VIZ. GORDON V. DALY, parish priest of Ashburton, has become the first priest ever elected chairman of the New Zealand Red Cross. He received this honour at the organization's national conference in Hamilton.
He is believed to be the only priest in the world who is currently a national chairman of the Red Cross. When he visited Red Cross headquarters in Geneva in 1960 he was told that they had never known a priest to be on the national executive of any country. Fr. Daly was on the New Zealand executive for six years before being elected chairman.
Fr. Daly has appealed for more Catholics to become active members of the Red Cross. "The work of the Red Cross is charity in action," he said.
Under the scheme, seminarians will gain practical experience of the social, economic and industrial conditions in the dioese so that they can bring to their studies a realistic knowledge of the work they will be expected to do.
The scheme has been applied in two ways this summer, one for Irish students and the other for home students. Irish students with a largely rural, non-industrialised background, mere brought to Leeds and shown by both clergy and laity the conditions Leeds Catholics have to face.
Working with Legionaries, they visited homes of all types-the ,fervent, the lukewarm and the lapsed. They saw hospitals, orphanages, factories, attended meetings of Catholic societies, visited with S.V.P. brothers. They experienced the unity movement and were present at group discussions with Anglicans, exchanging ideas and views essential for a better understanding of other religions.
They saw, too, how the lay apostolate in a post-Christian industrialised society has to take a different form from that in a wholly Catholic environment with more emphasis upon the need for the layman to be capable of independent action.
For home seminarians an intensive summer school was held during which there were three days of discussions with priests of the diocese who outlined typical problems and possible solutions. Seminarians were encouraged to experience directly for themselves as many aspects of the lay apostotate as possi ble. .
Among the work done was that of looking after younger children who would otherwise miss Mass, visiting old people, helping with a holiday camp for orphans, and assisting in training lay leaders.