Seminarians Summer School of Catholic Action

HELD AT “MAIYA-WAMBA”, FEBRUARY 2-8, 1948

Back Row (from left to right): J. Kelly (Ballarat), T. Holland (Adelaide), F. Lyons (Melbourne), J. Cross (Melbourne), T. Brophy (Melbourne), E. D’Arcy (Melbourne), F. Larsen (Melbourne), K. Ryan (Melbourne), L. Wholohan (Sydney), J. Allman (Sale), W. Murphy (Sandhurst).

Middle Row: R. Harden (Sydney), B. Burke (Melbourne), J. Cassidy, (Sydney), Leo Clarke (Melbourne), J. Murray (Melbourne), B. Lohan (Goulburn), F. Murphy (Melbourne), N. Timbs (Sydney), J. Ellis (Melbourne), R. Merrick (Melbourne), P. de Campo (Sandhurst), J. O’Shea (Melbourne).

Front Row: Rev. G. Weissel (Goulburn), Rev. D. O’Neill (Sandhurst), Rev. V. Marley (Sydney), Rev. K. Pranty (Sydney), Rev. B. Rosen (Sydney), Rev. C. Mayne, S.J. (Melbourne), Rev. B. Kennedy (Maitland), Rev. J. Phelan (Melbourne), Rev. E. Lloyd (Goulburn), Rev. J. Atkins (Melbourne), Rev. F. Doolan (Melbourne), Rev. F. Brouggy (Sydney).

SOURCE

Seminarians Summer School of Catholic Action (Advocate (Melbourne, Vic. : 1868 – 1954), Thursday 12 February 1948, page 7) (Trove)

None May Refuse Support to Catholic Action

Archbishop’s Urgent Statement at Christian Workers’ Conference

SPEAKING to the large gathering of men at the — National Christian Workers’ Movement annual conference at Sunshine Parish Hall on Sunday, September 28, his Grace the Archbishop quoted a recent utterance of the Holy Father. The Pope was addressing the Catholic Young Women’s Federation in Rome and he said: ” ‘Abstention from active work for God and for Christ in the present condition in Europe, you must know full well is in itself a grave sin of omission.’ These are very strong words coming from the Pope, dealing with a situation like our own,”‘ said Dr. ‘Mannix. “We have substantially and practically the very same pagan atmosphere to fight, and the very same problems to solve, and I have no doubt if the Pope were standing here, he would say the very same thing to you.”

The theme of the conference was “The Home,” which was considered under three heads, “Christian Marriage.” “Parents and Children” and “The Family Unit and Society.” the three rriain speakers being Rev. M. Caterinich, Sir Henry Digby-Beste and Mr. W. McMahon.

Mr. W. O’Keefe, diocesan president of the N.C.W.M., was in the chair and amongst those present were Revs. W. P. Hackett, S.J.; J. Ciantar. S.C.; M. Brosnan, B.A., PP.; C. Mayne, S.J.; B. Kennedy, B. M. Day and L. Egan.

In his address of welcome to the Archbishop the parish priest of Sunshine, Fr. Ryder, said that according to the reports of those who had been overseas Catholic Action in Australia could compare favourably with any other part of the world. Whatever success we had had here was in very large measure due to the wise guidance and wonderful sunport that Dr. Mannix had given it. Under present condition^, he said, none could hold back and refuse their full support to Catholic Action.

ANNUAL REPORT

In his annual report the diocesan secretary, Mr. T. Cushen, said that the progress during the past 12 months had been very satisfactory. Membership had risen and there were now more than 1000 members in the N.C.W.M. in the Melbourne Archdiocese. Services and activities were growing and the spirit of the movement was at a very high level. Groups at West Brunswick and West Footscray had formed branches during the year. The former, although it had been in existence for only six months, already had over 90 members^ and was one of the most successful branches in the movement.

Groups were in process of formation at East Brunswick, Ascot Vale, Flemington and Castlemaine.

The two N.C.W.M. Co-operative Housing Societies had held their first annual general meetings in September and their reports were most satisfactory. There were approximately 60 members in the 22-year society and 126 in the 30-year society. Altogether, 40 members had started to build homes. Their applications for loans totalling about £46,000 had been granted, and four houses were completed and occupied.

Other services reported on were credit union, vocational guidance and employment bureaux, handy-man service, cooperative buying clubs and advice on taxation, gardening, social services and various other practical problems in the lives of adult workers.

