Catholic Action Plans

Dr. Simonds Secretary of National Body

HOBART, Friday.

The formation of the National Secretariat of Catholic Action in Australia, with the Archbishop of Hobart (Most Rev. Justin D. Simonds) as national secretary, is officially announced by “The Standard,” published yesterday. Central offices have been secured in Melbourne, and his Grace states that Australia had at last embarked on a national movement of Catholic action to defend, expand, and consolidate the Kingdom of Christ in the land. During the past few weeks, states “The Standard,” Archbishop Simonds has been gathering information concerning, the already existing Catholic action movements throughout Australia.

Writing from St. Mary’s Cathedral, his Grace states that several years had passed since the Holy Father issued a call to the. entire world, inviting the laity to insist in the apostolate of Catholic action, the exalted aim of which was to re-establish in society that Christian concept of life which modern pagan forces were openly seeking to destroy. Isolated and inco-ordinate efforts had been made in several dioceses of Australia to respond to the Holy Father’s call, but now the movement was organised on a national basis.

All would he enlisted in the crusade, the letter states, but the specialised direct action would be taken by coordinated groups of organised Catholics, who would endeavour to spread the influence of Christ’s principles ,in the particular environment in which they lived and moved. As the purpose of Catholic action was to supiernaturalise the entire social body, there must be as many groups working for Catholic action as there were spheres of human interest and endeavour. In each sphere there would be a group of earnest, militant, and specially trained Catholics, who would make a special study of the ideals of Christianity, with particular reference to their bearing upon the environment in which they lived, and endeavour to have these ideals accepted and practised by all those who belonged to their particular environment. The leadership and direction of these groups would be exercised in accordance with the plan laid down by the Hierarchy, and under its general provision.

A sub-committee of three members of the Hierarchy had been elected to direct the national organisation on behalf of the Australian Hierarchy. The Archbishop of Melbourne (Dr. Mannix) was president, Archbishop Simonds secretary, and the other member was the Bishop of Maitland. The committee had secured the services of Rev. W. Keane, S.J., distinguished philosopher, and an authority on the social problems of the day, who would act as ecclesiastical assistant to the national secretariat. Messrs. F. K. Maher, M.A. LL.B., and B.A., Santamaria, M.A., LL.B., were officials of the lay secretariat.

SOURCE

Catholic Action Plans (Examiner (Launceston, Tas. : 1900 – 1954), Saturday 22 January 1938, page 6) (Trove)