TWENTY-THREE Operation Rescue activists were arrested and subsequently released without charge last week after they tried to obstruct the entrance to the Marie Stropes abortion clinic in Cricklewood, north London. In a separate development, hardline antiabortion protestor Maurice Lewis was released from remand at Strangeways Prison after he had been arrested for similar actions at South Manchester abortion clinic in Stockport.
YOUNG people must be concerned with what is happening to their world as a result of acid rain and ozone layer depletion, Catholic MP David Alton told pupils of John Paul II School in south west London at a prize giving ceremony recently. A central theme of Mr Alton's talk was John F Kennedy's quote: "Do not ask what your country can do for you, but rather what can you do for your country."
AN Honorary Degree of the University of Surrey has been conferred by its Chancellor, HRH the Duke of Kent on Fr Anthony Lovegrove, the university's Catholic Chaplain. Fr Lovegrove will now take up his post as parish priest in Haslemere, Surrey.
THE Belmont Abbey School Choir has just returned from a successful tour of Italy. The party, numbering 35 boys from the Benedictine school in Hereford, visited Turin, Ferrara, Florence Perugia, Assisi and Rome during the two week tour. In Rome the choir sang at evening Mass in St Peter's Basilica itself.
WITH their recent submission of planning applications, the monks of Pluscardon Abbey, Elgin, Scotland have announced ambitious plans for new facilities at the monastery. These include a new retreat hostel for women to be called SI Scholaslica's, and the expansion of the monastery's west wing to include accommodation for up to 14 guests.
IN A bid to prevent social workers abusing children in their care, the government is to fund three pilot schemes allowing voluntary organisations access to police information about those who apply to work with children. One of the schemes will cover largely national organisations; the other two will be based locally in Dudley and Lancashire.
PUCKER UP. Bishop Cahal Daly of Down and Connor greets a young parishioner at the tiny Chapel of St James at Aldergrove which recently celebrated its bicentenary. During his sermon at a celebratory Mass marking the event Bishop Daly remarked on the erosion of the importance of faith in education, perpetrated by those "hostile to the Christian faith'', The secularisation of schools and the exclusion of religious formation from the school syllabus was an evil, the bishop said, and so Catholic schools and the family had a great part to play in teaching children how to pray and how to understand the faith.
Aldergrove is a rare example of a church that dates back to before Catholic emancipation in Northern Ireland.