By the Art Critic
CARDINAL GRIFFIN h a s %--1 shown great interest in the comprehensive exhibition in London of the "Christian Theme in Contemporary Arts" which is opening during the Coronation periodMay 12-June IS-at Park Lane House.
His Eminence writes to the organising committee "The Christian contribution to the arts is as old as Christianity itself, for beauty and goodness are one and a Christian is a complete person.
"Indeed holiness is really 'wholeness,' and the complete Christian must be so permeated by his beliefs and faith that the fruits of his creative talents will inevitably be stamped with this Christianity.
"I trust that this exhibition will help to remind those interested in contemporary arts of this all-important consideration."
The "Christian Theme" exhibition plans to include all the arts: painting, sculpture, stained glass, tapestry, mosaics. It will stage plays, films and poetry readings. Thei.''? will he music programmes and a series of lectures, including an opening one on the Matisse chapel at Vence by the French Dominican, Pere Couturier.
'Can't afford it'
More than 100 people of various religious denominations and of different schools of art have collaborated in staging the exhibition.
Artists not generally known for religious work have been asked to consider religious themes specially for this exhibition.
Among invited artists are John Skeaping, who has made a crucifix from bog oak with a blow lamp, and Graham Sutherland. who hopes to finish a new painting of "Christ Carrying the Cross."
At a Press conference the old excuse raised its head-the churches cannot afford works of art. The Anglicans are involved in mending the roofs of their old churches and the Catholics have to pay for their schools.
Canon Hussey, Anglican Rector of Northampton and patron of Henry Moore and Graham Sutherland, scotched this quickly. If, he said, you collected all the money that is spent on memorials and windows and headstones and tablets and put it to commissioning works of art, it would be surprising how far it would go.
Coronation mayor for Kettering
Kettering, Northants, is to have Alderman G. D. Howard as its Coronation Mayor-the first Catholic elected for office.
A parishioner of St. Edward's, Kettering, he will have as chaplain the parish priest, Fr. Grant.
Alderman Howard is a founder member of the Kettering council of the Knights of St. Columba and was its first Grand Knight.
Ile was born and educated in Liverpool and later lived at Leamington Spa.
Until his retirement last year he was district manager of an insurance company.
Clergy and restaurant owners at Mamaroneck. near New York, arc cooperating to print prayers on menus so that customers may say grace before meals. The prayers will be Catholic. Protestant and Jewish.
PATRIARCH GREETED BY 100,000
ORE than 100,000 people
lining the banks and bridges of the Grand Canal cheered, waved banners and sang hymns as Cardinal Roncalli, in a slowly moving launch, arrived from Rome last week-end to take possession of the Patriarchate of Venice.
The new Patriarch was made Cardinal in January. He had previously been Papal Nuncio in Paris.
When he reached Padua on his journey from Rome he was received by the Mayor of Venice, with whom he drove to Mira, the first parish on the outskirts of Venice.
As his launch pulled up at the Dock of St. Mark. ecclesiastical and civic officials greeted him and went with him in procession to the Basilica of St. Marks.
From the steps of the basilica the new Cardinal Patriarch blessed the people. Thousands cheered him with cries of "Long live the prince of Patriarchs."
Pontifical Court Club chairman receives K.C.S.G.
The Apostolic Delegation announces that the Holy Father has named Major Robert O'Brien a Knight Commander with Star of the Order of St. Gregory the Great in recognition of his work for the Pontifical Court Club, of which he is the chairman.
The club's publication Catholic Documents, which contains the text of Papal Encyclicals and other Papal pronouncements, owes much to his secretarial work.
Major O'Brien and his wife were received into the Church together in 1936. He is treasurer of the British Association of the Sovereign Military Order of the Knights of Malta and was a member of the Pontifical Mission sent by thc present Holy Father to the funeral of King George VI.
He is also treasurer and deputy chairman of the Board of Management of the Hospital of SS. John and Elizabeth, London.
Evening Masses are now being celebrated on Sundays and holy days of obligation in seven Rome churches, including the Churches of St. Eugene-built to mark the Pope's silver jubilee-Santa Maria degli Angeli, the Sacred Heart. near the railway station, and St. Maria del Popolo.
On the Feast of St. Joseph (yesterday) and on the first Fridays of the month, evening Mass is to be celebrated in Amsterdam for workers in factories who are unable to go to Mass in the morning.
These Masses will. however. be restricted to special groups under the spiritual care of special chaplains in factories.