DR. FRANK AYLWARD
VVHAT is this Newman Assoand always to some purpose: it elation that has such an ambitious plan for keeping the centenary of Newman's conversion ?" asked the lately returned prisoner-ofwar. We tried to distinguish the two. The arrangement of a conference had been entrusted to the Association which had grown up during the war anti enrolled a couple of thousand Catholic university graduates for a series of social and professional gatherings that have been one of the most encouraging signs of life. ,
" Gond show. Badly needed," commented the P.o.W. " Who's behind it ?"
" Why, Jr?rank Aylward." " A layman ? •Tell me more !"
Well, Dr. Aylward is a young
more than 35, be hails from Liver pool, but has scarcely been seen on Mersey side since he gathered b i s Ph.D. roughly 10 years ago. In that time he has travelled widely...
and accomplished much, for he is a quick worker and
has a persuasive way with him
that would have led to rapid promotion had he taken to delimit•
acy or salesmanship. His Jesuit teachers at St. Francis Xavier's may have wondered if he had a vocation, but it was Fr. Joe Howard—then in charge of the University Catholic Society—who discerned that young Frank's apostolic energy would flow along lay channels. Catholec Action was the Pope's call. Fr. Howard interpreted this " Catholic university men and women must lead the laity. Perhaps this thoughtful young scientist could—with a little encouragement— take a lead ?" Before his recent death he was able to see the realisation of his dreams, a flourishing national association, with Dr. Aylward, among many other past students, at the helm. When Frank Aylward went to the U.S.A. on the strength of a Commonwealth Travelling Scholarship in 1935 he got on so well at Johns Hopkins University that he was elected Fellow in Paediatrics. but he also found time to win support for the ideal of an international federation of Catholic students. So much so that at the end of two years he was asked to lead the first American contingent to the Paris congress of Pax Romana in 1937. Two years later he led an English contingent which took part in the American meeting that planted Pax across the Atlantic lust weefole the outbreak of war.
His war work was some kind of secret research work, but it did not consume all his energy. For instance. he never failed to turn up at meetings of the University Catholic Federation be to press for the publication newssheet — Unitas appeared ear 1940, or the need for In Internal Committee—one was erected in or a permanent office in Londonwas soon afterwards provided t generous friend and has steadily in in influence ever since. It is to much more than an office, and happens there, whether it is lea courses in philosophy, gay social e■ or the recepiton of important 8,1 from abroad without Dr. Aylward Mg a hand in the preparation. V out Dr. Aylward's special skill in tuading others to give generous') their time and co-operation the 1 of that eerie on the top floor of !ford House, near Maransebvleettr Arhhaacsvh, w ethgrrt the war years If yenou a enough get a few nnr with in owfiile fc is easy, for there always strings Americans, Di. men Poles, others, hoping get yory u hifisndse broken Engle tary with a a modest with a knack covering h
tracks, but him speaking
his favourite jests and he will discuss the latest it collegiate activities in half-a-di countries, he'll give you the It 'statistics about student relief on continent, or sketch out the ideal tre for Catholic post-graduate resea But his main concern just now e look beyond the Newman week Windsor to the first large gathe of leaders of Pax Romana since I' which is to follow immediately al wards in London.
It is not easy for the ordinary mo to follow thc politics of Cath Action at the international level, be will be plain from the foregoing the the President of the Newman Asia tion England will have a fitting rcl sentative at this important confere called to deal with the reconstruct of university life in Europe. The r who so largely helped to build national association in war time she be able to contribute much toward new international unity in the days peace. It is specially fitting that he--v has been reader of Newman since school days—should do so during year which marks the centenary of apostle of university education.
(THE CATHOLIC HERALD will consi publication ol Catholic profiles s mined by readers. All profiles will anonymous and the secret of anti. ship icalously guarded—EDITOR C.1