Cormac MurphyO'Connor has written to members of the Catholic Central Library assuring them he will make every effort to find a single premises for the library's entire collection of books and periodicals, writes Luke Coppen.
But the cardinal said it was unlikely that the Archdiocese of Westminster would be able to be provide a building to house library's 55,000 volumes, which are currently held in three different locations.
In a letter dated December 29, the cardinal said he appreciated the need to bring all the library's resources together under one roof.
The cardinal's assurances were welcomed this week by librarian Joan Bond. Mrs Bond, who has served the library for 22 years, said the Church desperately needed to find a new place for the collection.
"We are getting desperate because the library is expanding all the time," she said.
About a third of the collection is stored a bus ride away from the Library's Euston base, at Our Lady of Hal, Camden. Other books are boxed in the crypt of the nearby Church of St Pancras. The Library is currently putting its catalogue on its website (www.catholiclibrary.co.uk). It is has had a flood of enquiries from all over the world since it went online.
Cardinal Basil Hume launched an appeal to rehouse the library in 1997. Over £100,000 was raised, but more will be needed to buy a new property in central London.
THE CATHOLIC Missionary
Society (CMS) is to be disbanded and its offices in Hampstead, London closed, it was confirmed this week, writes Christina White.
Mark Morley, director of the Catholic Communications Service, said there was a "need to reform the evangelisation work of the CMS" with a renewed focus on schools and colleges, promoting the Church with young people.
He told The Catholic Herald he was "unaware" of plans to sell the CMS premises in West Heath Road.
The CMS was the subject of a review last year carried out by new director Mgr Keith Baltrop. Changes were expected, but members were said to be shocked at the swiftness of the decision to close the centre. and an alleged lack of consultation.
The CMS was established in 1902 by Cardinal Herbert Vaughan to lead the evangelisation of England and Wales. Its demise has been anticipated since 1999 when the bishops' established an agency for evangelisation — effectively downgrading the CMS. In recent years it has operated on a local scale — running parish and school missions — rather than at a national level.
The fate of the CMS's associated agencies — the Catholic Enquiry Office, the Catholic Gazette and the Office for Evangelisation is unclear.