Stit,—As nobody has taken up that very valuable remark of Fr, Heenan's published a fortnight ago that " It was aS itrlportant to scrub a floor for an expectant mother as the church sanctuary for (he priest," perhaps I may be permitted to do so. The remark WKS, I believe, addressed to the Legion ot Mary. It might have been extended to the Catholic Wonien's League that " it was more important than holding monthly whist drives."
There rr a lamentable lack of organised, and I sirese oiganised, social work amongst our Catholic Women's entlaiiiies. H. exists in their constitutional aims but is nevertheless regarded as a novelty when suggested to them at any level of direction.
Mr. Park in his letter in the same issue strains the prescience of the Hierarchy over manifestos on Social Security to allow they lead in these matters. I am sorry I have yet to encounter any organised diocesan effort to give direction and life to Catholic Social Action. In Holland it was done by putting the whole matter in she hands of the Society of Jesus, who preached and organised action from the pulpit. It would be in power Cl any Ordinary to depute one preacher of the required eloquence and conviction to go round preaching the English Missions just as the A.P.F. sets about the Foreign Missions. I do not know why it is not done ; many good reasons can be given. The fact nevertheless remains that it is not done and it is untrue to say that a lead is given and that the laity are too inert to take it up. Over the last fifty years there have been innumerable attempts on the part or the laity to " stroke the boat from the bow oars." They range from the Catholic Fedenition movement to C,P.E.A. None, with the sole exception of thc C.W.L., has gained a wide and permanent footing and even the C.W.T., cannot be called socially and politically alive as ii was meant to be. To put she matter in a phrase: Catholic fail the first precept of duty to their Maker with assiduity, but there is no great endeavour towards duty to one's neighbour.
It is called for, How many can remember even one sermon on Catholic Action ? How many indeed define those much bandied two words ? Therefore the surmise is that it isn't wanted yet. Perhaps it (9 thought that the laity are not sufficiently educated ye.,. As facili• ties for Catholic secondary educatioo become more available that will correct itself in a generation or two. Meanwhile the view may be taken that any parochial groups of laymen who feel irked or frustrated by lack of encouragement from above can quite easily carry their convictions into poleLice by penetrating as a group into local politics. If they want to lake an original line they can take up the many hints which come From the B.B.C. and Whitehall to form Parents' Associations. If they took round they will find associations for poultry keeping, pigs, rabbits. gardens, but none for the wide interests of children. Many young people setting up families feel as we do that social action is needed. If unclenominational, it would catty duty to neighbours into the widust sphere. Birth control apart. which we could set about debunking. there would be little we did not have in common with our non-Catholic brethren,
Why don't T do it myself ? We are expecting our fifth child, I scrub the floors and my wile sits mending into the small hours. I haven't the time. There are no Martha in our parish.
AN EXPECTANT FATHER.