LIKE Dora Turbin (September 18) I was surprised to see in "Jubilee for Jesuits' greatest asset" (August 8) that no mention was made of Fr Bernard Basset founding the Cell Movement. However, I am also surprised at the inference in Dora Turbin's letter that the Cell Movement no longer exists.
The first edition of the Cell Movement's handbook See How They Run appeared in 1950 and was written by the first National Chairman, Lt Col CEG Hope. A revised edition was issued in 1957 after the union between the Cell Movement and the Sodality Movement when the Movement was called "Sodality Cell Movement".
In the 1965 edition of See How They Run the foreword was written by Fr Ralph Eastwell SJ, the National Chaplain of the Sodality Cell Movement who succeeded Fr Bernard Basset. An extract from this foreword reads:
"Fr Bernard Basset SJ was the founder of the Cells, the architect of their union with the Sodalities, and the shepherd of the Sodality Cells for the first seven years of their life".
He continues later "W e all owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Fr Basset for welding these two traditions together. Any living body, while remaining substantially the same, grows and develops. We are still the same body but we have certainly developed. The link between the Sodalities and the Cells was not just a juxtaposition of two movements.
It was a real merging together of two spirits".
Throughout the various changes of names of the Movement, the principle of See, Judge and Act has always existed.
Those of us who were in the Cell Movement in the 1950s and are still members of the Christian Life Communities remember well the debt we owe to Fr Bernard Basset who had the wonderful gift of knowing and caring about each one of us. He would say at a national meeting "Hallo and how are you getting on at Weybridge" or wherever it was.
I am privileged to have been a member since 1951 of the movement under its various names. I shall never forget the wonderful inspiration given to us by Fr Basset.
We do, of course, appreciate also the work of subsequent National Chaplains, Fr Ralph Eastwell, SJ, Fr David Townsend, SJ and now Fr Mike Bailey, SJ. Information about the movement can be obtained from 120 West Heath Road, London, NW3 7TY.
Miss E Galloway Weybridge Christian Life Community Surrey