By a Staff Reporter The message of Advent for our times was interpreted in a variety Of ways in the pastoral letters read in churches throughout the country on Sunday last. The particular aspect of that message to which Mgr. Rudderham, Bishop of Clifton. in his first pastoral letter since his consecration, directed attention, was that of the family and its role in the religious training of the child. Mgr. Shine, Bishop of Middlesbrough, devoted the whole of his message to Mary. Mother of God and men, and the help Our Lady is able , to give the Christians in these days of trial. From Mgr. Murphy came a reminder, supported by references to history, that the Merry England of the past was Mary's England, that Englishmen of those days were noted for their devotion to the Rosary.
Mgr. Downey, Archbishop of Liverpool, reviewed some of the tasks of Catholics in the coming year, a year of penance, prayer and pilgrimage. There is a reference to Fatima, too, in Mgr. Murphy's letter. " . . Our Lady has appeared at Fatima," he writes, " and she chooses as her title, not something new, but something old and dear to her Immaculate Heart --Our Lady of the Rosary. . . "
Mgr. Murphy enumerates three ways in which his message shall be Observed. (1) " I desire that the family Rosary be established in every household." Each confraternity is being asked to make a start with its own members.
(2) " I authorise in the diocese the devotion of receiving Holy Communion on the first Saturdays of five successive months in honour of the Immaculate Heart of Mary." (3) " On the Sunday before Christmas, during the evening Benediction, I order the prayer of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary to be recited in all chapels and churches of the diocese. I myself on that day will dedicate the diocese to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the Cathedral." Of, parents' responsibilities Mgr. Rudderham, Bishop of Clifton, writes: " When the child is at school, the home should still be the most powerful influence, and the parents should continue to encourage and help the child to know love and serve God better.
" The responsibility of parents in this matter is very great indeed and cannot be escaped on the plea that instruction is the work of the school or the priests.
." Instruction and training in the Faith is first the duty of parents: their influence is unique and nobody can fully take their place."