England's room Fatima
MANY readers of this column will want to help in the building of the fine new Marian Centre in Fatima, first suggested by the Bishop of Leira and now supported by Catholics in every part of the world. 'I he first purpose of the new centre will be to spread devotion to Our Lady of Fatima and to remind the world of her message of prayer and penance. Ever) European country is being invited to raise £400, sufficient to pay for one room. It would be sad indeed if England played no part in this international act of devotion. A committee has been set up to organize the appeal and to use it for making devotion to Our Lady of Fatima better known. Readers can help in two ways. Contributions for the English room should be sent to the Treasurer, Fatima Centre. 12, Queensberry Place, London, S.W.7. Leaflets for distribution may be had from the Secretary, Fatima Committee. 5, Haytor House. Westway, London, W.I. Leaflets cost 5s. per 100 with suitable reductions for larger amounts.
MANY readers have now written in to encourage the smokers in their perplexity by producing a smoking saint. Blessed John Kemble who smoked before his execution is now joined by St. Pius X. I cannot myself vouch for the fact but readers seem very certain about it. One correspondent writes: " I read in a recent biography of the saint that he was a smoker of cheroots. a habit which disturbed some Italian officials, as no previous pontiff had smoked. In his last years the saint gave it up but with reluctance." Another reader tells us that the matter was brought up during the beatification process and that the future saint
was allowed to get away with it. Perhaps other readers can throw further light on the matter.
Contacts MANY queries have been received about the Contact afternoons at Hampstead and one writer complains that it is not easy to find out the exact dates on which they are held. The complaint is reasonable. hut it is not possible or desirable that the Contacts should be fixed. Those " first-Tuesday-ofthe-month " types of meeting nearly always lose support. Contacts just happen when the Cenacle Convent is free to have one and a suitable priest can be found. The average audience of 100 suggests that there are ways and means of finding out. The Cenacle Convent advertisements in the Catholic papers usually give due warning when a Contact afternoon has been planned.
mHE next Contact afternoon is
on Saturday, May 26. at 3 p.m. On a beautiful spring afternoon the Convent gardens should be very attractive to those in London who want to meet Catholic friends. Anyone is welcome and the purpose of the afternoon is to welcome to London visitors from overseas or from different parts of Britain who find Lnnclon a large and lonely place. Non-Catholics are always welcome, too. and they need not fear that they are being " got at" in any way. The Cenacle Convent is reached by Nos. 2 and 13 buses or by tube to Hampstead Station or Golders Green. There is a good bracing walk whichever route you choose.
The Long Walk
UNDOUBTEDLY " The Long Walk," by Slavomir Rawicz, will become one of the most famous adventure stories in the world. Those who have already followed the heroism of the men who escaped from a Russian camp in Siberia and walked to India will bear roe out in this. The opening chapters which deal with Russian methods are not very pleasant reading. hut the author writes with admirable reticence and self control. Further. he is impartial and gives the decent Russian officers and soldiers their due. The long journey to freedom is also grim in places. but a wonderful spirit of heroism and adventure fires the whole account. When all is over and the four survivors are lying in peace in an Indian hospital, the reader remembers only the outstanding bravery of the Polish leader and the exquisite hospitality of the Tibetans and others who helped him on his way.
Tailpiece THE story was told me recently of the fAmous old Irish priest in Warrington who produced a Continued at foot of next column