Beethoven Violin Concerto. Jascha Heifetz and Toscanini with the N.B.C. Orchestra. DB. 5724-8.
The orchestral part both in the playing and recording is up to the standard of the Toseanini Beethoven Symphonies with their magnificent virtues and what some tastes might consider their defects—the superhuman, almost inhuman, control—the Nensational brass, the rather coarse recording which is yet tremendously impressive. The recording seems at times a little cruel to the soloist, but as the work progresses the violin settles down to its lovely work and the long cadenza—generally the weak spot irt a classical Concerto—is a triumph. The playing in the slow movement — a subtly constructed air and variations—with other subjects introduced—is sensitive and appealing. Of all composers Beethoven seems to suit best the wartime mood. His spirit had faced the worst and conquered it.
Schubert SOTIIiill In B fiat. Arthur Schnabel. DB, 3751-5.
This runs to four and a half sides with a moving little Allegretto in C minor on the odd side. The pianist's rendering is deeply understanding and satisfying. The Viennese atmosphere—half gay, half poignant—induces a terrible nostalgia, Pohjola's Daughter.—Sibelius. K ousaev1tsky and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. 013. 5722-e.
A superb record. A very good introduction to this composer's music for the novice or for any who have not yet learnt their Sibelius. On the fourth side are the March and Scherzo from the Love of the Three Oranges, by Prokofiev, One of his best inspirations. The suggestion of Fairyland and magic seems a unique quality in the Russian musical genius. Composers of other nations cannot touch them in this respect.
The above are the three first-class works in a rich harvest of records released for January, 1941. the Rev. Henri Roy, 0.M.I., this 1 .rticular narrative begins where he began, back in 1930.
For Henri Roy
Young Henri Roy was a man of fire and action even in the early days of his priesthood and no one knew this better than -the Oblate Fathers themselves. to which Order he belongs. He had worked as a poor bay, at all sorts of manual labour, in Montreal, and had begun his studies for the priesthood at the age of
twenty-two years. He possessed a twofisted spirit and a fighting heart. A human dynamo they called him, for at least sixteen hours of Ws every day were packed with action.
Shortly after his Ordination in 1930, he was sent to the Church of St. Pierre in Montreal's cast-end. This district—close to old St. Mary's of the " Black " Franciscans —was one of the roughest in Canada's metropolis and typical of any slum sector. Poor homes, poor people, poor youths; shady women, numerous pool halls and small beer houses and dirty little cafes poked into walls and corners: streets narrow, mean and dark; cats, dogs and rats: refuse, broken fences and littered side-walks: policemen pounding thee beats in pairs and police " prowl " cars more active here than elsewhere—in short, all that makes up the community of that great army of poorly-fed, poorly-garbed, underpaid people known as " slum-dwellers."
That Restless Spirit
Into this atmoephere had been thrust the restless spirit of one: Henri Roy, 0.M.I., Priest of God.
To say Father Roy was restless is to put it mildly he burned, first with rage at the condition of his people, then—as he viewed the vast demoralisatien of the young people —he became tired with a great desire to do something to alleviate their misery, to give them their chance for the future. He sought ideas: oh, yes, other pastors and zealous priests had tried his superiors informed him: all sorts of " societies," " clubs," " associations," had been founded, hut to no avail. Apparently. it was a hopeless task to save the young men and women of Montreal East or any other " east."
Societies?—aubs?—Associatiorh? — the young missioner did some heavy thinking, No ! something else was needed—something that would be youth's very own—something that would help them materially as well as spiritually. Montreal, an industrial centre, more or less, had to be conquered by another plan.
He Went to the Pool Halls
In order to lay sound plans, Father Roy felt that he should have first-hand information: lie had to have the " know " and " feet " of the environment so to speak. So, out he went into that one, great " mecca " where so much can be seen and heard if one hut opens one's eyes and ears: Father Roy went into the streets of the slums.
Soon his was a familiar figure—the thin, black-robed missioner could be found almost any time, not in the Rectory of St. Pierre, but in pool halls, small cafes, on corners, in public parks, along the waterfront and near the railroad yards. Always, his companions were the sons of labourers, youths clad in patched clothing, hungry, hard-boiled. Always, the conversations were the same: he seemed to be for ever asking questions. Who are you? Where do you work? Where do you live? Do you work? Who are your friends? What do you talk about'? Arc you Catholic? Do you go to church? Why are you idle? Do you believ n such things as Com munism? Wh Have you brothers and
tne most democratic principles and the highest of ideals.
Quest for Facts
In order to do this, facts had to be known and it was up to the first leaders to prove their leadership by getting the facts. So they. like Father Roy, whom they now called—affectionately —" Pere." went out into the streets, factories and parks and all the haunts of working-class youth. And in their quest for facts, they very often led new recruits into the new Movement.
Gradually the group grew to 150 members, and these compiled an overwhelming allay of facts. From these facts, Pere Roy wrote and published a little brochure entitled .4 Problem and the Solution, with the high Approval of the Archbishop arid which, to this day, with certain changes, is used as the handbook of Canadian Jocists.
