ON E OE' THE many blessings that will be gratefully remembered about the late, great Frank Sheed was his permanent cheerfulness which was wholly natural and never grating. It was the essential complement to a faith which had no doubts about ultimate realities but recognised many difficulties in approaching them intellectually. Hence his constant preoccupation with apologetics in the very best sense of that now largely forgotten expression. Those attending the Requiem Mass for his wife, Masie, some years ago at Corpus Christi Church, Maiden Lane, in London across‘the road from the old offices of Sheed & Ward were somewhat taken aback to be greeted at the door of the church by a beaming Frank. It was as if they were coming to a party.
"Thank you for coming," Frank said to each new arrival. This is a happy occasion. Nlasie has gone home. It is nice of you to help me thank God for all he has done for us both ..."
Should we not attend Frank's own Requiem in a similar spirit? Nor will Frank mind if his Requiem is also at Maiden Lane
if anyone wants to slip opposite afterwards for a glass of champagne at Rules. Frank bought many a bottle there for this friends, though he never drank anything stronger than the occasional glass of cider himself. May his infectious happiness live on...
A rung down the ladder
ITIIS WEEK's Sunday Times colour supplement spotlights private education and lists the schools with the best Oxbridge results. Of the first sixteen, none is Catholic. University results from Catholic public schools have indeed been disappointing of recent years.
There are various reasons for this, one of which is unfortunate but at least rather touching. If a nice and seemingly promising teacher gets a job at one of the "top" Catholic public schools, it is likely that he will move into a local house, possibly with a large family, and hope to have settled down for life.
As likely as not his children will be educated for nothing at the school in question.
But what happens if he turns out
'Hard times for the guy
A PRISON governor's life is not a happy one it seems.
The former governor of a well known prison was a liberal-minded man who liked to encourage enterprising prisoners to find a new life for themselves. He took on a talented prisoner to tend the garden of the governor's house. When the prisoner finally left, the governor's wife as well.
Now it is Wormwood Scrubs that is in the news. Its governor has braved the consequences of making some of his misgivings public and the Home Secretary has decided not to "discipline" him.
Last year a prisoner from the same prison wrote letters to the Catholic Herald calling attention to the spiritual loneliness of long-term prisoners. For doing this he was disciplined very serously and lost all his privileges.
If the public had more idea what the inside of most British prisons were like they would probably be up in arms. But that is one of the many things that, unseen, give little cause for concern.
Didn't Shirley do bv.ell? Honesty is better than policy.