PADRE PIO AND THE SHROUD
TT is not too early to be plan ning for Easter and readers may like to make suggestions for bringing the meaning of Holy Week and the Resurrection before the English public. Large posters are hardly possible. Hoardings are in short supply and far more expensive at Easter than they are at Christmas time, The subject of the death of Our Lord cannot be so easily depicted on a poster and the Crucifix might look out of place next to advertisements for food end drink. Nor is there the money to attempt two poster campaigns in one,year. It may be that the Christmas posters should end now that they have achieved an adequate success. The Christian emphasis has come near to being achieved at Christmas and it may be that the posters have now had their day. Could the same technique be applied to Easter?
INDIRECT Tsubjects seem to have a hold over the average Englishman, Padre Po and the Holy Shroud. Maybe your experience has been the same as mine. I have noticed that people will listen with profound interest to anyone who has met Padre Pio and that the subject of the stigmata always attracts interest. The Holy Shroud has a never-ending appeal. A picture of the Shroud on a stall in the Leeds market place proved a great attraction and crowds in a Lancashire town stood staring before a window in which the full reproduction of the Shroud was displayed. Lectures on the Holy Shroud draw impressive audiences and those who have helped with the Cheshire bus agree that the Shroud commands widespread attention and interest, It may be that the subject of the Holy Passion could best he approached this way.
CHRISTMAS TOO EARLY
MANY readers have submitted suggestions in answer to a paragraph in this column about Christmas starting too soon. Most of the recommendations include a note about airing the matter in the Press. Two readers feel that a petition should be presented to the Mayor. One writer feels that we should first put our own house in order and that tea parties in schools, Cribs in shops, and carol singing ought all to be timed for the period after Christmas, not, as at present, before. Nearly all the correspondents on this subject agree that Christmas as a commercial season is too extended and that it is becoming a tremendous bore.
'ONE FRONT ACROSS THE WORLD'
DOUGLAS HYDE'S new hook may lack the sensational appeal of his first best seller, hut it has an interest, even fascination, which will preserve its popularity for many years ahead. The only unhappy note about it is the price. The young and enthusiastic people for whom it is written are the very ones who will be unable to afford 18s. Feeling indignant about the price. I risked raising the subject with Douglas Hyde himself. He, of course, would have liked to see it cheaper, hut had to follow the advice of the publishers in this. Publishers are not entirely free in the matter, and in these days take many risks. The only solution. before we get a cheap edition, is to make use of the excellent library facilit,es which now exist. Be sure to ask for " One Front Across the World" and to speak about it to your friends. Several readers of this column have told me that it is now on order at the local library and one or two announce that it has arrived.
A STITCH IN TIME
.A PRIEST who obtained clothes for a poor Indian student writes to ask if I will bring to the attention of my readers the valuable and self-sacrificing work of the Catholic Needlework Guild. The Guild exists to provide clothing for the needy and I need not remind you that there is a corporal work of mercy encouraging that aim. Nor. for all the welfare state, is there any lack of poverty to-day. The Needlework Guild seems such a very retiring and unassuming body. The annual subscription for auxiliary members is not less than sixpence a year. Full-blooded members complete with needle are asked to give two new articles of clothing per year. Clothes are needed desperately for boys and men, for girls and women and, of course, for the sick. Each diocese has its own branch of the Guild. September 15 is the red-letter day for the Guild, for on that day members hand over the garments they have made. Those who find it difficult to thread a needle cannot start too soon.
TAILPIECE AN American reader sends this story from a Mid-West township.
The funeral of the chief of the fire brigade was, it seems, marred by the floral tribute from his colleagues who in all good faith attached a card with this message on it: " Gone to his last fire."