Catholic Press, Books and Art THE discussion about the lack of Catholic writers has led one reader to suggest that there should be a closer liaison between the Catholic papers and the Catholic publishers. For example, why not organise annual prizes for Catholic books under different heads ? Certainly, there is room for a Chesterton prize for the best book each year on Christian defence in popular terms—or a Newman prize for theology or philosophy, and so on.
The same idea could be applied to Christian art, now to be permanently exhibited in London. Why not a prize for the best statue of the Sacred Heart or Our Lady, or the best paintings for popular reproduction ? As this seems to be a special interest of this paper, we could take the press responsibility for it, while the Tablet perhaps could sponsor the books. To leave co-operation to casual book-reviewing .or casual reports and reproductions of ecclesiastical art is surely very primitive. But this is all that is being done at present.
Glamorous Clergy '
PLEASANT postcards of popes
and prelates arc reaching the office from Grace Conway, our film critic (on holiday in the south of France), with notes such as this: After seeing the Avignon Palace I am struck with the high standard of good looks among the prelates. And how young 1 " And the prelate illustrated was the Cardinal Peter of Luxemburg who was created Cardinal-Bishop of Metz at the age of 15 and died at the age of 18. Competition with our later times in this respect of the good looks of the clergy is clearly very unfair. Had there been a Catholic press and photography in those days what a
time it would have had with such glamorous clerical pictures.
Sweets IREMEMBER confessing sonic weeks ago to buying a pound of fruit-drops to celebrate the derationing. Some of the fruitdrops are still in an office drawer, but that was about the end of sweets as far as my family and self are concerned. Where can the sweets go to ? If you don't live next door to a sweet-shop (I live two miles away) and if you have a large young family, it is practically impossible to buy any sweets ut all to go round. They give you two ounces of chocolate after a quarter of an hour's wait in a queue (if you are lucky) and take no notice of pathetic pleading about waiting little mouths at home 1). If the next generation grows up with a rationing (and therefore quasi-totalitarian) complex. we cannot be surprised.
Under the New Puritanism PARTLY through comfort-seeking, but also in some measure because I can get more work done, I have recently taken out a first-class season ticket for my daily two-anda-half hours of "commuting ''—if I have the right American word. For sonic time 1 did the same in pre-war days when railways were not nationalised. I am amused to note that in the old days it was an extremely rare thing for inspectors to check the tickets of the first-class passengers, whereas now the ceremony takes place at 'least twice a week. Here, no doubt, is an instructive contrast between the old corrupt, but lenient, State and the new puritan, but strictly graded, State. I feel
more and more like making the commissar grade.
Scrupulous Italian Catholics A LETTER from a correspondent " in Italy who is occupied with social welfare, underlines two points of some interest. Refuting the often suggested view that Catholic Italians arc not such good Catholics as we are, he emphasises the scrupulous way in which Italian parents who arc sending their children for holidays to this country absolutely insist on families who will guarantee getting the children to Mass every Sunday. Would we always be so insistent where it is a case of a short and vitally-needed free holiday? The other point that " International Help for Children " have noted that English families fall over themselves to offer hospitality to German children, whereas it is difficult to get hospitality for Italian children. I wonder why?
Fr. Martindale Unveiled "PROBABLY we sophisticated "PROBABLY
do not realise how much
men want to pray, and how glad they are if they are helped to," This is what Father Martindale has just written in a little anonymous note to recommend Father Gas coigne's A Manual for Catholic Soldiers and Airmen (Catholic Supplies, Auckland. N.Z.). It was anonymous, because Father Gascoigne's book contains so many allusions to Father Martindale. But wS take no notice of such gestures of retirement in the Jotter column ! The fact that Father Martindale recommends it, and with the above valuable °biter dictum. is the important thing. He goes on : "In this New Zealand book men will not find they are asked to pray in words they find unfamiliar or unnatural if we wish, at first,' that it had more purely New Zealand allusions (we might even say, something that would rouse an echo in a Maori), we remember, and indeed we hope, that this book will become ready-to-hand to many who are not from overseas and would be quite bewildered to allusions to volcanic springs or Ac-Tea-Rod This is at any rate a book for which we must ask permission to adapt for our own Forces in this land."
Going the Whole Hog
HEN I go abroad and read the
foreign—and especially the Spanish—press, I am always amused by the fantastic twistings which, British names and titles suffer at the hands of the printers. And then I like to imagine that we have higher standards in this country when it comes to foreign names and expressions. If so, there are certainly occasional exceptions. This week I have received a letter which informs me that every proper name was misspelt last week in our five-line about the new Archbishop of Santiago de Compostela (my good printers, please don't let me down!). Fernanda should be Fernando. Quirogay Palacios should be Quiroga y Palacios. Mononedo should be Mondonedo. Sanniacoma should at least be Sangiacomo (in Italian), but it is the Spanish Santiago which is in general use. In these circumstances I have to take cornfort in the thought that if one "peccas" at all. let's at least " piece Prater."