Was most interested to
read Monica Comerford's letter regarding youth clubs for since being received into the Church sonic twelve years ago I have been constantly puzzled by the Catholic attitude towards such things as also, for that matter. its attitude tooards social activities in general. Why, for instance. does it appear to he accepted that:— It is the function of the Church only to save souls and not, in the doing, to provide for the closer fellowship of its members and the imbuing in them of a sense of "belonging"?
(b) If not entirely morons nevertheless Catholics arc a breed apart and thus. although other local churches run successful societies catering for wide interests, Catholics cannot be persuaded to join in anything other titan Ringo. II do not overlook the Sodalities but in my experience and even where such are active those involved represent but a small min
oDespite all the monies expended on Catholic echools and Higher Education, our younger people are interested only in Pop music and the Twist, (Or is it that we cater only for those who are?)
(d) Our younger people lack that something possessed by their generation elsewhere and thus needs must he organised, supervised and cossetted by the P.P. and financed from pariah funds, In this connection I am reminded particularly of an experience just a year ago and in connection with a Bazaar orgaaised by a local committee on behalf of the Freedom from Hunger Campaign.
Thinking that she had not yet been told I mentioned to the leader of a Free Church Youth Circle that her Minister and Deacons had decided to donate the Harvest Festival collection whereupon she replied: "Oh, yes, I know! That's alright for the older ones but We're young and we feel we should DO something!"
Not only did they obtain the supplies for and rine a complete stall but they made a
profit of LIB—the highest of any! Why do I choose this example? Only because at that very time it was being said that there was no need or support for a Catholic youth club.
Again, one reads in your columns frequent reference to lapsing and inter-marriage but do me overlook the fact that, loosely speaking, the odds are ten to one that our young people will meet and partner up with a nonCatholic—even a non-Christian'?
Does not this fact alone point to the urgent need for young people's clubs capable of catering for all tastes—Pop music and the Twist for those who want them certainly but providing also for those with quieter and more cultured interests?
Most young people are thoughtful, earnest and sincere and we do them ill if we imbue them with the weariness and frustrated defeatism by which so many of we older ones are beset.
Why not then give them a chance to show what they can do left to their own devices and if in the process—as undoubtedly they will —they make mistakes does that really matter so long as their spirit of Christian adventure is not daunted by ridicule and the "We told you so!" of their elders?
Yquth today asks — indeed pleads—to be free! Then set them free for I firmly believe (after many years experience of social eork and the sometimes seeming hopelessness and purposelessness of it all) that although God maybe regards our efforts with an occasional whimsical smile Ile is yet ever with those who seek to serve.
Henry B. Dix, Chelmsford.