Article continued from our Christmas Number
by P.D.J. Devlin
A Salvatorian's Aim and Duty
The duty of very priest and brother who is a member of the Salvatorians and who takes vows is:
As a brief summing up we can say the priest-work for God and the well being of the parishioners they serve.
Houses in the English Province
In the English Province of the Society of the Divine Saviour there are six houses namely:
The first house founded was at Wealdstone in 1901. Wealdstone was just a small village in those days with less than thirty Catholics. The first priest to serve the parish - Fr. Odo Distel - lived in a rented house with a room on the ground floor serving as a chapel.
In 1926 a small school was founded at Wealdstone and the first Headmaster was Fr. Cuthbert Smith. When the school was opened there were only 14 boys and 3 masters. But by Easter of 1926 there were fifty boys and the staff was increased by 7 masters.
In 1928 the House system was introduced to the school with the formation of two Houses - Francis in honour of the Founder of the Salvatorians and Gabriel in honour of Fr. Gabriel Enderle the founder of the college.
In 1939 Fr. Xavier Howard took over as Headmaster and held the post throughout the war until 1947 when Fr. Thomas Hennessey became Headmaster after leaving Liverpool University. Fr. Thomas is the founder of the New Building of the School and during his period in the chair faced many difficulties. In 1960 Fr. Dominie was appointed Headmaster and under him the school has continued to grow.
Returning to the Parish - in 1930 the new church was opened. Today the original Parish of Wealdstone is divided into four separate Parishes each having several thousand parishioners. In St. Joseph's, Wealdstone, today there are fifteen priests and three brothers.
In 1928 Cardinal Bourne entrusted the tiny parish of Abbots Langley to the Salvatorians. The vi1lage lies about ten miles north of Wealdstone and was the birth place of Nicholas Breakspear who became the first (and so far the only) English Pope - Pope Adrian IV. The house which the Salvatorians bought was named Breakspear College after Pope Adrian. The parish has grown a hundredfold over the years and at the time of writing the foundations of a new church are being built. This house is now the residence of the Provincial Superior and the Novitiate house for the Province.
In 1934 the Society bought Christleton Hall about two miles from Chester. Today it is a Junior Seminary for the Province and also serves for many Dioceses.
In 1941 the Salvatorians were given charge of a little parish at Thornbury near Bristol. The Society has three priests there doing trojan work visiting prisons hospitals and merchantile marine establishments. The industrial growth in that part of the country is playing an important part in the development of the parish.
In 1946 the Society took over its first Welsh parish at Ystradgynlais in the Swansea Valley and has two priests there.
In 1948 the Salvatorians established a house of studies at Sindlesham near Reading and at the moment new buildings are being put up to house students for the priesthood for many Southern Dioceses.