Page 14, 3rd December 1954

3rd December 1954
Page 14
Page 14, 3rd December 1954 — THE MISSION GOES TO

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People: Madonna, M. He


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From a Special Correspondent

MEET some of the men who are building a £36,000,000 industrial plant somewhere in England—men who are also building the Catholic England of the future .

Here is Michael from Ballysodare. It is evening time. Work is finished. He is lying on his bed in the works hostel. He has a mass of red hair, a long, muscular body, and his gum-boots are still on his feet. His arm is stretched out stiffly.

"What's wrong with the arm," we ask.

"I fell yesterday," he says, "and had to get two stitches in it. But went to the mission first, only I had to come out before the end. A mate had bandaged my arm to stop the bleeding and it was too tight."

An Irish Jesuit is giving a mission in the camp. He lodges in the fore

men's hut. •

At 8 p.m. every night after the mission service his little room fills up with men. They sit on his two chairs and along the bed. They wait their turn to go to confession in the room next door.

This room belongs to O'M. He is the foreman of a gang working across the river.

He said to the priest: "You can have my room for an hour or two. I'll go to the village for a drink. I only take a pint or two."

He has hung his coat over the washing line down the middle of the room so that the priest can sit on one side of it on the edge of the bed and the penitent can kneel on the other side out of sight.

He has put a chair for the man to lean against and an old pair of trousers rolled up for him to kneel on.

Nine priests

In these conditions confessions go on every night for an hour and a half or two hours.

There is Mass every morning at 6.10 in the recreation room. On the first morning there were three at Holy Communion.

One was an ex-sergeant of the Irish Army from Athlone. The two others were husband and wife. They rode up every morning and evening on a tandem bicycle from their caravan a mile away. He is a convert. She is Irish. Their son is at school in Tipperary at Rockwell.

From Wednesday on there were 30 or 40 men at Holy Communion each morning, kneeling on the floor in a circle close around the altar, which is a table covered with a sheet.

After breakfast at the canteen they are to be found on the site in yellow mud.

Here is a small-sized foreman in great good humour. He says : "I have six kids in Ireland, Once I get my money off to the wife on Thursday mornings, I don't care what way the cat jumps."

Here is John, a Derry man, polish 'Mary Year Continued from page 1 diocese. and will be followed by a week of homage.

Cardinal Griffin will solemnly rown the statue of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal in the London West End Church of Our Lady of the Assumption and St. Gregory in Warwick Street at 6.10 p.m. on Tuesday evening. Pontifical Benediction will be followed by an allnight vigil.

That same evening, at 7.30 p.m.. Bishop Cowderoy will pontificate at High Mass for the opening of the new Church of Our Lady, Queen of Heaven. a converted barn at Frimley in the parish of Camberley. It will he the 25th church opened during Bishop Cowderoy's episcopate.

At 7.30 p.m. Bishop Beck will celebrate Pontifical High Mass for the opening of the new Church of the Immaculate Conception at Epping, which has been built by the Canons Regular of the Immaculate Conception, who arc also to build. at Harlow in Essex. a Church of Our Lady of Fatima and a Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

At 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Bishop Heenan will celebrate Pontifical High Mass for the opening of the new Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour at Seacroft, Leeds.

The previous evening. Bishop Heenan will lead a torchlight procession of all the parishes of Leeds from St. Anne's Cathedral to Mount St. Mary's, the city's oldest church, two miles away.


Bishops from England, Scotland and Wales are going to Newcastleon-Tyne for a performance in the City Hall on Thursday of the Catholic Women'sleague's Pageant of Our Lady, which about 12.000 people saw when it was presented in the same hall during October.

In Birmingham on Tuesday evening Archbishop Grims Eta w will preach and give Benediction at a special service for men.

Solemn Vespers in Westminster Cathedral on Wednesday will be broadcast in the B.B.C. Home Service.

This Sunday the North of England Home Service will broadcast a programme cal led "Madonna," an anthology of music and readings arid prayers illustrating the place of Our Lady in the life of the Church and of England.

The anthology has been devised and will be presented by Fr. Agnellus Andrew, 0.F.M.. with the Westminster Cathedral Choir.

This coming Sunday the Universal Church will be praying for those named by the Holy Father in the three intentions for which he proclaimed Mary's Year—the Bishops, priests and laity of the Church of Silence.

On Saturday evening in Rome, the Holy Father's Vicar General. Cardinal Micara. will bless in the Central Prison a votive lamp given by Rome's Municipal Council to burn perpetually before the large. statue of Our Lady. Queen ol Heaven.

ing a concrete pillar. "I anl the black sheep of the family," he says. "I have nine priests in the family."

Here's an ex-cook froni Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin. He is in charge of a machine for pumping concrete, wears a padded jacket like a Chinaman, and has a wife and children in London.

"I'm with the firm since 1945," he says.

"You'll get f14 a week," we suggest.

"More than that," be replies.

The river is in flood and near its hank two men in oilskins are pumping flood water out of the site int9 the river.

"It comes in faster than we can get it away," they say. One adds: "I have a daughter in the convent at Letterkenny."

When the day's work is done, the men put on their best clothes for the mission service in the canteen. They shift the tables out of the way, set the chairs in rows and put up a lovely statue of Our Lady amid candles and flowers. ,

As they kneel to say the Rosary non-Catholics peer in, surprised to hear the rumble of their voices.

After the service we speak to a tali, handsome young man with fair curly hair and a smart blue suit.

He says: "It makes your heart terrible light. I feel a different man from last week. I feel as light as a feather."

The Irish Jesuit missioners are finishing their 1954 autumn campaign with missions now on in Nottingham at St. Patrick's, London Road, and in Leicester at the Sacred Heart Church, Mere Road, where the crowd is so great that it is necessary to have two services every evening.

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