wonder, who read through the classified advertisement columns of newspapers, par ticularly the personal columns, stop to try and imagine what lies behind certain advertise ments?
We are all familiar, I suppose, with the cryptic agony column messages, which can be variously interpreted at their face value (long lost friends, relatives, or lovers desperately striving for reunions), as information from One set of crooks or tipsters to another, or as coded messages between spies.
It's not often, however, that an advertisement in one of the more orthodox columns causes us to linger. Not often, but then not many of us, perhaps, read the Messenger, a Catholic paper published in Ceylon.
Here is an item from the Situations Wanted column : Catholic gentleman, 50 years, unfairly treated by present employer. seeks job. Typing and secretarial assistance. Will be found worthy and efficient.
I wonder how the sinister phrase "unfairly treated by present employer" would sound in an interview .for a job in this country ? I hope the gentleman is treated better in his new job, and that his typing assistance is appreciated.
Further down the page comes an advertisement for a certain brand of castor oil, which "stops falling of hair, cures dandruff, prevents greying, keeps eye-sight bright, promotes growth of hair, and grey hair, if caused by excessive heat, will change into black at regrowth, if used continuously."
Quite a panacea. I wonder if they have commercial television in Ceylon ? I hope so, because I can just imagine the uninterrupted day long spot for Dm Castor Oil, (It has to be all day in order in show the grey hair being used continuously). In the background, a tuneful choir is intoning the slogan that has sold four million bottles of nil, "keeps, keeps, keeps the eye-sight bright."
No need for trading stamps to make the Singhalese buy 13*".
MANY items from the convents and monasteries of Austria will be on display at an exhibition of Romanesque art to be held at Krems in Austria next summer. In addition, Salzburg Cathedral will loan several of its treasures.
To display the frescoes of the St. John Chapel of Purgg, in Styria, a full-scale model of the chapel will be erected. The socalled St. Magdalen window from Witenfeld, reputed to be the oldest stained glass window in Austria, will also be on display.
The aim of the exhibition is to show the richness of Romanesque art from the period 1050 and 1275. It will include items of architecture, poetry, book and manuscript illustrations, painting and sculpture. Several of the poems will he recorded and played at intervals during the exhibition.
Ups and downs
RELIGIOUS symbols were an unusual feature of the jersey fashions shown at a mannequine parade held by the Highland Home Industries in Scotland recently. The jerseys were knitted by Catholic women of Eriskay Island.
The cross appeared on many of the fashions, and St. Andrew's cross was particularly in evidence.
Mora MacLellan, one of the four Eriskay women now making these jerseys, learned the art from her mother, just as her mother learned from Morag's grandmother.
Jerseys knitted in the Hebrides had the zig-zag lines which symbolise the "ups and downs" of marriage.
After Flora D READERS of the Sunday papers
will have noticed that advertisements for the West Indian island of Tobago, recently devastated by Hurricane Flora, are now appearing again.
The work of reconstruction has gone on constantly, ever since the hurricane moved on, but the damage suffered by the Catholic Church has not, in all cases, been quite so easy to repair.
Fr, Juhel, 0.P., of the parish of Scarborough (no conference town this) writes in to thank readers of the Catholic Herald for donations of f125. towards the repair of damaged buildings.
Welcome as this contribution is, it will clearly not go far, to judge by the information which Fr. Juhel supplies. One chapel has been cornpletely destroyed, and two more have lost their roofs. Total cost of making them good will be £8,000. Damage to Fr. Juhel's presbytery will cost 000, and a convent nearby has cost £1.200.
One blessing. says Fr. lithe], is that his new church, which cost £11,000 to build, and which had just been completed, was undamaged. The old church, which it replaced, was completely destroyed,
BOOKS by Donald Attwater, Archdale A. King, Maximos IV Saigh. the Melchite patriarch, Nikolai Gogol, the Russian playwright, and Cardinal Tisserant form part of a display of books on Eastern Christendom organized by the St. Marylebone Borough Librarian at the central library
In the introduction to the attractively produced book list for this month, the Borough Librarian writes. "Within the last ten years. there has been a renewed interest in the ancient Christian Churches of the East. Our awareness of their existence has been sharpened by the participation of Orientalorite Catholics at the Second Vatican Council.
"The result has been the popularization of a subject previously reserved for the liturgically eccentric."
The display continues until Saturday. November 23.
I was sick . . .
p. 'HE third of four posters in
support of the Freedom from Hunger Campaign (see our picture), which the Sword of the Spirit and Inter-Church Aid have combined to produce, has now appeared, and will be going up in Churches and Schools all over the country.
The theme of the poster, "I was sick . . ." emphasises that hunger is not merely a problem on its own, for it brings disease and general physical enfeeblement in its wake. The poster calls for a constructive answer to this problem by improving farming techniques.
When I spoke, this week to Miss Mildred Nevile, the Assistant Secretary of the Sword of the Spirit. she told me that the Sword is not itself collecting funds for famine relief, "Any moneys which are sent in to us", she said, "will be posted on to the Catholic Fund for Overseas Development, which was set up last year." The designs, for the current poster, as well as for the two previous ones. "I was hungry • . ." and "I was thirsty . • ." have been executed by a nun of Stanbrook, Dame Joanna, O.S.B.
"We had great difficulty", Miss Nevile told me, "In finding an artist who could think out our ideas in Christian terms, hut, as it turned nut, a contemplative nun proved to he ideal. "After we had supplied the artist, the Inter-Church Aid people took over all the technical work involved, organized the printing, and so on, so that it is really a very happy piece of cooperation." Copies of the poster are available from the Sword of the Spirit, Hinsley House, 18. King Street. W.C.2. The posters are free, but the Sword would appreciate a donation towards costs of production. They are also able to supply speakers and literature on famine relief. agricultural projects, and related subjects.
Shropping days . . .
FOR the fourth successive year, I am told. the girls of Acton Burnell Convent School. Shropshire, will be staging a live crib at various points in Shrewsbury. Our Lady, mounted on Ciemina, the school donkey. will he accompanied by St. Joseph, the Three Kings and the Shepherds.
In their first year the girls raised f40 in a single afternoon. Last year, on a Friday night and a Saturday morning they collected over £200 for Oxfam. This year. on Friday and Saturday, December 6 and 7, they hope to do even better for the Freedom From Hunger Campaign.
Third year girls from Harrytown Convent School, Romiley. near Stockport, will, as usual. be taking toys and other gifts they have collected to the orphanage at Pallotti Hall, Siddington, near Congleton.
For several weeks before the end of term the girls organise several fund-raising efforts amongst themselves and with the proceeds buy quantities of Christmas food —cakes, puddings, chickens, They supplement these with similar gifts from home.
After term has ended they help the nuns to distribute food parcels to old people living in the district around the school.
This year the girls of Upton Hall Convent School in the Wirral hope to visit the Apostleship of the Sea club in Birkenhead to sing carols for the sailors and to distribute cigarettes.
As at Chester and Shrewsbury the girls plan to have a live crib and. by means of carol singing, to raise money for Oxfam.
Other Christmas activities planned by the Upton Hall girls include the making up and distributing of hampers to poor people. visiting the home of the little Sisters of the Poor in Birkenhead to entertain the old people with carols and the selling of raffle tickets on behalf of the Diocesan Rescue Society.