An Occasional Causerie
Silver jubilee honours fall this week to the Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle, a circumstance upon which his Lordship has the felicitations of the faithful throughout the country and not merely in his own diocese. Mgr. McCormack spent the actual anniversary in the good work of leading many of his flock in the Northern pilgrim age to Lourdes. Although his episcopal career .is of but a few months' standing, the Bishop knows the Hexham and Newcastle territory " inside out " as the saying has it. As secretary to two successive predecessors, as Vicar-General for a number of years, and as a former Administrator of the diocesan Cathedral, he has been brought into touch with the Church's work in practically every part of the great area stretching from Tyne's banks.
Two brothers, members of a widelyknown Catholic family in Madras, have lately had honours conferred upon them in different ways. Father T. Gonsalves, SI, B.A., DD., has been appointed Rector and Principal of St. Aloysius's College, at Mangalore; and Mr. S. J. Gonsalves was elected, at the last election, a member of the. Upper House of the Madras Legislature as a representative of the Christian community.
Father Gonsalves is a member of the Senate of Madras University, chairman of the examiners in Science at that institution and Professor of Physics at St. Aloysius's. During the college holidays he goes out to give retreats among the speakers of Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and other tongues. His brother, the layman. is an advocate of the High Court of Madras and a Fellow of the University; at Ootacamund, he filled the post of Chairman of the Municipality, a position analogous to that of Mayor over here.
While Madras thus enjoys the religious zeal of two of the name, a third brother is in our own midst, and he, too, has many friends and admirers among his fellowCatholics. Dr. V. P. Gonsalves has been, for many years past an active helper in the interests of the Brothers of the Assumption, whose monthly gatherings at Bow, Notting Hill, and Clapham—to mention London centres alone—are stimulating assemblies, as anyone will testify who has ever had the privilege of addressing them. Dr. Gonsalves has been a frequent speaker at these meetings in the course of a long connection with the work. On the subject of Indian missions he is an informed lecturer; it is revealing no secret that he possesses lantern pictures from the Far East which would be a joy, in the dark evenings, to boys and girls in our high schools and colleges.
One reads with mixed feelings of the intended change of employment in the case of Reading's Abbey gatehouse. The old rooms above the archway are to serve, after this year, as a municipal museum and art gallery. That, of course, is a purpose of respectable dignity, but the decision means that the Reading Catholic Club will have to leave the building, and a Catholic tenancy was something eminently in keeping with the history embedded in the old
stones. The gateway stands, too, conveniently near the church of St. James, which itself is on a famous site, within the precincts of the abbey and next-door neighbour to the actual ruins of that fabric.
Noble memories are enshrined in the ancient stones of the gateway at Reading— the Inner Gateway of the abbey: the four embattled gates which gave access to the precincts have long since disappeared. Noblest among them, perhaps, are those associated with the martyred abbot, Blessed Hugh Faringdon, condemned, in the stately hall on the first floor to a traitor's death for defending the Church against the unjust tyranny of the Crown. It is all part of a moving chapter of English history. Today Reading is proud of its monastic past. In the words of a generous and devoted local antiquary, the late Dr. Jamieson Hurry, the borough " will hold in everlasting remembrance that ancient home of religion and learning whose history is in
extricably intertwined with her own," * Suffolk's Sudbury is to witness next Sunday an interesting piece of devotional restoration, when a handsome shrine. dedicated to Our Lady of Sudbury. will be blessed in the Catholic parish church. There was an earlier time in the town's history when Our Lady of Sudbury had her famous and venerated image set up in the pre-Reformation church of St. Gregory; but the had doings of the sixteenth century swept that figure away. Now, however, the devotion has been revived, the shrine restored, by those who love and practice the Old Religion. Sudbury is enriched by a beautiful piece of art work, the gift of an anonymous donor who has been inspired in pious generosity by the zeal of the Bishop of Northampton in restoring Our Lady's ancient shrines in the diocese. The new statue has been carved after the manner of an early Fourteenth Century group. * * * * Antwerp's Grand Bazar. the extensive departmental store which has been all but destroyed by fire, is likely to be in the minds of many of the citizens next Sunday, when the famed wooden statue of Our Lady of Antwerp will be carried in procession through the streets for the Feast of the Assumption. They will know that after the outbreak of the Great War the Bazar gave shelter to the statue, which was there secretly hidden lest harm should come to it during enemy bombardment or occupation. Above the spot where this venerated treasure had lain concealed, the new buildings were erected after the war was over.