From Our Own Correspondent LIVERPOOL.
Liverpool's " Youth Service" Conference, note on which appears on page 1, opened on
Friday evening with an informal reception of visitors at the Adelphi Hotel. Mass for deceased members of Federation was celebrated at the Pro-Cathedral on Saturday morning, and the first discussion meeting was held in the School of Social Science at 10.30 a.m.,' Mgr. T. Adamson presiding.
Colonel Sir John J Shute, M.P.. chaired the second session, and a reception by Archbishop Downey was held in the evening. Delegates to the conference attended Solemn High Mass in the church of St. Francis Xavier on Sunday morning, wearing academic dress. The chief speaker at the closing meeting was Bishop Mathew.
Earlier in his address at the Saturday morning session Mr. McCarthy expressed the view that in all the development of the past thirty years, starting with the Scout movement, the Catholic Church has lagged or tagged on behind. lie was not forgetting the great flowering of the youth apostolate through the youth movements of Catholic Action, but that was a development necessarily peculiar to the Church.
" The youth movements of Catholic Action," he said, " are nothing less than providential and are destined to he the keystones in the Catholic youth structure, but they do not and cannot. at present. cover more than a fraction of even the Catholic youth of a country like England." He said that it was now clear that the problem of youth work had come to stay. The State was determined that communal service and life should be an important part of the life of youths.
" We cannot object to that," he commented. " What does matter to us is how that youth service and community life are to be organised and directed.
" Upon the answer to those two questions depends whether we can throw ourselves heart and soul along with our fellow-countrymen into rite task of making our country a better place through a new youth, or whether, on the other hand, we must build up our ramparts arid train our youth to fight against the menace of the encroaching totalitarian demands of the State."
PREPARATION FOR MARRIAGE
Touching on the subject of training for marriage, the speaker declared that our youth, at school and university, at work and in their recreation through cinema and books, came " bang up against the fact of sex. and the perversions of sex, so early on that we could not afford to let even a few years of adolescence slip by without teaching them to think right about those things."
Along with a full and healthy Christian teaching on sex and a thorough training for marriage in all its aspects, we should, from an early age, instil into our youth a horror of mixed marriages and do all we can to encourage friendship between Catholic boys and girls; even to the extent of encouraging and urging. where necessary, our very good Catholic girls to make themselves sometimee a little more presentable and attractive " Obviously the future is very largely in the hands of the youth of to-day," said Mgr. Adamson, in his address. " We of the present generation have not been wanting in our castigation of our immediate forefathers whose mistakes, so we think, have resulted in the present war and in many of the evils from which we are suffering in the world generally. " On our clear-sightedness concerning the aims and ideals of youth training depends, to a large extent, the wellbeing of humanity in the future."
THOSE "'TWELVE MILLIONS" " The world to-day needs millions of apostles, as Michael de la Bedoyere says, but I wonder it the call is going to be answered ? "
This question was asked by Miss Mary Scott, B.A., at the Saturday afternoon session of the conference. when she explained the working of the Catholic Girls' Organisation, which fess for its motto: " A New World through a New Youth."
" Reconstruction," said Miss Scott. "will be in vain unless it is carried ora by men of the spirit who will give their whole energy to bridging the gaps between the Christian ideal and the modern—even modern Catholic practice."