'LEAKAGE SUNDAY' SHOCK FOR ALL
APRIEST in the know suggests that each year, along with Sundays devoted to home and foreign missions, there should be a "Leakage" Sunday on which the congregation is informed about the lapses from the Church. The figures, if they could he obtained, would certainly make us all sit up. One priest in the North in an industrial parish reckons that 10 per cent. of his men come to Sunday Mass. In two South of England parishes, the leakage among school-leavers is put at 75 per cent.; this within a year of leaving school. These figures are not official and concern only certain districts: they represent the opinions of individuals, not in the habit of exaggeration and certainly in a position to know. The churches are filled to capacity each Sunday; Wembley has its 90.000 for Our Lady's Crowning and those who feel no sense of responsibility can meditate complacently on these more cheerful figures.
An American's impressions F HAVE spent the week with Fr. Joseph Sommer. of Queen's Work. Sr. Louis. Missouri. just hack from six weeks of sermons, lectures and talks in the North. Fr. Sommer is mainly concerned with Sodalits affaire. Ile was much impressed that English parish Sodalities meet every week, an achievement not so easily reached in the States. If pleased with the weekly meeting. he was surprised that so little was made of it when the Sodalists arrived. He found that English parish Sodalities were no more than pious confraternities and that their meetings were normally in church. In the States. Sodalities meet away from church. their meetings are carefull% planned to be practical, qnd, though each Sodality has a chaplain. the meeting is conducted by the Sodalists themselves. In England the more lively types tend to favour nonnarochial organisations where in the States the perish Sodality is the principal Catholic Action body.
1 raining if ANY English priests who met IV1 American soldiers during the war were deeply impressed by their firm understanding ol the Faith. Light is thrown on this achievement by a study of the training which sodalists receive. Teenage Sodalists spend up to three years on probation. They arc not only taught about prayer and the interior life hut at their weekly meeting they have admirable training in the Christian way of life. They learn the Christian attitude to the Church, home. work, leisure and the State. This training culminates in a leadership course each year. Fr. Sommer did not say so. but I felt that he was puzzled that we with so much excellent material do not attempt as much.
Training days FR.'VI MER came to Portsmouth to the "R.A.F. type" training day and found it vers similar to the methods used in the States. The difference? that we have only about five as ear for a day where the have so mans lasting for a week. Anywas. there is it training day in London at the Cenacle Convent. Hampstead, on November 21, starting at 11 a.m. Perhaps a few teenage Sodalists and others might like to come. Let me also remind you of the Contact afternoon for non-Catholics. overseas students, visitors to London, and anyone over three months old. The Contact afternoon is on Saturday, November 20, at 3 p.m.
The Poster Campaign NOYEMBER is the month which 1.1 decides the fate of the Christmas posters so please do something about them now. At least make sure that you have obtained a small poster for your window. price one bob. This purchase has also helped with the cost of the larger posters. 4,000 of them for the streets. When you buy Christmas cards, get those which will carry both your greetings and your Faith. Hook token stamps can also be Christian if you wish it and y our National Savings card can also carry a crib. Be sure to ask for this. Cribs should he plentiful in the windows this year. I see that in Leeds a move has been made to have a Christmas tableau outside the Town Hall. The Baths and Property Committee have been hesitant about the request, We should all feel very grateful to Councillor Mather. an Anglican. for his generous public support for the suggestion.
Men's retreat SOUTHWELL HOUSE is just in the middle of its most powerful week and the eyes of the staff are now focused on Eternal Rest. There were 25 retreatants last week-end. On Tuesday 17 Ealing Priory boys came for two days and the left on Thursday just in time to make room for sixteen American airmen. On top of these came 15 men for the First Friday vigil and another 20 people just for supper and the Holy Hour. The Americans leave on Saturday morning and in the afternoon 17 arrive for the next week-end.
Intrusive 48' T was unfortunate that an intrusive 8 appeared in my nOtes last week on Our Lady's Catechists' Parable Pa ini ing Books. These delightful hooks are only Is. each (not 18s.). plus 4d, for postage. They can be obtained from Miss NI. Devitt, Tenth House, Oxted. Surrey,