Next Sunday, the feast of the Nativity of Our Lady, is being kept as a day of National Prayer in Great Britain, the Empire and the United States of America. This prayer to Almighty God for blessing and protection throughout so large a portion of the globe is by desire of the King and of President Roosevelt.
In most dioceses of Britain the Blessed Sacrament will be exposed in churches next Sunday from the last Mass until the evening service. Many Bishops have asked that as many of the faithful as possible, especially children, should receive Holy Communion and recite the Rosary. In Westminster Cathedral the Cardinal will preside at 10.30 High Mass, and his sermon will be broadcast by the B.B.C. The Archbishops of Liverpool and Birmingham will likewise preside and preach at Sunday High Mass in their cathedral churches. The Archbishop-Bishop of Southwark will preside at High Mass in St. George's Cathedral at 10.30.
FR. OWEN DUDLEY IN LONDON RAID
By a C.H. Reporter
"Hell let loose " was the graphic description of a recent raid in the London area given to a " Catholic Herald " reporter by Fr. Owen Dudley, the Superior of the Missionary Fathers. "Though short, it seemed to me much sharper than any experiences of the last war, and though none of the Fathers have been touched, the effects of the blast of three bombs falling together was terrific."
Fr. Owen Dudley was in a hospital because he felt in need of a day or two of quiet after his expetience. The only person injured in the house itself was one of the maids who was thrown across a room, injuring herself slightly.
EVERYONE WAS MAGNIFICENT
There were some casualties in the district, and the Fathers, despite their experience, were busily occupied trying to get to the dead and injured. " But it was impossible in the darkness and dislocation to do very much," Fr. Dudley said. " On the other hand," he added, " many men, women and children found refuge in our house where we did our best to look after them. Many of them, especially Jews, had never had any sort of contact with a Catholic place before. and I think they were pleasantly surprised by their experience.
" One and all were magnificent, and after a short time we had them smiling and talklog and exchanging notes about what they had seen and felt. There was absolutely no panic, though every excuse for it. Though the bombs caused some fires. everything was properly taken in hand and a minimum of damage, considering all things. was done through fire.
" One of the works of the missionary Fathers is the distribution of the prayercard (whose need has become greater since air raids have become widespread). This work will be held hack for a few days ; but there is every reason to suppose that it will be resumed very soon when things get back again to normal."
ORPHANAGE'S NEAR ESCAPE 4 Bombs Fall in Yard 4 More on Hospital
The five hundred occupants of the Catholic orphanages for boys and girls in the London area, with the parish church and presbytery in between, had a remarkable escape last week when nine bombs exploded in the immediate vicinity. The boys' orphanage has 230 students and the girls' about 240.
A bomber being chased by a tighter was responsible for the damage done in the neighbourhood. Four bombs were dropped on the boys' orphanage poultry yard just beside the school, another on the road adjoining, and four on the hospital on the opposite side of the road. The only damage at the orphanage was some glass shattered, and the roof of the hay barn being riddled with shrapnel.
AN AMAZING ESCAPE The bombs on the hospital fell in the middle of blocks housing twelve hundred patients. There were no casualties of any kind—not even a scratch—an amazing escape. But the side of the boiler house was blown out and part of the nurses' living room destroyed.
The boys had trooped down calmly and orderly to the fine shelters in the cellars of their own building immediately the wattling went, and were half-way through the Rosary when the bombs were dropped in the terrific din caused by the droning aeroplanes overhead. Meanwhile, the girls were safely shepherded into the crypt of the church which serves as their refuge in the very frequent raids.
(More Air Raid Stories, page 7)