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TIIE last advice of the late Bishop cif Northampton to his people was that they should during the time of war give themselves to more intense prayer.
His words, as conveyed in his unfinished Advent Pastoral, are: Sad and terribly anxious days, like those through which we are now passing, have their dangers, and do not necessarily lead us to God, or make us more faithful to the practice of our Holy Religion. There must be constant individual effort, as well as individual correspondence to the special graces which Cod Almighty will shower upon us all at this time of trial. . . .
We ask you to renew and strengthen your devotion to Holy Mass and your faith in its tremendous power and Infinite value.
CVACUATION, especially of our 5-7school children, has led to unlooked-for difficulties in many of our parishes, particularly those burdened with debts on church or school, Many of our priests arc finding it harder than ever to pay their way, and we call upon our people to assist as generously as they possibly can every effort organised for the financial support of their parishes and for the gradual liquidation of their parochial debts.
Under evacuation our teachers have done, and are still doing, magnificent, self-sacrificing work for t he school children. May God bless and reward them! There is reason, however, to believe that in a short time many of our schools will be functioning in a more or less normal manner, and we arc confident that both managers and teachers will do all in their power to maintain efficiency and keep the schools in good working order during the period of the war so that they may not be found wanting when they are most needed.
Bishop of Nottingham THE evacuation of children from South London, from Chatham and Gravesend. continues to be a source of the gravest anxiety. Considering how the nerves of the children might be affected by enemy air-raids, and how many might even lose their lives, the civil authorities thought it best to close the schools in the dangerous areas and send the children to safer districts. It was a superhuman undertaking to arrange for the withdrawal of thousands of children at short notice, and it is indeed wonderful that it was so successfully carried out.
The secrecy which was insisted upon in regard to the destination of the children, and the lack of sufficient co-operation among the different responsible bodies, unfortunately resulted in a number of mistakes. It would have been better for our children's spiritual interest if they had been kept with the Catholic teachers who had been evacuated with them, but in some cases long distances separated children of the same school, making the work of the teachers much more difficult, and causing detriment to the children's religious education.
We cannot speak too highly of the sacrifices made by teachers and helpers, and we are grateful to many nonCatholics who have been of assistance to the children. . •
Numbers of the children have not been evacuated, and the closing of the schools has led to their being Idle dap after day and deprived of the discipline of a Catholic school. . . We welcome the reopening of some of the schools, CVen though the restrictions in the numbers of those allowed to attend at any one time destroy some of the advantages of Catholic education.
One of the greatest evils of evacuation is the destruction of family life. . . . The teachers are overworked if they have to be in charge of their pupils both by day and night. . . If the separation from the home is only of short duration, the improvement in the health of the children, thanks to the country air, will be of sonic compensation, but the war is likely to be of some years' duration, and we foresee the gravest consequences to family life. Some children will return without that love of their parents which we try to instil.
Archbishop-Bishop of Southwark WARM commendation gf parents and their children who prefer to face the dangers of air raids rather than remain in safe areas where there are no facilities for the practice of their religion is expressed by Mgr. McDonald, 0.S.B.. Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh.
A number of parents, he writes, when they found that the facilities for the practising of their religion were not satisfactory returned home with their families, preferring to expose themselves to physical danger rather than allow innocent souls to suffer spiritual loss. May God reward their zeal.
Bishop of St. Andrews
AS Catholics it is our duty both to God and our fellow men to strive our utmost to preserve the old Catholic tradition of a sound family life as the basis of our civilisation. We are convinced that one of the main rauses in the Church of that " leakage " which we all deplore is undoubtedly to be found in great measure in undesirable companionships which " corrupt good manners and which lead in no many vases to hasty marriages followed by years of conscience-stricken unhappitiCS8; and can there be anything in life more productive of broken-hearted regrets than an unhappy marriage?
We especially urge our young people, who are the hope of the future, to watch most carefully the beginnings of their friendships.
Bishop of Nottingham
WE cannot but deplore that while our newspapers make much of Germany's wanton aggression against Pols ral, little is said of the outrages
which have accompanied and accompany the Russian occupation of Eastern Poland. We feel it to be our duty, as it is the duty of every Catholic, to protest strenuously against the bloodthirsty sacrileges committed by the Bolshevists. There is the terrible danger that Bolshevism may sweep civilisation before it, and what it failed to achieve in Spain may be successfully carried out in Germany it-self and in other lands.
Archbishop-Bishop of Southwark