ILEARNED this week that Fr. Louis Hanlon, who is principal at Britain's
first Catholic co-ed teacher-training college, Christ's College, in Liverpool, is also visiting professor to Lumen Viate, Brussels. He is' one of the foremost authorities on the new Catechetical movement and visits Brussels three times a year to lecture on this subject.
While studying sociology at Louvain, he tells me, he was fortunate to witness the growth of modern catechetics in Holland and Belgium, an experience which greatly influenced his own approach to teaching religion. During the past ten years he has been a full-time religious teacher at St. Bede's grammar school in Manchester and has toured the country giving courses in catechetics. Under Archbishop Beck, then Bishop of Salford, he pioneered the scheme of having chaplains at secondary modern schools. As principal at Christ's College Fr. Hanlon intends to introduce many new ideas (both Continental and home-made) to teacher training and especially to religious teaching. He will also try for closer links between all the colleges, Catholic and non-Catholic, to encourage a constant flow of fresh ideas between them. His own views on modern catechetics are clearly stated in the Catholic Education Council's current handbook. In a question-and-answer discussion between himself and Fr. Kevin Nichols. who is also at Christ's College, he echoes the popular call for a complete overhaul of catecheiteal thought, both in content and method, Fr. Hanlon says the Faith must he presented to children in a different structure, based on a wider use of Biblical and Liturgical symbolism and poetry (this trend is also evident in modern methods of studying theology). Secular teaching techniques should also be employed in religious education, he says. People skilled in teaching subjects like art. geography, and science should bring these skills into their catechism classes, instead of locking them away in little watertight compartments, or temporarily shedding them outside the door.
AN old boy of Beaumont College has just been appointed to the command of the Household Brigade. He is Major-General B. 0. P. Eugster,, whose new post, which is combined with that of General Officer Commanding London District, comes after distinguished service in Germany. Major-General Eugster, who joined the Irish Guards in 1936, won the D.S.O. whilst serving with the Guards Armoured Division in 1945. He already wore the ribbon of the Military Cross with Bar. The general is married with two sons. In this column I always hestitate to say so-and-so is the tirst etc. etc. because experience has proved how easy it is to be wrong. But I am fairly sure that the general is the first Catholic to be appointed to command either London District or the Brigade.
STORIES reach this office almost every week telling of the way individuals triumph over serious personal difficulties in order to serve others whom they consider to he in a less fortunate position than themselves. For the past 30 years Mr. William Dixon has gone around Newcastle-upon-Tyne collecting hooks and religious articles to send to the mission. Last year, ill health put a stop to this. Now hear that Mr. Dixon has taken up needle and thread and is busy making all sorts of things from tray cloths to scarves which he donates to various Catholic charities. He tells me that the Christmas rush has made heavy inroads on the materials with which he works and he would welcome, at 125 St. Cuthbert's Road, Fenham, Newcastle, any wool, cottons etc. that anyone cares to send.
THE French bishops have appealed to com posers and musicians to write melodies which can he used with the new French translations of the Latin liturgical texts. Experts from Solesmes Abbey have warned that Gregorian Chant is not adapting itself easily to the French versions.
Words universally understood like "Amen" and "Alleluia" are being retained. The translation of "sanctus" by the monosyllabic "saint" is proving .a headache for the musicians. The Hebrew word "sabaoth" if rendered literally into French would be "Lord of the heavenly airforce"' so it has been thought better to trans
• late it as "Lord of the universe". The "lte missa est" has been given a less abrupt form — "Go in the peace of Christ",
Doubts are already being expressed that the hybrid forms of future sung Masses will neither he very pleasant for the ear or favourable to the progress of ecumenism. Some priests have been anticipating the liturgical chant reforms with "frightful results" according to some reports. There seems to be a genuine danger that the impending departure from standardisation of liturgical chant will leave congregations too much at the mercy of the tonal deficiencies of their clergy.
.A.NUN, Mother Maria Lorenzo, has been given the tricky architectural job of blending the new with the old al St. LeonardsMayfield girls school. Mother Maria is a Dublin qualified architect. The work she is undertaking is interesting not only because she must harmonise new buildings with one dating hack to 1349 but also because the original building. Old Palace, was the onetime summer residence of the Archbishops of Canterbury. St. Leonard's-Mayfield school is run by the religious of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, which was founded in 1846 by an American, Mother Cornelia Connelly. To pay for the new buildings — most of them arc residential accommodation for the girls — a total of £150,000 will he required. Some L67,000 of this has already been subscribed.
Top' priest row
AYOUNG Swiss priest-composer of religious "pop" songs is stirring up a large scale controversy—very much against his will. He is 30-year-old Fr. Alfred Flury of Zug, and in some German-speaking areas of Western Europe he is becoming as popular as the Beatles are here. While teachers run him down, a distinguished classical conductor approves of him. It was a group of teachers in Lucerne who denounced his songs as rubbish, and they endorse a Catholic critic's view that "in contrast with the Salvation Army tunes, with their somewhat sentimental pseudo-popular song undertones. Fr. Flury resorts to the Gdman hit song; to the unimaginative mass-produced pop-song with its sentimentality and false mannerisms . . . Fr. Flury's work, with its trifling melodies, lacks any originality whatsoever." Fr. Flury is unperturbed. "In my songs I just say in very simple words exactly the same things that the preacher says in church. And i say what I do and feel, and how happy this makes me." And the conductor of the Vienna State Opera orchestra says that the songs "express profound thoughts in a popular fashion" and are "artistically constructed.'
IF the decree on Christian Unity is finally voted upon by the Vatican Council this week, an English translation of it is to be published early next year by Darton. Longman and Todd, together with a commentary. The translation will be directed by Fr. Bernard Leeming, Si,, who will also write the commentary. He is one of the most significant ecumenists in Europe. and his book "The Churches and the Church" was the first publication here to show how the hundreds of Church unions taking place throughout the world were resulting in a convergence between Rome and the separated brethren, as opposed to consolidating Protestant resistance to Catholic theology.
• The aim of the new book will be to explain the Catholic position to non-Catholics as clearly, and in as much detail, as possible.
AREMINDER reached my desk this week to the effect that it will be 100 years next July since a Methodist Minister called William Booth began open-air meetings in the East End of London-meetings which were to set the pattern for the development of the Salvation Army as we know it today.
Not so strangely, the reminder came from an ex-Serviceman, for it is among old (and not so old) soldiers that "the Army" is held in particularly warm regard. At Salvation Army headquarters they 'told me that they will mark their centenary year with a vast modernisation programme of buildings and
services to cost about million, as well as a massive get-together in which "Army" people from around the world will be invited to 4-°Griden°enral Frederick Coutts, the present head of the "Army", said that many people were inclined to jump to the conclusion that those social needs pin-pointed by William Booth a century ago had gone with the coming of "what is known as the age of affluence". "The Salvation Army's experience is that afTluence has produced problems which are just as tragic as those William Booth tackled," he added.
A LETTER from Mr. Frank HarcourtsMunrsing, administrator of the War on Want Campaign against world poverty has asked me to acknowledge 130 received anonymously from CATHOLIC HERALD readers.