SIR,—When, by God's grace, one is received into the Church one becomes a Catholic. I was a convert: I am a Catholic. In my opinion, for "converts " to form any sort of association inside the body of the Church would be disastrous. Loneliness is usually a sign of seeking rather than giving. No one would be given the Faith unless he were needed in some way, however small.
Let him get busy trading with his talent and he will forget to be loeely LORNA A. M. BARBER. The Oaks, Fremington, N. Devon,
Banish the Word
Sut,-1 disagree with those of your correspondents who suggest the formation of a " Converts' Society." I think this would tend to defeat the purpose of such a move, and emphasise rather than tone down any distinction between " born Catholics " and "converts."
The sooner a "convert " ceases to be a "convert " in his own eyes and in those of his fellow-Catholics, the better.
Let us try to banish the word from our
vocabulary. After all, it is neither logical nor useful.
Whatever difference there is, is little more than a difference in the number of years subsequent to baptism. Some of us are fifty, some thirty, some only three years old. What does this matter? In the eyes of God it is nothing, and surely it is mere pomposity on our part to make so much of these varying lengths of time.
I am eight years old myself, and I must say that 1 have never experienced anything but kindness from those of maturer years. Never once have I fell a stranger and alone. In fact, the lonely years were those which preceded my homecoming, not those which have followed it,
Is not the " One Fold " the most homely and comforting environment?
LAURA M. CLIF ION.
18, Macaulay Drive, Lincoln.
SIR. May 1, in the limits of one. brief letter, express my humble views on two subjects under discussion in your correspondence colurons—namely " Dialogue Mass " and " Lonely Converts "?
I was confirmed as recently as Pentecost, and beyond the few kind Catholic friends who were personally interested in my conversion and reception. I. too, have not found other Catholics rushing round me with flags of welcome.
But then, surely that is not because they are Catholics. I think it is more of a national idiosyncracy, for as a nation, we English are very reserved and undemonstrative; and I know from experience that Protestant congregations are quite as indifferent to newcomers as are Catholics. So if one feels lonely, it is up to one's self to get into some Catholic Confraternity, Guild or Club, which are available at most of our churches.
Dialogue Mass and Conversion
1 believe that the Dialogue Mass is closely related to Conversion. Those of your correspondents who are converts will, I feel, appreciate the point I wish to make.
The conversion of England, for which we so earnestly pray, must come about chiefly by the gradual flow of non-Catholics into the Church from churches where congregational responses and singing are the rule and not the exception.
Does it not follow, therefore. that converts are likely to be more numerous and certainly less lonely when they find that Catholics, everywhere. heartily lend their voices in the celebration of Holy Mass?
I know of several Catholic churches where this is practised, and the higher percentage of converts in those parishes definitely upholds my theory!
75, Junction Road, Brentwood, Essex.