POPULAR PLYMOUTH PRIEST
Canon John Lee, parish priest of Axminster, Devon, was found dead in bed on October 22. The Canon had suffered Irons heart trouble for nearly three years.
He was born at Weymouth in 1897, and educated at St. Boniface's College,. Plymouth, the English Colleges at Lisbon and Valladdlid, and finally at the Venerabile in Rome, where he was ordained by Cardinal Pompili in 1922. After serving at Torquay and Exeter, he became curate to the late Mgr. D. Barry (then V.G.) at Holy Cross, Plymouth. He succeeded Mgr. Barry as parish priest of Holy Cross in 1930. In 1936 he became a Canon of Plymouth Chapter. He built the church of St. Gregory at Plymstock, and took over the parish of Axminster in 1938.
Canon Lee was touch esteemed by his fellow-priests. Always cheerful, even in illness, and a worker of tremendous energy, the late Canon was greatly liked by his people, and was very popular with nonCatholics on the managing board of the Prince of Wales Hospital, Plymouth, and everywhere he worked.
Many priests attended the Requiem and interment at Axminster on Friday, October 25.
Mgr. W. T. Cotter
'THIRD BISHOP OF PORTSMOUTH
The sudden death of the Right Res, William T. Cotter, Bishop of Portsmouth, which occurred at the age of 74 at Bishop's House, Portsmouth, on October 24, removes from the English Hierarchy one of the most veneratod tisane it has had in its ranks.
Thirty-live years a bishop, Mgr. Cotter was consecrated exactly a year after the doyen of the Hierarchy, Archbishop Amigo of Southwark, who became a bishop in March. 1904. Born at Cloyne, County Cork, of a father who was an officer in the British Navy, he received his early education at St. Joseph's, Portsmouth, and he then proceeded to St. Colman's College, Dromore, and entered Maynooth in 1885. Ordained seven years later be worked for several years in the Cloyne diocese, and when be finally came to the diocese of Portsmouth he was appointed to St. Mary's, R y d e, to which church he was attached for 13 years, being for four years almost in sole charge of the parish. His promotion was rapid, and he became a Canon in 1900. His friend, Bishop Cahill, made him his Auxiliary in 1905, and the Holy See gave Mgr. Cotter the title of Bishop of Clazomenae, which he held till his own appointment to succeed Bishop Cahill in 1910. He celebrated his Silver Jubilee in 1935.
The deceased prelate's greatest sorrow in recent days has been the severance of ties of friendship, as well as of jurisdiction, with his people, priests and laity, in the Channel Islands, which came under German occupation earlier this year, and his recent journey to Clytleside in order to visit many of the Catholic evacuee children from those islands will be long remembered by them. Bishop Cotter always loved children.
Twenty-seven months ago Bishop Cotter consecrated his own auxiliary bishop, John Henry King, Bishop of Opus and Vicar General, who is also parish priest of Winchester.
DIOCESE FORMED IN 1882
The diocese of Portsmouth was not formed at the establishment of the Hierarchy in 1850, and the area at that time came within the jurisdiction of Southwark. But Pope Leo XIII, in a brief dated May 19, 1882, set up the new see of Portsmouth allocating to it the western section of the southern metropolitan diocese. It includes the countries of Hampshire and Berkshire on the mainland, the Isle of Wight, and the Channel islands, and is thus almost coterminous with the limits of the Catholic diocese of Winchester. However, according to its consistent policy in England, the Holy See avoided the old centre of government and fixed upon Portsmouth as the cathedral city of the new diocese. John Virtue (1826-1900) was named the first bishop, and on him fell the task of organising the new diocese.
St. John's Cathedral in Edinburgh Road, founded in 1882, was consecrated in March, 1887. Bishop Virtue selected this church, a large one, as his cathedral, enlarged it and completed its interior decorations. He built an episcopal residence and a large hall adjoining, which with the cathedral, form a group of buildings artistic in design, and architecturally the most noteworthy structure among the ecclesiastical buildings of the city. Bishop Cahill, who succeeded Virtue, completed the cathedral by adding the west front, and carried out several important changes in the interior.
Requiem Mass for the deceased prelate was celebrated by his Auxiliary, Bishop King, in Portsmouth Cathedral on Tuesday, and among those present were Archbishop Godfrey, the Apostolic Delegate; Bishop Myers, representing Cardinal Hinsley; the
Archbishop of Cardiff and Archbishop Amigo; the Bishops of Brentwood and Clifton ; Bishop Nelligan, of the Canadian Forces; the Abbots of Quarr, Farnborough and Douai ; the Anglican Provost of Portsmouth ; the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth; Mr. J. W. Dulanty, High Commissioner for Eire (representing Mr. de Valera), and numerous clergy and laity.
The funeral took place at Waterlooville Convent, Hampshire.