IWAS speaking the other da.N., to a nun Probation Officer. Sister Vincent (Carroll) of the Sisters of St. Vincent de Paul, Manchester.
Sister Vincent, the only Religious Probation Officer in Britain, was rather annoyed at reports that she was soon retiring.
She has been 28 years a Probation Officer. "And I hope to have several more years in the service", she told me. "I'm certainly not leaving in the next few months. They must give me time to retire."
She thought there were more Catholic lay people going in for this work, now. But in her opinion there are definitely far too many Catholic delinquents in proportion to our numbers.
Mystery man cometh FR. FIRE, the Belgian Domini
can who received the Nobel Peace Prize for his refugee work, has spent a couple of days in London, mysteriously under the auspices of the B B.C.
He told me his visit was "not secret", that it was all "just a game", and then proceeded to make it sound more and more like a top secret assignment, with innumerable evasive answers. denials, and me-no-talk gestures.
He revels in being a wizard at this sort of thing. But no journalist is flattened as easily as Fr. Pire might think.
I have discovered that the B.B.C. wanted him for "This is Your Life". and I predict that we shall be seeing him on TV with the full story soon.
If only Fr. Pire had taken me into his confidence . . .
U.S. renewal BOSTON, Massachussetts. has reacted enthusiastically to the new Liturgical changes. A leading article in the local Catholic paper, The Pilot, informs me that Cardinal Cushing's massive "indoctrination" programme is going well. From the first Sunday in Lent, Boston's Mass-goers have been reciting in English the Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei and the Domine, non sum dignus, as well as reciting in Latin the simple responses and the Pater Noster.
The first attempts were not smooth, says The Pilot. but it predicts they will improve. And it continues: "What has come through with stunning clarity has been the eagerness of the laity to be more intimately involved in the worship of the Church". The leader concludes: "The transition was carefully prepared for in advance and intelligently explained on all sides. Let us hear no more from those, in the press or pulpit, who exaggerate the problems of religious renewal!"
Surely there is a moral in this for us.
'Old Palace' folds OUGH is the lot of a progressive Catholic publicist these days. A week or two after my report of the demise of Roman Missile I hear news that The Old Palace at Oxford has also "folded" The Old Palace had reached its 39th issue—that for March, 194 —when the blow fell. I would guess that it fell suddenly for there is no obituary notice in the magazine itself. The news comes in a separate duplicgicd letter from Fr. Richard Incledon, the editor.
Fr. Incledon writes that the work of financing and producing the review cut too drastically into the Catholic Chaplaincy at Oxford University. The cost to the Chaplaincy has been over £700 in the past few years, with more to come before the bills are settled.
A pity, The Old Pa/ace had a role to play that will be hard to fill, Its pungent and astringent tone might not have been to everyone's taste, but the overall effect was constructive.
Freedom from hunger THE Sisters of Mercy in Bel
fast certainly know how to educate their secondary school pupils in the needs of underdeveloped countries. Their success story merits special note. It began in 1960, when, through local Redemptorists, the Sisters' secondary school contacted a mission in Pedro Alfonso, Brazil, and started sending direct aid fm development projects.
In October, 1962, the school began collecting for a £350 electric motor saw to enable Pedro Alfonso's people to utilise local timber for building schools, clinics and extensions. Freedom from hunger educational weeks accompanied fund-raising efforts, and within a month the children had raised £100 and attracted an anonymous £200. A school quil on freedom-from-hunger themes helped to "fix" knowledge learned the previous term and encouraged more fund-raising. An Offertory Procession at a special Mass finally pushed the fund's total to £357.
. This was duly sent off for Pedro Alfonso's electric saw. Another £50 followed later for badly needed aspirin and nutritive supplies.
Thanks to the electric saw gift, three schools and two clinics have now been erected in Pedro Alfonso.
The children in Belfast do not consider their work is finished, however. They have just collected £50 to buy a mule, complete with saddle and bridle. and are now aiming to huy a small £20 plough to encourage Pedro Alfonso's farmers to make usc of more modern machinery.
