Africa Centre to
be opened here
'CATHOLIC HERALD' REPORTER
HIGH ranking representatives of Orders of men and women engaged in missionary work in Africa met in London last week to find ways of getting Catholics here to stop thinking that their co-operation ends with just twopence a week. and prayer.
The Pope's Encyclical of a year ago warning us that Islam and materialism are on the march in Africa has been worrying these representatives. At the invitation of the African Committee of the Sword of the Spirit they came to Holyrood House and spent two days in lively discussion. And they agreed that an Africa Centre must at once be set up over here.
The most important and largest gathering as yet of this sort, the representatives came from 22 Orders for men, 24 for women. 31 represented Catholic societies, and there were also individuals who are experts in particular fields having connection with the problem.
Four Bishops put in part-time appearances, and gave brief addresses. among them the Apos tolic Delegate, the Archbishop of Westminster, and Archbishop Mathew. There was also a missionary Bishop, Mgr. Moynagh from Calabar, Nigeria.
Lay assistance on the part of teachers, doctors and social workers is needed in Africa to supplement the work of harassed priests and nuns. This point came in for considerable discussion, and suitability of character was stressed. Where Catholic technicians taking up jobs in Africa were concerned, it was felt that enormous good could be done by them with the example of a Christian life along with ability in their profession.
A telegram was read from the Holy Father imparting his blessing on the gathering.
The functions of the Africa Centre to be set up in London as the result of the deliberations are: The collection and dissemination of information about African affairs generally . and missionary activities.
The maintenance of contact with visitors from Africa.
A clearing-house for the recruitment of Catholics in medical. social, educational. technical and other services for posts in African territories.
To provide background courses for Catholic laymen going to Africa.