How Dolores Hart crossed the tracks
UR film critic, Freda Bruce Lockhart, has been telling me the interesting story of how Dolores Hart became a Catholic. As we reported recently. Miss Hart has given up her flourishing Hollywood film career to enter a Connecticut convent.
Miss Bruce Lockhart met the actress twice. The first occasion was soon after she appeared as St. Clare in the film Francis of Assisi. Her comment: "As a convert I was thrilled to go to Assisi. But when I saw the finished film, I said 'Where's Assisi'." Hollywood, evidently, had done its worst.
Miss Bruce Lockhart's next meeting with the actress was when she came to England to star in the comedy Come Fly With Me. Asked to tell the story of her eonversion, Miss Hart said her parents were separated, but she had a very happy childhood being handed from relative to another, all of them competing to spoil her most, "At one time we lived in Chicago and I hated the school I went to, because I had to walk along the railway track to get to it. I asked my grandmother if I could go to the school the other side of the track. `Oh, but that's a Catholic school,' she said. I said I didn't care which sort of school it was. So I was allowed to go. "Soon I discovered the other children arrived earlier than me. I found out this was to go to Mass. I didn't want to miss anything so I began to go too. Then I discovered that some of the other children got cocoa and buns after Mass. I learned they were the ones who had been to Communion. When .1 discovered they were getting something f didn't have, it didn't take me long". Although Miss Hart made the story of her conversion into a tale against herself, she left no one in doubt about her seriousness as a Catholic. To one colleague who bemoaned her entry into a convent as the loss of a good actress, Freda Bruce Lockhart replied that the cinema's loss of an attractive. straight-forward and firm-minded girl would be the convent's gain.
Rome on TV I T was not, I think, until the very end of the long ceremony in Rome last Sunday that something of the dramatic quality of the coronation of Pope Paul VI came through. To my mind the quality of the television presentation was poor by English standards. The photography was patchy and jerky though considering that the BBC programme, shown late at night, was first of all video-taped the picture-quality itself was high. But the vastness of the setting seemed to diminish the people taking part, though the Pope himself, with his quick, sharp movements stood out. The most effective scenes were those of the Cardinals moving up in a long line to pay
homage to the new Pope and those of the Coronation itself.
The most irritating were those which demonstrated what Richard Dirnbleby described, with justification I thought, as the "order in confusion inseparable from great Vatican ceremonies".
Dm' at the very end, when the 1_3 Pope was being carried in his srdia gestatoria back to the Vatican apartments, the cameras really brought us into direct contact with the scene. We saw as well as heard something of the jubilation and excitement of the Roman crowd, which had been unusually subdued up to that moment, as the new Pope was carried into their midst and back into the Vatican.
One could see the Pope, stern and unsmiling until then, relax and respond to the warmth of the crowd's greeting. His gestures became wider and more spontaneous as he became less conscious of them and as the picture faded out he was waving animatedly and a smile began to stretch across his face.
But for all the close-ups and the length of the television programme. it would be an exaggeration to say that viewers were left with a definite idea of the personality of the new Pope. Some people "come across" immediately on television, Pope John XXIII certainly did. But we will clearly have to see a lot more of Pope Paul VI before we can claim to know him.
100 Broadcasts QTILL on the Rome scene: Fr.
Agnellus Andrew, doing some quick adding up for the latest issue of the radio TV magazine "Catholic TV News", comes up with the startling calculation that between the last illness of Pope John and the Coronation of Pope Paul, more than 100 broadcasts on TV and sound have covered Vatican events; as well as countless broadcasts of varying lengths in the news'. Both BBC and TTV sent strong teams for Pope Paul's coronation. Besides the BBC "familiars" of Fr. Agnellus himself, and Richard Dimbleby, their team over the period included Alan Chivers. Ken Sheppard and Pat Wood for TV and Fr. MeEnnee, Henry Riddell and Robert Hudson for sound. ITV sent Brian Connell, Er. John Bebb. Michael Weitzel of ITN. and news-reader Ian Trethowan. The teams were great, but our sympathy goes out to them; at times. from their comments, they seemed further from the scene of things than even we were.