Year's best actress TT was good to see Maggie 'IL Smith receiving the Variety Club's "Best Actress of the Year" award, at the comparatively early age of 29.
Fr. Adrian Arrowsmith, Westminster Cathedral priest who received Maggie into the Church some years ago, told me she is a most generous patron of the Westminster Cathedral Young Peoples Association, and does all sorts of good things for Catholic charities in her own quiet way. She is also on the Catholic Stage Guild's Executive Committee.
She was named best actress of 1963 for her performance in Mary, Mary, the West End comedy hit which is still packing them in.
Her earlier performance in another West End success, The Private Ear and the Public Eye, won her the London Evening Standards "Best Actress of 1962" award. She also did well in the film The V.I.P.s, with Margaret Rutherford.
Examining dynamism 'THE Irish Association of -ICatholic University Students is hoping that a few lively English Catholics will avail themselves next week of the very
cheap "stand-by" air fares from London to Belfast.
The attraction is a student and graduate congress at Queen's University, Belfast, April 2-5, with the theme -"A Dynamic Church".
The congress is affiliated to Pax Romana, that world-wide movement of about two million Catholic students and graduates. so there are sure to be lively discussions.
The first evening's speaker, on "The Contemporary Church", will be Mr. Frank Shecd.
Reference or preference r-r HE 1964 Who's Who surpris
ingly contains no reference to Frank Sheed, though it lists numerous other publishers and authors of no greater repute.
The entries for all our bishops seem lacking. too, as regards details of their interests. I was tickled, however. to see Bishop Cashman giving his interests as "shooting". Bishop Pearson gives his interests as "mountaineering".
Although it isn't mentioned, Bishop Ellis of Nottingham is, I believe, a keen golfer. and Archbishop Grimshaw is a keen swimmer—holding, in fact, a medal for lifesaving.
Liverpool promotion 'UR. VINCENT ALAN IT McCLELLAND, known to many of our readers through his book Cardinal Manning: His Public Life and Influence. has been appointed to a lectureship in education at Liverpool University.
At present a lecturer at Mount Pleasant Training College, Liverpool, Mr. McClelland is a Master of Arts of both Sheffield and Birmingham Universities.
He is now doing research into certain aspects of Catholic Higher Education, and aims to publish his findings within the next year or two—unexpurgated, I hope.
Easter with urchins
THE Catholic Students'
Association at Ipswich Civic College has taken a party of 28 students and teachers on a visit to Fr. Borrelli's home for urchins in Naples.
As an Easter egg for Fr. Borrelli, the students are presenting the proceeds of a collection made at a film show in the college.
One person at the Naples home will be ,particularly glad to see the English visitors. He is Fr. Bruno Scott James, an English priest who has been Fr. Borrelli's right-hand man in all weathers.
Easter wedding THE second of the four daughters of Mr. Frank Tolhurst. Organising Secretary of the Catholic Truth Society, is getting married to a Hungarian on Easter Monday, at St. James's, Spanish Place.
But owing to the bridegroom's active participation in the Hungarian Uprising of 1956, only his mother is being allowed to leave Budapest for the wedding.
The bridal pair, Judith and Lajos, hope to emigrate to Australia soon.
Behan's message BRENDAN BEHAN got a kinder press when he died than he ever got while he lived. But all the tributes I read seemed to miss the essential characteristic of the man This was his charity. 1 don't mean charity in the restricted sense, though his kindness and generosity to those temporarily worse off than himself were very great.
Behan was charitable in the largest sense. He loved his fellow man. I-Te was, kind arid generous even to those who had wealth and respectability. For he saw under the outward appearances to the man underneath. He had only pity for those who despised and condemned him.
Conventionality was what he hated most. He realised that it dehumanised man, separated him from his neighbour, turned him into a fearful. selfish person. In his protest against silly conventions he may sometimes have gone too far. But he had a message for many of us which we would be, unwise to ignore.