A selection of articles and photos taken from the "White Fathers" magazine (as it was once called) in October 1958

Choose the topic you wish to read :

  1. The Blessing of St Edward's, Totteridge
  2. "Happy Reinforcements"
  3. Bishop Louis Durrieu WF
  4. "The Thoughts of a Missionary Doctor at the Crib" by Fr John Goarnisson WF
  5. "Round and About" : News and views from December 1964 / January 1965

The Archbishop of Westminster blesses the White Fathers' Scholasticate

(Taken from the White Fathers magazine October 1958)

0n Wednesday, 17th of September, this year (1958), the Archbishop of Westminster presided over the ceremonial opening of the White Fathers' International Scholasticate at Totteridge in North London.

High Mass " coram episcopo " was sung by the Superior General of The White Fathers, Very Reverend Leo Volker, who had come from Rome for the occasion. The ninety students from Britain, Ireland, Belgium, Canada, France and Germany rendered, for the first time in Britain, the " Mass of Katanga," composed at Chatting in the Congo by an African, Mr. Joseph Kiweli. It was sung to the accompaniment of African Drums.

Before the Mass, His Grace the Archbishop, assisted by the White Fathers' Provincials of Britain, Belgium, France and Germany, blessed the house. At the lunch which followed, Archbishop Godfrey expressed his pleasure at being present at this important event, and said that he was always ready to help the Missions. " I believe," he added, " that anyone who does so is rewarded a hundred fold."

St. Edward's, Totteridge, is not a new establishment in the strict sense of the word, for it is the transfer from Holland to England of the International Scholasticate of the White Fathers who have so many missions in English-speaking territory in Africa. It was this fact that gave such deep meaning to the words of the Superior General. " The hand of Divine Providence is visible here today : for He enabled us to sell the old Scholasticate in Holland at the same time as we secured St. Edward's, Totteridge, from the N.A.A.F.l."

There were present at the ceremony some Sisters of the Daughters of the Holy Cross who, at one time had a convent and an orphanage at St. Edward's. To them and to all present at the ceremony, it was a special joy to see the house again in religious hands.

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"Happy Reinforcements"

(Taken from the White Fathers magazine October 1958)

(L-R) : Brothers Fergus, Ninian and Allan

On the feast of the Assumption, three Brothers of this Province made their Profession at Monteviot. They will now proceed to Luxembourg for two years' Technical training before going to the Missions.

John Francis Mullen became Brother Ninian WF. He is from Lanarkshire and he went to school at Our Lady's Motherwell.

Brother Allan is Albert John Gardner of Edinburgh, and Garnet Dennis Malone, now Brother Fergus, is also from Scotland and came to us from Glasgow.

With our congratulations go our warm wishes for a log and successful apostolate.

These Brothers will do jobs that thousands of men do, but they will be doing them for God, and by their dedicated work bring souls to Our Lord who would not otherwise know Him.

Like these brothers, God gave you hands. Perhaps you can use them on the Missions for Him. Young men, if you are under 35 years of age, why not write to us for a booklet about our Brothers.


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"A Great Missionary"

(Taken from the White Fathers magazine October 1958)

As our readers know, Mgr. Louis Durrieu was Superior General of the White Fathers from 1947 to 1957.

He did not spare himself in that onerous position and it was feared that his health was wholly broken. After some months of enforced rest, however, he has happily recovered much of his strength and now he has been given the Bishop Durrieu charge of a newly-erected Diocese, in the Sudan.

The Diocese is called Wahigowa and it is situated in the Upper Volta.

Father Gerard Rathe, W.F., who recently visited the area of the Upper Volta has this to say about it :

" What a land this is ! This is a land where there seems no hope of any harvest other than that of souls, which is all the missionary looks for. The country itself is sand and rocks. The heat reverberates from the ground which seems to be quivering under the burning rays of the sun.

" I was there during the dry season. All signs of game had vanished : for the local water holes had dried up and the animals were miles away near the river or where perhaps some water remained in a hole. The people here live out much of their lives at starvation level ; the children look thin and undeveloped ; famine is always on the horizon.

