From Our Own Correspondent
ARAM KUTT.A, young Calcutta Catholic, was a guest of the Glasgow Apostleship of the Sea on Sunday night. Aram was a member of the crew of the Clan Stewart, torpedoed near the English coast.
When, after four hours, Aram was picked up by a fishing vessel, lie was penniless, all his belongings gone —save one. Clasped tightly in his hand through the entire grim episode was his rosary.
In halting English Aram told me of the sinking. They were steaming up the Channel when, shortly after dark, the ship was rocked by a terrific explosion. An officer rushed into the galley, ordered Aram and his mate to go on deck at once. Aram reached for his rosary and went on deck.
" I prayed to St. Teresa (he pronounced the name Santarosa) to bring me safely through. I don't think I was very much afraid. I knew that Santarosa would look after me. Wp got into a boat. Four hours later we were picked up by a fishing vessel, which in turn passed us on to a naval ship. We eventually reached Plymouth."
" FATHER" THOMAS
"Yes, I lost everything I had but mug beads. But I knew that when I came here Father' Thomas would look after me. Everywhere—even in 70.0 awn Calcutta, you hear of Father' Thomas. Is he not friend to every seaman t"
And I thought of " Father " Thomas, that genial little Clydeside rivetter who has become friend and counsellor to the seamen of all races who visit Glasgow. When ships dock here brown, black, yellow and white faces scan the dockside to see if he is there.
For fifteen years Tom Callaghan, Govan Catholic, diligent officer of the Apostleship of the Sea, has, in the words of one of the seamen, " lived in dockland."
Like a chicken gathering together her brood he gathers together Catholic seamen of all races, arranges for them to attend Mass and the Sacraments. But the Mohammedans, Buddhists, Protestants refuse to be left out, so Tom invites them all to the Seamen's Institute, the A.O.S. Hostel at Guest Street, Glasgow.
TOM'S FAMILY The war has brought a pickle of bother to Tom's family. And with the faith of children they leave their problems to him.
The Scottish climate did things to three Catholic Polish seamen. They were taken to a Glasgow hospital with rheumatism. So Tom arranged for a different sailing route—one which would keep the Poles in good health.
An English Protestant navyman in hospital in Glasgow was without visitors. Tom found out about him and the sailor became one of the family.
Then there were the Catholic navymen who wish to attend the sacraments during a brief visit to port. Tom got busy. One hundred men and officers paraded to a Glasgow church. When they came out of Mass the rain was pouring down. There was Tom with a bus.
When a Red Cross ship—the first to visit Glasgow—arrived in port, seamen rushed to Tom with the request that an altar be installed. With only hours to work Tom got them their altar. Every night at eight a gong clangs out, the men gather around that altar.
Then there was the navyman who, while scouring the dangerous seas, studied the Catholic religion. With one hour in port he decided to become a Catholic. He did not want to face the dangers of the sea again without being a member of the household of the Faith. The man was rushed to St. Margaret's. Within an hour he was back on board ship, a Catholic. At his next port he will receive his first communion.