Court to Chapel
AFORMER royal indoor tennis court is the setting for a High Mass to be televised this Sunday when BBCtv take their cameras for the first time to Heythrop College, near Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire. The former tennis court is now the chapel of the Jesuit College of St, Robert Bellarmine.
Some of the college buildings date back to the early 18th century, but a serious fire in 1831 destroyed much of the interior and it lay derelict for some 40 years. The buildings came into the hands of the English Jesuits in 1922. Today, some 120 Jesuit students spend periods of their long training at the college before ordination,
"Shadow" Press Council
I AM interested to hear that my colleague David Crawford has been appointed to an interim CoMmittee set up last week to increase the influence of public opinion on the Pres.
In a seose, this committee, still nameless, will act as a "shadow" to the Press Council, which recently opened its ranks to lay members. Rut the new body. which is largely lay in composition, will be quite independent of it, and, in fact, hopes to supplement the work of the Press Council.
It will, for instance, investigate ways in which the Press can educate. as well as interest, its readers. It will also study how far the needs of professional people are being met by the Press today. Last week's inauguration of the committee took place at a conference at the House of Commons. sponsored by the all-party Civil Liberties group of M.P.s, and chaired by Mr. Anthony Greenwood, M.P. Those invited included trade unionists, educationalists and representatives of the political parties.
Much of the preliminary work for this conference was undertaken by Mr. Martin Ennals. General Secretary of the National Council for Civil liberties.
A BUSY week-end Ties ahead for Fr. Eamonn Casey, founder of the Slough Catholic Housing Aid Society. On Friday, July 19, he will open a week-end conference on " Homelessness " at the Assumption Convent. W.8, and on the same night he leaves for Spode House for a week-end study group on housing problems. Fr. Casey will definitely not be giving the same lecture twice. "At Spode," he said. "I shall be giving detailed information to people working in practical housing schemes. The Kensington Conference is for people who want a general talk on one of the many social problems which face them."
But while Fr. Casey can take two talks in his sttide, people who are interested in both conferences
must sacrifice one. What we need is a central Catholic Information Agency to keep a diary of events for both organisers and the public. I wonder if any existing Catholic organisation is prepared to take on this job ? I will he glad to hear the news of interested secretaries.
oNE of the best-known men in Catholic circles in this country, Mr. George Bellord. is, I understand. gravely ill in St. John's and St. Elizabeth's Hospital, London. and the family would greatly appreciate prayers for his speedy recovery. He had a major operation last Friday. As senior partner of Messrs. Witham, the firm of solicitors, Mr. Bellord acts for the Archdiocese of Westminster and for a great number of religious orders and societies throughout the country. I am sure he will have the prayers of a wide circle of friends and well-wishers.
HOW many people know that July 9 is the feast of Our Lady of the Atonement, patroness Of Christian Unity? That it is so is largely due to the unflagging efforts of the Chair of Unity Apostolate whose central office is in Graymoor, Garrison, New York. The Grey Friars, or Friars of the Atonement, as they are often called, were founded by two Anglicans at the turn of the century and eventually all joined the Church together as a community, retaining their original name and purpose, which is the apostotate of ' U nity. They were invited to England by Cardinal Godfrey, and now manage the Catholic Central Library near Westminster Cathedral, where they have skilfully blended American efficiency and English charm. In Rome they have a special statue of Our Lady, arrayed in red, white and blue, in the little mediaeval church of St. Onofrio (or Humphrey, although I prefer the Italian name) on the Janiculum Hill. Although the red symbolises the Precious Blood, the white is used for a lining for the red mantle and blue for the inner tunic, 1 understand that the Italian's affectionately describe it is "the American Madonna."
Answer is "Yes"
AM grateful to those readers 1 who wrote in about Fr. O'Brien's series, Parents and Children. in answer to my query whether publication of them in pamphlet form would be feasible.
My own mention coincided with Fr. O'Brien's assurance that the series would, in fact, be published in book form.
So those readers who find the articles useful can be assured that, between Fr. O'Brien and the CATHOLIC HERALD his series is guaranteed a more permanent form,