Pr HE bishops' Pastoral letters 1 which were read in churches throughout the country on Sunday focused attention on topics ranging from the aims and achievements of the Ecumenical Council to the importance of prayer and Lenten penance and the needs of the hungry people of the world.
On the Ecumenical Council, Archbishop Heenan of Liverpool said that even the Soviets seem to have been affected by the spirit of the Council Fathers. "The observers from the Russian Orthodox Church must have interceded with the Communist Government to obtain the release of the Ukrainian Archbishop Slipyj after 18 years in prison," he said.
On prayer and Lenten penance, Bishop Ellis, Bishop Grasar and Bishop Brunner all stressed the importance of frequent attendance at Mass as a means of obtaining grace to overcome human failings and to take up charitable works.
The importance of Family Fast Day (March 8) as a medium for generous giving to the underdeveloped countries was emphasised by Bishop Cowderoy and Bishop Dwyer. (Extracts from the pastorals appear on page 5.)