From a C.H. Reporter IN the past few weeks some Catholic working men have been going through I the back streets of Blackburn, calling upon all the people who dwell there. They have carried with them a few Catholic papers and leaflets, and they have asked the people on whom they called for details of their conditions of life. They inquired about problems of housing, working conditions, dole, Public Assistance Committee relief, and the working of any of the thousand begrudged administrations that confuse the poor.
The Catholic working men who made these enquiries did not act In the spirit of the social investigator gone slumming: mind set on statistics and a report: but in the spirit of men willing and able to give help (in most cases problems were successfully dealt with at the local Catholic Enquiry Bureau).
These men are members of the League of Christian Workers.
The L.C.W. has not been long in existence. Membership of it is confined to Catholic wage-earners who are over twenty-five. The age limit is imposed because those under twenty-five are looked after by the Young Christian Workers' Movement. The official definition of the L.C.W., contained in its mimeographed newssheet, is:
" An organisation of Catholic wageearners pledged to work for the complete spiritual and material wel fare of the workers; to bring about a new social order in which justice and charity will reign; and to unite Catholic; workers in an attempt to restore Christian principles in the industrial world."
Briefly, the means to set about
its huge task by training in each parish Christian shock-workers who will take into the factories, offices, workshops where they work, in the homes where they Iive, in the sports grounds, pubs, libraries, clubrooms where they play, a dynamic Christianity.
Workers' Different View " The first essential is to gather together a few men who will be prepared to train themselves under the guidance of a priest as leaders of the Catholic Workers." the secretary of the league explained to me. " They will train themselves to act always before their fellow-workers as Catholics whose first rule of life is the love of God."
He forestalled any objection to the restriction of the league's Activities to the working class : " 1 don't say the employing class hasn't got its problems, but it is with the workers—the wageearners — that we are concerned, and Pope Pius XI said that ' the apostles of the workers must themselves be workers.' "
Results so far within the few weeks of the league's existence are, according to its secretary, " not world-shattering." Some enquiries on the lines of the one undertaken in the back streets of Blackburn, some injustices in rent, dole, housing conditions tackled, an
examination of workshops. . Small things—hut significant things—which promise the most interesting developments in the future.
One of the men who took part in the Blackburn enquiry told me : " NonCatholics have expressed unstinted praise of our efforts. Most of the people seemed to feel a gratified surprise that anyone should have found it worth while to take the trouble to call and ask them personally about themselves and their lot in life."
The address to which those who want further information of the L.C.W. should write is :
The Secretary, League of Christian Workers, 11, Princes Street, Blackburn.