Lourdes and Bologna give a lead
BOLOGNA and Lourdes have given a lead to the Catholic world by planning special homes for poor and newly-married couples during Mary's Year,
Cardinal Lercaro, Archbishop of Bologna, last week blessed and laid the foundation stone of the first house in the new "garden village" he is paying for himself.
The village on the outskirts of Bologna will consist of 41 houses, eight of which are designed to accommodate a single family. The rest will be maisonettes for two separate families.
The village will have a church, a junior school and a general shop. "The honour we pay to Our Lady in her year should not merely be intimate and personal but social as well," said the Cardinal.
"We can prove our love for her especially in the solving of grave 'live' problems. We have decided to give an example i . order to stimulate the zeal of everyone."
On a municipal basis, the authorities in Lourdes have put the finishing touches to a housing drive of their own. Backed by Bishop Theas, the town council plans to build "many new homes for workers" during Mary's Year.
A fairy city
In Paris, Lyons, Toulouse and other French cities the solemn opening of the Year was celebrated with Pontifical Masses.
In Lourdes. under a warm, cloudless sky reminiscent more of summer than December, many pilgrims walked through the decorated streets towards the Grotto following a long procession of clergy. Pontifical High Mass in the Basilica was sung by Bishop Theas. Lyons was a fairy city for the opening of the Year. All municipal buildings were floodlit and Solemn Pontifical Mass was celebrated by Bishop Bornet, Auxiliary to Cardinal Gcrlier
Pastoral letters from all the German Bishops have urged a general renewal of Christian life through prayer and penitence.
Cardinal Wendel, Archbishop of Munich, called for rededication to Our Lady and the following of her example as the basis of the personal life of everyone.
In Austria, Cardinal Innitzer, Archbishop of Vienna, has asked in a nation-wide broadcast that Our Lady's Year should be one of "moral rejuvenation." especially in the family, and that it should be "fruit ful in works of Christian charity."
Many dioceses in the United States had evening Mass for the first time as the Year began. In Washington, the Apostolic Delegate pontificated at Solemn Mass in the great Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
A pastoral letter signed by 44 Archbishops and Bishops in Colombia urged the people to pray during Our Lady's Year for the restoration of Christian life throughout the world and especially in their own country.
Cardinal Betancourt, Archbishop of Havana, Cuba, officiated at ceremonies for the completion of a new shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe at San Salvador.
All the Bishops of El Salvador, several foreign Bishops and thousands of people saw the solemn crowning of a picture of Our Lady.