MONEY---How I Hate the Word TAILOR'S CUTTER
DENIS W. DWYER. Born: January IS, 1914.
Educated (partly): Park Place Elementary, Clifton, Bristol. After—C.T.S., poor man's theology' —and the Liturgy.
Recreations: Reading (especially study of the Liturgy); cricket; and listening to good music.
Chief worldly ambition: To marry and bring up a family for the honour and glory of God.
I left school as thousands of others, with my ambition to be a " big shot " some day, which implied a fat banking account and a wife like a film star. To save one's soul isn't very difficult I thought; church on Sundays, no lies, a few alms.
I entered the respectable trade of tailoring and outfitting. After two years of exceedingly dull work, I received the " poke " after applying for a rise in wages. Rather a setback, but I soon got another job, this time more interesting, as I was fortunate enough to be able to learn the art of cutting.
But the depression of 1931-2 again resulted in dashing my hopes of early fortune, as my employer could not afford to keep me. By then I was eighteen, and somewhat disillusioned. I had seen school friends gradually falling away from the Church and from all parish life and it left me despondent. Life seemed rather a bore, except perhaps when there was a special " thriller " at the cinema, or a week's holiday to look forward to . . .
At the moment our Catholic social life—what there is of it—is nearly all compromise. Our Catholic education is so successful in competing with secular education, that in some districts the losses to the Church after school leaving age are over sixty per cent. A good percentage of young people leave school with very little religious knowledge— hut with knowledge of how to " get on " in the world—more important of course.
It seems futile to attempt to Christianize a society which is in itself essentially anti-Christian. If Catholic Action is to he successful in Its work of building God's Kingdom en earth, it must plant new roots where they will have a chance to grow, not where they will wither and die. And those roots must be in the soil. Only from such roots can a truly Catholic culture flourish. We have lost our soul in England because we have lost our peasantry.
Everything has been sacrificed to Mammon — money—money—moneyhow I hate the word!
I am resolved about one thing, that a society whose very excuse for existing is money making—to whom progress is only scientific discovery and tech-. nleal perfection, is no place for my children. If I have to remain in the city to eke out a living, I can at least help to bring up a future generation to hate the city, and prepare them for a life on the land where they can live and work and worship God without careers, social positions, and banking accounts being their one concern.
MARGARET CLARKE Born: December 25, 1915, in Dublin.
Educated: At St. Paul's School and London University (B.Sc. Hons.).
Profession: Lecturer and Demonstrator.
Ambitions: To enter Parliament, and bceo9ne Editor of the CATHOLIC HERALD.
My first recollections are of going to church in white muslin, later on, in blue taffeta. My hair streamed loosely down my back from under a blue bonnet. Dresses lasted me a long time— I grew slowly—and I wore that blue one to Mass on fine Sunday mornings through many summers. We always sat in the front bench in church, and the entry of the family was almost a procession. My mother came first, holding the hand of my young brother, then my sister and I, and illy other brother last of all, trying to conceal his breathlessness, and the fact that he had started late, and only caught us on the way. On growing up, there was school: I had always bullied the two young ones at home. It came as 'a novelty to be ordered about by other children: a novelty which I disliked. It was during my four years at the University, that I first became aware of what Catholic Youth, as a body, is doing to-day. I discovered that it was, in comparison with the activities of other religious organizations, doing nothing. I became a member of the Catholic Society, when a notice was put up asking students to join. I signed the list, and that was all that happened. As individuals, we might hurry after lecture to hear Fr. Vincent MacNabb, who was giving a series of Lenten addresses at the church around the corner; or we might go to Farm Street on a Sunday morning to hear a special sermon; but as a body, as an influence in the College to provoke thought, and to arouse interest, we were unknown.
When College was over, there was the world ahead of me. My education, that I had thought finished when I saw my name on a Pass list, was beginning.
Every generation wishes to leave behind in the world a rich heritage, by which to be remembered. We to-day, know that our contribution, such as it is, will be lost if war should come. If we throw ourselves into this business of building for defence, can we stop the weapons being used for attack? In anger, a man loses control of his limbs, and might not a nation, in anger, lose control of its weapons?
If the "Under Twenty-fives " of today are to work for peace by preparing for war, they may perhaps, preserve safety for their own generation, but they will leave fear in the world for their successors. For peace we need charity: charity in its fullest sense of humility, forgiveness, tolerance, justice. This is a high ambition for all the world to reach, but anything less is of no use.
Man must fight with himself if men are not to fight each other.
POLICE COURT REPORTER
R. W. RICHARDSON Born: January 12, 1918.
Educated: By the Jesuits at the College of St. Ignatius, Stamford Hill.
