Page 2, 2nd November 1951

2nd November 1951
Page 2
Page 2, 2nd November 1951 — SIR, - 11 is unfortunately true that there are far too few

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Locations: Canterbury


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SIR, - 11 is unfortunately true that there are far too few

military chaplains and the burden of ministering to the young soldier must fall upon the overworked parish priest. His job is diffi cult. He must continue to instruct his young charges in the rudiments of their faith but at the same thrie be sufficiently interesting to retain the attention of his listeners. All this condensed into one Padre's Hour a week!

We think that the solution can be found in the enveloping of the soldier into local parochial social life. This can provide the Christian background, but it must be pointed out that a positive approach is necessary. It is not sufficient to say that any soldier is welcome to join in the life of the parish. The parish has an obligation to go out and find the soldier. This will be all the more appreciated when it is realised that whereas the ordinary Catholic is wrapped up in his own social life, the soldier is indeed " isolated " and away from home. Pus XI pointed out that " Evil practices are the effect, not so much of lack of knowledge. as of weakness Of will exposed to dangerous occasions or temptation and unsupported by the means of grace." Would it be impertinent to inquire whether the Hierarchy might consider setting up a committee to examine the whole problem? Such a committee might consider the spiritual training of the boy before he is called up, and afterwards. About the latter. could not the Moral Leadership courses be made more widely known? They are available to all. but how few are really conscious of the fact. It might also suggest methods by which parishes can look after the serviceman, and provide the opportunities for those means of grace so urgently needed.

It would seem that conscription has come to stay with us a long time. If we do not want in a few years' time. a Catholic body in this country composed largely of men who, when they were faced with difficulties in their youth, were found wanting. then the problem must be tackled now.

Peter Newman.

123 Canterbury Road, Layton. E.10.

David Jarvis,

8 Penryhn Crescent. Walthamstow, E.17.

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