to endorse the reasons Fr. Crispian Hollis (June 13) puts forward for the "mere trickle" of universitytrained candidates for the priesthood. He is entirely correct in stating that today's Catholic undergraduates are neither more selfish, nor Ices spiritual. than their predecessors.
Many give their talents and their time to various forms of social work; daily Mass is well attended and talks on prayer can be guaranteed to attract large numbers. It is just too easy to think that all undergraduates are too egocentric and money-minded to consider whether they have a vocation to the priesthood.
As Fr. Hollis says, however, generosity rarely runs to deliberate wastage. All too often, undergraduates fear that following a vocation to the priesthood means the conscious abandoning of the qualifications they have had the good fortune to acquire.
It is not mere materialism which leads them to this fear— they have only to look around them to see the consequences of unfulfilled talents evident in the disenchantment found among many middle-aged priests faced with "eternal curacy".
Greater co-operation between diocesan authorities and the universities is needed, so that a far more convincing call can be made to those who enjoy the benefits of university education.
W. G. Redmond Oxford.
Sins at five
IHAVE just put my fiveyear-old son to bed. He has completed seven weeks in a Catholic school, so I asked him if he had learned a new prayer, to which he replied: "Yes. 0 my God, I humbly beg pardon for all my sins"!— at five years of age.
Knowing the kind of teaching which takes place in our local school we hesitated in the first place about sending our children. but we decided in favour of their going mainly so as not to offend the Sisters, whom we regard as our friends.
Twenty years ago, before we were Catholics, my husband and I did a university course in religious education, and I gather that modern catechetical methods are very much in line with what we learned then; but how long do we have to wait before these methods are applied in all Catholic schools?
I can't help contrasting my son's usual cheery, chatty: "Good-night, God, I'm going to bed, games are over, prayers are said" with his formal chanting tonight of: "I beg pardon for all my sins."
No doubt our home would be regarded as a "good Catholic home." My husband serves Mass daily, and I go with the children • whenever possible. Given this, can it be that a Catholic school is not always necessary — or desirable? My husband and I rather think so. "Perplexed parent" Name and address supplied.
TAKING up the matter of criticism of priests who leave, mentioned in Fr. Brennan's letter of June 13, it ought to be remembered that if these men should never have been ordained the criticism must in that case fail squarely upon our brethren who are bishops,
Arc we not told that until one is freely called by a bishop there is no certainty that one has a vocation or a right to ordination? Statements such as those referred to by Fr. Brennan merely beg the question. P. D. O'Driscoll (Fr.) London, W.1