Having read "Giving perspective to the problem of lapsing among schoolboys" by Dom Alberic Stacpoole, Jan 13, it is apparent to me that, either the writer knows very little about the subject, or his investigations extremely limited.
I am one of the people whom he is writing about. I myself went to a Catholic public school, run by a secular order, until 1. was 15 years of age, and then went to a grammar school. During my years away at school we had to endure Mass every day, a Low and High Mass every Sunday followed by a long sermon, and Benediction in the evening, and woe betide if you had visitors and you missed that.
We had either a scripture or doctrine lesson everyday, and if you don't consider that enough, if you did a misdemeanour, which was not consideied to be punishable by a caning, you would, be given a long passage of a Saint's life to learn off by heart.
Holy week every year was a retreat with no talking at all, invariably given by a priest who would drone on about one point or another which had been thrashed out in a religious class before.
Being moved to a grammar school, which was my own choice, was a relief with respect to religious studies, although I still had to attend a religious class once a week.
However, at least the period of having the Catholic Faith jammed down my throat had come to an end. But to my surprise I found that the Catholics at the grammar school not only had to attend the religious lesson, they also had to go to their local Catholic Church every Saturday morning for religious instruction.
At least I was spared from that. Many of them told me then and afterwards, that this set them apart from their own friends, and in some cases put them up to ridicule.
Needless to say that when I left my parent's home, the only time I went into a Catholic church was for weddings, baptisms, funerals, and when staying over a weekend at my parent's home, and that was to avoid an argument.
Before 1 returned to practising again I questioned the injustice I had suffered as a child, of being given a separate identity from my school pals because of my religion.
Had the Hierarchy looked at the whole system with a more worldly intelligent view, there is a very good chance that I, and many others, would never have left in the first place.
When Dom Alberic Stacpoole writes about his answer to "Loss of the young to the Church", he
adds to his solution, "persistant application" and brings all his other explanations to one word "caring". I hardly'ehink that his phrase "persistant application" could be classed either by a family or a reasonably intelligent Parish priest as "caring".
If Dom Alberic wishes to find the answer to this question, may I tentatively suggest that he takes a long walk among schoolchildren.
Let them give their own point of view, and in that walk don't just go to the public schools widen the horizon. I think he will be more than surprised at what he will discover, Patrick R Bermingham London SW2