The one hundredth and twelfth issue of the Catholic Directory shows an increase of the Catholic population in England and Wales of 120,700, and a total of 2,648,900.
The increase last year was 84,600, the present figures, therefore, show a rate of increase nearly 50 per cent greater than those for 1947-1948. The total Catholic population may well be higher because several dioceses have obviously not sent in up-todate figures.
The total Catholic population of the whole of the British Isles is given as 6,472.490. of the British Empire as 21,928,779. The Catholic population of the English-speaking countries and their dependencies as approximately one-sixth of the Catholics of the world with a total Of 63,539,975. The total number of priests working in the dioceses of England and Wales shows an increase of 58 with a total of seculars and regulars of 6.610. An encouraging detail in this increase is that all but six of the greater number of priests are diocesan clergy.
The public churches and chapels which last year showed a decrease of 3, because temporary chapels had been closed, this year increase by 68. The total is 2,821, 1,950 of which are registered ft r marriages.
Catholic secondary schools now number 577, an increase of 9, with 94,309 pupils -an increase of 6.924. Reorganisation is reflected in the smaller number of " Elementary Schools " (an out-of-date classifica(ion).
Conversions in 1947 show a total of 10,594, an increase of 231 for the year on 1946.
[The Catholic Directory is published by Burns Owes at 15s.].