QUIETLY MAKES NEWS!
BY CATHERINE DRYWOOD This afternoon I was present as an observer at the monthly General Assembly of the Y.C.W. Boys' Section of St. Mary's But the Y.C.W. movement is never more " news " than , when it is quietly doing the sort of work that does not make the headlines. Here. in the heart of the iron and steel industry, these young lads are alive to the terrible necessity of winning back the worker to Christ " Unless we work now," they say, " what will things be like twenty years hence?"
Speeches were unpolished but blazingly sincere. " We have seen how well one can speak when one is convinced of a thing," remarked the chairman casually in his summing up. He was absolutely right. They are convinced of the power of their movement and they wear its badge with a sense of grave responsibility.
They work on human material, via the body to the soul. Leavening social and political activity with Christian fundamentals, they mix with the young workers; visit them when they are ill. They study Factory Acts and apply them. They take Catholic papers to homes (in all weathers).
THE RIGHT WORD
One speaker stressed the value of the right word at the right time to the chap who habitually uses bad language; when talk in the pub gets to the filthy stage; when the subject of confession is raised as a joke; when someone asks an honest question about divorce. It ntust be done without being self-righteous. "Don't be afraid to open your mouth as a Catholic. You'll often find that a couple of fellows in the company ;vitt pipe up that they are Catholics,
too. Your courage has overcome their timidity."
These lads are establishing the habit of always seeing social and industrial problems in relation to
God and eternity. All discussion of the work to be clone includes the frank statement: " Remember, lads, without Our Lord we can do nothing."
GET OUT AND PUSH
There was a homely parable at the end. " Think of the Y.C.W. movement as a wagon. This section started seven or eight years ago with maybe a dozen people inside. When they were ready they got out and began to push; more got in, then they got out and pushed; and so the process must go on.". So said their priest-assistant, driving home the truism that a movement can only live by movement.
This Y.C.W. section may be only a small piece of leaven, but it is out of the paper bag and hidden in the meal.
Catholic Progress In Nottingham
" Statistics for 1946 show that the Nottingham diocese has maintained its steady increase in population and in the number of converts received," says the Bishop of Ndttingham in a foreword to The Nottingham Diocesan Yearbook for 1947.
"Such figures," he continues, " together with the acquisition of new sites for scleiois and churches, fill us with confidence for the future. The work we are doing is God's work, and His blessing is on us."
The various centenary celebrations recorded in the Yearbook, continues Mgr. Ellis, are a sign that the Church has again taken deep root in a land where its enemies boasted of its final destruction.
The celebrations of the Dominicans in Leicester and the Jesuits at Spinkhill also serve as a reminder of the heroic apostolic work which has been carried out by the religious Orders labouring side by side with their brethren of the pastoral clergy. The statistics to which the Bishop alludes show that the Catholic population of the diocese has increased during the year by 2,222, and now stands at 71,190.
The number of converts was 490, an increase of 34, the number of marriages was 1,525, an increase of 351, and the number of baptisms was 2,500, a decrease of 255.
KNIGHTS HONOUR SERVICE FOLK
A book token exchangeable for a daily Missal was presented on Saturday to each of 80 ex-Servicemen and women from Holy Rood parish, Swindon, who were entertamed to dinner at the Town Hall, Swindon, by Swindon Council 255 of the Knights of St. Columba.
The tokens were presented by Mr. L. P. Arnold, K.S.C. Deputy Supreme Knight.
On Sunday Mass was offered in Holy Rood Church for those killed In the war, and in the afternoon a K.S.C. Rally was held in Swindon Town Hall.
In 1940 a number of pilots and other airmen, stationed nearby, wore initiated as members of the K.S.C. at Swindon. At least 20 were killed during the Battle of Britain and they were remembered at the Mass on I Sunday.