" f am a prisoner in a huge camp. I do not know when we will be liberated. I am preaching retreat after retreat. Life Is hard. Many die from hunger."
" I escaped once, but was recaptured. I am now at Camp with 15,000 other prisoners. There are about 20 priests in the barracks in addition to many religious and seminarians. The food is bad. There are two portable altars. A parish priest provides us with bread, wine and candles. On Sundays more than 10,000 attend the Masses in the open air.
" I am glad to be able to tell you I am allowed to say Mass once a week. There are 19 priests in this camp. My room is shared with five other priests. I have never known and loved Our Lord more than now."
These are extracts from the letters of French priests who are held prisoners in concentration camps in the occupied part of France. These letters have come from Vichy via America.
From war prisoners' camps in Germany the following letters have been received: SPLENDID SPIRITUAL LIFE A priest, a well-known writer, relates that he is " the happiest man in the world " since he became orderly to a French Colonel. " There are 25 priests and theology students in this camp," he writes. " I can say Mass every other day. We have set up a chapel in a cellar. Many of the prisoners receive Holy Communion on first Fridays."
" Our great want is the Mass," another says, adding: " We have no altars."
" I can receive Holy Communion every day, but can celebrate Mass only every fifth day," a priest held in Germany writes. " The spiritual life among the prisoners is splendid."
An ordinary parish priest in occupied France wrote thus of the Germans to his relatives in America: " They have bothered the Catholics. They held Cardinal Suhard, Archbishop of Paris, for four days, one of them without food. They searched the Archbishop's house to try to find proof that Cardinal Verdier had aroused the Pope against the Germans, and also to get hold of papers allegedly about affairs of moral turpitude with which some priests were supposed to be connected; this in order to besmirch the clergy and lower its prestige as they did in Germany.
" They also went through the Catholic Institute. There they were receive4 by Mgr. Baudrillart, octogenarian Academy member, who knew just how to handle them." •