After reading the letter by Carrnelita Hirsch in your issue of February 6 entitled "Banshee howls in Cathedral," I feel I must enter the lists in praise of the "folk" Mass in Westminster Cathedral on January 24 at which Cardinal Suenetis preached his beautiful and inspiring sermon on Christian unity.
I am a rather conservative 41year-old convert of 18 years' standing. and like Carmelita Hirsch I also love the music by great composers. On most Sundays I travel 23 miles In Brompton Oratory in order to attend High Mass.
I sus therefore fully prepared to hate the "folk" Mass and went to the Cathedral only in order to hear Cardinal Suenens.
How wrung I was! I feel that prejudice has led Carmelita Hirsch to miss the whole point of this Mass. Looking round the average London crowd of middle-aged people like myself one generally sees on people's faces discontent. boredom and a lack of any real joy in living. Yet in Westminster Cathedral on that Saturday evening it was extremely moving to see the sweet and gentle expressions on the faces of so many young people. I was also very moved at the Sign of Peace to have my hands grasped by the smiling people around me as they greeted me with "Peace he with you" or "God bless you."
The whole atmosphere for me spoke of Christian love and, much to my surprise. I found myself singing tfic "folk" hymns with gusto and happiness. I know that since that evening I can never (thank Ciod!) he quite the same man again, because I came home with a new determination to love my neighbour as those splendid youngsters in the Cathedral so obviously do. May God bless them all.
Why do so many of your correspondents criticise all the time? People should thank God for a Church which is all things to all men.
Peter Tate The New Beacon School, Sevenoaks, Kent.