Over sixty priests from Westminster, Southwark, Brentwood, and Northampton, members of the Clergy Study Group (priests interested in Youth), attended the monthly meeting of the Group last Thursday, when Fr. E. O'Connor read a paper on " The priest and his rdle in Youth Work."
The end of the priest's work was the salvation of souls, and the priests had to make use of the best means at his disposal to attain that end. Mistakes came through slackness in not using the means, or through not recognising their value, or through turning the means into the end. Prayer was a means, but night prayers in a club would not be a means to the end unless the duty and value of prayer were understood. In Confession the priest had great opportunities of helping a penitent in the realisation of the duties of obedience, charity, purity and justice. Holy Communion was a means, but the Communion made should be accompanied by good preparation and thanksgiving. A full communion rail did not mean more holiness of life. It depended on how the means were used. Schools were a means to be used. Many priests built schools and mistakenly considered their end achieved, but these were only a means which the priest should use by entering and having direct Contact with the youth. In clubs and other youth work it was often forgotten that they were for God's sake. The activities became ends instead of means. Much more was thought of the PT. class with forty members than the discussion group with six members, yet the latter was
probably of greater value. Leaders meeting, would discuss numbers and activities, but would forget the most important question of how far these means were attaining the end, viz., the salvation of souls. Priests must realise their duty and must see that the Catholic Youth movement did not fade away.
At the next meeting, on Thursday, June 18, a discussion will be held on "Religion in pre-service units and undenominational club." Priests wishing to join the Clergy Study Group may obtain full particulars from the Secretary, Fr. C. P. Carr, 98, St. George's Square, SW.!.