Page 5, 22nd November 1957

22nd November 1957
Page 5
Page 5, 22nd November 1957 — GIVEN A TARGET THEY HIT IT

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People: Castel Gandolfo, Fr
Locations: Canterbury, London


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rIENIAL 67-year-old Fr. P. Harris, of Harrow, Middlesex, once an Anglican monk, then an African missioner, is possessed of wise tolerance acquired through a varied career, and readily blesses any good scheme his eager parishioners embark upon.

A Caldey Benedictine in that island's pre-1913 Anglican days, he was one of the three who declined to " come over " when the community did. He helped later to found the Anglican Pershore Benedictine community. which is now at Nashdom, did missionary work in Ashanti, came home on leave, thought things over again, entered the Church at Downside, and was eventually ordained.

He nevertheless has a soft spot for the Foreign Missions, and his people, knowing this, gratify him by sharing his enthusiasm, and this year gave £300 to the A.P.F.


HE tells me he doesn't have to go round "hat in hand begging for help"; his people flock around. They are given a target, and they make it.

For instance, last year the chance came to acquire property adjoining the presbytery. Fr. Harris seized it, and 24 men parishioners spent leisure hours brick-laying, plastering, carpenter. ing, painting, plumbing, and transforming the seven rooms into a parochial house of the first order.

In it are held regular meetings of a remarkably active U.C.M. group, that invites lecturers to address its members; that has been invited in its turn by Fr. Harris to pray for vocations, and that has reacted by asking him to institute the Third Thursday Evening Mass for Vocations (congregationally sung) at which they and their husbands attend to the grand number of 160, with some 50 receiving Holy Communion.

With a membership of 70, the Harrow branch of the Guild of St. Stephen for Altar Servers is one of the largest in the country, and their corporate Communion on the last Sunday of the month is ever a consoling experience for Fr. Harris.


Within his parish of Our Lady and St. Thomas of Canterbury, a long low-ceiling church built in the perpendicular style favoured by the architects of the last century, is the famous Harrow School, wherein Fr. Martindale S.J., and Cardinal Manning were taught. The latter's portrait in prelatial robes now hangs in the Speech Room, and his name " H. E. Manning" is still visible where he carved it on a table.

Fifteen Catholic boys are marched down from the school to the church on Sundays where they

On Thursday last week, two days before his return to the Vatican from Castel Gandolfo, the Holy Father blessed the new Schmidt giant telespectroscope which has been built for the Vatican Observatory by the British firm of Cox, Hargreaves and Thompson, In our picture the Pope takes a look through the telespectroscope which will be used for spectroscopic studies of the


hear Mass in specially reserved seats.

Social activities are successful at Harrow because the level of parishioners is even: it is middleclass, with no extremes either end worth remarking upon.

Consequently a friendly spirit exists among a very large section. all entering with readiness into the varied parochial activities, whether in the selling of a very large number of Catholic papers, the care and use of a well-furnished library or attendance at lectures and meetings of all kinds in the new parochial house.

As is the case at several London churches, people have to stand outside the porch at the more popular Sunday Masses. 70 per cent, of the 1,700 parishioners are regular Mass attendants, and there are as many as 40 Communicants at the 11 o'clock Mass.

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