Bishop Of Portsmouth At Basque Camp
It would be possible to fill columns of the Catholic Herald with reports of local celebrations of the festival of Corpus Christi celebrations held either on the day itself, or by the outdoor processions which are in a great many places a feature on the Sunday within the Octave. Particularly on the Sunday, this year, England enjoyed such glorious sunshine that these devotional pageants were seen in their full beauty. The brief notes below must stand as representative of the country as a whole.
In Stoneham Camp In at least one place, Corpus Christi was kept for a congregation which was unexpected a few months ago. This was at the camp of the Basque children at North Stoneham, near Southampton. There the youngsters were honoured by the presence of the Bishop of Portsmouth, who assisted with the chaplains and other clergy, in the day's devotions. The Bishop gave Benediction at a temporary alta-; afterwards he addressed the children, welcoming them to England. Mgr. Cotter's speech was interpreted by Fr. Lindsay.
The Corpus Christi procession at Cardiff has always the advantage of a very beautiful setting, the spacious grounds of Cardiff Castle, for the crowning scene. The various city and suburban parishes met at St. David's Cathedral for the customary march to the Castle.
Through Plymouth Streets The procession at Plymouth drew thousands of participants and was graphically described in the next day's Western Morning News. Catholics on the line Of route decorated their houses with devotional emblems or window shrines. Members of the Blessed Sacrament Confraternity bore the canopy. The monstrance was carried by the Bishop of Plymouth. At the concluding Benediction in the Cathedral the building was so crowded that some of the congregation were given places on either side of the sanctuary.
At Clifton the procession, which usually takes place in the grounds of the convent of La Retraite in Cornwallis Grove was transferred to Cotham, to the grounds attached to the Home of the Little Sisters of the Poor, the reason for the change being that the former convent is at present in the hands of the builders. Mgr. Canon Patrick Long was the chief officiating priest. In the morning the Bishop of Clifton sang Pontifical High Mass in the ProCathedral.
Liverpool's Great Crowd Brownlow Hill. The great enclosure wherein the new Metropolitan Cathedral is rising at Liverpool has seen some impressive gatherings, but none more striking than that which celebrated the Corpus Christi
festival. Upwards of 30.000 persons had already entered the grounds, and there were many hundreds still to come, when it was deemed advisable to close the gates. The throng crowded-out had perforce to share, as best they could. in the devotional atmosphere from outside. The Archbishop of Liverpool carried the Host and gave the Benediction. Richly-vested clerics of the Archdiocese were canopy-bearers.
Sunderland had a beautiful procession at St. Anthony's convent. Oak Lea, where the rector of St. Mary's, Canon W. Smith, gave the Benediction. The attendance included not only a number of Sunderland's local clergy but priests also from many other parts of the Hexham and Newcastle diocese.
North Finchley held its outdoor Corpus Christi procession last Sunday evening, when the parishioners, supplemented by Catholics from Church End, assisted in the grounds of St. Michael's Convent, Nether Street, where the Sisters of the Poor Child Jesus have their only centre in the Archdiocese.
North, South, West
Middlesbrough's public Corpus Christi procession was a Sunday function. The objective of the processionists, who started from the Cathedral, was the Newlands convent, where Pontifical Benediction was given.
Southsea's inhabitants, in large numbers. turned out as reverent spectators when the procession from St. Swithun's traversed a number of streets in the borough, passing houses decorated for the occasion and thus adding to the charm and colour of the scene. Those taking part exceeded the numbers in previous years.
Belmont Abbey had a beautiful procession in its grounds, where the Benediction was given by the Abbot, Dom Romuald Leonard, O.S.B.
Large numbers of Catholics from surrounding districts were at Teignmouth for the celebration in the grounds of the Notre Dame convent, where the chief altar stood in front of the main convent building.
Almost at England's Farthest West. Penzance, five hundred Catholics, marshalled by the rector, the Rev. George Centel!, took part in an imposing outdoor procession. From time immemorial there has been held in the town a Corpus Christi Fair. Unfortunately the association of the Fair with the real meaning has long been lost; by the procession on Sunday that association was revived.
There were considerable crowds in Validly streets on Sunday afternoon to see the procession from St. Mary's to the new church now under construction, where the altar for Benediction had been set up outside the building.
A festival which comes within the Octave, and is directly a celebration in honour of the Holy Eucharist, may fittingly conclude this brief but wide survey. Last Wednesday evening saw the annual festival, at St. George's Cathedral, of the Southwark Diocesan Men's Guild of the Blessed Sacrament.
The Catholic Herald notified last week that the numbers of men attending this celebration would be so large that the cathedral would not hold women as well; the latter, therefore, had their lot and part in the occasion by taking up positions on the line of route of the great procession of the Blessed Sacrament, and kneeling in homage as the Sacred Host was borne by the Bishop through their ranks.
"The finest procession of the year. anywhere," is an opinion expressed of this Southwark procession by one who has taken part in it on many occasions. The size and majesty of the picture always impresses onlookers, while for Catholics themselves there is the deeper significance of the event. The route of Wednesday evening's procession, from and to the Cathedral, was not a long one, but it included more than one of South London's main thoroughfares.