AFURTHER 2,000 overseas students are arriving in England during the present two or three weeks before term begins at Universities and technical colleges. Nearly half of these are from Africa, although not necessarily all Africans, as Indians and Chinese also come from there.
On previous estimates about 14 per cent. of these 2,000 overseas students are Catholics. Mgr. John Coonan, national chaplain to overseas students, has been officially notified by his African contacts of only 30 to 40. He arranges with the British Council, which meets the new arrivals and puts them up in transit centres until they find permanent accommodation, that he will meet these students, give them temporary acconmiodaiion in his Holland Park house. and help them to find good lodgings in the town where they are to study— London for most of them.
He provides information about the nearest Catholic church and any hospitable Catholics in the neighbourhood, arranges social events for them during their stay, and keeps a friendly eye on them. With the approval of Archbishop Godfrey of Westminster, Mgr. Coonan at last has a missionary priest to help him in his work: Fr. Thomas Tye, W.F., superior of the White Fathers' house in Bayswater.
The British Council offer introduction courses to the new arrivals where they may learn about life in Britain. Mgr. Coonan has 'a standing invitation to these courses so that he has the opportunity to meet and talk with the Catholic students and make arrangements for Mass.
In some districts arrangements for hospitality for students in Catholic homes is well organised, and they are entertained to lunch on Sundays or to social evenings. The recent Sword of the Spirit leaflet "Your African Neighbour", of which some 30.000 copies have already been distributed, was brought out specially to encourage hospitality in the parish.
The British Council posters about overseas students may now be seen in many church porches, telling them to get in touch with Mgr. Coonan, but some still fail to make contact with the Church in England and lose touch with Catholic life during their stay here.
Bishop Artur Michael Landgraf, auxiliary of Bamberg, Germany, died early on Monday morning after a shore illness. aged 63. He was an international authority on mediaeval theology and religious hictory.