As already announced a course of introductory training for Catholic Scouts begins hi London next Tuesday, March 23, at St. Vincent's Convent, Carlisle Place, S.W.1, at 7 pan. The following article may be of Interest.
By J. F. Fielding.
Er, John Francis, C.P„ of the Passionist Retreat, Ilkley, has a solution of the Youth Problem. Not a partial ,solution, either, but one which he confidently claims is whole and entire.
He certainly appeared to carry conviction to a representative meeting of Leeds Catenians on Monday evening, which included business and professional men who are accustomed to weighing up pro, and cons.
They were frankly astonished to learn that the Scout movement has all the requisite qualities and quelltications which were so cogently and resolutely set forth by Fr. John Francis.
A scout himself in London be fore joining the priesthood he has had experience of the movement in Wales before coming to Yorkshire, where he is county secretary of the West Riding Scouts' Association.
DIRECTS SCOUTS IN LEEDS DIOCESE Now the Bishop of Leeds has given him a greater responeibility. Ile has appointed him secretary and organiser of the Scouts' and Guidei' Guilds in the diocese, and a promising start has already been made with the work. Scouts and guides, maintains Fr. Francis, not only supply all' that is nece sary in youth training, but will be the best means of keeping our Catholic youth together so that they will be U powerful force tor good in the Church in future years.
Now, he says, is the acceptable time, otherwise the Government will step in and our boys and girls will be cornpul only enrolled in training corps under non-Catholic auspices.
Catholic scout groups are controlled by Catholics, and there has never been any objection or difficulty which has not been satisfactorily met.
Love of God loyalty, obedience, brotherly love and self-reliance are the fundamental ideals The right age a between 8 and 11, and those who think that boys of 8 have no conception of ideals have only to See a cub " make his promise " to be completely reassured.
GOVERNMENT RESPECT FOR SCOUTS • The Government have a wholesome respect for the Scouts. Indeed, they would be prepared to give a liberal measure of financial aid in return for a controlling influence.
Such an offer, however, could not be entertained as it would conflict with the voluntary principle, and the virtue of self-reliance.
Wherever assistance from patrons and other sources has been provided for equipment and uniforms for individual groups it has invariably happened that such groups have languished and fallen away.
It is an axiom that what the Scouts themselves provide by their own efforts and self-denial they value and cherieh.
There has been difficulty about coupons for uniforms, and the Government were considering this. But It was tiot Insuperable, and the keen Seoul could be trusted to find his own solution.
The only funds Fr. Francis needs to help him in his work are for travelling expenses. The Catenians promised generous help for this; and also promised their moral support to influence parents and parish priests to get the scout movement going in Leeds parishes,