" I was won over at once by the lovely simplicity of the people. Theirs is a battle for existence and the day is bright when they have what is necessary to keep body and soul together. Nowhere on all my travels in Africa did I see missionaries working in harder physical conditions than those I saw in the Upper Volta. The memory of it will always be an inspiration."

In accepting this heavy burden at the age of sixty-two, Mgr. Durrieu once again manifests the qualities which have constantly won for him the reputation of a great missionary.

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The Thoughts of a Missionary Doctor at the Crib
by Fr John Goarnisson WF

(Taken from the White Fathers magazine October 1958)

"Fr John Goarnisson WF is not only a priest but also a Doctor of Medicine. He is also a Medical scientist and has to his credit the discovery of a certain disease of the eyes and of its remedy ; he has also discovered certain vital elements of sleeping sickness."

(photo : Fr Goarnisson at Wagadugu)

"HERE I am again to greet you Lord for my thirty-third Christmas in Africa! How well I remember the first one ! I had been out here for ten months : proud that I had passed my examination in the local language, and had begun to practice my priestly ministry while looking after the sick as well.

I had made my first contacts with the ' Bush', and our blind, old African language teacher, had told me about many of the more interesting customs of my people. Yes — I was already thinking of them as 'my' people — my lambs and sheep to be cared for.

Looking at You in the Crib, Lord, I am impressed by your poverty. After all, You are God, but just look at some of our little children around here. They are not as well treated as You were even!

I remember that blind, old man telling me what happened to twins. " Twins ", he said, " are killed at birth: then they are put in a large ant-hill through a hole made at its base : the ants deal with their flesh until only the skeleton remains of those tiny innocents. Their crime is that twins are thought to be evil spirits, dangerous to people around them."

Then, some years later, I learned for myself what fear of the evil spirits can do. A new-born babe was brought to me. He had been found abandoned near a well. Then I learned that his mother had died in giving, birth to her child, and his father had died a few days earlier. So there was no doubt in anyone's mind : this was not a real child at all but an evil spirit which must be got rid of at once. So the baby was put near a well, and soon a hyena: would carry it off to its lair. But, happily, Lord, it was not a hyena that passed first that way, but two Nuns, one white and one black, and they brought the child to me. We reared him in the 'Drop-of-Milk' * which was founded for him. And how many poor children have since been saved in that Orphanage! Well, we named that first one, Joseph, and now he is quite a big boy.

* This was the name of Father Goarnisson's Orphanage.

Only yesterday I had a visit from one of his aunts who is still a pagan. That's the first time any of his family have come near him. This poor old aunt was terrified and kept her distance : but when she saw that Joseph wasn't dangerous she, greatly daring, came in to greet me. I gave the boy a fortnight's holiday from school to go to see this aunt's family. Joseph is delighted that he has some relations of his own. Of course, he knows nothing of his past. Perhaps, Lord, he will be the saving of his family.

Lord, You were poor at Bethlehem, but surely not as poor as some of our people here. Just look at this Crib! These people have no idea what a cave or a grotto is like : they have never seen anything higher than the tiny hills on this plateau! And that is why this Crib is a little round hut, like their own habitations, only this one has a wider doorway : it is covered with straw too — really a wretched little thing. But how easily these folk detach themselves from this world when they come to die! They leave this world with a simplicity that is very moving. I remember once at a meeting of Catholic Action we were studying the question : " What can the black people learn from the white man ? " There were plenty of answers to that question. Then we asked: "What can the white man learn from the blacks ? " We got no answer at all to that one! The President and I had to help. What we said was : " The white man, perhaps on account of his ' civilisation ', lacks simplicity. He is so well installed on the earth, sometimes even luxuriously, that he is too attached to it. He could learn a lot from the Africans in the way of simplicity and detachment from the earth."

You know, Lord, we missionaries find it a lot easier to prepare ten black men for death than one white man around here!That reminds me of what Cardinal Saliege said to some of his Nuns at Toulouse.

They were very poorly fixed up in the Convent, and he told them : " Sisters, don't install yourselves on the earth." When you are too comfortable you forget that life is only a journey. The Chaplain of the Gypsies in France told me the same thing. " These Gypsies, always on the move, remind us that we are pilgrims on the earth : that we have not come to stay. You took the trouble, Lord, of telling us : " Blessed are the poor! " I once read a prayer that I like very much : " Lord, don't give me riches, and don't give me poverty : just let me have what is necessary."

