Translator of the Missal
AMONO the large number of appointments which, week by week, are to be found in our columns, one which I think we missed—and probably our contemporaries also missed—was by no means the least important. I refer to the appointment of Mr. H. P. R. Finberg, M.A., F.R.Hist.S., as Reader in English Local History at the University College of Leicester. Mr. Finherg is probably best known to Catholics generally as one of the two translators of the new Burns Oates Roman Missal. The other, with whom he worked in association, is Fr. John B. O'Connell. of Builth Wells, Brecon. The Knox version was, of course, used for the epistles and gospels.
mR. F1NBERG is an old friend which makes the omission all the more unforgiveable; but I had not seen him for some time, and it was all the more delightful to find him my very generous host last weekend when I happened to be in Leicester. One of the interesting points of the appointment is that the relatively humble University College of Leicester alone has a readership in this particular subject. After leaving him, I very much enjoyed reading his inaugural lecture, The Local Historian and His Theme, and now I better understand why he emphasised so strongly the wisdom of the College in creating this Readership.
Local histories •
T MYSELF have had the chance on lmore than one occasion in this column to welcome the work of the compilers of our parishes' histories. a good many of which have been published now that many of our parishes are celebrating centenaries. From such local studies one learns more about the real story of Catholic development in the last two centuries than from the general histories. Mr. Finberg's job is precisely to do this for local history generally in the country. "The business of the local historian, then, as I see it, is to re-enact in his own mind, and to portray for his readers, the Origin, Growth, Decline and Fall of a Local Community." The Fall of a Local Community is a sad and increasingly frequent happening, but from its history one learns not only the real England and the values which have made England what it is and on which the planners are so ready to trample. The work, as Mr. Finbcrg points out, "will oblige us to demand, from ourselves and others, exact scholarship, wide sympathies, and a style of writing at once precise and vivid." And that is precisely what Mr. Finberg will give it.
More to come
FROM the Catholic point, of view, such a study has a special value. This is so not only because much buried Catholic history is thus brought to light, but because Catholics who believe in men, not Man, set, or should set. a special value on the history of men and the growth of the social forms, traditions and institutions within and through which the good, free and useful life can be realised. Sympathy with the living man in the personal and local circumstances of his life, as well as a sense of the inherent dignity of man, are a mark of Mr. Finberg's outlook which need not be dissociated from his great work as a translator of the I.atin liturgy into a dignified, vet meaningful, language. That work has by no means ended with the translation of the Missal, and I hope we shall soon hear a great deal more about it.
Communion at late Mass
I N the course of somewhat fatiguing and rapid motoring, necessitated by a full two-day programme. I fitted Sunday Mass in a very small Catholic church in a very small county town of a marked Protestant character. Almost certainly many of the congregation must have come some distance to church. But oddly enough, when the priest at the Missa Confab er had genuflected after the Communion, the server jumped up and was ready with the ablutions in double-quick time. I had fully expected that by now not a few cornmunicants would have been at the altar rails. having taken advantage of the new fasting regulations. But no! I must confess that. had I myself been going, I should have been rather nervous of trying to break the obviously accepted custom. Returning home, I happened to pick up Fr. Howell's new book. published in America, Of Sacraments and Sacrifice, to read the very forceful language he uses about those who do not go to Communion at Mass when they can. May I recommend, too, those who arc still in doubt to read our report on another page of Bishop Murphy's Lenten pastoral.
Another St. Joseph story
HERE is another story about St. Joseph which a reader has sent me in connection with the letters on finding a marriage partner. The YOUR DAILY MASS GUIDE March 1-7
Sunday. March 1. Second Sunday in Lent sd. Corn S. David; Lenten Prf. (Purple.)
Monday, March 2. Feria. 4 pr for the Pope. (Purple.)
Tuesday. March 3. Feria. (Purple.) Wednesday. March 4. S. Casimir sd. Corn feria and S. Lucius. (White.) Thursday, March 5. Feria. (Purple.)
Friday, March 6. SS. Perpetua and Felicity, d. Corn feria. (Red.) Saturday, March 7. S. Thomas Aquinas, d. Corn feria, (White.) moral is, however, not to be generally recommended.
A young lady was very anxious to find a good Catholic husband. She made a Novena to St. Joseph, honouring his statue with lights and flowers, but there was no response. Now she was an impetuous person with a hot temper. which she unfortunately lost, and she hurled St. Joseph out of the window. The house was in the country and usually few callers came that way. However, on this occasion a young man happened to be passing at the critical moment, and the heavy statue caught him on the head. knocking him out. He was carried unconscious into the house and. overcome with remorse, the girl nursed him day and night. He made a complete recovery, proved himself to be an excellent Catholic, and, of course, as you have guessed. fell in love with his nurse and married her.
Equal pay for women?
1)1 Y a heavy majority Catholic stu dents dents doing their teaching training defeated the motion that men and women teachers should have equal pay in a debate on Monday evening at St. Marys College, Strawberry Hill: There were far more men present than women, though a strong contingent from the Digby Stuart Training College in Roehampton came. spoke and voted. Unlike Parliamentary debates, this was one in Which, I think, the quality and weight of speeches, especially from the cross-benches, helped to sway thc vote. Certainly I myself attended with a fairly open mind. and was influenced by the excellent way in which the Papal teaching on a lust family wage was presented. The final conclusion I came to was that if teachers could obtain a minimum wage of £1,000 a year. then equality would be reasonable. As things are. men married or hoping to marry have a right to wages cornmensurate with their greater family responsibilities. A strong debating point was made of the amount of money women teachers seem to have to beautify themselves and spend the summer in sunny Italy.
IT was my first visit to Strawberry Hill, the house Horace Walpole made famous, but as I got there after dark I promise myself another curly visit to see it properly. The students must form one of the most mixed of mixed bags. Married and single, quite old and quite young, they all learn an art which I should have thought was inborn. I was told of one would-be student of over 60, and on Monday night the best speech came from a grey-beard student who had been teaching for years. The next step will doubtless be to heed the advice of some of our correspondents, found a training college, mixed as regards the sexes as well. and ensure Catholic marriages which will bring the women round to the merits of the men's claims for higher wages.
A great TV play
T T seems to me that the television 'must be having a remarkable influence on the spiritual values of a great many people. After two recent important and serious plays with a strong religious theme, it is Midnight, Dr. Schweitzer has been given twice this week. It is a superb play by Gilbert Cesbron, who wrote the recent novel on the Priest-Workers. Pere de Foucauld and Marsha; Lyautey figure in it symbolically. as well as Dr. Schweitzer. The problem of good and evil, of life, of God, of political aims. of war, of Africa are all thrown into the melting pot of intelligent and dramatic discussion. If this goes on, serious dramatic critics will have to eschew the theatre and watch the television at home instead.
The true explanation
PARENTS were asking a boy how the food at the new school compared with the food at the old one which he had recently left. "It's much better here," he asserted. "But surely," the parents insisted, "it can't really he. YOU old school was much more expensive." "Well, you see," the boy answered, "they don't force you to eat it here."