MODERN SECULAR INSTITUTES
the latest ilOOks
OUR TIME IS NOW, by M. °Teary (Burns Oates, 9s. 6d.).
" TT seems regrettable that -IEnglish-speaking Catholics with their enormous responsibilities and opportunities on the mission field, as well as in the apostolate at home, give little indication of interest in the Secular Institutes so conspicuous in other lands. " We hope that Dr. O'Leary's 1.,00k may contribute notably towards forming and informing
puhlic opinion on a subject of such importance to the life of the Church."
Sc) writes Archbishop Roberts in an introduction to one of the few studies available in English on the new, modern forms of religious institutes which received their charter in the Apostolic Constitution Providn Mater published by the present Holy Father on February 2, 1947. ,,Our Time Is Now" is a little book, it runs to only some 100 odd pages; but it should " form" opinion, for the origin and spirit of the new forms of consecrated life are described with clarity and understanding, as well as an abundant sympathy. It should " inform," too, for Chapter XIII is devoted to " Four
Pictures From Life' of secular institutes in action, two of which are in the London area, after a full
description of the " Philosophical Background," and the " Psychological Climate," in which the new secular institutes have arisen.
But even this book, though it gets down to the question of drcss for women in the new institutes still to our mind leaves much practical detail of organisation un-explained, about which we would like to be more fully informed. Further, there is the significant quotation from the writings of Pere Voillaume, who, speaking for the Brothers and Sisters of Charles de Foucauld, says:
" We do not ask for anything
more than the permission to adopt through love, this very existence of poor workmen, to sanctify that existence by the religious vows which we take without separating ourselves from the working class. We ask to be free from the necessity of wearing a habit or adopting a standard of life which would place us on a different plane from that of the humblest and poorest... Has the working life of our day become such that it can no longer form the basis of a true Religious life? " "The answer to that burning question," says the author, " has yet to be given." This is important. For in many departments of life, in many professions as well as trade and crafts, even to preserve that which we have of Christian morality and ethos, we must have dedicated souls, persons without family ties and obligations, even if it be only to " attend." to " sit In on " and " vote," and only occasionally speak up for the truth; quite apart from taking " a lead " in organisations which may be too secularised for true Christian leadership, Not without its significance is the origin of the title of this book. Christopher Fry in " A Sleep of Prisoners " wrote: " Thank God our time is now when wrong Comes up to face us everywhere, Never to leave us till we take The longest stride of soul men ever took. Affairs are now soul size. The enterprise is exploration into God." Roughly there are two answers. and our age " feels " them: witness the notable revival of vocations to the severest, strictest, life of contemplation; and the mixed vocation without privilege, the secular institute. ,,Our Time Is Now " is a firstclass " study of some modern congregations and secular institutes "; it deserves a wide public, and the close attention of all those who have the Work of God at heart.
WAY TO INNER PEACE, by Mgr. Fulton Sheen (Browne and Nolan, 155.) THERE must he a great -Itemptation for a man who can so easily command an audience by his manner as can Mgr. Fulton Sheen, to let his matter from time to time fend for itself. But Mgr. Fulton Sheen refuses to do this; each of these little talks, none more than three or four pages long in a book which counts 208 pages in all, bears all the evidence of being carefully prepared, thought out, illustrated, and fitted into the plan of the whole. This is a first class bit of work. which by the quality of what it says, and the way it is said, deserves to be the best-seller it seems likely to prove merely on the strength of the Bishop's reputation: for prepublication date orders have demanded a reprint.
C.T.S. Pamphlets, 4d.
ANEW pamphlet, a life of the protomartyr of Wales, the schoolmaster Blessed Richard Ciwyn, by Fr. Oswald Murphy of Barmouth, Medoneth, is published by the Catholic Truth Society (Welsh Province) No. WB. 3. It is a good story, in its own right; and Fr. Murphy tells it well. It is also attractive for the display box. Two best sellers are also back in circulation " The Miraculous Medal," by Lady Cecil Kerr (H. 194) and Dr. Rumble's "Catholics and Freemasonry" (Do. 273).
Canon Hayward whose true fame rests so securely on his work for the Deaf and Dumb. published in 1949 a book " Faith and Love Through Christ." It was really a simple and very effective explanation of the Faith and Church History. Now in its Fourth Edition the book is split into two parts under the title ' What Every Catholic Should Know " (Catholic Printing Co., Farnworth, 2s. 6d. each Part).
One of the last things that the late Bishop of Salford did was to write a foreword for this edition which he was sure would prove helpful to priests and teachers and to which he wished all success.
AMODERN Christmas play for women or girls which might prove a boon to girls' schools which have already put on the normal Nativity Play was published last month by J. Garnet Miller, price 2s. It is "No Room," by Freda Collins and Alison GrahamCampbell.