A complete new training programme incorporating all the latest developments in Catholic Action was in course of preparation and would soon be ready. When it was, a new drive for branches, both within and outside the Archdiocese, Would be made.

PLANS FOR THE FUTURE

Outlining the plans for the future, the national secretary of the movement, Mr. K. W. Mitchell, said that although great success had been achieved by the N.C.W.M,, until recently two problems had worried the executive and the leaders’ groups. Firstly, though there was great loyalty and enthusiasm amongst the ordinary members, there was no organised apostolic work undertaken by them, and it was of the essence of Catholic Action that every person who joined its army should become an active apostle. Secondly, there had not been, so far, any organised and systematised attack on the environment itself—in the factories, workshops and offices, in the homes arid the various places where men spent their leisure time.

The executive had now devised a plan which it felt confident would provide the solution to these two problems. Every, leader in the movement was asked to form a sub-leaders’ group comprising four or five members of his branch who lived in his immediate neighbourhood. The members of these sub-groups would, on the one hand, assist in the running of the branch and gradually take off the leaders’ shoulders all the organising and a d m i n i strative responsibility; and, on the other hand, would endeavour to form “teams of influence” in the environment through which they would spread the ideas of the movement and endeavour to Christianise the various spheres of -the work, the home and the leisure in which they spent their daily lives. Mr. Mitchell strongly urged all members to back up this plan and to develop and extend their apostolic activity so that the ultimate objective of the N.C.W.M., the Christianising of the whole environment of the workers, might be achieved.

In a stirring appeal for action, Rev. W. Hackett, S.J., said that the time for words had passed and it was now up to us to do sromething. Australians were altogether too apathetic, and if they did not bestir themselves now the country might well be plunged into the dreadful chaos that we had witnessed in Europe followed by the oppression of totalitarianism.

THE ARCHBISHOP’S ADDRESS

“If I could be carried away,” said his Grace the Archbishop, “I should have been carried away by that passionate address just delivered by Fr. Hackett. Everything that he said was something you have to take to heart, and the appeal that he made to you, in such eloquent and passionate language, is really the appeal that I have been making, much more feebly, for many years—not altogether without result—but now that the real Catholic Actionists have come into line with Fr. Hackett and Mr. Mitchell and others, I am looking forward to great strides in Catholic Action in the near future.

“When I listened to Mr. Mitchell explaining this new system, which apparently has been hatched between himself and Fr. Mayne, I think it has in it a great element of hope and progress. It is nothing very wonderful that any individual is asked to undertake, but everybody is asked to undertake something. Everybody can do something, and everybody make his own contribution. This scheme now put before you will yield very valuable results in the near, future.

“Another thing that occurred to me was that Fr. Mayne and Mr. Mitchell might seem to be making big demands upon you, but we are not asking you to do anything that the Communists are not doing already, and doing with marvellous results—from their point of view. They have no difficulty about spending their time and devoting their energy to the promotion of their own particular objective, and if only we are as much interested in Christ’s cause as they are in the cause of the Evil One, there ought to be progress on our side, and I have great hopes that you who have done so much already, will, under the direction of those who are leading you, do even greater things in the future. I am very proud of what you have done. I know that you have made considerable sacrifices (not greater than the Communists have made for their objective), but I give you credit for all that you have done, and I have great hopes that you will do even better things in the future.

“I am glad to know that your members are increasing — not rapidly, but with continued progress. There is no falling off. Though the progress may be slow, still it is sure and stable, and you have, needless for me to say, much work to do if you are going to Christianise Australia.

Sad Plight

“We are in a very sad plight at the present time. There is very little Christianity in Australia. There is very little goodness in the world. We are, perhaps, too strong in our pronouncements on the wickedness of the world. There is some goodness, but it is mostly humanitarianism. It is not Christianity and it is for you to try and make any goodness there is in the Australian world — not merely humanitarian, but real Christianity. You are going to succeed if you will put your shoulders to the wheel and keep at it. Do not be afraid because you are not making rapid progress—even though things go awry or amiss, and something on which you have great hones turns out to be a failure. We must have failures if we are to succeed. Of course, we here in Australia are not the only people fighting this battle for Christ. Europe is even in a much worse condition than Australia. I don’t know that any part of Europe is more pagan than Australia, but they have many difficulties there from which we are free. Nobody rpq]icps that and the sad state of Europe better than the Holy Father, and he is looking out over Europe and honing that Catholics will do their duty. The Pope was reported recently to have said, in hi= address to the Catholic Young Women’s Federation in Rome, regarding the grave situation in Europe: ‘Abstention from active work for God and for Christ in the present conditions in Europe, you all know full well is in itself a grave sin of omission.’

