F° R the first time since its foundation, the Catholic Marriage Advisory Council " branched out " last year into the provinces when 15 new probationary counsellors were appointed and sent from London to Clifton, Birmingham, Liverpool and other diocesan centres.
"We hope," states the Council's executive committee in its annual report for 1950 which was published this week "that they will form the nucleus for new centres."
Despite financial difficulties
and the inevitable slowness entailed in extending its activities, the Council's Advice Centre set up in Clifton and the premarriage courses organised by
the Birmingham Centre performed much valuable work.
" The need for centres elsewhere is emphasised by provincial applications, received from non-Catholic societies to whom Catholics in the provinces often turn for advice"
Of the 971 applications that came in to London headquarters during 1950, 274 were cases in which a reconciliation was sought. Eighty-eight were handled with complete success. 43 were assisted witheut being effectively reconciled, and 87 cases broke down through the refusal of the opposite partner to cooperate.
" Many of the other cases, classed
as medical or general inquiries, produced results which undoubtedly prevented a breakdown of the marriage, though there was no question strictly speaking of reconciliation when the applicants came to US.
L.C.C. GRANT The Council's clear classification of cases dealt with, and its policy of " writing off " cases left outstanding after a six-months interval, account for the slight drop in the total number of successes as compared with 1949.
Owing to ill-health and various other reasons. five executive members of the Council gave up their positions in the year under review. Mr. G. J. Graham-Green, the Chairman, and Sir Harold Hood, the viceChairman, were both obliged to resign on medical grounds; and Brigadier Frere left his post as General Secretary hut has since become a
Member of the executive committee.
However, the reorganisation in no way affected results and " has proved satisfactory."
Restriction of the Home Office grant to 70 per cent. of the Council's expenditure. with £1,500 as the maximum sum obtainable, has not eased the financial position. But a first grant of L500 from the London County Council " enabled us to finish the year with a credit balance of £350."
Pre marital guidance, regarded by the Council as one of its most positive and hopeful spheres of action, was given last year in a summer Course held at Farm Street, One hundred and fifty-eight people-mostly young couples-attended the pre-marriage retreats held at the Convent of Our Lady of the Cenacle, Graysbott.