THE Catholic Fraternity of the Sick and Disabled, whose first international conference was held in Strasbourg, Austria, last month is hoping to establish itself in Britain.
Its founder, Mgr. Francois, told British guest at the confer ence Miss Marjorie Thwaites, of Harpenden, Herts., that Britain, "despite its Welfare State reputation", needs such an organisation.
Miss Thwaites, one of 250 Fraternity members and guests
at the conference agreed with the monsignor. She told the CATHOLIC HERALD this week: "It could bring fresh hope to thousands of sick and disabled."
She said far too often it is forgotten that besides the poor and the lonely, there are "the rich and the lonely".
"The State does not give fraternal friendship and under standing to suffering," she said.
"It does not give relief to the feeling of isolation and some times boredom which the sick feel so much and it does virtually nothing for those who are not in financial need.
"The section of society who are not entitled to receive financial benefit from the State, may not be so surrounded with friendship as one may think. In
fact, they may be feeling isola
tion and boredom even more than those who are not so financially fortunate. They may see no reason for their suffering and know no peace.
"Yet these people could help others in a Fraternity through their education and others could help them to feel useful. Ultimately peace and joy may be theirs in the Gospel dialogue, or the dialogue between God and man."
She agreed that the talents of many may be developed by re habilitation centres, but these do not bring work to the bedridden or occupation to all the sick.
The State, she said, does a great deal for the over sixties financially and socially, and therefore the Fraternity does not encourage membership from this section of the com munity. It accepts sick from all faiths as well as non-believers. It prefers to have chaplains who are chronically sick or have been sick for a long time in the past.
Where pilgrims stretch budgets
BUDGET CONSCIOUS British pilgrims to the Holy Land are flocking to the Maison d'Abraham in Jerusalem. It was opened under the auspices of Secours Catholique of Paris at Christmas, 1964, in response to Pope Paul's call for such a centre after his own visit.
Standing on the summit of the Mount of Offence it has been adapted from an hotel to accommodate 100 guests, and those who are unable to pay hotel charges may have accommodation, Continental breakfast and a simple evening meal, for a maximum of six days free of charge.
Summer courses are held for seminarists who may do their Bible and local studies in the true setting and atmosphere and take part in visits conducted by experts.
Visitors who are not neces
sarily pilgrims, but whose resources are limited may find free accommodation in the annexe of the Maison d'Abraham, at Bethany. Accommodation there is for 200 in fourberth chalets and large private tents.
Wardour Castle chapel on TV
A. CATHOLIC chapel secretly " built in 1776 in a wing of Wardour Castle, Tisbury, Wiltshire, has been chosen by John Betjeman as the subject of his alphabetical series on churches on BBC television on August 21.
It is in the great Palladian house built for Lord Arundel of Wardour, and was handed over to the trustees in 1898 by the Lord Arundel of the day and renamed All Saints Church.
A national appeal launched in 1963 to provide funds to restore the fabric, plasterwork, decoration and organ now totals £27,000, and the interior work is practically complete. It has been described as the finest example of late 18th century church architecture in England. A further £2,000 is needed to complete the restoration.
Among the contributors was the Archbishop of Baltimore, in memory of the fact that the expedition which founded the State of Maryland set out from Wardour.
Buckfast Abbey plans school
ARCHBISHOP CARDINALE, the Apostolic Delegate will lay the foundation stone of a boys' preparatory school in the grounds of Buckfast Abbey on Monday, the Feast of the Assumption. It is expected to be completed next year.
Boys will normally be admitted at 8 years of age and stay until they take their Common Entrance examination to public schools. Most will be boarders. There will be audiovisual aids for teaching French, and a Benedictine monk technician will maintain and develop electronic equipment.