On October 20 Catholics all over the world are called once again to celebrate Mission Sunday, the day set apart for offering prayers and alms to aid the Pontifical Association for the Propagation of the Faith.
The Cardinal Prefect of Propaganda Fide addresses a fervent request to all Catholics to co-operate with enthusiasm in making Mission Sunday succeed exactly as the Holy See wishes and as the missionaries ask.
Let generosity correspond, he says, to that generosity of missionaries who in distant heathen lands sacrifice themselves for the sake of God and of souls.
To the members of missionary associations and to the workers in Catholic Action, to all the faithful, whether or not they be attached to some organisation, to the diocesan clergy and to religious. the Cardinal Prefect of Propaganda, Cardinal Funiasoni-Biondi, confidently and gratefully entrusts the success of the corning Mission Sunday.
The Archbishop of Westminster in it letter to the national director of the Pontifical Mission Aid Societies, writes:—
" To the priests of the archdiocese of Westminster we address words of strong appeal, little short of pastoral command, that they observe Mission Sunday in the Way laid down by the Sovereign Pontiff —viz., by speciat sermons and instructions about the missions, by urging on their people the necessity of contributing to the support of the naiesions and by instituting the organisation of the mission-aid societies in their parishes, .
" On all, we urge, there rests the daily duty of prayer for the missions. As to material help, we beg for the alms of all—for the small donations of the poor and for the larger contributions of those who enjoy the goods of this world.
" The need for a body of educeted native clergy has been again. and again
years. Fr. Meaney commenced the erection of the original church of St. Joseph ill Radford Street. It was opened on June 29, 1856.
Doctor and Priest Fr. D. Vandenweghe was rector from 1858 to 1893, and he appeared in the role of doctor as well as priest, dispensing medicine to people of all denominations. The old presbytery in Radford Street was built by him in 1861. After Fr. McGrath's appointment the old church was superseded by the present fine structure, the foundation-stone of which was laid by Bishop Vaughan in 1884. The church was opened the following year, and in 1934 the Rev. McGrath had the chancel redressed in marble and mosaic at an expenditure of £1,600. St. Joseph's is regarded as one of the finest churches in the county. The symbols in the sanctuary are copies of those in the catacombs in Rome. The rector was born in Cork 60 years ago, and after ordination he was curate at St. Chad's. Manchester. for four years, and afterwards became rector of St. Vincent's, Manchester, and St. Mary's, Horwich, before coming to Darwen. It is an interesting coincidence that the golden jubilee of St. Joseph's synchronises with his silver jubilee as rector, for he was appointed to the parish in November, 1910, and it is hoped shortly to announce that the parish is free from liability. On attaining his silver jubilee as a priest. in 1919, Fr. McGrath was presented with a cheque for a801), with which money he purchased the Radford Bank property. This he presented to the parish as a rectory, for which purpose it is still used. At Sunday's celebrations the celebrant was Fr. A. Wilson, C.P., of Highgate. who received his early education at St. Joseph's, and who took advantage of the opportunity of renewing old acquaintances. The deacon was the Rev. Atkinson, of Sacred Heart. Darwen, the sub-deacon the Rev. Farrelly, curate. with the rector, the Rev. McGrath, as M.C. The preacher was Fr. Joseph Smith, C.P., of St. Gabriel'a, Ormskirk. There was a huge congregation. Including many visitors from other towns.
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