I HAVE some intriguing news for connoisseurs of French
Seven half-bottles of White Chartreuse, a rare liqueur which was made for only a few years in the middle of the 19th century, are to be auctioned in London on May 21 by W. and T.
Restell, wine and spirit brokers.
'they were discovered by one of the Fathers at the Carthusian monastery in Parkminster, Sussex, and may well be the only bottles of White Chartreuse left in the world.
Although the Carthusian have been producing Green and Yellow Chartreuse for centuries — from secret recipes which have been in the Order's possession since 1605 — there is no record of White Chartreuse having been made in the last hundred years.
That which has just been discovered at Parkminster was distilled by the Brothers of the Grand Chartreuse, near Grenoble, in France, and was almost certainly brought here by Fathers who came from France to found the monastery, St. Hugh's Charterhouse, near Horsham, Sussex. This was in the 1870s, when religious orders were being expelled from France.
The monks of Parkminster have now re-corked and resealed the old bottles, only one of which had any label. And when these are auctioned each bottle will have a certificate attached giving its history and signed by the Prior of Parkminster.
Eight bottles were in fact discovered. But one is being kept back as a monastery treasure.
A great treasure of Parkminster is, of course, its library of 30,000 books. There are about 40 members of the Order at Parkminster.
Profit-sharing club APRISONERS' aid fund and the Sword of the Spirit's Africa Centre are among six worthy causes which will benefit from a novel cheese-and-wine club opened in London this week.
The profit-sharing venture .is called The Many Members' Club, and is situated in Crane Court, off Fleet Street, in the basement of a building which houses the London staff of OXFAM and Amnesty International. (The Catholic Times used to live here too).
The club was originally designed to give the staff of OXFAM and Amnesty a place to meet and relax in the evening. But now it is open to anyone who is a subscriber to one of half a dozen selected good causes. Among these causes (all to share the club's profits) are the Sword of the Spirit's Africa Centre and
the Amnesty Fund which Peter Benenson, a Catholic lawyer in London, founded to aid those imprisoned for religious or political beliefs.
Hours of opening are 5.30 to 9 p.m. week nights. At weekends, the premises may be available to members who wish to hold meetings or parties.
The club's name is taken from Romans XII, 4: "For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office . . ."
Italian visitor QIGNOR ALDO MORO, the 1,-/ Italian Prime Minister, is showing some of the strains of keeping together Italy's uneasy coalition of the Christian Democrat, Socialist, Social Democrat and Republican parties.
I saw him in Rome during the fateful days last December when he was trying to form a Government which would continue the apertura a sinistra experiment and keep the Communists out. At times it seemed touch and go.
Last. weekend in London, he looked rather careworn though he is only 48, very young as Prime Ministers go. He was here on what was described as a general visit, though he certainly found time to discuss with both Government and Opposition leaders the likelihood of Britain's eventual entry into the Common Market.
A devout Catholic — he is a daily Mass-goer — Signor Moro was in his younger days president of Catholic University students' and graduates' associations and of Catholic Action.
Remembering India FR. BERNARD BASSET, S.J., writing to us from Plumhampton, says that readers continue to subscribe to his Nevett Fund for outcast children of Madras. Some £4,000 has in fact been collected in 18 months.
"I hope to meet Fr. Nevett, and some of the Children perhaps. when I go to Bombay for the
Eucharistic Congress", Fr, Basset says.
Fr. Basset is leading the CATHOLIC HERALD pilgrimage to the Eucharistic Congress in
He says: "As the CATHOLIC HERALD has done so much for the Nevett Fund and the Madras children, we may certainly count on a most friendly reception at the Indian[ end".
Apart from ten days at the Eucharistic Congress in Bombay, the CATHOLIC HERALD tour with Fr. Basset will include four days in the Holy Land and three days in Egypt, travelling throughout by jet or turbo-prop regular services of international airlines, rather than charter planes. If 299 gns. is a great deal of money to pay for this, the spiritual and recreational prospects are correspondingly large. Just think of landing near Nazareth.
THE European Champion Ladies' football club, Corinthians, helped to raise funds for the Apostleship of the Sea, recently, in a charity match against an all-stars eleven at Liverpool.
They convinced a crowd of 500 that football is not exclusively a males-only game and won especial praise from Fr. F. S. Frayne, national secretary of the Apostleship of the Sea.
In his news bulletin this week, Fr. Frayne describes them as "a generous and level-headed group of young ladies", adding: "They played a fast and skilful game on a full-size pitch for the full time of 45 minutes each way".
I understand that since they won the Ladies' European Championship in 1957 by a 4-0 victory over Germany, they have brought back no less than 52 trophies from such countries as Italy, Venezuela, Holland, Portugal, Trinidad and Jamaica.
All the net proceeds of their games go to charity. The total amount so far given is well over £200,000!
Preserving history AMONGST the grants recently announced by the Ministry of Public Buildings and
Works for the preservation of historical monuments is one for a medieval dovecote built by the Benedictines at Dunster in Somerset.
It is situated in the farmyard that once lay within the priory precinct.
Another grant goes towards the cost of repairing a 14th century tithe barn at Pilton, Somerset. which once belonged to the Abbot of Glastonbury.
Adlington Hall, Cheshire, the home of the Legh family, receives a grant towards the restoration of murals, one of which depicts St. Cecilia with a harp.
An aunt of Blessed Ambrose Barlow married into the Legh family and the martyr was a frequent visitor to Adlington during his boyhood.
Racing driver's story
EAR Lord! Make the engine hold out ... Keep me from errors ... Lead me from the temptation of throwing myself into battle and risking everything ..."
This could well he the prayer of many a Whitsun motorist. la was in fact the prayer of the greatest racing driver that has ever lived, Juan Manuel Fangio, between laps that put him on the road to more Grands Prix than any other racing driver.
Fangio mentions this in a matter-of-fact, unsentimental sort of way in his autobiography Fangio, just published by Trust Books as a 3s. 6d. paperback.
I like the level-headed tough excitement of the book, and since all profits. go to OXFAM it seems to merit the support of quite a few of our car enthusiast readers.
The publishers tell me that with this and a number of other titles in the Trust Books series they hope to make £20,000 a year profit for OXFAM. Surely a series worth enquiring about at your booksellers.
English friends wanted THE Pax Christi movement in Germany tells me it is being flooded with bequests for English contacts—families who would accommodate young people as paying guests or on an exchange basis.
The secretary writes: "Young Catholic people from Germany, Switzerland Austria and the Netherlands, are asking us every day for English friends. But we cannot find them. For this summer, alone, we could do with at least a hundred contacts, We would he very thankful if you could publicise this need".
The address to write to is: Pax Christi (Exchange Service), Postfach 462, Saarlouis, W. Germany.