First attempt to wrestle with life: At the office of a City export merchant.
Second ditto: As a police court reporter.
Recreations: Cycling, walking, dancing, grumbling and reading.
Chief worldly ambition: To write the longest. novel in the English language.
There is a gulf between Catholics and non-Catholics in England because of a supposed alliance between the Pope and Fascism. The Catholic Press fights Mussolini's battles for him and scarcely a week goes by but some fool must whine ubout the unkindness of British newspapers to Herr Hitler. Catholic editors are not wholly to blame. They regularly and at times petulantly deny that there is any connection between the Church and Fascism. They could not be expected to give more prominence than they do to the Nazi Persecution. But why, when there is a tiff between the Duce and a democratic Power, is Democracy always in the wrong? While the Abyssinian Dispute was in progress immense harm was done to Catholicism in England by the wretched attempts to justify the Italian aggression with which the Catholic papers were filled. Whatever the merits of Fascism the hard fact is that the English loathe it, Furthermore they are convinced that the Catholic Church is its faithful ally. They can hardly be blamed. I would believe it myself if I were not a Catholic.
Since this Is one of the greatest obstacles to the conversion of England, it surely follows that the recognised organs of British Catholicism should strain every nerve to remove it.
In particular, I should like to know what answer I should give to a nonCatholic who says: " You Catholics object to the FrancoSoviet alliance because Russia is a persecutor of your Church, yet you do not seem to mind Mussolini's alliance with Hitler, whom the Pope has so frequently denounced, and you are actually recommending a Four Power Pact to include Germany. Why is it wrong to be allied to one persecutor and not to another? "
The absence of any allusion in the secular Press to the religious situation in Mexico and Ulster, or to the massacre of the Assyrians, and the shameless whitewashing of the Spanish Reds; coupled with the publicity given to the sufferings of the Jews, gives a Catholic the feeling that nobody loves him.
But before grumbling at the Jews I should like to feel sure that if Catholics controlled the British Press, the Jews would get a fair deal.
A small but noisy minority affect to see in Israel the cause of Unemployment, White Slavery, Dope Peddling, Bolshevism, War, Slums, Malnutrition, Class Hatred, Bad Trade, Bad Weather, and Foot and Mouth Disease.
JOHN DEAKIN Born: February 3, 1915.
Descent: Pure English, Educated: Beaumont and Hertford College, Oxford.
Career to date: Insurance office, Civil Service Examinations, Publisher's apprentice.
Recreations: Rowing, motoring, and the English classics.
Chief worldly ambition: To get on.
Why feel so certain about the inevitability of war? One day we shall be asked to give up our colonies or—. And war is the least probable result. The Government can be relied upon to find some very plausible and honoursaving excuse for a share-out of the Empire when this is demanded. As such a presentation would put the finishing touches to our cotton and other once great exporting industries, it would perhaps be preferable to go on assembling an array of armaments that no dictator would risk challenging.
I live on a building estate, and there is very little reference here to the inevitability of war. It may come or it may not, but no one is disposed to lose a moment's sleep or pleasure over it. If we sincerely dread war, why don't we pray more for peace? We pray for Russia and we pray for rain, but no church to my knowledge ever offers up special prayers for peace? Selfishly speaking, I face my economic future with equanimity. Though not very money-making, I believe my job to be safe. The prospect of spending every day for the forty years between the office and the suburbs does occasionally cast me down. But I rely on time to bring its consolations in the form of promotion and a family.
What is not so easily disposed of is the economic future of the country (and " country " means fellow citizens). National and local overspending will cause a crisis soon. 1931 will be repeated, and I suppose there will be lots more talk of the " inevitability of slumps under the capitalist system." But we shall survive, and perhaps this time we shall learn once and for all that we cannot be extravagant and get away with it.
It will be interesting to live through the next thirty years, There are going to be so many changes. Vast monopolies or the State will control all commercial activity, and private enterprise will be as rare as the old cottage handcraftsmen are to-day.
I myself have very little to lose by such developments. If the State takes over the publication of books, I daresay I shall still have my uses, and I may even get longer holidays.
As a Catholic I cannot sit comfortably in a first-class railway carriage and gaze out undepressed over the endless, dreary expanse of all those houses on the way to London; or work complacently at a desk while thousands of people are having their brains addled by the dehumanising methods of mass production; or walk unconcerned past offices, some of them below ground level, where the electric light burns all day, even when there is a sunny blue sky, and where slaves of the pen and typewriter eke out a wretched thirty or forty shillings a week, with very little chance of ever a cheerful side, and we eauitng more.
But unduly discourage ourselves by never looking at it. Humanity Fair has its