"For giving such good service to the country
Prom a Special Correspondco
THE POPE AND THE KING SENT MESSAGES OF CONGRATULATION TO THE YOUNG CHRISTIAN WORKERS WHO MET IN BIRMINGHAM OVER EASTER TO STUDY THE QUESTION OF FAMILY ALLOWANCES.
120 leaders of -the Y.C.W. movement from all over England were there. They were welcomed by the Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham, Dr. B. Griffin, who at the last moment deputised for the Archbishop, who was indisposed.
The message from the Pope, which was sent through Cardinal Maglione, Papal Secretary of State, was "The Holy Father, wishing every success to the gathering of the YI-11171.9 Christian Workers of England, srnds his Apostolic Blessing," The message from the King was : " His Majesty much appreciated the loyal aesuranecx of this movement, the members of which are geeing such good service to the country in these grave times."
They Asked Multitudes of Questions
The study week-end which was held at the new Retreat House, Harborne was marked with intense enthusiasm. A Bishop, priests and young workers gave the lectures. and the 120 delegates listened avidly and asked multitudes of questione.
Many priests were among the delegates getting notes on the movement. The Rev. V. Rochford spoke on " The Family, how is it to live? "
" There is talk of the dignity of motherhood, the beauty and the nobility of motherhood. but through insufficience of wages we col/4614n women to leave their homes and go out to work in the factory to supple. 712C11t their kit-S band's pi fiable wages. The shift system f arranged for the benefit of industry not the family, the family has to take the leavings of
industry. . ."
" Economists to the Tower " Now that the country is at war, when it is realising the need for strong, healthy families, is the time to press for family allowances. Some economists say that we cannot afford to pay such allowances. If the economists cannot arrange the economic system of the nation so that the family has sufficient for its proper development then I say the Tower of London is the place for the economists." Which remark brought a burst of cheering from the audience. Fr. Rochford poured scorn on the sops offered in place of the family wage.
" Instead of paying sufficient to enable the family to live as a family, the breakup to the family is being hastened by the provision of creches where the baby can be fed. cleaned and exercised (and presumably have a number stamped on his flank), by the provision of school meals, and a host of similar methods."
At the end of Fr. Rochford's lecture Mgr. B. Griffin, Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham, spoke to the Young Christian Workers on behalf of the Archbishop of Birmingham.
He welcomed the Young Christian Workers to Birmingham and stated that the Archbishop wished to see a great spread of the organisation. ' Be hoped that a section would be set up in each parish, or, where this was not possible, at least a section in each centre of population. The Midlands, with its huge industrial population, would be an ideal place for the Y,C.W. to start its work of spreading true Christian principles amongst working youth.
Bishop on Family Allowances
In expressing his pleasure that the X.C.W. are to take up the question of family alloWances this year, the Bishop commented upon the fact that nowadays houses were only built for the two-child family. The scheme recommended by the Archbishop was one in which there would be a charge on industry and some form of equalisation pool throughout the industry. Experiment in several industries had already proved that the additional cost would be very small.
" The family is the foundation and basis of the State; if there is a good family life there will he a good State; if there is a bad family life there will be a bad State...."
" Not Crackpots
Pat Keegan, National Secretary of the Y.C.W., reminded delegates of the purpose of the movement. He reminded them by telling them emphatically what
" The Y.C.W. is not a pious confraternity meeting together only for prayer; it is not an organisation working to show big numbers at A Congress; it is the apostolate of working youth to working youth and it must go out into the streets and get at the working youth, . . .
" You -must not fall Oda the error of working up an agenda for a meeting and discussing polite Socialism; yen must also avoid getting the idea that you're just a few crackpots with a bright idea. You must go with set purpose to win the youth of the country for christ. You must obtain and pool knowledge through inquiry meetings. You must make personal contacts with the youth around you."
Questioned as to whether he thought the Y.C.W. could influence action of the Government in this country, Mr Keegan stated that the Y.C.W. was already recognised by the National Youth Committee. When the Committee were considering the provision of hostels for youths working away from home at armament factories they asked the Y.C.W. for any useful information which
they might have obtained through the enquiry meetings. He also reported that Professor Morgan, after carrying out an investigation of the problems of youth for the King George Jubilee Trust, had expressed the wish to know much more of the Y.C.W. as he thought it was going to play an important part among the youth of to-day, and he gave a lengthy report of the Y.C.W. to the Trust.
On Easter Sunday morning the chapel of the Retreat House was packed for the Missa Dia.logata.
The first lecture of the morning was by the Rev. R. J. Foster on the Holy Family, followed by the Rev. Stephen Dessain, Cong. Orat„ on " The Moral of the Fa ni ily."
ler. Deeeain pointed out that the state of parenthood is just as much a vocation as the priesthood. God relied on the parent to carry on the human race; He had given to the parent the vocation of filling heaven. " The principal modern enemies of the family are divorce and birth control," said the priest, Commenting on the now outworn bogey of the over-population of the world, Fr. Stephen reminded his young hearers of Chesterton's famous example: if there are ten heads and eight hats the birth preventionist would cut off two heads, whereas the Catholic would make two more hats.
In the afternoon the Young Christian Workers held a general assembly at the Birmingham Oratory.
Ai Ibis meeting the Rev. E. Langdale spoke on " The Spiritual Life of the Family."
The priest called for a revival of family prayers. "That husbands and wives should say their prayers separately is an oddity. Prayers and attendance at church should be a family affair.
The Rev. G. Rimmer spoke on " The Preparation for Marriage."
He condemned long courtships. " Human nature being what it is, five and six-year courtships are criminal folly and essentially wrong." The Church was against such courtships as they almost certainly lead to serious sin.
The speaker gave the following six pointers for his hearers to keep before them in their preparation for marriage.
1. Reverence for women.
3. Care in choosing a suitable partner.
4. Preparation financially.
5. Frequenting of the Sacraments.
6. Choosing of a confessor and spiritual adviser (" be honest with him and take his advice"),
The following eections were represented at the Conference: Wigan, Poplar. West Chelsea, Dockside, Gravesend, Middlesbrough (Cathedral and St. Philomena's), Blackburn, Freston, Widnes, Wavertree, Liverpool (St. Alphonsusn, Southampton, Sheffield, Hull, and live Birmingham sections.
Reports of work done at these sections were given. Typical is this, of St. Alphonsuse Liverpool: Decorated meeting root—started campaign for family prayer cards—ran a Y.C.W. retreat—each leader has got one or two men hack to the Sacraments. " And that's all," laconically concluded the boy who read the report,