By Catholic Herald Reporters
ROM Berwick-on-Tweed, in the Hexham and Newcastle Diocese, to Penzance, the most westerly town in Cornwall, Catholic citizens took a conspicuous part in the nation-wide vigil of prayers before the Queen's Coronation on Tuesday, and in the local celebrations which accompanied and followed the historic event itself.
Large congregations filled the churches of Newcastle during the Triduum ordered throughout the diocese by Bishop Joseph McCormack. The Triduum began With a special Children's Mass on Saturday. culminating with Evening Mass at 8 o'clock on Monday evening.
Bishop McCormack presided at the Mass in St. Mary's Cathedral, and there were thousands of communicants at the IS Masses celebrated in parish churches all over the City. one hundred and fifty-five Masses were said before sunset in the entire diocese.
Tyneside Catholics were not to be outdone in the public festivities marking the Coronation. Both as organisers and participants, they featured in many pageants and concerts, with schoolchildren often playing leading parts.
In one "pageant of the nations" a group of children represented Ireland; while elsewhere local members of the Legion of Mary appeared as Edwardian characters in a tableau which toured the streets in lorries.
Special attention was also paid to children in the distribution of Coronation gifts. At St. Patrick's, Dipton. for example. the seniors received prayer hooks and the juniors rosaries.
Two prominent Catholics on Teeside were responsible for much of the organisation of public celebrations. They arc Councillor William Pounder. Mayor of the ancient Borough of Hartlepool and a parishioner of St. Mary's. and veteran trade union leader and Father of the Middlesbrough Town Council. Alderman Thomas Meehan. a Freeman of the Borough of M iddlesbrough,
On the 'prom'
Hundreds of Hartlepool schoolchildren featured in the town's brilliant pageant of Elizabethan historical occasions, held on the promenade overlooking the sea.
Teachers had spent weeks rehearsing the children. and the junior choir of 180 voices was trained and eonducted by Mr. J. Walsh. headmaster of St. Mary's.
Coronation week was also marked by Evening Mass, celebrated by Bishop McCormack on the Feast of Corpus Christi, in Otterburn's new church of St. Peter's. Serving Catholics in and around this remote Northumberland town with centuries-old Catholic links of its 'own, the newly blessed church is of brick. pebble-dash finishing. and supported by stone buttresses. It seats some 80 people. took two years to build. and replaced the local farmhouse where Catholics previously assisted at Sunday Mass.
The Bishop travelled north to Otterburn in the late afternoon from St. Cuthbert's College. Ushaw, where he had earlier presided at Solemn Mass and the Corpus Christi procession.
Evening Masses in Leeds were as well attended as in Liverpool. Middlesbrough and the rest of the north. There. too. the public rejoicings were added to by specific Catholic events.
Catholic Coronation celebrations were continued in Halifax with last Friday's open-air pageant at the Shay football ground.. followed by a hall in the evening in the Victoria Hall. Both drew big crowds.
In Bradford rehearsals for the civic Coronation pageant at Odsal Stadium on Sunday week (June 141 are well advanced. Catholics from Huddersfield. Keighley. Dewsbury and other places in thc "Heavy Woollen" district are taking part. and Bishop Heenan is to appear in the finale.
Nottingham Catholics thronged St. Barnabas's Cathedral last Sunday morning and again on Monday evening for two special Coronation Masses. The Sunday Mass was broadcast in the B.B.C. Midland Home Service at 9.30, with a commentary by Fr. Agnellus Andrew. 0.F.M.. Religious Adviser to the B.B.C.
Broadcast • The celebrant was the VicarGeneraL Mgr. Canon Cyril Restieaux, Administrator of St. Barnabas's Cathedral. Girls of St. Catherine's Convent Grammar School choir augmented the Cathedral choir for the occasion.
After the Cathedral had "gone off the air," Holy Communion was given to hundreds of parishioners in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel.
Bishop Edward Ellis celebrated :le pre Coronation Evening Mass on Monday, and also preached.
Many Catholic homes in Nottingham tairried, in addition to the conventional flags and bunting, a special Coronation poster inscribed with the words "The Queen asks you to pray for her."
Members of the local Catholic Women's League and the Union of Catholic Mothers took part in the city's impressive pageant. depicting "Queens through the Ages." which was held on three successive nights in Wollaton Park. the estate surrounding the stately Elizabethan mansion of Wollaton Hall.
The Catholic women appeared in one of the opening scenes of the pageant showing how Queen Bertha of Kent. Queen Ethelburga ot Northumbria and St. Hilda of Whitby contributed to the spread of the Faith in pre-Norman England.
In Nottingham Castle a special Coronation exhibition which includes several objects of particular Catholic interest is now open to the public. Its organiser is the city's Art Director, Mr. Clement F. Pitman. himself a Catholic. One of the themes of the display is "Coronations Past and Present."
An item outstanding in its historical associations is the pendant given by Mary Queen of Scots to Thomas Howard, the Fourth Duke of Norfolk, ancestor of the present Earl Marshal and a practising Catholic.
The "Mary Stuart Jewel" is a precious reliquary, with a cameoportrait of the Queen encrusted in jewels and a cavity for a relic. The reliquary has been-lent by the Duke of Portland.
Other exhibits in the section of the display given over to Elizabethan art include a chalice and paten probably used in Tudor penal times, a set of Apostle spoons with a "Master" spoon of Our Lord. and a picture of the Royal Family lent by the Queen.
St. John's Church, Banbury, in the Birmingham Archdiocese, was floodlit for the Coronation as part of the town's illuminations. On Tuesday morning the choir assembled on top of the church tower. and their voices were carried by specially installed microphones to the crowds of people in the street below.
Thousands of Catholics filled Bristol's churches on Monday to assist at Evening Mass and to receive Holy Communion. In most parishes Solemn Benediction, during which the "Domine Salver') Fac" was sung, followed the celebration of Mass: and the National Anthem was played at the end.
Bishop Joseph E. Rudderham of Clifton offered Pontifical High Mass in the Pro-Cathedral in the presence of a huge congregation.
The old people of St. Joseph's Home. run by the Little Sisters of the Poor at Cotham Hill. Bristol, were able to Watch the Coronation procession and ceremony on five television sets thoughtfully hired for the occasion by the Catholic Women's League. Gifts of cigarettes. tobacco and sweets were also provided.
Children of Nazareth House, Stoke Bishop, Bristol. were taken on an outing to Weston-super-Mare as part of their Coronation treat.
Luckiest of all young Bristolians were schoolchildren of St. Bon. aventure's. Bishopston, who went for a picnic-lunch on Coronation eve. and travelled to London on Wednesday to see the decorations along the processional route.