SIR,-As a child I was brought up in a "Low Church" country parish, and my mother, herself an Anglo-catholic, not wishing that my mind should be confused by contradictory teaching, allowed me to assimilate certain "Low Church" ways and ideas. When I grew older and came into contact with "advanced" London churches, I abandoned these ways and ideas, and ardently accepted what I waa,now taught were Catholic principles.
But having, late in life, been brought into communion with the Holy Apostolic See, I now find myself once again apparently up against the "Low Church" habits and ways of thought which I rejected SO many years ago.
Thus, in a Catholic congregation one seldom sees the sign of the Cross at the end of the Creed; the humble genuflection before approaching the altar to receive Holy Communion, and the sign of the Cross immediately before reception; standing for the Collect of the day ; ,rising when the pr'est returns to the altar; not to mention the general rush for the door directly Mass is over. Extremes meet and I find, to my great regret. that the Low Church Anglican and Roman Catholic ways And outlook are in many respects the same.
Eleanor M. Laval 444 Salisbury Road, \
Is This A Cause of the Leakage?
QIR,-May I remind those who believe we need help from Catholic immigration that in 1590 (250 years before this immigration) Lancashire was "full of obstinate recusants, seminary priests, and gentlemen who harbour them" ("Liverpool's Hidden Story," by Dom Robert Julian Stonor. OS-B.).
Eighteen of Will Blundell's relatives (within the fourth degree) were priests or nuns, besides two Jesuits and five Poor Clares among his own children. All Lancashire Catholic families had several religious in a generation. Three Lancashire peers became priests.
Catholics lost wealth, home. suffered imprisonment and were martyred. After 200 years of such persecution, four in 48 Catholic strongholds gave up the Faith. (The bewildered illiterates lost the knowledge of it.) One returned.
The Apostles numbered one lapse in 12. (But these families doubtless felt. not that they were deserting God. but that God had deserted them!) Recently, a cousin and her husband were awarded the Papal Cross and another resident the Papal Medal, All Lancashire. in a small Lancashire town.
It is the overwhelming numbers of Catholic immigrants which has overcrowded our parishes, schools, charitable institutions, etc. Though more are built, and the natives are emigrating in thousands every year. the flaw is still greater than we can cope with.
Without this, our priests would not be as grossly overworked. and would have time to attend to the native's difficulties. Is this one cause of the leakage ?
(Miss) M. W. Frith Aigburth Hall Avenue.
Nol it is that Catholics, whereever they may come from, do not live as heroically in their faith as did the Catholics of persecuted Lancashire and the Catholics of persecuted Ireland.-Editor, C.H.
O'Brien, of Hertford, enquires if any other readers find the choir distracting at Mass, and I hasten to say that I MOM certainly do. Whether I am trying to take part with the priest, or whether I am following the Mass in my Missal, the singing of the choir makes it almost impossible for me to concentrate at all. There may be something of the Quietist in my make-up, I cannot say, all I know is. that I am much nearer to God in the peace of a Low Mass on a weekday, with a few worshippers, than I am in a crowded church amidst lovely singing and a full choir en a Sunday. I may add that as a rule on Sundays. too, I am fortunate enough to he able to take part in a Low Mass.
(Miss) Elaine Comdngsby 3 Ernshaw Place, S.W.I5.
The Mass is not necessarily the time to feel "much nearer to God"; it is the time for communal participation in the Act of Sacrifice which is the normal (though least common) way of celebrating Mass. -Editor, C.H.
seems to be a law of
human nature that we tend to attribute to others what we ourselves would do in similar circumstances. So it is possible that Sister M. Regis Broghammerr, in her preliturgical days. may have been accustomed to concensrate on her own personal intercessions at a Low Mass.
But let me assure her there are many in this country, even among liturgical enthusiasts, who. whit recognising the present desirability of more active participation, nonetheless welcome an occasional still and silent Mass, not indeed to be able to concentrate on their own "trivial intercessions" but in order to be more completely absorbed in and united with the sublime act of intercession that is taking place at the altar.
After all, the Spirit still breathes Where He will and the faithful are ctll allowed to assist at the Holy Sacrifice in the way that best aids their devotion.
Louise de Goodrlan Acton Burnett, Shrewsbury.
S1R,-We have received just on £100 so far in response to the appeal in Douglas Hyde's column for donations towards literature sent to the Vatican Pavilion in Brussels! This generous contribution from CATHOLIC HERM D readers in England and Ireland enables us to make arrangements for further despatches of " God and the Russians" and other pamphlets.
Althniteh all donations have been acknowledged, it has not been possible to write to everyone individually. and T hope that you will allow me, thropee, this letter to thank all contributors,
Margaret M. Item Sword of the Spirit,
128, Sloane Street, S.W.1.