This, I think, is the proper
column in which to offer Fr. Agnellus Andrew. the heartiest congratulations of this paper and its readers on the occasion of his silver jubilee as a priest. It would be difficult to say how much the Church in this country owes to the inspiration, apostolic work and high technical competence of the person who has come to be widely known as the " Radio Priest."
His job is in itself a sacrifice, for Fr. Agnellus is a Franciscan whose natural religious vocation is in a community. Instead of this, he is a lone worker in an inevitably lonely work.
The scope of the apostolate of radio and television is, in his view, immense today, but it takes people generally a long time to appreciate the apostolic importance at changing times and changing techniques. It would he silly to talk of divided loyalties, because it is of the essence of apostolic work in the modern world that it run smoothly within the very limited channels of opportunity.
R. AGNELLUS in his specific job has to work to rule, in the best sense of the expression, and the B.B.C. itself would be the first to witness to his conscientiousness in carrying out a job which is, primarily, the Corporation's job.
But behind and around this lies the work of the dedicated priest in direct touch with souls and
deeply anxious to encourage and train his fellow-Catholics to seize all opportunities to be effective and indeed outstanding in the use of these new and powerful media of communication.
That he has made himself persona grata with everyone by his Franciscan charity and his technical ability is the best proof of the success of this pioneer work he would hardly have chosen for himself.
I must defer till next week a comment or two on one or two programmes this week.
RADIO. It is possible that with
all this excitement on 'FV over the " Toddler's Truce " and the extended hours of looking, the poor old steam radio seems very much in the background. Radio programmes don't make headlines any more. Yet by and large you still get much better value for your money from it.
For the ardent cricket fan—and there cannot be many households without at least Jne of them— there are the excellent commentaries on the 'Fest matches between England and South Africa. There is something fascinating about those wavy sounds which bring the voices of the commentators. They seem to emphasise the great distance from which these remarks come. How did cricket fiends manage in the days before wireless? I wonder, when there were not these special twicedaily bulletins?
I have had the same feeling about the programmes on the Queen's State visit to Portugal. Those same wavy bands of sound and the well-known voices of Raymond Baxter, Godfrey Talbot and Audrey Russell, among others, describing the sunny scenes for us. There was a carefully chosen programme of mixed regal and Portuguese music just before the first of these broadcasts. How nicely the B.B.C. do everything but how just a little pompously, sometimes.