By Donal Musgrave IRR. ARTHUR VALENTIN, one of the first three priests to be ordained in Westminster Cathedral. and co-founder of a religious congregation, will celebrate his golden jubilee on December 19.
Eighty-three years of age, Fr. Valentin has now retired, He serves as Chaplain to the Congregation of Our Lady of Pity, which he founded in 1934 with Sister Margaret Mary Lawdcr, at St. John's Convent,Twyforcl. Berks.
The Sisters' chief work is to provide homes for sick and ageing priests. Two cottages have been acquired for this purpose, and builders are soon to start work on several bungalows which the Sisters have planned. They also teach catechism, instruct converts, and serve the scholastics at Heythrop and the Salvatorian students at Sindlesham.
Fr. Valentin was ordained in 1913 by the late Cardinal Bourne at the first ordination ceremony ever to be held in Westminster Cathedral. His brother, the late Fr. Philip Valentin of Holy Redeemer Chelsea, and Fr. Buckle, a convert, were ordained with him. All were converts.
Fr. Arthur Valentin was appointed as assistant priest at Holy Rood, Watford. In 1921. he became Rector at Stevenage, and a short time later received permission from the Cardinal to celebeate the first public dialogue Mass in the Westminster Diocese.
A notable convert-maker, among the well-known people Fr. Valentin has received into the Church have been Fr. Charles Hann, now at Torquay, and formerly Principal of the Anglican Theological College at Lichfield (he was offered two bishoprics in the Anglican communion); the Provincial of the Cowley, South Africa, Fathers, Fr. Horton-Smith; and Fr. Ware, who is currently at Westminster Cathedral.
Among his friends have been Cardinal Mery Del Val, whose beatification cause is proceeding, and Abbot Marmion.
On December 19, Fr. Valentin will go to Westminster Cathedral once more. He will celebrate a dialogue Mass in the Lady Chapel and will be assisted by Fr. Hann, Mgr. Vernon Johnson (himself a convert) will be present.
No failures here
The large number of G.C.E. and R.S.A. certificates gained in Bonus Pastor Secondary School, Downham, Bromley, last year were won by children who had not been considered suitable for a grammar school when they were 11 years old, said the school's headmaster last week.
Mr. K. Russell, speaking at the school's annual prizegiving, deplored the use of the term "11 plus failures". They are not considered failures by this school, he said, and stressed that the results are achieved by hardworking pupils and good teachers.
Home for six
A new house which has been bought by the Salford Catholic Protection and Rescue Society for a "family" of six children, was blessed on Sunday by Mgr. W. J. Sewell. Acting Chairman of the Salford Diocesan Rescue Council.
1 he Rescue Society has had to bear the full cost of purchasing and furnishing of the house.
The importance of a complete education for girls was stressed by Mgr. M. V. Sweeney, headmaster of St. Becle's Grammar School, Bradford. last week when he addressed parents and pupils at the prize day of St. Monica's Convent, Skipton. It was of the greatest importance that the girls of this generation muV receive all the education they could for the whole of a child's attitude to education, culture and learning was determined by the mother.
"The horrible truth is beginning to strike us," said Mgr. Sweeney. "We are educating girls not for what they will do in their twenties but for what they will do in their forties." Teaching was a case in point where women did extremely good work and the Government would like to see more of them returning to teaching.
He realised that there were girls whose sole desire was to leave
school as soon as possible, but there are yery good reasons why parents should see that they continued to be educated. There were still isolated pockets in the country which held that it was a waste of time and maney to educate girls.
Sheila Cronin, a 20-year-old Manchester chemistry student, is to succeed another Northerner Cynthia Sing, as the new National president of the Young Christian Students. Sheila. who lives in Liverpool. but who is studying at the Manchester Faculty of Technology. where she is the Secretary of the Catholic Society, has been a member of the Y.C.S. for about six years.
His own parish
The funeral of Mgr. Thomas Eaton, Vicar General of Lancaster took place in his own parish of Kirkham, Lanes, on Friday last. Bishop Foley of Lancaster, and his Auxiliary, Bishop Pearson. had flown back from the Vatican Council at Rome, in order to be present.
Bishop Foley, who sang Requiem Mass, addressed the 180 priests and numerous parishioners present. "I always found Mgr. Eaton a most helpful and kindly counsellor", he said, "all of us are better priests for having known this great priest of God.'
"My Christmas card will help a handicapped child to Lourdes" is the slogan put out this week by the Marian Cine Guild of Stokeon-Trent who have produced 9,000 cards from which over 60 per cent of the profit will go to the Handicapped Children's Pilgrimage Trust.
The cards, coloured, and showing Nativity scenes, are obtainable from S. Collins. 16 Norton Drive, Sneyd Green, Hartley, Stoke-onTrent. Prices on application.