clouds which at present make clear and constructive Catholic thinking difficult even for those of the greatest good-will and sensitivity to the question.
The Pope's Nature
GR. JOSEPH MARTIN, the 68-year-old Archbishop of Rouen, proved himself to he a great charmer last week-end when he was in London for the celebration of the feast of St. Joan of Are in London's French church. Talking about his life he added yet another to the many striking quotations of the Holy Father. It was when the Pope was Nuncio in Paris. He was talking to the archbishop about the state of the world and his views were optimistic. Asked about this optimism of his, the future Pope smiled and said: "You must put it down to the grace of my nature." The archbishop, on a very different subject, explained that he had always taken first prize in English at his French college. But when he first came to England he found that no one could understand a word he said. "I had to conclude that the English did not know English," he said.
THIS personal note, so simply and naturally expressed, also marked his panegyric on St. Joan during the Mass of the feast. He linked the life of the saint with three important stages in his own life. He was born in Orleans. He was once Bishop of Le Puy in Auvergne. And he was now Archbishop of Rouen. Not surprisingly, perhaps, he obviously had a tremendous knowledge of his subject. But how did he get Le Puy in? Le Puy, one of the most striking towns in France, is dominated by the great statue of Our Lady made from the guns of Sebastopol, and devotion to this Notre Dame de France is universal. What more need be said to a patriotic Frenchman! But he was also able to show historic connections between Joan. Charles VII, and Le Puy. Tactfully, we heard nothing about the English enemies of the Maid, but we went away with the optimistic thought that, just as Joan had confounded all the enemies of her country and sur
mounted the evils of the time, so we should share some of her faith and be convinced that the problems and evils of today could and would be overcome.
. Communitanan Parish Directory
MGR. ANTHONY REYNOLDS, Mt of the church of the Most Precious Blood, Southwark, has more than once been mentioned in this column. This is because he always seems to be doing something exciting. His latest is to publish a parish directory with the names and addresses of parishioners. A few years ago I referred to a Dominican parish in the West Country doing the same. It seems to me a most fruitful idea and one of the best preliminary ways of developing the community sense within a parish. This last is not just a desirable counsel of perfection. It is part and parcel of the liturgical spirit through which we should feel ourselves to be a real community or living cell within the Mystical Body. As has been said more than once, the people at Mass in this or that particular church, howev'er humble, is the Church at that time and that place, mystically linked with the Universal Church all over the world. By knowing (even though only on paper) our fellow parishioners, how many children they have, where they live, the sense of a genuine community of fellowship grows. We also learn, for example, that in this parish in question, the Mass attendance is only 900 out of a total of 2,342 Catholics. Know that in precise figures, and you will not fail to do something about it— at least by prayer. I feel sure that this idea should spread, and it might well prove one of the simplest and yet most effective ways of dealing with the "leakage". You may be able to do something to help a name and address and family; you cannot do much for an unknown "X".
St. Benedict's Brave Step
HERE'S sticking one's neck out. Congratulations to St. Renediet's, Ealing, for being the only Catholic school in the "Sunday Times" poll to be against compulsory Latin for Oxford and Cambridge entrance. It is not a subject on which I feel very strongly one way or another, but just as I should like to see a good more optional vernacular in the liturgy so I think Latin should be optional for the great Universities.