Statue to be by 13th `Station'
WITH the Million Crown Fund standing already at 124,000-or 96,000 crowns-plans for the new work in Westminster Cathedral are almost complete.
The plans will be placed before the art council, probably next month, and then work can begin.
Next month, too, the new shrine of Our Lady of Westminster will be blessed and the ancient alabaster statue will be placed under the 13th Station of the Cross in a little chapel without side walls but very suitable for large pilgrimages and ideal for private devotion.
This 14th-century statue, as announced last week. is an anonymous gift to the Cathedral, and will revive an ancient and royal devotion.
Cardinal Griffin will bless the statue immediately before the evening Mass on December 8, Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
Fr. L. Mai teau, organiser of the Million Crown Fund, has told Tim CantoLic HERALD of the splendid way the money is coming in.
One third of the total has been subscribed by the major industries of Britain, showing. says Fr. Marteau, the new position the Catholic Church enjoys in the country to-day.
When Cardinal Vaughan began this work he felt most strongly that a Cathedral in the centre of London was necessary for the life of the Church in England, and that it would have its effect gradually, hut quite forcefully, on our nonCatholic neighbours.
Even private subscriptions are coming from those who are not Catholics. They come from those who love the building as such, from those giving in memory of a Catholic friend who is dead. or simply from those who have a high regard for the Church but who have not yet the blessing of the gift of Faith.
Donations have come from France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, America, Canada, Australia, and almost every county of England and Wales.
A great many subscriptions have been made in the form of covenants, which greatly increases their value, without any loss to the owner.
A small boy gathered crowns until he ran out of uncles and aunts.
More than 50 old-age pensioners have given, the oldest being 92.
Converts who have been received at the Cathedral. or who have been confirmed there also figure among generous donors.
The number of real crowns is rising too, the whole set of Spanish crowns have been added to those of England.
There arc now more than 500 Friends of Westminster Cathedral. It is here that the greatest help will be felt over the full period. says Fr. Marteau. They are busy collecting and some arc asking for more cards; others find that people arc willing to give more than the 55. asked for.
The lectures and exhibition. given by Fr. Marteau to various parishes and organisations are giving people a first-class knowledge of the Cathedral in a way which would he almost impossible even with a conducted tour.
He isn't even asking for money from the talks, hut merely wishes to pass on to others a greater understanding and love for their national Cathedral.