Page 3, 27th May 1938

27th May 1938
Page 3
Page 3, 27th May 1938 — SPEECHES Y CARDINAL

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The Essential Needs Of Mind And Body

By a C.H. Reporter


Ten thousand Catholic women, massed into the vast arena and many-tiered galleries of the Albert Hall on Monday night, showed tremendous enthusiasm for the Government's Fit Folk schemes—but were determined that to the cultivation of the body, cultivation of the mind should be added.

This was not just a London rally. Women came from every part of the country. Liverpool, Leeds, Bradford and Birmingham each sent hundreds of C.W.L. members. They came, too, from the scattered Empire in large numbers. Some came by private coaches, others in their own motor-cars, but the majority found their way by ordinary London 'buses, which presented an unusual spectacle to the casual Kensington inhabitant, unused to watching quite so many women at a time without male escorts.

"So that the body may receive the respect and the discipline which health demands, and the fostering of the spiritual qualities in man that he may see in his neighbour the image and likeness of God to which he has been created." (Catholic Women's Manifesto.)


The eve of Empire Day was the appropriate date chosen for this outburst of good citizenship. The platform, loaded with lay and ecclesiastical potentates, presented the best opportunity of the year for a sight of all the leaders of the Church in England cheek by jowl. Cardinal Hinsley chaired the meeting, and was supported by the radiant, high-spirited and sound-sense woman who pilots all Catholic women's associations into federation—Dr. Genevieve Rewcastle. Beside the Cardinal, looking diminutive but very, very resolute, was Mgr. Downey, Archbishop of Liverpool, representing 1,500 of his people. His contribution to the assemblage was silence—but a meaning, watchful silence as strong as words. Dr. Morrisroe, Bishop of Achonry, Ireland, was there, Mgr. Doubleday, Bishop of Brcniford, also.

Health Minister is Late

The Government's black-coated representatives, an offset pictorially to the women's brilliant evening frocks and the Bishops' flamboyant scarlets, were Mr. Robert Bernays, Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health, writer of Parliamentary articles to a woman's magazine (so he's used to women), and the Rt. Hon. W. E. Elliot, MC., M.P., Minister of Health. Mr. Elliot came late. Business at the House had caught him and the rural housing bill had inveigled him into a long session. Although several hours had passed and many sentiments had eloquently been expressed by the speakers—heat was growing too much for some of the audience who were escaping through exits for air, the remaining gave a hearty welcome to the Minister and listened with much more than mere resignation to his few well-chosen very Scottish-sounding words.

Credo came first. Dom Bernard McElligott, 0.S.B., drew forth such a volume of sound from that gathering that any listener would surely have been convinced that those singing really did believe . . . (Dorn Bernard McElligott is the CATHoLic Iltaxwen's correspondent and authority upon the liturgy.) No Parliamentary Rebel

Then Dr. Rewcastle. Introductory only of the rest of the speakers, warming the atmosphere for them. Up rose at once Mr. Robert Bernays. I had thought of him as a bit of a Parliamentary rebel. But he looked suave, correct, unargumentative.

" The centre of our structure of social reform as it is of our national life is the family," he began. Good Catholic theory— and everyone looked pleased at once.

Afterwards. " Bricks and mortar create houses. They'd() not always create homes. It is not on the house but on the life in that house that we must concentrate.

"Thu Ministry of Health is anxious to provide accommodation for large families" another Catholic point—sound psychology these Government people possess. " Local authorities have power to build specially for them houses with four, five and even six bedrooms, and now it is possible to give

them not only the houses but also rebates in the rent so that they may have a house the size they need at a rent which they can afford to pay."

He Seemed to Understand About moving people out of the slums, Mr. Bernays showed sympathetic understanding. " In this great exodus from the slums,' he said, " we have to provide for the moral and spiritual needs of those who will undoubtedly miss the life and colour of the streets they leave behind. For all the increased air and space in their new homes they may find their surroundings rather drab and lonely, being removed from their old church, away from friends and with no centre of corporate life. Some fifteen large local authorities have provided community centres, others are under consideration -but many, many more are still needed."

Cardinal on Education

Health, physical and moral as assisted by public services being the subject of Mr.

(Continued on page 11)

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