trouNTLEss ' stories and tures of Pope Paul's experiences on the Via Dolorosa were flashed
round the world during the Holy Land pilgrimage. But is it generally known that the Sixth Station was for Pope Paul, as for his Divine Master, the scene of a brief respite
on the arduous journey to Calvary?
The Petites Soeux de Charles Foucauld have their convent at this Station, and they had opened their grotto in the hope that Pope Paul might spend a moment of quiet prayer there. What happened was beyond their, wildest dreams: The Pope actually had to seek refuge in the convent from a crowd whose numbers and enthusiasm were beyond all control.
One of our readers, Mrs. .A. M. Boase, of St. John's Hospital,
Jerusalem, was there at the time.
She tells me: "Pope Paul was in a state of acute exhaustion as he sank thankfully onto a chair. One
of the Sisters exclaimed. 'Oh, Holy Father, how roughly the crowd has treated you'. But Pope Paul replied, 'Our Lord was roughly treated too'."
For over 20 minuto, Pope Paul remained with the Sisters. Outside, the crowd surged forward. unaware that he was no longer in their midst.
In the grotto, the tired Pope said a decade of the Rosary with the Sisters and blessed each one individually before resuming his pilgrimage.
Public School fees WHEN the CATHOLIC HeRALD reported a few weeks ago that fees at several Catholic public schools were going up, many readers looked askance. "Could it be", wrote one good lady, "that Catholita public schools now hold the unenviable record of charging the highest fees in the country— more than Harrow and Eton, even?"
With Downside charging £471 per annum. plus extras of 30 gns., and the Oratory School, Reading. charging £435, I wouldn't have been surprised if they did.
But I have just heard that Harrow School is raising its fees to £534 next summer term, and fees at Eton have been raised recently to 1.554.
So there is, after all. still quite a difference between " our " public school fees and " the other ones."
I wonder what other differences would be found if these public
schools followed the move of a Wolverhampton junior school and a Dorset primary school.
On the day that Harrow's higher fees were announced, it was reported that 30 pupils from the Wolverhampton and Dorset schools were exchanging places for a fortnight. "The idea is to show them how the other half live," explained one newspaper.
Now I wonder who Downside Or Eton would exchange with ?
Teilhard de Chardin COLLINS, I hear, have just published one of Teilhard de.Chardin'i books as a paperback. Surprisingly, however, it is not The Phenomenon of Man but Le Milieu Divin.
Mrs. C'ollins, who takes such care over the selection of the religious Fontana paperback series, felt this should come first " because in many ways it is impossible to understand what Teilhard de C'hardin is driving at until you have read Le Milieu Dub."
In Professor Donald Mackinnon's view it is a greater work than The Phenomenon of Man. " It's author's life as a Jesuit priest. palaeontologist and philosophical prophet are integrated to make possible the achievement of a work at once profoundly searching and uniquely contemporary with 1960, even though it was written in 1927," Professor Mackinnon writes.
Almost 16,500 copies have been sold here in the original 18s. hardback edition.
Collins are hoping the 3s. 6d. paperback edition will do even better. They have printed 30,000..
Lady author ADY LONGFORD, wife of the Labour peer whose book reviews frequently grace our book page, tells me she has just completed writing a book about Queen Victoria which she began almost four years ago.
It runs to 240,000 words, and is due to be published in the autumn by Weidenfeld and Nicolson not under a fancy title. but plain a Victoria " or " Queen Victoria,'
"this is not the first time Lady Longford has delved into the Victorian era for literary purposes.
" I wrote a book about the Jameson Raid of the 1890s and another on the life of Joseph Chamberlain," she told me. " But someone else brought out a hook on Chamberlain while I was still working on him so mine never got, published. It Was then that my agent said why not do a book on Victoria herself."
Is it a controversial book ? "Well," said Lady Longford. " I'm sure it will create interest. I've given some points of view and a general picture of the Queen which the younger generation wouldn't expect after hearing so much about her in her old age. She's a much more complex and fascinating character than she appeared to be.'
Good profile LADY LONGFORD herself, I might add, is quite a marvel. If any enterprising publisher ever gets round to cornmissioning a book of profile articles on leading Catholic lay people, she should certainly be included.
Like many converts, she shows a fervour which puts many born Catholics to shame.
Her reception into the Church, however, did not come easily. Her husband was received six years before she finally travelled the long road home.
Her father. an ophthalmic surgeon in Harley Street, was a strict Unitarian, and she had been brought up to reverence ethical principles but to dislike all dogma. She lapsed into near atheism in adolescence. but when her husband became a Catholic, in 1940, she began to assess the historical arguments, wading through the Gospels and arguing theology with him.
She eventually turned to a high form of Anglicanism, and in that faith was first baptised and confirmed. But she felt uneasy about the spiritual security of her young fssmily. regretting that they weren't all going to the same church on Sunday.
It was not until she read two books by Jacques Maritain, the Catholic philosopher. that the storm subsided and her conversion began. She was received into the Church on Easter Saturday, 1946.
Her seventh child had been born
two months before thia, and had been baptised a Catholic. An eighth recruit was horn the next year on All Saints' day.
'Bishops at Large' SOME time ago I mentioned that Peter Anson. well known as a writer on the Church and religious affairs, was bringing
out a new book on the minor episcopal churches.
I gave the book the rather long and high-sounding title of "Some Autocephalous Churches of the Past Hundred Years and Their Founders". Actually, that is the sub-title.
The book ie being given a much simpler title, namely "Bishops At Large".
Lest this should mislead fans of novelist Richard Gordon ("Doctor At Large", etc.), I should perhaps repeat that Peter Anson's book is a study of the 150 or so autonomous churches which have sprung up in the Western World since the middle of the last century. Many of these have pro gressed little beyond the organisation set up by their founders, who stsled themselves bishops and have been known as the episeopi ea/lames, or wandering bishops. since the 1920 Lambeth Conference of the Church of England.
Faber and Faber, Ltd.. tell me they hope to publish "Bishops At I.arge" in March .
English heroines TWO English girls earned the enthusiastic praise and thanks of the world press for their assistance during the Pope's visit to the Holy Land.
Helen Breen and Carol Hunnybun. two members of the English Grail movement, were put in charge of the Apostolic Delega.
tton. s press office in Jerusalem.
They took over a large basement room in one of the hotels and ran a six-lancuage press service from there. with the help of Fr. Joaquim, a Spanish Franciscan.
This press office issued sheaves of excellent hand-outs giving the history of the various Holy Places the Pope would visit. It was interesting to notice in the press reports how useful these releases were to the hard-worked press Corps.
The press office also had the distribution of the press tickets for many of the main functions the Pope attended.
Since the accommodation was very limited. the English girls had the difficult task of allotting a few hundred tickets among some 1,800 pressmen. This they did with a sense of justice and fair play which won them praise all round.