From a Special Correspondent SOME 40 priests-religious and secular-from English and Welsh ditiveses met at Campion Hall, Oxford, for three days last week at a Priests' Conference on the Liturgy in Parish Worship and Life.
The gathering was held
under the auspices of the Society of St. Gregory, with the Bishop of Plymouth, Mgr.
Grimshaw, as chairman.
The purpose of the association, which has a rapidly-increasing membership within the framework of the Society of St. Gregory, founded 21 years ago by Dorn Bernard McElligott. 0.S.B., is to put into practice the Encyclical Letter, Megliaior Del. published in 1947. The opening conference by Fr. Illtud Evans. 0.P., stressed the importance of loyal obedience to the programme of the Encyclical, and outlined the method and manner of the parochial missions in which he has applied its letter and spirit. Fr. Ivor Daniel, of the Menevia diocese, followed with an account of the way in which it has been applied to the corporate worship of a seaside parish with an annual influx of visitors.
Fr. Clifford Howell. 5.3., discussed the problems of "Paraliturgy" as used in his Layfolk Weeks, and gave a remarkable synopsis of liturgical development, decay and revival. Bishop Grimshaw. reviving his parochial experience. gave a most useful instruction on the formation of altar servers and on the atmosphere of a parish inspired by the instructions of the Encyclical.
The second day opened with a conference on the problems of an average town parish which reflected the practical zeal and energy of Fr. William Raftery, of the Lancaster diocese.
In the absence through illness of Canon Joseph Daniel, of Glasgow, Dorn Bernard McElligott showed how the Priests' Association was the logical corollary of his life's work which has received the Apostolic Blessing in a letter from the Secretariat of State on behalf of the Holy Father, who graciously appreciated the great zeal of those who are working for a deeper realisation of liturgical worship and personal sanctification.
Fr. I. Crichton, of the Birmingham diocese, concluded the pastoral testimonies in an interesting account of the realisation which has come to the country parish under his care. On the last morning Pontifical Mass, celebrated by Bishop Grimshays in the chapel of Campion Hall, with clergy, young and old. as ministers and servers.