Strong Words

“These are very strong words coming from the Pone, dealing with a situation like our own. We have substantially and practically the very same pagan atmosphere to fight, and the very same problems to solve, and I have no doubt if the Pope were standing here, he would say the very same thing to you. He would say that seeing the problems that Australia now has to face; seeing the menace of paganism and Communism,* that the man or the woman. who stands aside and fail£ to do his or her duty to shoulder his or her responsibility, is guilty of a grave omission. I am sure you will take that to heart.

“All you wanted was a lead, and very likely you have every justification for blaming your leaders. If you like you can blame the Bishops of Australia. Perhaps the call was not sufficiently urgent; perhaps the call was not eloquently supported. At all events, you can blame anyone you like—me especially—but we must now face the facts as we find them. We are face to face with atheistic Communism in Australia, and what happened elsewhere can happen here; unless we do our best, Communistic atheism will gain a victory, and it may be a losing victory, in Australia.

“You yourselves are fathers of families, or have young brothers and sisters. You couldn’t do anything better than to use all your energy in doing all you can for the young people” of Australia. You would be following the example of the Communists, but you are trying to lead youth to Christ—they are trying to lead youth away from Him.

“You have wise leadership. I am glad to hear from your leaders that you are prepared to co-operate with them so zealously. If you get the lead, you are prepared to follow. Leaders or followers, the one thing that we must always remember is that unless the Lord bless them that labour, they labour in vain. We have to put all our confidence in God. We must try and make our own lives good Christian lives before we can make Christians of those around us. Try and make ourselves real, genuine Christians, not afraid to stand up for our Faith and follow Christ.

“I hope that God’s blessing in great abundance will rain upon your leaders and yourselves, and through them, and through you, that the menace of Communism in Australia may be stayed and rolled back, and that Australia may be saved from the fate that has fallen upon so many other nations.”

***

His Grace Archbishop Mannix carrying the Blessed Sacrament . in the procession through the Cathedral grounds at the close of the Forty Hours’ devotion, Sunday, October 5.

SOURCE

None May Refuse Support to Catholic Action (Advocate (Melbourne, Vic. : 1868 – 1954), Wednesday 15 October 1947, page 19) (Trove)

Rev. Fr. C. Mayne, SJ., to Visit Adelaide.

J.C.W.L.

A welcome -visitor to Adelaide this month will be Rev. Fr. Charles Mayne, S.J. He is a professor at Corpus Christi College, Werribee, Victoria, and one of his many duties is the training of students for the priesthood to be Chaplains of Catholic Action groups. Fr. Mayne has been interested in Catholic Action ever since he came to Australia as a Priest in 1939 and went to St. Ignatius’ College, Riverview, Sydney.

In 1942, he came to Corpus Christi College, Werribee, and there not only increased the interest of the seminarians in the various Catholic Action movements but was also intimately associated with the growth of these movements in Melbourne. The National Catholic Girls’ Movement and Young Christian Students’ Movement owe much to him.

Fr. Mayne has contributed many articles to Catholic Action publications, but he deserves to be especially remembered as the author of “Exit Australia,” “The Enquiry,” and “Stations of the Cross for Militants.”

To Fr. Mayne we extend a cordial welcome and we hope to have the privilege of his presence at some of our meetings as well as benefiting from the help and advice we know he will be only too willing to give.

SOURCE

Rev. Fr. C. Mayne, SJ., to Visit Adelaide. (Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 – 1954), Friday 13 December 1946, page 11) (Trove)

The Enquiry Technique

FOR the first time in Australia the successful method of the J.O.C. of Europe, the “Enquiry,”, has been thoroughly explained in the publication, “The Enquiry” by Rev. Fr. C. Mayne, S.J., and K. W. Mitchell, Melbourne Diocesan Secretariat of Catholic Action, both of whom are particularly fitted for the work. The Enquiry is a very difficult exercise in the beginning. Briefly, the method here outlined is to See, to Judge, and then to Act. The method is quite natural, the only difference is that we have been asked to think, to realise what we see already. Having seen the situation clearly, we Judge, and then Act accordingly. “When a man acts thus, he acts in the most natural manner possible, for in any given rational action there is: 1. The observation of facts and conditions; 2. The judgment of the intellect and a basis for that judgment; 3. The command of the will to act and the Action itself.”

