TWENTY pounds that is what is has cost a Salford priest to send Ibur handicapped children to Lourdes this summer.
That is the amount of weight that Fr Leo Heakin, curate at St Mary's, Stockport Road, Levenshulme, has shed in a sponsored slim which raised £850. The four children who will benefit are Patrick Bailey, aged 12, Martin Bell, 8, Kieran Kenny 6, and one other yet to be named.
Three handicapped adults from the parish will also go to Lourdes thanks to a special fundraising dance: they are Elizabeth Clutterbuck, Patricia Barre, and Betty Sweeney.
St Mary's will also have a lasting reminder of the International Year of Disabled People: a "loop system" has been installed in the church to help the deal' and the hard of hearing.
Fr Francis Occleston, the parish priest, said the people were thrilled with it: "They tell me they can now follow every word of the Mass for the very first time," he said.
The Mayor of Salford, Councillor Ivor Zott, the Director of Social Services, Mr Val Scerri, and other prominent civic leaders will be present on July 9 when the Bishop Thomas Holland of Salford blesses and opens the new St Sebastian's
parish hall and day centre, Charlestown, Salford. The new church hall replaces one now demolished which came under a compulsory purchase order. The site of the former hall has been used for new housing, The day centre will serve the needs of senior citizens of all denominations in the neighbourhood.
Professor J. J. Scarisbrick, professor of history at Warwick University, gave the first of the annual Thomas More Lectures at Marlborough, Wiltshire recently. The event was organised by the priests andparishioners of St Thomas More parish, Marlborough.
Local schoolchildren. neighbours and factory workers clubbed together to raise £160 to send a five year old girl from Harold Hill, in Essex, on a trip to Lourdes recently. Ana Castro has a terminal brain tumour, and her case has attracted the interest of the local press. At Easter she was the special guest at the Easter parade in Battersea Park, thanks to the Harold Hill and Harold Wood Carnival Committee. More than 1,00u children from the top classes of primary schools throughout the Clifton diocese will gather at Clifton Cathedral on July 7 for a special mass, The principal concelebrant and preacher will be Bishop Alexander and the singing will be led by St Mary's school, Chippenham.
Canon J. W. Campbell, a former vice-rector of Upholland College and now parish priest at St John's, Standishgate, Wigan, will celebrate the golden jubilee of his ordination to the priesthood on July 12. A Jubilee Fund has been set up: cheques should
be made payable to The Jubilee Fund and sent to John Shannon, St John's presbytery, 13 Powell Street, Wigan WNI.
Nearly 700 former students of Newman College, Birmingham, recently returned for a reunion. The day included Mass concelebrated by the Chaplain, Fr Eamonn Clarke, Dr Arthur McChrystal, soon to return as Head of, the Theology Department. Fr Michael Cooley of the same department, and a former student: Fr Michael Doyle. Marist Brother Peter Rollings, currently, President of the Students' Union assisted. Kevin Maddick, a sixth former at St Joseph's • school, Port Talbot, West Glamorgan, has won an all expenses paid fortnight's tour of Europe as a prize in the Barclays Bank national essay competition. His essay was on "are we making the best use of television'?"
Fr Francis O'Leary, the founder of Jospice International, celebrates the silver jubilee of his priesthood on July 8. Fr O'Leary, a Mill Hill Missionary, has helped people throughout the world, especially in South and Central America. He is still the director of Jospice, which has its headquarters in Liverpool.