I 'VE been staying for the last
been of weeks with the Marist BrOthers. in Islington, just around the corner from the Angel. There arc only three resident Brothers, but at this time of the year their numbers are swelled to anything up to 16 as Brothers from all parts of the world drop in for a few days on their way through I .ondon.
The refectory at dinner is like a mini-meeting of the United Nations. In the short time I have been there I have met Marists from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa.• America, Rhodesia, Spain, Italy. Greece, Mexico, Nigeria, Formosa, and other far flung places.
The Marist Brothers are a world-wide order of teachers. In many different countries have been in. I have heard people singing their praises. In pa rt ic War I remember how much their work in Biafra was appreciated, particularly by the Holy Ghost Fathers, who, to a man. used to point out to visiting journalists like myself what fine work the Marists were doing running orphanages for thousands of hungry children (even though the Fathers were doing fantastic work themselves).
I make the point because the religious are only human and there is sometimes a certain amount of jealousy between Orders. More often than not, however, rivalries are only spoken of in jest.
It is traditional for former pupils of Marist and Jesuit schools to do verbal battle.
Whenever I meet a Jesuit old boy I invariably ask : "Couldn't you get into the Marist college?" me having been educated by the Marists, of course.
But it is all in good fun. I wasn't entirely amazed. therefore, to read an article by Jesuit, Father Gerald Finnieston, extolling the virtues of U Marist Brother in Beira. Mozambique.
He is called Cordeiro, a former cowboy from the pampas of Brazil.
Father Finnicston writes, in the current issue of "Christian Encounter": "He was always in action. coaching soccer and basketball, running the athletic team for several miles, training his fierce alsatian dogs in short effective commands.
"He was out a lot too. 'Where is Cordeiro?' I would ask. 'Oh. he has been asked to play a few sets at the Beira Tennis Club against the best players in town'."
The day before, apparently, the 55-year-old Cordeiro had given a public exhibition of dog training with his alsatians. then boarded an Air Force plane to take part in their weekly parachute manoeuvres. The day before that? he had done his weekly broadcast to the young people of Mozambique.
Brother Cordeiro was the son of rich Italian' emigrants. But his father died when he was five and his death was followed by lengthy mitigation and illegal grartitiop of family estates. In the end fire destroyed most of their property, and left them in poverty.
When he was 8 he was an errand boy for the Marist Brothers and received his schooling and meals in return.
At 14 he became a cowboy and lived the hard life of the drovers, spending day after day on horseback, moving huge herds of 600 or more.
He became a troubadour, a poet-musician. playing his guitar and singing the folk songs of the Rio Grande do Sul.
But all the time he felt the great urge to learn and sorrowfully he left the pampas, went to work in the city and studied at night. Eventually he graduated in Economic and Political Sciences and took a Philosophy course. He also did a physical culture course.
To pay for this he took jobs as a bus driver, lorry driver, horse breaker and fighter.
At the same time he fell in love with a girl called Esther and was about to marry her when he decided to seek admission to the Marist Order.
"Believe me: separation from the girl I loved so much was the greatest sacrifice of my existence," he told Father Finnieston.
Cordeiro went to Africa in 1949 and is founder of every Marist College in Angola and Mozambique. His book "Discipline in the Colleges"
has been adopted as the pattern of youth formation in most of the colleges in Brazil.
He is so well known in Beira that the simple address "Brother Cordeiro, Beira, Mozambique' will find him. "This man with the soul of a poet and the learning of a scholar is a great force in M oza mbique, exercising great influence on the young," says Father Finnieston.
All I hope is, 'that if the dynamic Brother Cordeiro ever passes through the Marist house in Islington. I will be fortunate enough to meet him.
JESUS is big news these days and it is obvious we are going to hear a lot more about Him!
From August 30 to September 3 there is to be a massive "Festival for Jesus" in London, involving Christians of all faiths.
And the Daily Mirror have been having their own festival! Over 10.000 .paintings of Jesus have poured into their offices in respose to their "Paint the face of Christ" contest.
Mr. Neil Bentley, of the Mirror, described the entry as "phenomenal". es p ec i at I y when you consider that the highest prize is £100. Other prizes are tickets to the show "Jesus Christ, Superstar". which opens in London next week.
The .pictures fill a room at the Mirror and are being judged by professional artists working a rota.
Meanwhile, over at the "Festival for Jesus" office, they are making preparations for the five-day witness to Jesus.
Teach-ins on "Living. Jesusstyle" will take place in scores of London churches each morning. in the afternoons there will he massive demonstrations through the streets and outdoor services in Victoria Park (Wednesday).
Tower Hill (Thursday), Clapham Common (Friday), and Hyde Park (Saturday). The organisers are expecting
many Catholics to take part but so far they say they haven't had any response from our priests. -We can't understand it," said Kitty Tilia.
