Priest's EffortPeople's Apathy &a.-Your correspondents who have beesi writing on the subject of harvest festivals may like to know that the Roman ritual already contains something of this nature. In this wonderful treasure chest of rites and blessings there is a special blessing for herbs and fruits to be used on the Feast of Assumption-the feast once known as Our Lady in Harvest Time. Herbs include not only those plants we usually call by that name, but any plant with stalks, especially grain crops. Sheaves of these plants, plus the fruits of the earth, are to be brought to the church by the people, and they are blessed by the priest immediately before the principal Mass on the feast. It is a very lovely blessing, beginning with a psalm of thanksgiving and concluding with this prayer : "Pour forth the fulness of Thy blessing upon these fruits and herbs which we gratefully present this day before Thy altar. Grant that they may be a potent means against sickness and pestilence. against the poison of serpents and the stings of poisonous animals. as also against the deceits. snares and machinations of the devil. Grant that we may be worthy to be received with our sheaves of good works into heaven through the merits of the most Blessed Virgin Mary. whose glorious Assumption we celebrate this day."
After this the Mass follows at once.
As a priest living in the heart of the country, surrounded by farms and gardens. I planned to have this blessing on August 15 this year, since I was sure many of my parishioners would welcome this opportunity of expressing their thanks to God for the fruits of their labours in field and garden. The blessing was explained to the people, and they were asked to co-operate.
The staff of the local county council farm were enthusiastic, and even went to the length of buying yards of ribbon to tie up the sheaves they were going to send to the church. By contrast, only one parishioner showed any interest.
The rest enveloped my proposal in a blanket-like silence, and so the whole thing fell through for lack of interest or support from our Catholic people. Perhaps the letters from your correspondents will stimulate them to take action next year!
SIR,-In point of fact, there is no need in the present issue of studying minutely Papal judgments, praiseworthy though it is. The Anglican communion itself has unknowingly vindicated the judgment of Pope Leo. In the Lambeth Conference of 1930 the following words may be found : "But while we thus stand for the Historic Episcopate as a necessary clement in any union . . . we do not require of others acceptance of those reasons, or of any one particular theory or interpretation of the Episcopate as a condition of union." This refers to the "Lambeth Quadrilateral" initiated in 1888 which declares four conditions for reunion, one of which is the "historic episcopate." C. W. Shields, an Anglican contemporary with the original phrasing, noted that they rated it variously "in a scale somewhere between zero and infinity." Comprehensiveness has its limitations, for here the official stand of the prelates of the Anglican communion declare to all the world that whatever Anglican Orders may be, they are certainly not the Sacrament of Holy Orders as conferred by the Catholic Church. That is all that Pope Leo XIII declared.
There is no use in floundering in the sea of comprehensiveness seeking for a plank of safety when the Bark of Peter is at hand.
Edward F. Hanahoe, S.A. National Director of Chair of Unity Octave Graymoor, Garrison, New York.
Of Frozen Meat and Union Meetings
Sits.-May one ask through your courtesy what•experimental evidence Dr. W. J. P. Pemberton has to support his belief that devitalised frozen meat (ignoring the politics) is a far more potent factor in causing gastric ulcers? Evidence to support the view, he decides, has been patiently accumulated.
And previously may I point out to Councillor J. 0. Sullivan of the Catholic Social Guild that if Catholic teaching is followed by a man who fathers four or five children, that man must stop at home to share the burdens of washing, ironing and kitchenwork, rather than go to union meetings, there are others with smaller families who can, no doubt. Up to the age of about 10 or 11, children must be bathed fully every night-imagine doing it alone every night to five protesting children.
I am acquainted with a nonCatholic woman, mother of three, whose husband is a local councillor and secretary of his trade union branch; her comments are caustic.
J. Berridge. 6 Kingston Crescent, Ashford, Middlesex.
Care of Mongols
Sus,-We have in our family a Mongol girl of 17. She is of a happy disposition, but lack of ability to concentrate makes it necessary for her to have supervision. If her parents were to pre-decease her, our family is sufficiently large to ensure that she was well looked after. But what of the parents who know there is no one to care for their children after they are gone?
Is there a Catholic organisation which undertakes the care of such children (for they are children in all but age)?
The State now makes a grant on behalf of such children on reaching the age of 16 years (when they would normally become wage-earners) and this could no doubt be transferred to whomsoever was in charge of them.
Manchester. N. D.