Re-personalising England Through Charity,
SIR,—I beg to proffer the suggestion that some movement should be set on foot to enable for instance, Catholic families, large ones preferably. in distressed areas or in needy circumstances, to be adopted by persons in more comfortable circumstances.
Childless couples could find some consolation in this work. The Catholic middle-class could do something to convince the Catholic poor that they really accept the Church's social teaching.
It is a fact worthy of discovery by Mr. Chesterton (perhaps he did discover it and has already recorded it) that the faster we advance in means of communication (telegraphy, wireless, television) the more de-personalised social relations become.
Mechanised transmission devitalises the relations between the sender and the recipient. This is not to disparage television, etc., but there must be a fostering of natural, human contacts surely to offset the mechanisation of our lives.
The limited company, the combine and the cartel, tend to depersonalise relations between classes.
My suggestion is one way in which Catholics can infuse new streams of charity into social life.
I have had some experience of putting needy families in contact with charitable Catholics in other parts of the country. In a matter of thirty cases I only met with one where the family benefited abused the arrangement.
The St. Vincent de Paul Society know the poor as a rule in their parish, and would be perhaps the best people to work it. A scheme, with safeguards would need thinking out and working out.
It ought not to be started with a flourish of trumpets, and I imagine it would be better to decentralise the organisation as much as possible. But it would, I am sure, warm and enliven the homes of all concerned. 1 imagine would be best, with some simple safeguards, merely to put the families into touch with one another, and leave it at that, subject perhaps to an overseeing eye from the local S.V.P. conference, or the parish priests!