Properly to SEE it is important that leaders collect real facts—not impressions. At the next step, leaders learn to apply what they have come to know from continual Gospel discussions and meditations, and the talks of the Chaplain. The Priest can help them more in this part than in any other. This section needs careful attention and thought, and various suggestions are made by the authors as to the formation of the Catholic mind. The ACT part will often not be practical yet, but something towards this action can and must always be done. There should never be an enquiry without either individual or collective action arising therefrom. The authors point out that definite action Is most important. The resolution made must not be too vague or it may never lead to results. One must work down to the root of the problem, find out the little details about it, and start somewhere with something definite.

The final purpose of the Enquiry is to change the environment, to make the world again Christian, or, as the authors say, “to put on Christ.” * In order to do so, one must know the world and Christianity. This publication will aid many to gain such knowledge; to realise the ideal of Catholic Action, “to bring Christ to the world.”

—Fr. G. VIM.

[Obtainable from A.N.S.C.A. Publications Department. Price 9d. per copy.]

SOURCE

The Enquiry Technique (Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 – 1954), Friday 27 April 1945, page 3) (Trove)

Chair of Catholic Action at Corpus Christi College

[Condensed from an article by V. Rev. W. B. Hackett, S.J., Ecclesiastical Assistant, National Secretariat of Catholic Action.]

‘THE appointment of the Rev. C. Mayne, S.J., to the newly established Chair of Catholic Action at Corpus Christi Seminary is the subject of an announcement of major importance made recently by the authorities of the college.

It is a matter of keen satisfaction that the College, in making the appointment, is fulfilling the direct wish of the Holy Father that seminaries should provide adequate training for Priests to assist them in their later work as Chaplains of Catholic Action.

When the late Holy Father made his famous appeal to the Priests of the world to encourage and support Catholic Action, he well realised the momentous nature of the work he was confiding to them and the tremendous burden he was placing on their already heavily-laden shoulders.

To most people in this country, Catholic Action is, at their first acquaintance with it, a new and rather bewildering science. Its purpose—the winning of the world to Christ through the activity of lay-folk—is clear enough. It is the questions of technique and of organisation that are, at the beginning, somewhat baffling. For those in charge of such movements a good deal of study and experience is necessary before the full wealth and complexity of a Catholic Action organisation becomes revealed. Pope Pius XI was well aware of the difficulties in the past, and he was constantly asking and praying that he “should be properly understood” when he spoke of Catholic Action. Each of us is in danger of twisting the Pope’s words to suit our own particular views and prejudices. We think of the things we would like to see done and describe those as Catholic Action. Even more often we think of the particular things we want done instead of thinking of the movement which is to do it. Catholic Action is a movement, an institution, an organisation, and one of the simplest definitions of a Catholic Action work is that it is “something done by a person as a member of an official Catholic Action movement set up by the Bishop.”

A Special Work.

At any rate, Catholic Action is definitely not something which one can take up and handle efficiently at five minutes’ notice. This applies to the Priest as well as to the layman. It is a different type of organisation from the older Catholic societiesmuch wider in its scope, using more modern methods and concerned with the penetration of the environment rather than with spasmodic good deeds.” Moreover, each movement of Catholic Action tends to develop its own distinct technique and approach. The things that will interest young girls of seventeen are widely different from those which one must place before farmers or lawyers. Young workers are attracted by ideals which will not appeal directly to groupings of married women. Yet the Parish Priest may have to deal with half a dozen different organisations—giving to the leaders of each a spiritual formation adapted to their own environment, advising them on the most suitable methods, warning them of pitfalls and taking a personal interest in the

leaders.

It is not only a question of time for a Priest who has already aS much as he can handle, particularly under war conditions. It is not merely that he must give up more of his energy to the training of leaders of organisations which he has not hitherto had to consider. There is the point that the training of leaders, particularly the training of youth leaders, is a special study. , ‘ . , .

He is obliged to go deeply into their daily lives: to discover by patient enquiry the conditions in offices and factories, the popular types of amusement, the views on social affairs. He has to understand thoroughly the psychology of young pebple, to draw out what is best in them with patience and courage, and—instead of merely inculcating general principles —to be rigidly and constantly realist in his approach. The training of youth is a work for experts, and the Priest is asked to make himself expert in half a dozen different directions. This he cannot achieve quickly. . ,, ,

For it should be insisted on that Catholic Action asks more of the Priest than does any .other Catholic body. With a confraternity or sodality, the Priest has merely to attend regularly a general gathering and give ah instruction. On the_ other hand, “Catholic Action,” as Pius XI wrote, “says to each of its Ecclesiastical Assistants in regard to the share entrusted to each, ‘My lot is in Thy hands.'”

