A Visit to Oxford AN all too rare opportunity of revisiting Oxford came my way this last week-end, and so 1 saw for for the first time Mgr. Val Elwes' great works at the chaplaincy. I don't think I have ever been in a Nissen but chapel before. and I was amazed at what can be done. The general effect can be far better aesthetically than many a pretentious permanent btulding. I was equally surprised to hear that there are about 500 Catholic undergraduates these days, and to make room for such large numbers the chapel itself opens out through folding doors into the old Newman room. I liked so much the controverted statues carved by Fr. O'Malley, now Rector of St, Etheiredit's, that I hope to obtain photographs of them and publish them in this paper. Mgr. Elwes, who is faced with a debt of about £2,000. laughingly twitted me about the poor returns of advertising his need (not, as it happens in THE CATHOLIC HERALD), so I hope that some of my readers, without being asked, will spare a copper or so to help in this vital work of giving spiritual help to our leaders of to-morrow.
About Dollars and Portraits
CAMPION HAIL wherein now re sides a community of Jesuits, secular priests and laymen, is very pleased with itself because it is helping to ".bridge the gap" with some six American Jesuits and their numbers may increase. Meanwhile, I find the walls peppered with the pictures of Fr. D'Arcy and Fr. Vincent Turner, while the present Master's portrait has been added to the gallery of the eminent of the past, Thinking of next Wednesday's Feast of Blessed Edmund Campion, we were regretting the fact that he apparently missed the chance of sharing in this artistic display—at any rate no decent authentic picture of him appears to exist. Moving from the sublime to the banal, I found myself in bed contemplating an extraordinarily uninspiring pastel picture of a wash-basin. jug and towel. designed perhaps to remind the happy occupant of his great luck in having a sumptuous Ii. & c. basin housed in a handsome oak cupboard, while a monastic guest.
More About St. Uncumber SEEM to have got myself into a I
proper mess over St. Uncumber I However, having passed on the information that she was the saint for disencumbering wives from unpleasant husbands, I can't resist also passing on another version, sent to me from a Dutch correspondent. He writes: " I have always heard the story that she prayed to Our Lord for the unusual gift of beard, moustache and whiskers so that she might be free of the attentions of a certain prince who wished to marry her. If there isn't any sich a person,' as our cold theological correspondent tells us, all I can say is that the world is the poorer for the fact."
Waugh's Satire /THERE'S one thing about Evelyn -a Waugh's satire on Californian rites, for the dead (The. Loved One, Chapman & Hall, 7s. ad.), and this is that it is not likely to be banned as " obscene" in Ireland. it is morally (in the technical sense) irreproachable—and this is a relief for Catholic journalists, among other people. Though it might at times make a really squeamish person literally sick and will inevitably he considered by many in grossly bad taste (thank goodness they cannot also invoke the " moral" question), it really draws, with a logical precision, the consequences of contemporary disbelief in the supernatural. even if, in doing so, it overlooks the enduring work of grace even in denaturalised hearts. Whether you see the joke or not. and that rather depends on the type of person you are. you can hardly doubt that it is a remarkable diagnosis of our times in respect. fur once, of lack of faith
rathet than lack of " morals." Waugh's quality of "detachment " as a writes was never more marked.
The Skirt Game I MUST say that some of us at the office thought that parts of the recent message from the lnternuncio in Cairo about the Jews and Arabs were, shall we say. a little strong. But were we right 7 Here is what happened the other day. A prominent and responsibly-placed Jew got in touch with us, and calmly and quietly, as though it were the most urbane idea, pressed the view that there was much to he said for getting rid of minorities by transfer, and urged that the only decent solution for Palestine was precisely the removal of the Arabs, hag and baggage. When I heard this, I was reminded of two things. First, a conversation with Sir Oswald Mosley before the war during which he equally calmly and urbanely urged on me the desirability of humanely removing all Jews to Madagascar. Second, Galsworthy's play, The Skin Game, in which we are made for once really to feel what it means for a cottager to be ejected from his thirty years' home by a pushing industrialist intent on developing the neighbourhood for his own advancement. 1 recommend the play to our Jew friend--and to Sir Oswald, if he still holds this view. I don't think now that Mgr. Hughes was exaggerating at all.
When the Pope Gave Ireland to England I WONDER what it was that '1 prompted the Times to publish the letter invoking the Bull Laudabaiter as relevant to-day to the Irish problem I Actually, there has been an immense amount of controversy about the Bull and other documents which prove Adrian IV's conferment of Ireland to Henry 11 of England, but. even if the matter can be con sidered at all relevant to so changed a situation as the present one, the basis of the grant certainly rested art the Pope's own dominion of Ireland. What one Pope gives as of right, another can confirm or take back. So the answer is: write to Rome about it.
"Surgeon Becomes a Monk."—Daily Mail LAST time I was in Dublin I saw a good deal of Dr. J. C. Flood, and indeed sat next to him at a sort of gala dinner. The news, published in a national daily, that Dr. Flood has resigned from the General Medical Council to join the Benedictines here does not surprise me. The trend of his mind was very Clem-, particularly in the fight of the faLt that he had previously given up his medical work to he at Downside foi some months. My own visit to Dublin was a short one, but I was struck by Dr. Flood's mobility since he succeeded in flying to and from London to attend a meeting within the few days I was in Ireland. Such activity, I would say, must make the life of prayer and contemplation scent very attractive indeed.
Robert Helpmann Meets the Pope TELEVISION viewers heard .1. Robert Helpmann this week give much more time to his recent audience with the Pope than to his ballet plans. It was a most charmingly expressed account of a visit which obviously impressed him enormously. Though the Catholic would hardly refer to His Holiness as a "wonderful creature," with Robert Helpmann it conveyed very exactly his sense I.%f the Pope's mystic quality—so far removed, as he pointed out, from any picture or photograph. i doubt, however, whether for even so distinguished a visitor the Pope surrounded himself with about 20 Cardinals. I imagine the attendants were rather less eminent.