A " spiritual testimonial " was presented to Mgr. Canon Bickford, V.G., president of St. Edmund's College, Ware, on June 29, when 450 priests offered their Masses and 6,000 others offered their Holy Communions for his intention.
The occasion was Mgr. Bickford's silver jubilee in the priesthood. He sang the High Mass at the altar of the college chapel at which, 25 years ago, he received his sacred orders from the hands of the late Cardinal Bourne. The Te Deum followed the Mass.
Proposing the health of the jubilarian at the lunch that followed, Canon Smith said that among those who had offered Mass for Mgr. Bickford's intention were the Cardinal Archbishop, Archbishop Butt and Bishop Myers. The numbers were incomplete because of Mgr. Bickford's unwillingness to divulge the number of his friends.
As a fitting crown to this spiritual bouquet came the Apostolic Benediction, paternally granted by the Holy Father.
Desiring to make a special gift to the president from the college, the professors and divines had subscribed for a foundation Mass to be offered annually at St. Edmund's College in perpetuity for Mgr. Bickford.
Rising to reply, Mgr. Bickford was greeted with prolonged cheers. With the High Mass that morning he had concluded a novena of Masses offered in thanksgiving for his priesthood. Many Masses and Communions,and prayers had been offered for his intention, and he was glad to have the opportunity of telling his friends what that intention was. It would be selfish to accept all these spiritual riches for himself. So he had formulated his jubilee intention in the words of St. Thomas More: " May we all meet merrily in Heaven."