
Shrines in Sussex. which will include Dunsfold, A r ii n d el, West Grinstead. Storrington. Haywards Heath and Mayfield. will he visited by a pilgrimage starting on Sunday in London and finishing on July 26 with the annual procession to Hastings Castle, Fr, H. W. R. Lillie, national director, will preach.
On September 17 another group of men will set out on an eight-day walk from London to Walsingham via Hoddesdon, Much Hadham, Cambridge, Ely and King's Lynn.
Their colour model wins a shield
A shield for the most original application in the use of the Banda duplicator has been won by the Convent of the Sacred Heart, at Barnes, London.
Their entry, in several colours all applied on the duplicator, was a cutout model for use as a visual aid in the classroom.
More than 400 entries received from many parts of the country showed the usefulness of this kind of duplicator in schools. Seven colours can be applied simultaneously, making the machine particularly suitable for all school subjects, also posters, programmes, handicraft, cut-out models, certificates, and so on.
Fr. J. 0 'Ryan, O.M.I.
Fr, J. O'Rsan, 0.M.I.. formerly Superior of St. Teresa's, Norris Green. Liverpool, has been named Provincial of the new Oblate province in Australia,
At a Grail rally and study day at Harhorne Hall. Birmihghani. on Sunday, the hope was expressed that a Grail house may shortly be established in the city.
OBITUARY Fr, Cecil Tasker
Fr. Cecil Tasker. chaplain to the Augustinian Convent. Brighton, died on Wednesday last week.
A convert clergyman. he studied for the priesthood at the Reda College. Rome, and after his ordination served as assistant priest at Litilehampton, Worthing and SI. Mary Magdalen 's, Brighton, In 11,131 he was appointed rector of Miclhutst and in 1937 to the Atietistinian Convent