convert to the Catholic Herald, I have several things which I badly want to say with regard to the " Conversion of England," a topic which, I am pleased to see, arouses a certain amount of interest in your paper.
The most important of them is this: what we have to convert is not an abstraction labelled " England " but a large number of individual men and women who, living side by side with us in this country, arc unfortunately deprived of the spiritual benefits which communion with the true Church of Christ brings. And what 1 want to stress is that the Catholic Apostolate, in this country as elsewhere, is, to a great extent, an individual apostolate, and that the " c-onversion of England " means, in my opinion, the conversion, by individual Catholics of individual nonCatholics. Now this cannot be achieved unless Catholics are willing to learn thoroughly their own religion (attendance at sermons and the study of C.T.S. pamphlets should suffice) and, overcoming their shyness, to spread the knowledge of it, by word and example, to those whom they can most easily touch—their nonCatholic friends, relatives and acquaintances.
And another point. Do those Catholics who pray (sincerely, I know) for the Conversion of England at Benediction, ever think of helping to bring it about by supporting those societies already in existence for that object? I have often seen a Catholic Evidence Ciuild speaker addressing a small, loose crowd of listeners while, a few yards away. Communist and Fascist orators hold crowds very much bigger and livelier. And yet, which of those speakers has the greatest message to give his hearers? Here is a matter in which most Catholics could help; by swelling the crowd round the Guild platform they would give heart to the speaker, attract more listeners (crowds work on the snowball system) and improve their own knowledge of the Faith; and, provided they kept their tempers with hecklers, they would, by attending the meeting, be doing practical work for the conversion of England. A Catholic should remember that in his Faith he has a great treasure, and one which he should try, in the spirit of the Church of the Apostles, to hand on to others less fortunate. Individual action, backed by fervent prayer (for without God we can do no good work) will achieve the Conversion of England.
9, C.adoxton Avenue., N. 1.5.