Well, Lord, the point is that often our people here have not got even what is necessary. Surely, we want to help them to get it, but how we dread what riches would do to them. For many it would mean moral and spiritual disaster — the egoism of the ' newly-rich '.
Well, Lord, this is an odd sort of meditation, but not altogether off the point of Your poverty and simplicity and divine power in the Crib. I expect that after 34 years out here, I think somewhat as our blacks do, in a simple way. I certainly do like them and I certainly don't want to leave them — ever.

A very happy Christmas to You Lord!


This will take you to Chapters 1 & 2 of 'Mud and Mosaics' by Fr Gerard Rathe WF
which starts on Page 40 in the HISTORIES section.

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Round and About
Taken from the White Fathers magazine December 1964 / January 1965

Our Very Reverend Father Provincial and Fr John Smith represented the Province at the canonization of the Uganda Martyrs in Rome on l8th August (1964). We hope to report further on this historic event in our February issue, an event which has electrified Africa beyond belief. The story of these Martyrs, as Pope Paul pointed out in his Address, is one of the most highly documented stories of its kind.

Those of our readers who wish to obtain further copies of our special number, "Uganda Martyrs", can still obtain them upon application (see "Enquiries"), price 9d.
Fr John Doherty
(Derry) had his first real taste of pastoral work with Fr Pat Boyd (Bellshill). He has sweet memories of a journey to an outstation with Fr Boyd in the new van. With tracks knee-deep in water, they were advised to abandon the van after 10 miles and continue on bicycle. Fr Boyd had other ideas. Fr Doherty held on for all he was worth while tall elephant grass, young trees and
shrubs bent before the grim determination of Fr Boyd to reach the outstation before dark.

After eight miles they came clear— and then landed in a mud hole. It took an hour to get out of it, and they eventually reached the outstation safe and sound. Fr Doherty is now stationed at Ipusukilo, where Fr Fiacra Fahy (Ruoc Craughwell) was for a time. He enjoys every minute of it, even when the ceiling collapses on him, as it decided to do one day. Fr Fahy is now at Luwingu, a small township, where, among other things, he heads a non-denominational discussion group run on similar lines to the Patricians. Fr Brendan Shannon (Newtown Butler) is reported to be doing wonderful work in the junior seminary at Lubushi as also at the out-station which he has 'adopted' for his pastoral work.
Fr Philip (?)Leedal
(Shipley) writing from Vvawa parish tells us that he has met Fr Joseph Ryce (Hamilton) and Fr Thomas Bradley (Hamilton) at the opening of a new church. Mass was said facing the people and sung in Swahili. Fr Martin Poels (Eastbourne) is also doing well and has just been appointed a parish priest. Brother John Kempston (Southgate) has his hands full at the major seminary of Kipalapala near Tabora. Amongst many other things be acts as travel agent for the students when they return home and gives classes in accountancy.

Fr Alec McGarry
(Glasgow) from Bukoba, Tanzania on October 3rd.

RAPTIM flight of October 18th 1964 : Fr James Jones (Liverpool) to Bukoba, Tanzania; Fr Timothy Fitzpatrick (Rosscarbery) to Mbarara, Uganda; Fr Gerry Taylor (Sunderland) to Kipalapala Seminary, Tanzania. November 13th: Fr Bernard (?) Gaffney (York) to Oyo, Nigeria.