Father George Leonard of the Catholic Information Office said: "1 he general feeling among priests seems to be that the festival will have better results if it is non-clerical, and is seen to be an expression of concern and faith, especially by young people.
"They feel it would be the kiss of death to present it as a reaction from the established churches. Many individual priests have taken part throughout the country in the Festival of Light and no doubt they will be attending the Festival of Jesus in a private capacity."
Founder at Retreat
p. Riccardo Lombardi. S.J founder of the Movement for a Better World, is to conduct a "Retreat of the Christian Community" at Wood Hall Pastoral and Ecumenical Centre, Wetherby, Yorkshire, from August 5-11.
The retreat has been organised by the Movement's British team, three of whom. two priests and a lay woman, will give the retreat under Fr. Lombardi's leadership. As usual, this MBW retreat will be for a mixed group of priests, brothers, nuns and lay people. The Movement was founded by Fr. Lombardi with the approval of Pope Pius XII in view of the need for a "general renovation of the Church and the whole human race in Jesus Christ."
MBW retreats are rooted in the dialogue after the Last Sup per and centre around Our Lord's prayer for unity. The aim is to give priests, religious and laity together an experience of living community while meditating on the Gospel message and its application
nowadays against t h e background of the Second Vatican Council. The retreat should lead to personal renewal in the light of community, and renewal of the community as such.
After each meditation and a period of reflection and prayer, the retreatants share their insights and then pray together. To facilitate this, the traditional idea of formal periods of silence is abandoned. The highlight is the concelebrated liturgy built around the theme of the day's meditations. At the end of each day the sense of community is deepened in a social hour.
Fr. Peter Harrison, of the English Jesuit Province, who until two years ago served on the staff of Craighead House, the Scottish Jesuit retreat house, has just spent three months in Rome studying the Movement for a Better World under Fr. Lombardi, and sixteen months working for the Movement in the United States. He is now stationed at the Jesuit retreat house in Sunderland (Corby Hall), but he will spend a good deal of his time giving MBW retreats in different parts of England and Scotland,
pHE bishops of England and A Wales don't appear to have had anything to say about the Industrial Relations Act. Maybe it is because most of them arc now on holiday. Or maybe it is because they don't think the Church should take any particular "line" on this.
But it is baffling that several intelligent Catholics I have spoken to this week have expressed concern that there has been no 'lead" given by the bishops.
I wouldn't have thought it was an issue that the Hierarchy would be expected to speak out on.
But if it is any consolation to my troubled friends, at least one Anglican bishop has made a statement.
"The title Industrial Relations Act is a misnomer. It is not in any way an Act to provide for good industral relations, or for resolving all disputes as such," mys the Bishop of Durham, the Right Rev. Ian Ramsey.
"It is much more like a set of Queensbury rules which have in view wreckers who might hold a union or the country to ra nsorn.
"The provision for a ballot shows this very clearly a point which underlines its essential futility on a recent occasion. Equally clearly the Act does not and could not provide for the complex intricacies of industrial relations at large.
"I am glad that the Government is coming to see that whatever the Act can or cannot do legally and psychologically, it will never provide a substitute for negotiation, nor for the duty of a Government to facilitate that possibility."
CARDINAL Alfrink of Holland will be arriving in Yorkshire today to take part in the weekend celebrations at Ripon Anglican Cathedral.
He will preach at an ecumenical service there on Sunday, the local feast day of St. Wilfrid, who built the original church there 1300 years ago. Part of the original crypt remains. Ripon Dean Edwin Le Grice said: "St. Wilfrid did missionary work in Holland and it was he who trained St. Willibord, Benedictine of Ripon, who became the first Archbishop of Utrecht. It was because of this we thought it would be a good idea to invite Cardinal All rink."
Bishop John Moorman, of Ripon. was chief Anglican observer at the Second Vatican Council and knows Cardinal Alfrink well. The Cardinal will be staying with Bishop Wheeler of Leeds, who will also be taking part in the service at Ripon on Sunday.
That Kathleen Countess Peel should die at the tragically early age of 59 is a great loss to her two sons to whom she was so utterly devoted and is a great loss to Christianity and Catholicism in its truest and most beautiful form. It is especially sad since her husband, the late Earl Peel, died only three years ago.
To those who knew Kathleen and to those who were related to her she will remain a woman of rare quality, considerable beauty and Christianity whose generosity of personality was an inspiration and constant delight to the very many people of all walks of life in Lancashire and all other places where she was known, and greatly loved and admired.
Among the legacies she has left is an extraordinary sense of
cohesiveness amongst the descendants of Sir Robert Peel and a strong sense of family life increasingly rare. Any person who came into contact with her can only have been enriched by her continuous Joie de vivre, endless kindnesses and wisdom and supreme courage to the last day of her life.