By JOAN NEWTON
MT HEN I listened to the pro
gramme. last Sunday. on the Home Service, about the Curd of Ars, St, Jean Baptiste Vianney. I hoped that many other members of the laity were listening as well. It made me realise how much we all owe to the hard-working parish priest.
I think we take our parish priests too much for granted while they carry on cheerfully doing their sometimes humdrum jobs indefinitely. We tend to forget that they need encouragement and that, for them, the saintly Curt of Ars represents the ideal.
There have been many great Popes, bishops and founders of orders who have been canonised but the Curd of Ars in his poverty and simplicity has become the symbol of the perfect parish priest.
Michael Mason wrote the script which included a narration of the Saint's life as well as recordings taken in France. It was an efficient and very interesting piece of radio In fact I am beginning to realise that it is usually a foregone conclusion that a Catholic programme is likely to be, among other things, first rate radio equalling the best on the air.
nNE of the pleasantest aspects of looking and listening on the grand scale is being able to enjoy all the schools lessons—both B.B.C. and ITV—complete with pamphlets.
A great deal of thought and care is put into the production of these lessons and the boOklets which school-children have to help them follow the lessons are beautifully illustrated.
Modern children are indeed lucky to have so many aids to pleasant learning. I am beginning to wonder if the pill isn't being sugared a bit too much and, in some cases, the lessons over-simplified.
VERY few faults can be found
with most B.B.C. sound radio lessons but in the various history lessons and in the religious series we are naturally on sticky ground.
In all my years of listening I have always found the history lessons over-dramatised and oversimplified. Last week in two instances. I considered the scriptwriter had taken unfair advantage of the passivity of his audience. "Modern History" on "William of Orange" dealt with the arrival of William in England to take the throne from James II and with the Battle of the Boyne.
The whole lesson was slanted from William's point of view. He, again. was the "goody". the brave soldier the staunch Protestant and James. the "baddy", the coward and the Papist. All far too simple.
Then in "Stories from British History", which was all about the Perkin Warbeck affair in the time of Henry VII, I was immensely surprised to find that the old chestnut about the wickedness of Richard the Third was still being treated as hundred per cent. fact. Rustic characters in the programme were made to speak badly of him and of his "dying like a dog". It was also sugggested that he had murdered his nephews in the Tower.
carried to extremes in ITV's new series of science lessons "Endless Adventure". The whole of early creation and the evolution of animals was flashed through in a few seconds—undoubtedly very graphically — but never-the-less much too conjecturally. This rapid swish through the ages ended with a picture of ape-man or early man and then started that game of reconstructing how he lived—bones, beards and all.
To end on a sane note. don't forget to watch John Conian's new play this Friday on AssociatedRediffusion. It is called "The Lean Years" and should be well-worth watching. You will remember he also wrote that very successful play "A Kind of Freedom" which was about a young man's struggle against the call to the priesthood.