Priest and People.

The effect of such close association between the Priest and the best elements in his laity must be of the highest value. In his Sunday sermons he has to appeal to a large and diffused audience and can use only general terms. In his discussions with his lay readers in separate movements he can give them a more precise and practical formation exactly suited to the needs and difficulties of the members. What is even more important, he is able to make direct use of the enthusiasm and ability of his best parishioners and through them extend, to an unprecedented extent, the influence which he can exert in the parish. Through them he can reach corners of the parish which time and other duties normally prevent him from approaching. Each trained lay leader becomes, as it were, a bridge over which the Priest can come to the people and the people can come to the

Priest.

The Australian Bishops’ Committee on Catholic Action in its recent statement declared, “We have been particularly gratified to notice the attention which has been given in recent years in the Ecclesiastical Seminaries to the instruction of students for the priesthood in the principles of Catholic Action.” Now the appointment of a special Professor of Catholic Action will provide a systematic and permanent means of carrying out the wishes of the Holy Father and of the Bishops. The new professor, Father C. Mayne, S.J., has not only studied deeply the authorities who have spoken and written about this vast subject, but has, himself, been closely in touch for some years with the lay leaders of the various Catholic Action movements throughout Australia.

SOURCE

Chair of Catholic Action at Corpus Christi College (Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 – 1954), Friday 10 April 1942, page 13) (Trove)

Chair of Catholic Action at Corpus Christi

Important Appointment to Fulfil Direct Wish of Holy Father

Ecclesiastical Assistant, National Secretariat of Catholic Action.

By VERY REV. W. P. HACKETT, SJ.

THE appointment of the Rev. C. Mayne, S.J., to a newly-established Chair of Catholic Action at Corpus Christi Seminary, Werribee, Victoria, is an announcement of major importance made recently by the authorities of the college.

It is a matter of keen satisfaction that the college, in making the appointment, is fulfilling the ^direct wish of the Holy Father that seminaries should provide adequate training for priests to assist them in their later work as chaplains of Catholic Action.

When the late Holy Father made his famous appeal to the priests of the world to encourage and support Catholic Action, he well realised the momentous nature of the work he was confiding to them and the tremendous burden he was placing on their already heavily-laden shoulders.

The words, “It is your chief duty, Venerable Brethren, and that of your clergy to seek diligently, to select prudently and to train fittingly lay ajJbstles . . .,” might not at once attract the full attention of the casual reader. In fact,-they open whole new worlds of activity and influence for the average priest.

GAINING CONFIDENCE

Since the beginning of official Catholic Action in Australia, the lay leaders have set themselves to gain the confidence of the priests and work in the most complete co-operation” with them. The manner in which this co-operation is to be exercised, of course, was not clear at the beginning. While there are certain fundamental principles that hold true in all cases, the exact amount of direction which the priest will need to give in a lay movement depends, to a great extent, on the type of movement as well as on the age, sex and degree of education of the members. Nevertheless, this work has been undertaken with the greatest good-will on both sides.

To most people in this country, Catholic Action is, at their first acquaintance with it, a new and rather bewildering science. Its purpose—the winning of the world to Christ through the activity of lay-folk—is clear enough. It is the questions of technique and of organisation that are, at the beginning, somewhat baffling. For those in charge of such movements a good deal of study and experience is necessary before the full wealth and complexity of a Catholic Action organisation becomes revealed. Pope Pius XI. was well aware of the difficulties in the past, and he was constantly asking and praying that *he “should be properly understood” then he spoke of Catholic Action. Each of us is in danger of twisting the Pope’s words to suit our own particular views and prejudices. We think of the things we would like to see done and describe these as Catholic Action. Even more often we think of the particular things we want done instead of thinking of the movement which is to do it. Catholic Action is a movement, an institution, an organisation, and one of the simplest definitions of a Catholic Action work is that it is “something done by a person las a member of an official Catholic Action movement set up by the Bishop.”

CANNOT BE TAKEN UP IN FIVE MINUTES

At any rate, Catholic Action is definitely not something which one can take up and handle efficiently at five minutes’ notice. This applies to the priest as well as to the layman. It is a different type of organisation from the older Catholic societies—much wider in its scope, using more modern methods and concerned with the penetration of the environment rather than with spasmodic “good deeds.” Moreover, each movement of Catholic Action tends to develop its own distinct technique and approach. The things that will interest young girls of seventeen are widely different from those which one must place before farmers or lawyers. Young workers are attracted by ideals which will not appeal directly to groupings of married women.

