BY Fr. HURRY JOHNSON C.R.L.
ARE you off to Arthur's seat at Tiotagel?—are you going Wadebridge, Padstow, Par or Polteath ? — are you working out connections for St. Dennis? If you have booked at any of these places for your summer holiday you will have remembered about those times for Sunday Mass.
Mass is said on Sundays in about forty places In Cornwall. Some of course are churches, some are weekend missions. In the area you have chosen there may be just a Sunday morning "stand" in a village institute hall or the ball-room of a country club, with vestments and altar furnishings carried there in a suitcase.
There will probably be seagulls on the roof!
Forty Mass centres may not sound much for a whole county —but then we can't muster more than thirty resident priests, secular and regular in about equal proportions.
The centres in the first para graph are all served by Canons Regular travelling from Si.
Mary's Abbey, Rodmin. The Canons also run parishes at The rocky Cliffs at Tintagel—showing part of King Arthur's Castle. There's a Mass Centre here in the Social Hall, served by the Canons Regular of the Lateran from Bodmin.
Bodmin, Hayle, Launceston, Newquay, St. Austell, and Truro. Their parish at St. Ives has Fr. Austin Delaney, O.S.111., as Administrator.
If you go to any sizeable town you will find a church there. In the smaller places there should be a Mass centre within etriking distance. If you have planned A farm-house holiday you would be well advised io enquire beforehand the whereabouts or the nearest church.
On the move
If you are on the move a glance at the local telephone directory under the heading "Catholic churches in Cornwall" will give you the names of the principal churches.
At the peak of the season you may have to stand through the Mass, even in fair-sized churches. And at weekend missions you won't have much choice of times either—but please do make an effort to be there—not only for your own sake. but because your attendance can do so much to encourage our local Catholics and to "show the flag" in territory where the Church has still plenty of ground to win.
Catholics in Cornwall are few and scattered, parishes wide but thinly populated. The parish priest has usually no assistant. There are very few Catholic schools. Pastoral work makes such heavy demands on the clergy that they can hardly tackle the problem of presenting the Faith to non-Catholics for most of whom the Universal Church is Just an alien minority.
Small numbers and large distances also make it hard for lay-people to organise the sort of lay apostolate possible in larger centres of population.
If you are going to Cornwall on holiday you don't want to hear about our troubles—but please, when you are at Mass, say a prayer for the priests and people of Cornwall. And if you happen to he a young man looking for something to dn with your life—well, there may he worse places than Cornish fields and harbours to bear the words of Our Lord about harvests and labourers and fishers of men.