SIR,—Regarding two comments this week on my previous letter I see that no attempt was made to answer the simple question, viz.: " If Catholics attend church every Sunday why can't they leave their pennies there?" If they are energetic enough to go to Mass would it exhaust their energy to be asked to put their hand in their pocket or purse and extract one or two coins towards the support of their parish? It matters not whether the money is needed for the support of their priests or the education of the children. Why, in the name of commonsense, people who can afford to pay this money at their own doors cannot or will not pay at the church door is a question that both correspondents failed to answer. I don't suppose there is any satisfactory answer.
Mr. Collins was very shocked and offended because 1 called begging from door to door—cadging. Well, what else is it? He thinks it is a fine system—this church collecting, as he terms it. " Every one is pleased to see their priest." Poor, simple man! " We never sec a priest except on a cadging tour " is what many of
them say. He thinks it very effective, too, when his rector accompanies his church collectors. After a lot of experience 1 beg to doubt it. There are many matters that parishioners cannot or will not discuss with a priest in the presence of outsiders.
He spreads himself on the question of anonymity—as if that had anything to do with the merits of the question. He thinks it cowardly; 1 think I am the best judge of that. The CATHOLIC HERALD recognises that there can be valid reasons for preserving anonymity.
If this work be too burdensome for a body of parishioners, what must it be for one man? Besides, not all parishioners are hardworking manual labourers. Some office workers should benefit by an hour's walk on Sundays instead of reading the trash and gazing at the semi-naked specimens that adorn our Sunday papers. Why should a priest and he alone be responsible for the temporalities of a parish? He wasn't ordained for that. His work—his special work, the care of souls, must suffer.
In some other countries where no grant is given to the building or maintenance of schools, no salaries of teachers paid, the Church manages to get along without this
system of drudgery. Surely, then, in this country where so much less has to be found, there is no necessity for it. In conclusion, 1 repeat, if anyone can afford to pay at his own door, why not then at the church door?
P.S.—I wonder what experience your Rev. correspondent has when he states or rather queries if visitation is done without collecting. The thronged churches and overflowing altar rails tell their tale there too. Do not Bishops demand an annual return from each parish of the status animarum?