Page 2, 7th August 1953

7th August 1953
Page 2
Page 2, 7th August 1953 — CARDINAL GRIFFIN IN NORWAY

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Locations: Oslo, Trondheim


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SIR,-1 only wish to express a little of the gratitude of Norwegian Catholics to His Eminence Cardinal Griffin because he was so kind as to come to us for the celebrations of the establishment of the Norwegian Hierarchy, and of the great pleasure he gave us with his presence.

The Cardinal's personality impressed all who saw or spoke with him. The Christian goodness which is beaming so clearly out of his smiling face and hearty accent, struck both Catholics and Protestants. Not only in his high office, but also in himself, he became the natural centre in our celebrations. In Oslo he greeted a number of us personally. In Trondheim he celebrated Mass with beautiful dignity. Here too he spoke to us all in his animating fashion and gave us these unforgettable words: "Be of good heart. Our hour shall come." And in the old Romanic stone church at Stiklestad, built on the place where St. Olav fell by the axes and the spear of the enemy, he presided at Mass with his personality made the Protestant temple Catholic again.

Indeed the Cardinal couldn't avoid to be a very popular ambassador from both the Vatican and England. A little episode in Trondheim gives an amusing example of that. The Pontifical Mass was here introduced by a procession too long for the Cardinal to share it on foot. But all the motor-cars in the town were closed, except one very fine car belonging to one Protestant shipowner. And the Cardinal had to drive in an open car. because the weather was fine and the sun shining. The ship-owner's car however had also exactly the same red colour as the Cardinal's costume. So the owner was asked if he would lend his car tothe Cardinal. He answered, "Yes, if you will do me the honour to drive the car myself." Of course he was permitted to do that.

Cardinal Griffin's visit will never be forgotten. It has been the most uplifting event for Norwegian Catholics in very many years. It has also strengthened the ties of friendship between England and Norway even more than before. Our blessings are following His Eminence back to his native country and to all our Catholic brothers and sisters in the British Empire. God grant him health and strength and many more rich years in his holy service ad inajorem Dei gloriarn.

Finn Ilalvorsen. Jacob Aallsgate 10, Oslo, Norway.

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