The Needs in Scattered Outposts
By the Rev. J. 14. FILMER.
May the Holy Child bless abundantly all my readers during this Holy Season and grant much happiness to each of them.
By the kindness of the Tyburn nuns I have been able to give one Ransom priest some happiness this Christmas; for a lover of Tyburn has given a new monstrance to the convent and the Mother Prioress offered their old one to me for any poor mission that would be glad of it, having first had it done up and made to look as good as new.
I offered the monstrance to a priest who has lately gone to one of the loneliest parishes in the country. He is the only priest in a whole county; he has a small chapel in a house at his headquarters and ministers to three outposts, one eight miles, another twelve miles and the other twentyfour miles away in different directions. Here are parts of his letter in reply:
" Your kind letter-together with your wonderful offer-came in a very opportune moment. There are seemingly insurmountable problems ahead of me, and to realise that one was remembered in such a way and in far off London, was a great consolation.
" / was asked by my Bishop to take over this mission and I came into residence last May, finding that our present house chapel attracts for Holy Mass on Sundays a maximum of sixteen. The Faith is practically non-existent; I hardly know where to begin in this whirlpool of unbelief.
"The Bishop desires me to buy a part of land next our property for £100, but the whole could be got for £400, and would give an excellent site for a church; since he cap ,onty manage £50, towards the £100, we stand a great chance of losing a great opportunity. If ever a place needed ransoming it is this g.-eat and extensive locality of paganism-miles without a church or any .Catholie.somosphere.
" Forgive nte but do you know of any source from which help in this matter might cense? I have good hopes of an Irish Order of • teaching nuns settling here in about a year's time; in the meantime I have to tramp the country, catechise, etc., and make some kind of beginning.
" I greatly value the gift of.the Monstrance from the nuns through your good self. I have prayed at Tyburn to Our Lord enthroned in this very monstrance many a time, and shall greatly value this link with Tyburn and its martyrs."
I quote all this because I am sure that the state of things in our country placesfor this is only the one instance-is not realised by the majority of Catholics who live in the town. If it were, surely we should get more generous support for our endeavours to help such apostolic missionaries.
An Appeal to Priests
If this should meet the eye of any of my brother priests whose work lies in our towns and cities, whose labours are lightened by the companionship of colleagues, by the knowledge of other missions close at hand, by the sight of numbers of the faithful hearing Mass Sunday after Sunday I humbly beg of them to think of, and to do what they can to help our lonely brethren who have none of these things to help them along but who have to struggle, year in year out, against the depression of the dead weight of the atmosphere around them. Perhaps they might let me come and try to interest their congregations in the work.
Among all those who read these notes there must be some who have, not only the necessities, but the luxuries of religion. I beg of them in gratitude for their own blessings to spare a generous thankoffering to our funds to help their brethren in the scattered outposts of the faith who have to go miles for the bare needs of their souls.
Coming Events The next Jubilee Mass at Tyburn Convent will be on Friday, January 8, at 10 a.m., in honour of Blessed Thomas Reynolds (priest), and all the English Martyrs. Those who cannot be at Tyburn are asked to remember the Guild's Intentions especially in their prayers that day, if possible at Mass.
Father Fletcher's anniversary is on Wednesday, January 18, and a solemn requiem will be sung on Thursday, January 14 (that being the first free day) at noon, in the church of St. Anselm and St. Cecilia in K ings way.
A Disaster at Leiria
From that part of Estremadura which is within Portugal comes news of a terrible disaster during the progress of a Catholic meeting at Leiria. The floor of the schoolroom in which the gathering took place collapsed under the weight of the crowd, and already the death toll is high. Forty persons, it is said, have been killed, and upwards of a hundred injured.