A N appeal for the Rescue A-IL Society will in future be preached annually by Salford Diocesan priests, thereby replacing the occasional appeals made by Mgr. Gerard McCormack, secretary of the Rescue Society. With over 200 parishes in the diocese to cover, it has been taking him three years to visit every church.
Some 80,000 children in England and Wales are in care. Of these many are Catholic. A survey recently taken in the Salford Diocese has revealed that of those in care no fewer than 36 per cent are Catholic.
In terms of numbers this means about 5,000, aged from a few days to 18 years. are to be found in children's homes, family group homes, convent homes, foster homes, reception centres and homes for deprived children with handicaps.
Mgr. McCormack told me: "Many people still think of children in care as orphans. The conditions such as malnutrition, war, fatal sickness, which caused the early death of parents now no longer prevail and the word "orphan age" is a misnomer.
"A large number of these children are of one-parent families caused by sickness and death of one parent, imprisonment, broken homes, and broken marriages.
"Whatever the parental solution, it leaves us with a child who is homeless and helpless. A great work of the Rescue Society is getting children back to their homes or substitute family life."
Since 1958 Salford Diocesan Rescue Society has had to provide new accommodation measuring up to Home Office standards for 125 children and staff at a cost of £150,000, for which no Government grant was available. This works out at more than £1,000 per place.
Mgr. McCormack said: "The support from the diocese has been excellent, but the annual income has decreased. The two most affected sources are the monthly Rescue Collection and the periodic appeal.
"Last year this meant a loss of over £5,000 to Rescue income, and the continuing decrease prevents Rescue from reducing the £50,000 overdraft, the interest on which is also increasing the total amount each year."
by F. C. PRICE