SIR,—" I was a practising Catholic in my own home-town, but since coming to London I've unfortunately drifted away from the Church."
This is the confession of many young men who have come South on account of the industrial depression in the North.
Why do they lapse? it is because they have lost the corporate Catholic atmosphere which animated the family circle at home.
Now they are but units in the lost legion.
They are compelled through force of circumstances, to live in a pagan environment and dissipate their leisure time in unprofitable pursuits. Some of them from my own experience lack the courage to say on Friday: "No meat today " or " Late breakfast on Sunday please, because I'm going to Holy Communion."
They are afraid to upset the barrackroom routine of the establishment. .. So they gradually lapse from the Faith and accentuate the leakage problem.
This is a problem which ought to occupy a prominent place in the excellent programme of the newly constituted Westminster Catholic Action plan.
To stem this leakage it should not be difficult to establish several Houses of Hospitality on business lines to receive men from the provinces. Then Catholic homes willing to take in boarders could be invited to register at these Houses, so that a man could get suitable lodgings near his business.
This is a scheme which could easily be operated without any financial loss by a lay organisation, and for the sake of the souls it would save to the Church is worthy of the greatest consideration.
THOMAS WALSH. 39, Alexandra Road, Chiswick, W.4.
SURSUM CORDA !
Sue—Your recent otherwise excellent article on Family Allowances (July 1) ends on a depressing note. Why must we give up hope of " returning to a Christian system " and content ourselves with " fighting for the best compromises which can he got in our unnatural society "? We may be justified in disclaiming responsibility for evils not of our making; but claiming as we do to know the remedies, are we not obviously bound in conscience to apply them, at least to the extent of swallowing our own medicine'?
The Catholic body in this country is numbered by millions. It is far from destitute of talent, energy, and money. What is to prevent us from immediately setting up, for every branch of industrial and professional life, a Catholic vocational group, like those into which our doctors, printers, and transport workers have already organised themselves, and through such national groups making a serious effort to act upon the teaching of Rerum 1Vovarurn and Quadragesimo? The fact that we cannot force our principles upon the nation at large is no excuse for not applying them among ourselves. What else, indeed, is Catholic Action?
H. P. R. FINBERG.
1 1, High Grove, Welwyn, Hertfordshire.