LADY BEAUMONT, who
took her seat in the House of Lords on Wednesday as a peeress in her own right, is the wife of Lord Howard of Glossop. the heir-presumptive to the Duke of Norfolk. She has been a baroness since the letters patent of the barony were confirmed in her favour in 1896. when she was twr years old.
This is the first time that a husband and wife have sat together in the Lords, and represents a personal triumph for lady Beaumont who has been campaigning for years for the privileges of peeresses in their own right. The new concession comes as a result of the Peerage Act, 1963. Lady Beaumont, who was president of the Ladies of Charity in 1930, was awarded the O.R.E. in 1946. She is now the Hon. Commandant of the Red Cross Society's military auxiliary annexe at the York Military Hospital, in Goole, near Lord Howard's estates.
She suffers from a spinal injury, and so was brought into the Chamber in a wheelchair pushed by her husband, She heard a special address by the Lord Chancellor. Lord Dilhorne, on the origin of her peerage. Lord Howard is a landowner and company director. He served in the First World War as first lieutenant. then captain. in the Lovat Scouts, until he was invalided out. and was connected with the Ministry of Munitions for part of the war. He became a Knight of Malta in 1927. Lady Beaumont is the third neeress to exercise her rights under the new Act. The second. a short while ago. was Lady Audley. herself a convert.
I HAVE ;ust been reading the first issue of "Opinion". a new student magazine published at the De La Salle Training College, at Hopwood Hall, Manchester. Opinion. which will he published twice a term, aims to promote "healthy Catholic controversy on a 'vide range of subjects which are of earticular interest to students". The first issue has certainly got off to a flying start. Archbishop Heenan of Westminster. in a specially-commissioned article on the front page, sums up the Second Vatican Council so far, and describes, in particular. the astonishing "youthfulness about the bishops' attitude at the Council" Brian Wicker, author of "Culture and the Liturgy". -:ees a lively picture of the "Crazy World of Catholicism", the world of a "crazy. pointless and ricketty institution", from the purely human noint of iew„that "has persisted • hrough history and still survives". He ends his piece, naturally lough for such an author, with a Ilea for a better understanding of the meaning of the liturgical life of
the Church for the modern world.
"Opinion" runs to six pages. arid is priced, very reasonably. at threepence. It is already being sold, I gather. at most universities and Catholic training colleges, and in nearly fifty grammar schools. It strikes me as a most worthwhile venture, and I am happy to recommend it to readers of the CATHOLIC HERALD, while wishing its editor, Terry Longman, and his staff. all success for the future.
THE political situation being what it is, Mr. Gerald Fitzsimons. the Conservative candidate in yesterday's Parliamentary by-election for the Openshaw division of Manchester, can scarcely be blamed for not providing his party with an early Christmas present in the shape of a Conservative win. Openshaw is one 4,f. the more solid Labour seats in the country. with a Labour majority, in a straight fight at the General Election, of over 8.000. It is a new division, formed after a redistribution in 195t), and has always returned a Labour Member so far.
Mr. Fitzsimons is very active
both in lc and Catholic affairs. Ile is the son of a former Lord Mayor of Manchester. and has sat for Chorlton On Manchester City Council for fifteen years, His chief civic interest is education. and he lasts. at one time, vicechairman of the Education Cornmittee. He has been chairman of a number of sub-committees, and once held the chairmanship of the Art Galleries Committee. He is at nresent deputy chairman of the Education Buildings Sub-corn-nittee.
Apart from his council activities, Mr. Fitzsimons has held office in the Catenian Association for 19 years without a break. He has been nrovincial president of No, I province of the association, and is a nest president of the Manchester No. 1 circle.
I-Fe was educated at St, Bede's Grammar School. Manchester. of which he has been a governor. and subsequently at Belmont Abbey, lierefordshire. lie gained a B.A.in Administration at Manchester Uni%ersity, and is now a member of the Court of Governors of the Univerity. Mr. Fitzsimons told me. this week, that he intends to fight Openshaw again at the General Election. Ile has a better chance of winning the seat eventually than the Communist candidate. Mr, • Edward Marsden. who announced during the campaign that he was going to become the first Communist M.P. in Manchester by winning the division.
But even if he never does win ry
Openshaw, I feel that Mr. Fitzsimons deserves to take his seat in thc House of Commons. and that sooner or later he will find his way there.
"THE HOLY FAMILY", the A centre group of a Styrian baroque Christmas crib, is the motif for a special Christmas stamp which was issued in Austria on November 26.
The crib, completed in 1755, was the work of one of Austria's many famous woodcarvers, Josef Thaddeus Stammel (1695-1765) and is one of the glories of the Benedictine Abbey church at Admont in Styria. Much of the sculpture in the Abbey church and its famous library (with over 120,000 volumes) was done by Stammel. He worked only in wood and was a famous exponent of the Alpine late-baroque. This attractive blue green stamp, value two Austrian schillings shows much sensitive understanding of the ( hristmas Feast as it is celebrated in the mountain regions. It is the work of two celebrated stamp designers and engravers. Professor Zerritsch and Professor Ranzoni.
ECUMENISM seems to he making its mark amongst the criminal classes as well as among the religious-minded. Last weekend. the editorial offices of Roman Missile, the monthly Catholic satirical magazine, were broken into. The offices, which lie at the hack of Guy's Hospital,Southwark,were entered through the roof. The raiders were, however. struck by remorse. when they found themselves surrounded themse by publications of a religious nature. and they left, after writing a note of apology. The note read. "We're sorry we've broken into a house of God. Here's half of what we've got in our pockets to pay for the damage". With the note they left half-acrown. The damage sustained by the paper was slight. according to Cary's director, Kevin Mayhew. who edits it. "Rain fell through the hole in the roof and damaged a duplicating machine " he told me, "and a certain amount of paper got hand." But clearing up is well in