Archbishop Gauthier, lately Metropolitan of Montreal Archdiocese, became so interested in Father Roy's work that he sent him off to Belgium to study the work of ('seon
In November of the same year (1939) the L.O.C., or League of Catholic Workers which embodied Ole young married Jocists and other married couples, got under way and " Gaby " was appointed Secretary. General of the J.O.C.F., which is the feminine division ot' the Jocist Movement. But she will always remain deep in their hearts, the Leader of the young women of the Movement.
J.O.C. Social Services
One of the great works conceived and organised by Julien White with the guidance of Father Roy, while the former was still Secretary-General of the Movement, was the " Service D'Assistance Jociste," or Jocist Assistance Service. This is known to-day as the Social Services of the J.O.C.
All workers in this Service are Jocists trained first in the Sections and Federations of the Movements and then in the various departments of the Service. It is composed of the following department; —the Juvenile General of the J.E.C. Later, Benoit Bard, another Jocist trainee, became PresidentGeneral and he, with Miss Leduc, commonly known as " Alex.," are still carrying on to-day.
(Once again, the writer wishes to place into the record a sterling tribute to two splendid characters; 1 worked in close harmony with the Student Organisation for some time and have never known a more zealous spirit than Leaders Alex." ofLefhdeuc j,,obcar,r;ing Bentlto jet Btlai rrene, in his
early 'twenties, possesses one of the finest senses of judgment I have come across in a long while. If the Catholic Students of Canada and even in the States and in Europe have someone to thank for great progress made in their sphere of Catholic Action, let them pay their compliments to little Miss Leduc and friendly Benoit Baril).
Government Gave Land and. Money
State organisations have helped the Jocist movement in Canada. In 1938 the Government of the Province of Quebec spent some 66,000.00 dollars (E16,0)0 approximately) in direct aid to the Central Headquarters and set aside a large tract of land for the use of the movement. This was used as a summer camp. The gaining of funds and the land was won through the persistent efforts of the Roy-White team, and the then Premier of the Province of Quebec, Hon. Maurice Duplessis, even went so far as to appear at a public Mass for young workers sponsored by the Movement, in company with Julien White.
At the Second General Congress in 1939, the Right Honourable W. L. MacKenzie King, Prime Minister of Canada, sent a lengthy telegram to Farber Roy congratulating hint on his great work and wishing him continued success for the future.
In 1937, there were some 35,000 members of the Jocist Movement in Canada. At the 1939 Congress, more than 3(1,000 members from all over Canada and the United States attended, but the actual figures, according to Pere Roy himself were some 50,000 members in Canada alone, with more in the States, who had been organised by the Canadian Leaders, In November, 1939, Father Roy was sent to the New England States (North-Eastern U.S.A.) where, in the short space of two months he solidly ettablished and expanded the first American Federation of Jocism and founded the American organ: The Young Worker. (Same title as Canada, since Father Roy believes the movement should be uniform the world over).
World Peace Makers
There is a central committee which meets on certain occasions to prepare general programmes which are later adapted to a .specialised Movement's particular social. sphere. This is known as the Association ot Canadian Catholic Youth and is composed of the Seeretaries-General of all the specialised Movements. In other words, the Association is a sort of " family name," while the names " J.O.C.," " " J.A.C." identify at once the social sphere in which the Youthful Activists of the Church are at work.
When Jocism began in Canada, the members of the Priesthood were sceptical. Only the young priests could see the value of the Movement and the EngIish-speaking priests were wont to say that Jocism was all right for French Canada but not for English Canada. To-day, they have come to realise that if peace is to be brought back to the world — real peace, true peace—the Jocist Movement will be
the method whereby that peace will be won !
The Bishops, too, were sceptical; some of the French-speaking ecclesiastics were in favour of it, and the English not at all. But they gradually became **educated " to it, and in 1941. most of the Bishops of Canada are solidly behind Jocism togetherwith the Canadian Cardinal, Cardinal Villeneuve.
Popes Support It
As for the Supreme Pontiffs, the late Pius XI gave the greatest Mogan the move
n-tent has ever had : Jocists, you are the Glory of Christ !" And Pius XII supported the Mass Marriage Ceremony in 1939 by sending his blessings and gifts of crucifixes and rosaries to the young couples.
Judges, police chiefs, mayors, public servants of all ranks, Ministers of the Cabinet—Federal and Provincial, and even hard-boiled newspaper-men have heartily recommended and praised the Jocist Movement of Canada. Prison wardens have been known to say that they wished at least half of their guards could he Jocists.
This, in a crude, rough way, is the Story of the Canadian Jocist Movement. One man, fired with the Spirit of Christ, vowed he would not quit until he had built that organisation: " neither a club, nor a society, nor an association, but a powerful new movement, which shall sweep through the land of the Maple Leaf like a raging prairie fire: a young fire: the fire of youth !— that, and that alone shall conquer the hellishness of materialism ! It will lie the challenge of youth ! And its symbol will be wheat and the Cross—wheat and the Cross: food for the body ; and food for the soul !