PAULA HAMILTON has returned to the Catholic faith. The kind and radiant movie actress (pictured below), formerly a model, first shone in a famous TV commercial for the VW Golf which irritated some evangelicals because it was set to the tune of What a Friend We Have in Jesus.
Currently she is starring in Monk Dawson. a film released last week about the spiritual journey of an Ampleforth-style monk, based on an early Piers Paul Read novel and directed by hard-working Old Amplefordian Tom Waller, 23.
Ms Hamilton gives an entirely convincing portrayal of the oversocietied and over-wrought Sloanette who seduces the lead character. The film received mixed notices at the weekend, which Ms Hamilton thinks is uncharitable, although, as she says, the film is hardly Glzostbusters or Rambo. "I don't think the press likes to see young people achieving," she tells me this week, "unlike the US where they help their young people."
Turning to the beliefs which have supported her in the face of personal difficulties, Ms Hamilton explains: "Coming back to my faith has helped me a lot. It gives me a lot of comfort. The fact is that we all need to believe in something outside ourselves, we all need to behave ourselves and be nice to each other." But, she adds, she doesn't "kowtow" to society: "I do what 1 want to do. I don't want to please anybody."
HAVE members of Cardinal Hume's personal staff been talking a little too freely about his movements? As the Cardinal departs this week for his summer retreat, a board outside The Cardinal pub, London SW1, announces: "Cardinal closed for refurbishment".
When he is at home the Archbishop of Westminster looks down on the pub every day from his study window, but he has not to anyone's knowledge been persuaded to enter it In what must a piece of mischief on the part of some Victorian landlord, the pub sign that hangs above the tavern's entrance bears the ghostly features of Cardinal Manning (pictured below right), enthroned as Archbishop of Westminster in 1865.
Manning, of course, was a temperance enthusiast who gave up drinking altogether in 1872. He fell out with his successor Herbert, later Cardinal, Vaughan over the subject. Vaughan didn't really believe in total abstinence, preferring to recommend controlled drinking and the promotion of what are now called "lite" lagers. Newman also disagreed with Manning on the drink question.
"I have heard that some also of our Irish bishops think that too many of our drink shops are licensed," he wrote. "As for me, I do not know whether we have too many or too few." Today, the temperance movement is represented on the Bishop James McGuinness of Nottingham, a lifelong teetotaler.
Body and shine
AT Mass last Sunday (St Mary of the Angels, west London). Fr Mark Larigharn told a story that actually made people laugh. A couple of years ago he went on a retreat for young priests run by a very earnest nun. To illustrate how horribly materialist society had become. she showed a tenminute video consisting of nothing but adverts. After it was over, she told the priests: "Isn't it awful?" There was a nervous silence, and then one priest admitted that he rather liked watching adverts. The nun was horrified. "But don't you realise that they are trying to influence you'?" she said. "Oh, yes," said the priest "There was a time when I used shampoo and conditioner. But now I just Wash 'N' Go!"
Acraass and Valley Girl Jacqueline Obradors (strictly speaking she is not from the San Fernando Valley, but from nearby Woodland Hills, southern California), currently appearing in cinemas opposite Harrison Ford in Six Days, Seven Nights, has been reminiscing about her happy days at an all-girls Catholic school.
Asked in the September issue of FHM magazine if it is true that convent girls are the naughtiest, Ms Obradors (pictured top right), whose dark-haired beauty comes from her Argentinian parentage, says: "I guess I did get a little bad when I went to the all-girls school., It's b auseve 're soy confined!" Apart frorweekaal dances with a boys' stool, ` Ic only guy we saw all week lig," Errs Ms Obradors, "was the iral whc restocked the vendingiachits. We would just flock all oar him* still remember his name —layde" How distressing for poor o
ITALIAN jewellers are tempag to ease the Church into t age plastic with a credit card-styI.osai-The 3in by 2in cards bearic emt3sed points instead of the lards o i rosary can be placed in a w at like bank card and are availablei plaiplastic copper or brass-coatocar stardeluxe gold with diarrad sits . "It's. a case of insert your ccl aracnvoke the Virgin Mary," acceding La Stampa.
Gone on retret
THE HANDFUL of prel ts noion retreat" those who 2 instd languishing on Britislhoreharing the month of August are staring signs of cabin fever. 'I y br-iers ar all off sunning themr-es co beaches," sniffles oraiisheoLike, for instance, frequen_yer Ina Christopher JamisonSB,
headmaster of forwaathiralig Worth school, who irriowm favossr the rigours of Juan le" ins .athe COte d'Azur for spli-ad