MISS MER1OL TREVOR told me this week that she was "very pleased" at the news that she had been awarded the James Tait Black biography prize for her twovolume work on Newman: Newman—the Pillar of the Cloud. and Light in Winter, both published by Macmillans last year.
Speaking from her home in Dath, she added: "It is the first time that I have won any prize—since I was at school, anyway!"
The prize, worth £220, is awarded, together with the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, out of a fund set up by the publisher's widow. Other recipients of the prizes have included Rose Macaulay, Anthony Powell, Angus Wilson and Rex Warner.
Miss Trevor, who is working on a book about Newman for children at the moment (she has already written several children's books), is also collaborating with Mgr. H. Davis, Vice-Postulator of the cause for Newman's beatification.
She tells me that she is always glad to hear from people who can give details about hitherto hidden aspects of Newman's life, and I shall be glad to forward readers' letters to her.
IF you arc one of those people who dug deeply into your pockets for charity last year, you
will be interested to hear that the total amount collected on London's streets alone is in the region of £300,000 annually. This information I find in the latest issue of the Annual Charities Register and Digest for 1963, which gives details of this and many other fascinating aspects of benevolence.
First-nighters at the Old Vic, for instance, resplendent in "soup and fish", may be surprised to discover that the theatre still has the technical obligation to provide "public lectures and musical and other entertainments and exhibitions for recreation and instruction of the poorer classes".
There is also a Bible Flower Mission, founded in 1876, which still distributes Scripture texts with a lavender bag to patients in London hospitals, and a Protestant Reformation Society, whose aims are to "Defend the religious principles of the Reformation and to maintain missions to English Roman Catholics".
Lovers of the old and colourful will doubtless be saddened by the news that the Vellum Binders and Machine Rulers Pensions Society has been absorbed by the Bookbinders Cottage Homes and Pension Society and that the Earl Craven Pest House Charity now forms part of the Westminster Amalgamated Charity. Perhaps the most appealing of all is Signor Pasquale Favale's Charity, founded in 1882 to provide "marriage portions of not less than £12 or more than £24 each for three poor, honest young women born in the City of London".
To the rescue T HASTEN this week to the rescue cue of Fr. R. Bulbeck,
who has been inundated with demands for the "Life of Christ" filmstrip he has produced and which we stated last week could be obtained from him for five shillings.
Fr. Bulbeck has now pointed out to me that the five shillings covers the hire, not the sale of the filmstrip, and that it is on hire not from him, but from the Film Secretary, 15 Red Lion Square. London W.C.1. If anyone wants to buy the filmstrip it is available from the Catholic Film Institute at 9 Lansdowne Road, London W.11, for £3.1 5.0.
He also tells me that the commentary, which is non-denominational, can be used for public ecumenical meetings. The commentary has been used successfully with 14year-old children, but was made for grownups. He hopes that a separate one for children will be made later on.
All that jazz
ONE of the main acts in Sunday's Gala Charity Show organised by the Catholic Stage Guild at the Drury Lane Theatre will be a jazz version of "Widdicombe Fair". Purists, however, need not be alarmed : the production is the work of a talented group of young Catholic drama students who have banded themselves together and called themselves "The Stagecrew".
Ursula Godfrey and Catherine Robins. both students at the Central School of Speech and Drama, founded the group some time ago, and it has now grown to 30 members, including students from the Guildhall School of Music and the Rose Bruford School of Drama.
Catherine Robins, chairman of the group. hopes to celebrate this alliance between words and music again in the near future with a poetry and jazz evening. "At present" she told me. "we are frantically busy with the gala."
SENIOR boys at St. Ignatius College, London N.15, I hear, are making a bold attempt this week to be first in the field with a British amateur production of "A Man For All Seasons".
The amateur rights for Robert Bolt's play about St. Thomas More. which is now breaking records on Broadway, have just been released by Messrs. French, and the boys at St. Ignatius' College are not wasting any time.
Their performances of the play will take place on Friday and Saturday in the College Hall, and I am told by one of the cast that "much hard work has been put into it by many masters and boys". I hope that it will be as successful as its professional predecessor.
AMONG the small, but significant steps being taken by the Hungarian authorities to win back the confidence of Hungarian exiles is, I am told, the recent publication of a Latin-Hungarian key to the Psalms. The key, originally designed for theological students and priests, has now been brought out in an international edition.
It is the work of Dr. George Liptay, former Professor of Theology at the Ecclesiastical Seminary in Budapest, and is not only a concise Latin-Hungarian dictionary, but also a complete concordance of the new Latin translation of the Psalms.
Dr. Liptay is at present in charge of a small parish at Verses, just outside Budapest, to which he was relegated some time ago by the Hungarian State Office for Church Affairs, This Office ultimately aims to gain control of the Church by placing its own nominees in key ecclesiastical positions.
Not so loud
IT seems that differences about the merits of dialogue and vernacular services exist in wider fields than some of us may have suspected. I quote from a letter to the editor of the Spectator: "This is to complain of . . . the disturbance some people give to others at church, by their repetition of the prayers after the minister. This I have known done in so audible a manner, that sometimes their voices have been as loud as the priest's. As little as you would think it, this is frequently done by people seemingly devout."
It is dated 30 November, 1771.
THERE has been an overwhelm ing demand for the free tickets which I mentioned were available for the "preview" at the National Film Theatre of "Question 7", a film about the struggle between Communism and Christianity in East Germany. A second free show has now been arranged for Saturday, March 2, at 10.30 a.m., and free tickets for this are available from Concordia Films. 42 Museum Street, London, W.C.1.
I AM glad to see that Mother
Mary St. Edmund, of the Convent of St. Clotilde in Gloucestershire, has decided to repeat her last year's successful Vocation-RetreatHoliday experiment for girls between 17 and 22.
The convent is situated in beautiful parkland at Lechlade, and all those taking part will be able to assist at the full Holy Week Liturgy, and will celebrate Easter with the community. The retreatgiver is Fr. H. S. Thwaites S.J.