the County of Kindness
HE missioner spent Saturday afternoon removing buffalo horns from the walls to make room for a crucifix. On Sunday morning the Primo's desk became the pulpit . . .
During these holiday weeks of July and August, priests of the Catholic Missionary Society have been giving missions in nine Mass centres served by the Southwark
In Barham, Kent. the mission was held in the Old Buffaloes'
Lodge. The Buffaloes were accommodating. They postponed a meeting for two hour:: on the Tuesday, and on three nights of the week the local "Bat and "I rap" (a Kent
game) team played visiting teams on the lodge green within a few
yards of the altar in complete silence so as not to disturb the mission.
In Kent. one of the inissioners reports, "we heard of prejudice hut met only with kindness.
"In all, the diocesan missioners. Fr. North and Fr. Dickerson, serve 30 places out of range of a church. They give these little groups of Catholics Mass about once in five weeks.
"They cover three counties-Kent,
Surrey and Sussex and often will travel as much as 200 miles on a Sunday, saying Mass and hearing confessions in one place and then driving to another to do the same.
"These isolated Catholics are faced with great difficulties. especially in keeping the Faith alive in their children. Mass is said in public houses, village halls or in the homes of Catholics."
As a tail-piece to their summer campaign in the Essex new housing es t a t e S. the Catholic Missionary Society was invited to give a week's mission in nine Travelling Mission centres.
The purpose was to give new courage and a deeper understanding of their Faith to Catholics who have so little opportunity of practising their Faith.
"The things that we so easily take for granted were certainly appreciated," says the missioner.
'How many times we heard people say : 'How wonderful to have Mass every day this week.' and they travelled great distances to come.
"Benediction each evening was a special treat for them. Some of the children had never attended Benediction. Some non-Catholics came to the mission services, but Catholics in so small a community without a church of their own were shy of asking their non Catholic friends along."
In the villages
Missions were given at Forest Row in the Girl Guides' hut-converted into a chapel for the week-where two people asked for instruction in the Faith: at Box Hill, where Mass was said in a garage; at Hale in a private house; and at Knockhold (Orpington) in the village hall.
The missioner continues:
"Shorne, near Gravesend. has a beautiful 14th century chapel which was turned into a malt house after the Reformation and then fell in ruins. It was bought and restored by the Arnold family, to whom it still belongs. It is not possible at present for a priest to say Mass there on Sundays. The chapel was, of course, used for the mission.
"Chilham, six miles cast of Canterbury, made a had start in the village hall. Four Catholics attended the first mission service. Most of the Catholios were several miles from the hall and, without cars, could not come. A 'taxi service' was arranged with the help of Fr. De Laubenque. of Canterbury, who lent his car for the week, and numbers mounted to 40 half-way through the week (10 from one family six miles away).
"At Headcom. Kent , General Bishop, who is not a Catholic, gave up the office at Summerhill Farm to make a chapel, where the Blessed Sacrament was reserved for the week. The nearest church is at Maidstone, nine miles away.
"At Westbourne. Kent, the chapel was a converted tool shed, and at Bethersden and Matfield, the village hall. The caretaker at Matfield remarked that the hall had seemed different this week, and nothing would persuade him to take a tip."
Mr. Kenneth Mackey, national president of the Catholic Young Men's Society, will he the principal speaker at the annual rally organised by the C.Y.M.S. and the pilgrimage in honour of Blessed John Wall. 0.F.M., at Harvington Hall, Kidderminster, on August 30.
Fr. P. J. Byrne, S.M.
Fr. Patrick J. F. Bytne. S.M., Provincial of the Marists from 1920 to 1926, and parish priest at Kew from 1932 to 1945, has died in Dublin. He was 77.
Fr. Byrne, who came from Dundalk. was ordained in France in 1901.11e was Superior at St. Mary's, Dundalk. from 1912 to 1920. and at Mount St. Mary's. Milltown. Dublin. from 1920 to 1922. He returned to Ireland from Kew in 1945.
Fr. G. O'Brien, C.S.Sp.
Fr. Gerald O'Brien, C S.Sp., after an illness of several months, died in the Royal Infirmary, Manchester. last week, aged 28. He had been a missionary in Oturkpo, Nigeria. but returned to England early this year.
The son of Mrs. and the late Mr. J. 0. O'Brien. of Burnley. Fr. O'Brien, after leaving St. Mary's School, Burnley, was educated for the priesthood at the Holy Ghost Fathers' College, Grange-overSands, and at St. Joseph's Upton, Nottingham, where he was ordained in 1948.
Mrs. Ima Dwyer
Mrs. line Dywer, mother of Fr. George Dwycl, Superior of the Catholic Missionary Society. died on Saturday. about .the time of the First Vespers of the Assumption, eight months after the death of her husband.
Of her seven children. two are priests, one is a nun and two are teachers.