NOVICE MISTRESSES' CONFERENCE
From a Speciar Correspondent ONCE again the Dominican-sponsored retreat and conference centre at Spode House by the Dominican Priory at Hawkesyard, has been the scene of manifold variations upon a theme of black-and-white.
The first-fruits of the introductory course for Superiors of women's religious congregations have appeared in the form of another meeting for religious sisters, organised this time for the benefit of novice mistresses. Forty-three sisters, almost exclusively novice mistresses or their
assistants, and representinga fair in tohti s the ucnot rnyg rae gn adt s roe 1: wp room') nr t
land, gathered at Spode last week to spend five days in serious study and discussion of the problems presented by different aspects of their work.
Three Dominicans. FT'. Henry St. John, of Hawkesyard, Fr. Bonaventure Perquin, for seven years novice roaster in South Africa, and Fr. Ambrose Farrell, of Blackfriars,. Oxford, and a canonist, spoke to the sisters about the education of the novices, the importance of theology for novice mistresses.
They suggested how the necessary grounding might be acquired and applied. and the canonical framework of novitiate training—in other words, the mind of the Church on the subject expressed in legal terms. The discussion technique was adopted throughout, the sisters dividing themselves into groups and prese iting their findings after each session for further discussion and comment by the lecturer and the other members.
Dr. Elkisch spoke on the psychology of the novice and examined some of the psychological difficulties that novices and those responsible for them might expect to meet with.
Miss Mildred Nevile reviewed on the basis of her experience in the Y.C.S movement the effects of emancipation and notably of the types of work towards which they now gravitate or drift upon women. It is hoped that other courses. and others mainly designed for the sifting of practical problems will be organised soon at Spode.
Local group-meetings of novice mistresses were suggested as a means of carrying on the work of the course.