Sue,—Miss Bernadette Callaghan, writing
as an " Under Twenty-five," implies that Catholic Action is confined to Liverpool, Wigan, and a few other cities. Nothing is further from the truth. To take only one aspect of Catholic Action, in seven years we have watched the Legion of Mary in Newcastle grow from a tiny band of fervent " foundation stones " to an organisation numbering hundreds—and working in remote districts of County Durham —sight in the middle of all those wicked Communists! These men and women are imbued with the real spirit of l atholic Action, which is not so much an aggressive Inge to inform, as a real desire to combat the forces of evil by sympathetic and patient understanding of those unfortunate people who are open to them. In this work among the lapsed, the sick, and the " down-and-outs," even " anti-social " people such as your correspondent will find ample opportunity for Catholic Action—of the " peaceful penetration " kind.
It is idle to visualise the possible reaction of Catholics to the choice between the Faith and the stake. The majority of Catholics, I speak only for the North, of course, have a clear realisation of what the Faith means to them. Poverty and sickness can strengthen, as well as embitter. No doubt your correspondent is sincere in her readiness to spend the rest of her life on her knees for us. But this workaday world would soon come to a standstill if we all had Mrs. Cruncher's propensity to " flop." It is from no stronghold of " smug satis faction " that I make these refutations, I am only a couple of years on the wrong side of twenty-five myself. But in the few years of my experience as a teacher and a Legionary I have come to realise the great need for a tolerant understanding among Catholics. And there is among many of those outside the Church a real and growing desire for Truth. 1 have found lots of them quite eager to listen to the Catholic point of view (they have English tolerance in a greater degree than many of us) and, what is more, to respect it. Of course, in return they expect you to listen to their point of view.
I once told a Protestant acquaintance that I thought it futile to argue on religion. She pulled me up sharp by saying: " Why is it futile? You say you've got the Truth, but you don't seem too eager to share it; you think you are on the right road, but you're not keen to show us the map. You should show more give and take."
Acting on such good advice it is sur prising how quickly one learns to give the Catholic answer to questions on Communism, Fascism, Spiritualism, Methodism. etc. There is no use at all in fighting shy of these " isms."
We must meet them squarely and give
blow for blow. Here we may take a useful tip from the English Communists, who are still much more English than Communistic. That is to say, they admire the dogged spirit; and they have the English preference
for doing rather than dreaming. Which explains why a couple of blue-nosed Legionaries selling C.T.S. pamphlets in a Newcastle street are more likely to bear fruitful witness to the Faith than all the prejudiced pratings of otherwise pious Catholics. MARGARET HIGGINS (Miss).
63, Chilside Road, Felling-on-Tyne.