A Roving Causerie
Homage eo the Archbishop-Bishop of Southwark goes out today to his Grace in thoughts compounded of felicitation and of gratitude. It is matter of thanksgiving to God, and of congratulation to the Bishop, that Mgr. Amigo has now been granted fifty years of priestly service; and grateful indeed should we all be for the strength and qualities which have filled those years with good fruit. It is the jubilee of a priest, not of a bishop, that must impel, today, the multitude of messages reaching Bishop's House; yet one cannot, indeed should not, overlook that nearly thirty-four years of Mgr. Amigo's service, out of the fifty, have been given by him in the capacity of Southwark's Ordinary. His Grace's formative years, and the earlier work of his priesthood, belong to the story of thc Archdiocese of Westminster— happily so, since London's faithful on both banks of the Thames can thus claim the archbishop in part as "one of their awn."
Many consolations have been granted to Mgr. Amigo during the span which has now reached the point of jubilee. North side centres associated with his work: St. Edmund's College, in particular, he has seen extend and flourish. In the extensive diocese which he was called to rule in 1904, progress has been in many ways remarkable. His Grace has been a welcoming pastor to many religious, congregations. He has seen the initiation of much social work. Scattered about the diocese are institutions, of his making, where already the results must have rejoiced the pastor's heart: St. Joseph's College at Mark Cross, for instance, and the John Fisher School at Peaks Hill. Nor must we forget the part played by the diocese of Southwark in connection with the canonisation of St. John Fisher himself, who as Bishop of Rochester, a city within Mgr. Amigo's present territory, can be honoured as a predecessor of the revered prelate whose golden jubilee is with us. These words must be written in advance of the jubilee Mass of thanksgiving in St. George's Cathedral, but it cannot be doubted that for that happy function there will be a great gathering of his Grace's clergy and other friends from far and near.
London's farthest limits seem ever extending, lengthening "tubes" and encroaching brickwork making distant suburbs of what was not so long since a green and pleasant countryside. Let us be thankful, then, that for all its modern progress thc little Hertfordshire town of Abbots Langley still retains something of its quiet charm. One thing the builders will never be able to take from it: the historic association linking the place with Nicholas Breakspeare, Pope Adrian the Fourth. That pontiff, the only Englishman among the 261 occupants of the Roman See, is not to be without honour in his own country— more definitely, in his own district, for Abbots Langley, or thereabouts, is tradi
tionally Pope Adrian's birthplace. The Salvatorian Fathers, who have this parish in their care, plan the erection of a church. foam designs by Sir Giles Scott, which will he not only a handsome place of worship for the local faithful but also England's memorial church to the only English Pope The work will start next year, or even this year if money comes to hand. Except for two mural tablets, the only tangible work to Pope Adrian's memory would appear to be the bust, by Professor Seeboeek, which the Fathers treasure at Abbots Langley: that piece of sculpture was unveiled there. at Breakspear College, by Cardinal Bourne some years ago.
An old Downside boy swells the Catholic ranks in the House of Commons by the victory of Mr. Richard Rapier Stokes.
M.C., at the Ipswich by-election. That contest was not Mr. Stoaes's first experience of an appeal to the electorate; at the General Election in 1935 he contested the Central Division of Glasgow. The new M.P. •is a son of the late Mr. Philip Feeliott Stokes. Bencher of Lincoln's Inn. From Downside he went to the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich. At Cambridge, where Trinity was his college, he was for some time hon. secretary of the Fisher Society. Good service in the Great War brought him the Military Cross and Bar and also the French War Cross.