BUT AFRICAN NOVITIATE IS BEGUN
IF certain new laws which have been passed in South Africa are enforced, many Catholic missions may have to be abandoned, said Bishop Whelan of Johannesburg when he blessed the foundadon stone for a novitiate for African sisters at Krugcrsdorp.
The Bishop was referring to the Group Areas Act which gives the
Government power to compel the various race groups to live in separate residential areas.
The Church's numerous missions in areas likely to be set aside for non-Europeans will be seriously affected.
"There is a possibility," he said, "that in the near future even the building we are now erecting will have to he moved and the mission doomed."
Nevertheless, he remarked, it intended to proceed with the construction.
The novitiate is for a new congregation, the Companions of St. Angela, under the guidance of the Ursuline Sisters.
The Bishop describes its establishment as providential and designed to give Africans every opportunity for development at a critical stage in their history. And it is a mark of the Church's confidence in the African people.
"'Whatever happens," Bishop Whelan continued, "while we still endeavour to work with the authorities in the future, we need fear no criticism as regards our labour sin s n the past. Never at any time have we been unable to co-operate with the Government authorities. . .
"The Church here and elsewhere has had to contend with such difficulties and we know that she will continue in spite of everything."