A Model Ceremony
LAST Sunday a model Catholic ceremony, the unveiling of the altar to St. Thomas More in the Holy Redeemer Church, Chelsea, followed by Missa Cantata and sermon. I say " model " because while perfect in every way, nothing was attempted that is not within the compass of any church, however unpresunaing. Everything was liturgically correct and for that reason quick and impressive, carrying the congregation in with the corporate action and prayer. The plain-chant singing of priest„ choir and people was quite beautiful and a testimony to the patient work of Fr. Anthony Thorold who has achieved the impossible, dignified and correct chant in a small London church with an amorphous congregation. His inspiration is Solesmes and he knows all about the ictus.
The Sole Importation
The sole importation, if I may so describe him, was the preacher, Fr. George Burns, S.J., and most churches can afford a special preacher for a special occasion. Fr. Burns, who is well on his way to becoming one of the best preachers in the country, made his sermon harmonise with the surroundings, explaining the difference between one mass and another, recalling historic masses in the past, stressing the special significance of this one, referring to the corporate singing and ending with an exhortation to make the Credo something real—and all these points were fitted round his main theme, St. Thomas More, his lesson for our times and his special mean ing for the inhabitants of Chelsea. In addition to such excellent matter Fr. Burns has all the marks of the great preacher, confidence, conviction, control and variation of speed and pitch of voice, and, above all, the ability to prevent a fine passage from sounding like a purple one. Fr. Burns is a brother of Mr. Toni Burns who has done so much for Catholic publishing, first with Sheed and Ward and now with Longmans.
Fr. Henry Davis
IHOPE anyone who missed Fr. Davis's article on Marriage in our last week's issue will turn back to it. It was the finest short account of the essential meaning of Christian marriage I have ever read. Fr. Davis, experienced Heythrop College moral theologian, showed how simple and clear writing, restating the traditional doctrine, can be far more effective than the twists and turns of the modern writer seeking for " actualities" and effects.
Supporting the Liverpool Archdiocesan
campaign with these articles was the idea of one of the youngest members of the staff, and it was carried into execution within two or three days, all articles arranged and the Archbishop's introduction and blessing promised. Only one writer invited failed us—and that out of absurd humility. It shows how ready everybody is to get down to work if only ideas and organisation are available.
Dizzy and Jerrold
IkCORRESPONDENT writes to point out the striking similarity between theme and phrases in Douglas Jerrold's article last week, The Appalling Price of Stupidity " and a sentence of Disraeli's: " There is one force which no human ingenuity can cope with—the unconscious machination of stupidity." So do Tories shake hands across the years.
" Doctor "
T PREDICT a success for Doctor. the new -Imonthly magazine, a specimen copy .of which the publishers have kindly sent me; in fact I wonder why the idea of a popular magazine on medicine was not thought of earlier. Public interest in medicine and all the paraphernalia that goes with it was shown by Cronin's otherwise not particularly good novel, The Citadel.
But, having honestly said all this, I add that I for one wholly disapprove of the new magazine and the sort of interest it will arouse. It shelters under the National Fitness campaign, but there is all the difference in the world between popularising positive ways to healthy living (Christian morals among other means) and pandering to the increasing morbid interest in our insides and their possible diseases. Everyone should know enough about themselves to be able to nurse their own minor ailMerits and to realise when medical advice should be sought, but, apart from this, the less interest in our potential diseases we take the better for our health, bodily and mental.
I See Leslie Howard
THIS is an unfair world. Nothing, it is -1being said, is more likely to thrill nine moderns in ten than to pay a visit to a cinema studio and watch a real live star at work. They would carry the memory of the event with them to their dying day. Well I am that tenth and yet I have just seen Leslie Howard earning about a thou sand pounds a minute at the Pinewood Studios with Marie Lohr on the set as well and Wendy Hillyer in a beautiful long green gown brushing right past me. They were at work on Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, the first full-length play of Shaw's to be filmed. And though I was told in an awed voice that it needed five signed permits to be allowed on the Pygmalion set, the open sesame of publicity did the trick at once.
Stars Earn Something
It was certainly an experience, and a pleasant one in that everything turned out to be exactly as I had anticipated. Dozens of men, all known to one another by Christian names and referring to everything else by numbers, were standing about with cameras, cables, lamps, shades, furniture in the utmost apparent confusion. The continuity girl in trousers sat in a corner on a box labelled " Continuity " (her job is to prevent the confusion from becoming worse confounded). " Stand-ins" (people of the same build as the stars who take their place during the preliminary arrangements) were hovering round looking intensely bored. All that was missing was the American director bawling instructions as he sits on a canvas chair sliding a big cigar from one end of his mouth to the other. Instead Director Asquith was politely moving about trying to decide whether a table with artificial flowers on it looked nice or nat.
The result of it all was a strong impression that the stars earn a very good portion of their salaries and that film-making is a long tiring and tedious business.
A Catholic Novel
wHAT is a truly Catholic novel? Its a difficult question. Mauriac has tried to tackle it, and it is hoped that one day Compton Mackenzie will write on the subject for us. Meanwhile Douglas Newton, author of about ten " bloods --his own word—tells me that in his new book, Infinite Morning, to be published next week, he is returning to social studies on the lines of earlier works. I have read snatches of it, and I think it's going to be good. Look out for it! Douglas Newton, a valiant Knight of St. Columba, has dope much in that excellent little magazine, Columbia. to make Catholics acquainted with Catholic writers and the decent and helpful literature of the day. He is also
writing a very flattering series of articles on the four Catholic weeklies.
Mr. C. G. Mortimer, noting that we are now domiciled at 67, Fleet Street, once the site of a famous Carmelite monastery . . . where later Louis Noble, the piper, revealed the secrets of his art, sends us the following verses:
Blossom that has sprung again From an old and ruined farm, May your soriptured petals show England's faith of long ago! Such your pride and heritage, Friars of a modern age!
Heralds of a trighter day.
Raise your hearts and tune your lay!
Summon to your aide a elan Sworn to serve you to a man: 'Neath the Papal hag unfurled.
Pipe your message to the world!