Yet the parish priest may have to deal with half a dozen different organisations, giving to the leaders of each a spiritual formation adapted to their own environment, advising them on the most suitable methods, warning them of pitfalls and taking a personal interest in the leaders.

It is not only a question of time for a priest who has already as much as he can handle, particularly under war conditions. It is not merely that he must give up more of his energy to the training of leaders of organisations which he has not hitherto had to consider. There is the point that the training of leaders, particularly the training of youth leaders, is a special study.

He is obliged to go deeply into their daily lives; to discover by patient enquiry the conditions in offices and factories, the popular types of amusement, the views on social affairs. He has to understand thoroughly the psychology of young people, to draw out what is best in them with patience and courage, and, instead of merely inculcating general principles, to be rigidly and constantly realist in his approach. The training of youth is a work for experts, and the priest is asked to make himself expert in half a dozen different directions. This he cannot achieve quickly.

BURDEN UPON PRIESTS

For it should be insisted on that Catholic Action asks more of the priest than does any other Catholic body. With a confraternity or sodality, the priest has merely to attend regularly a general gathering and give an instruction. On the other hand, “Catholic Action,” as Pius XI. wrote, “says to each of its ecclesiastical assistants, in regard to the share Entrusted to each, ‘My lot is in Thy hands.”‘

Catholic Action does place in the hands of the priest its members to a very high degree. It says to him, in effect:

“Here are the pick of the people in the parish. You, as our Ecclesiastical Assistant, are, to some extent, a Master of Novices. It is for you to mould these people in the way of perfection,, to guide them so that they may have not only a Catholic mind, but a more intense knowledge and love of Our Lord, a vivid sense of their important apostolate, and a clear idea of how to make that apostolate a practical reality.” One cannot do better than quote Cardinal Pizzardo: “Given the nature of Catholic Action, it is.clear that the priest, in the exercise of his normal function as Assistant, is and really must be, the soul of his association, the inspiration of good enterprises, the source of zeal and the fashioner of consciences.”

The effects of such close association between the priest and the best elements of his laity must be of the highest value. In his Sunday sermons he has to appeal to a large and diffused audience and can use only general terms. In his discussions with his lay leaders in separate movements he can give them a more precise and practical formation exactly suited to the needs and difficulties of the members. What is even more important, he is able to make direct use of the enthusiasm and ability of his best parishioners and through them extend, to an unprecedented extent,, the influence which he can exert in the parish. Through them, he can reach corners of the parish which time and other duties normally prevent him from approaching. Each trained lay leader becomes, as it were, a bridge over which the priest can come to the people and the people can come to the priest.

PREPARATIONS FOR FUTURE

All this, however, as we have said, cannot be achieved easily or without special preparation. For the priest of the future it is part of his normal functions to be a chaplain to Catholic Action movements. Already in many of the seminaries in Australia groups of students in their senior years have been meeting in order to prepare themselves for this new and difficult role. Groups of young priests have been coming together to discuss the problems of spiritual formation for their lay collaboration. They have been writing and publishing their own special bulletins for this purpose. Yet even more than this is required.

The Australian Bishops’ Committee on Catholic Action in its recent statement declared: “We have been particularly gratified to notice the attention which has been given in recent years in the ecclesiastical seminaries to the instruction of students for the priesthood in the principles of Catholic Action.” Now the appointment of a special professor of Catholic Action will provide a systematic and permanent means of carrying out the wishes of the Holy Father and of the Bishops.

The experience of three decades of Catholic Action in Europe and America is available to us in Australia. There is a wealth of splendid literature on the whole great question of the means by which the priest may set alight the fire of apostolic enthusiasm in the hearts of Catholic men and women. It will now be possible to tap these rich resources more fully.

The new professor, Rev. C. Mayne, S.J., has not only studied deeply the authorities who have spoken and written about this vast subject, but has, himself, been closely in touch for some years with the lay leaders of the various Catholic Action movements throughout Australia. He comes to his new position with already practical experience in the running of groups of leaders and of movements, and is thus thoroughly aware of the actual problems which young priests will have to encounter in this field.

VERY REV. W. P. HACKETT, S.J., Ecclesiastical Assistant, National Secretariat of Catholic Action

SOURCE

Chair of Catholic Action at Corpus Christi (Advocate (Melbourne, Vic. : 1868 – 1954), Thursday 2 April 1942, page 17) (Trove)