Pere Duval's Triumph
Franciscan Song PERE DUVAL'S present tour • with his guitar and his songs
strikes me as spiritually more important even than his triumphant debut in connection with the Lourdes Centenary Year and his famous Bernadette song. He has been travelling the country and I hear that the response at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall was tremendous. London, last Sunday, at the Albert Hall was not worthy of him, for the great Hall was by no means full. Possibly because of rather strange lighting techniques the audience, vast enough even though there could have been more, never seemed to gain full contact with him until near the end. I say this tour is more important because each of the 13 songs on the programme (not to mention extra ones put in) are something new in spiritual literature, just as Pere Duval himself is something new in the apostolate. As I read the songs and watched and listened—and tried to join in, fearful lest my whisper be heard all over the too silent hall—I thought that here was the Francis of Assisi of our times. It is the joy of the singer and the song, coupled with the simple but penetrating spiritual teaching which each song contains, which suggests the comparison. Just to read the verses, however, is not enough. One might read "The Night " and hardly catch its lesson and its consolation. But to hear Ptre Duval singing it is surely to obtain an imperishable memory of the spiritual blessing which any sleepless night can give us. As with St. Francis every sight, every person, every occasion is simply the opportunity for a canticle of praise, love, joy, and inner understanding of the presence and love of God. Happy Newcastle readers who can hear him at the City Hall on Saturday.
A Living C.T.S. Pamphlet
11 SHOULD like to congratulate • the Catholic Truth Society of Ireland on its publication of the sixpenny pamphlet "Art and the Teaching of Religion " by Ruth Lewis. Here is a case of a C.T.S. —and they usually see their job to be straight religious propaganda, instruction and exhortation, pure and simple—going out of its way to make an authentic contribution, wholly Catholic and Christian, to a live contemporary subject. This pamphlet may not directly make converts or bring someone back to the sacraments, but my guess is that it may powerfully help to develop the young Catholic mind in a really Christian way and also put many headmasters and mistresses, together with their stall, along a line of personal formation of our young people, especially the less scholastically successful, that could pay immense dividends.
Maltreating Emotion THE theme is well expressed by A. Barclay Russell in his introduction, where he underlines the
importance of the emotional and imaginative faculties, as distinct from the logical ones, in children. These faculties are too often unwittingly destroyed by school teachers. "Far too often and inexcusably ' emotion ' is treated as if it were synonymous with mental and moral failure, or it is arbitrarily dismissed as a discreditable state of wilful neurosis that should be suppressed out of hand." And he goes on: " It is of absolute importance at this adolescent period that the child should have the stimulus and strength of feeling to explore his own gifts of imaginative originality, and should find balance and serenity through the exciting and satisfying discoveries made by the questing insight of his perceptual powers and feelings in realms untrod by reason."
Respecting God's Plan FROM the Christian aspect, the educational neglect of all this