From Our Own Correspondent For over four hours last Friday traffic in the heart of Manchester was stopped while 20,000 Catholicschiefly schoolchildren-from Manchester and .Salford gave public demonstration of their Faith, in the first post-war Whit-Friday procession.
And for the first time since his consecration in 1939. Bishop Marshall, after leading the procession along its main two-mile route from Albert Square to the Portland Street junction of Piccadilly, stood for three hours to review the 23 parishes taking part.
The procession was in keeping with the weather, bright and colourful, bringing to the drab and smoke-begrimed city a panoramic blaze of light and colour which overshadowed even the tallest factory chimney.
And with such a wealth of beauty and colour permeating the whole procession it seems invidious to mention any particular parish or parilhes and not others, far every contingent deserves a special mention for one feature or another.
Space, however, does not permit of a full description of this moving event, so perhaps we may be forgiven for referring to some of the outstanding features at random.
NATIONAL COSTUMES The Manchester Italian Society walking in national costume with St. Michael's, Ancoats, lived up to their pre-war splendour, carrying the famous Madonna statue enshrined with lilies, and the Calvary tableau.
St. Brigid's, Bradford schoolgirls, neatly dressed in red and white check pinafores with white blouses, gave the impression of having been drilled by an army sergeant-major, so rhythmically did they march. And St. Patrick's, Manchester, always an impressive turn-out, apart from anything else were outstanding this year for the very large contingent of men in their ranks.
St. Willibrord's, Clayton, walking for the first time, had coneeyed their youngest children to the outskirts of the city by buses. They had mustered at their school at 7.30 in the morning, and it must have been at least 2 p.m. before they arrived back. The effort was well worth it, however, for they were deservedly applauded all along the route. .
Salford Cathedral featured gold to mark the centenary of the parish this year, and Corpus Christi, Miles Platting, interspersed among their schoolboys three 'young boys dressed as White Canons and three more in the robes of Franciscan Tertiaries.
A special cheer was given all along the route to the Poles, and other European displaced persons who walked with St. Chad's, Cheetham.