You will have seen the suggestions for brighter Youth meetings made by the anonymous writer with a grievance whose letter on the Youth Charter meeting in the Stoll Cinema appeared on the front page last week.
Priests smile at my own " enthusiasm," as they call it, when I plead for the spectacular and colourful where Youth gatherings are concerned, with hearty cries of "Long live Christ the King," with an atmosphere of pageantry worked up to fever pitch in rousing song and trumpeting, with some of the Grail spirit in it, plus the sun and glow of a summer Jocist gathering on the Latin continent, and they smile broader still through their pipe tobacco smoke, and say: " We don't show our feelings in England."
Nevertheless, priests in charge of Catholic Youth should try rousing their feelings, just for once, and just like the Communists do in the Albert Hall and elsewhere: Youth will look good to them getting hot undo the collar for Christ.
It looked good too in the serio-comic atmosphere of its Charter at the Stoll. It was comic because Youth re-cchoed its elders'. platitudee; it was serious because it showed that 1,750 Westminster youngsters had got down to the job of studying what their elders are saying. It would have been seriously comic had it stopped at that ; but by Jupiter's own thunder and lightning, dear readers, it's going to be real
serious now that they have undertaken to spread the 6 Points round to all Youth throughout the country! They're going to study them, and perhaps a future Stoll gathering will stage for us the comedy of Youth showing its elders how to go about solving their ditlicuttins.
A GRAND PERSON
But I must protest against the same anonymous writer's implied disparagement of Fr. Fitzgerald's actual and potential efforts. I know this priest well and the extent of his hero-worship among Westminster Youth, whose chairman he is, I admire his unique organising powers which made the Stoll meeting possible, and have confirmed his exceptional abilities as orator and preacher. He is a born speaker, and I deliberately underline the qualificative in regard to him just as the writer quoted did in connection with another equally worthy priest, also a friend of mine, He can louse Youth on the Mass or any subject that writer likes to mention, and would do so with unqualified success at any meeting the latter would care to organise, or (better still) would care to help Fr. Fitzgerald (who after all is the official Youth Chief in Westminster) to put across in a way calculated to please the few people whom the same writer appears to think the Stoll didn't please.
Fr. Fitzgerald foand £50 from his own pocket in order to make up the deficit on what has been London Catholic Youth's most memorable day so far, and I am quite sure that if approached properly he would listen to good suggestions for brighter Youth Congresses.
Moreover, no good can come to the Liturgical Movement, in which the writer appears to be interested, through unnecessarily hurting people's feelings, as his letter has done. I fear he has gone the wrong way about putting my own pet ideas across.