Mid-December 1964 : Bro. Raymond Leggett (Bray) to Wa, Ghana; Fr. John O'Donohue (Manchester) to Mbarara, Uganda; Fr Thomas Stoker (Leeds) to the United States. Fr. Liam Ludden (Widnes) to Tanzania.
The Missionary Intention of the Apostleship of Prayer for January 1965 is: "That joint plans for Christian Unity may also be actively promoted in the Missions." This is a timely reminder that the divisions in our western society also rend the Missionary countries.
Bro. Vincent Davies has been appointed to the building team at St Columba's College; Bro. P. Heyes to St Edward's College where he is being versed in the electrical arts; Bro. Albert Gardner to The Priory from where he attends a course in market gardening and poultry farming at Winchester; Fr T Stoker (Leeds) to the United States to assist the growing American Province.
We were already to press with our last issue when there occurred the death of the Very Reverend John B. Janssens, the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, on October 5th. During his 17 years of office the missionary personnel of the Society grew from 4,000 to 7,000, and is the Church's largest missionary body today, a worthy tribute to his able leadership.
Fr Peter Nixon (Dumbarton) managed to drop us a line from Ludzi one evening after a hard day's work : 200 baptisms (not counting the babies). Together with the ordinary parish work he is in charge of the hospital, he teaches in the secondary school and domestic science school, and he is responsible for the training of young African girls who will one day be professed nuns. Father tells us that the work is increasing all the time.
President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia officially opened Hinsley House, the Africa Centre, on Wednesday, 18th November. Although the Centre has been flourishing for some time now (see "Africa In London's Heart" in our issue of Oct.-Nov. 1963), the opening has had to be delayed for various reasons. It was appropriate that the President of Africa's newest state was able to perform this important function.
Fr. A. E. Howell, so well known to our many friends and benefactors, has been going through the wars. An unfortunate upset led to his having two major operations for internal complaints from both of which he has made a complete and highly satisfactory recovery. After a month in hospital he has now for some time been on convalescence, regaining all his former strength and energy.
Fr Herbert Herrity (Glasgow) at Tamale Cathedral, Ghana is busy with co-operative and harvest festivals. Fr John Morrissey (York) in Oyo is now working with Fr Hugh Began (Transient) at Ignite. Fr. Hugh Monaghan (Airdrie) is making further investigations into languages and wishing that he had the gift of tongues. He is most grateful for the books sent to him as a result of our appeal in previous issue. (If anyone would like to help him further, please drop the Editor a line.) From Uganda we hear that Fr Lawrence Jones (Liverpool) is now secretary to Bishop Oge of Mbarara.
Fr William Burridge (Southsea) who has been travelling in East and Central Africa on behalf of the Universe is now safely back home again. He had a wealth of experiences, some of them rather nerve shattering, all of them now appearing regularly in a series of articles in the Universe.
Fr. William Lynch (Dundee) manages to fit in a regular supply with his seminary teaching. In the villages surrounding his former parish of Kyamaganda, 25 miles away, he is a well known figure. He tells us of the many conversions and other wonderful things that have taken place through the intercession of the Martyrs of Uganda especially over the last year. Special missions have been preached in all the parishes in preparation for the canonization of the Martyrs and on the night preceding the great event the drums were sounded for a whole hour in every parish in the country, a stirring sound, says Fr Lynch in the African night.

Fr Anthony Maguire
(Southsea) now works in one of these parishes perched high up in the mountains at a place called Makiro in south-western Uganda. Apparently the rain has been treating him unkindly. Out in the villages on safari, he returned one evening from two sick calls soaked to the skin. High were his hopes for a change of clothes, but the roof of his hut had sprung a leak and all his belongings were wallowing in water. He moved everything to the church and after supper climbed into bed. In trying to wrap himself up well in the blankets, he overbalanced the camp bed and landed on the floor. Back in bed, he was just dropping off to sleep when he heard a curious lapping sound. Through one drowsy eye he discovered a dog drinking the water from his basin. He heaved a shoe at the dog and fell out of bed again. He was roused from his slumbers early the next morning to find himself almost surrounded by the local Catholics saying their Morning Prayers aloud.
The Very Reverend Leo Volker, the Superior General of the White Fathers, has been appointed for three years as a Consulter to the new Secretariat for Non-Christians. We would like in this connection to remind our readers that Fr Pierre Duprey WF is an under-secretary on the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity.
Readers who refer to our map of the missions in West Africa (June-July 1964) will discover a small territory called San. The Holy See has now raised this to the rank of a diocese (29th September), extended it boundaries and appointed its previous superior, the Very Reverend Joseph Perrot WF as its first bishop.
In the six noviciates of the White Fathers there are 112 clerical novices and 24 brother novices. The noviciate year follows the course of philosophy before students proceed to the study of theology. Amongst these novices there are, from our own Province, nine clerical novices and five brother novices.

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