THE NEED FOR MORE DAY-SCHOOLS
By FATHER C. C. MARTINDALE, S.Js
THE contrast between my Palm „„nday week-end and my Laster e i_ Len d could hardly have been er, e ..I he former x-as spent in laat Lt . 1 c 1'011411d Adel; the latter, in
e ,. ... north-country Catholic school.
Apart front the question of amenities —the beauty of the Lancashire scene; the ancient history of the Ribble and Hodder valleys and hills; the simplicity and grandeur, thc sense of freedom and the devotion, of the school itself—what was so impressive, so good fur the spiritual lungs, was the sense that you were. here in a "Catholic society," about
ratholte Herald has so much
which the to say.
Neariy :seventy " old boys" (complete with "school tic," so much mocked at by an inverted snobbery!) were making their Easter retreat, and you were in a world where confessioe and rommunion were universally taken for granted, taken for granted by young (and older) men who could play rugger as well as anyone, who arrived shatteringly in cars, who did not disdain their beer—who were, in fact, just like auyone else who was averagely hefty, but whoee minds were interiorly different.
Utopia is Nowhere They judged differently actions that might be just like anyone else's but very likely weren't—anyway, who constituted a Catholic society where you felt at home not because you had been educated in this school (I wasn't), but because you were Catholic, and coula all of you take it for granted, and did not have to pick Catholics out, like desolate currants in a doughy bun, as you must do in barracks, hospitals, ships, or anywhere where the life is not all of a piece.
This was, to me, a good refresher, though I quite well see that life cannot usually he like that, and I totally disbelieve in, for example, Mgr. Benson's utopian "Cat holie colony." The approaching canonizations will make ne often hear the word utopia. T used to think it meant, from the Greek. a "good place." As a matter of fact, I believe it meant a "nowhere place."
The Parents' Fault
Still, I sec what problems these big schools provide. Personally, I have always liked the idea of very good regional grammar-schools, and I have always detested the suspicion that Catholic schools may now and again be trying to he as like Eton or Harrow as they can.
Eton and Harrow had, and even have, very good points; but apart from their not being any longer sure of themselves and continually tinkering at their own system (if any) of education, I should be extremely sorry if Catholic schools
copied them, for one ought always
to be oneself and not copy anyone. As a matter of fact, it k the Catholic parent 'Philo 111,1!4•■ On the colts Faye by rare exception, when a ne• taken headmaster takes the apish initiative.
None the la is. how difficult is Cat problem 1iC1: by cair own big schools! Lay-masters teaching thereare, if net in a dead-end job, at least in one the'. Lan hardly carry them to the highest positions that normally they might covet and of 'Which indeed they are often worthy.
Larger Lay Staffs
I cannot but think that, given our frightful need of many more gowl secondary schools, probably not hoarding-sehools (save for a minority of boys whose homes were genuinely too distant to enable them to come to seltool each day), we might well develop a system of such schools where only a small nucleus of the staff ae.; 3 onged to a religious order (I am clear that such a nucleus remains very valuable and probably normally indispensable, at anyrate in our lifetime). but in which the bulk of the staff as lay, able to aspire if not to headmasterships (the clash with tradition would be too violent to admit of euccese) at least to dignified and permanent posts enabling them to marry and develop their familic, properly.
This need of secondary schools has been adequately visualized by us only recently, if indeed we see it adequately now. And this applies not only to thie island but to almost every region where English is spoken.
The Matter of Calling
But what demands this makes upon rharacter! A characterless Catholic with a degree is worse, as school-master, than any selid, well-instructed, degreeless Catholic who can be relied cm.
Boys are quick guessers. They know very soon if their master takes a night off now and again. They see through, disbelieve in, and scornfully envy the Bad Character.
Now I doubt if any character can survive school-mastering unless its ewner have alo a vocation. Let us have done with the equating of vocation with religious vocation. Every man is bound to have a vocation, simply because God cannot create any man without a purpose; and if God purposes this or that for a man; he calls him to fulfil that purpose.
If I am to save my soul as a butcher, I am called to be a butcher. If I make a good school-master, that is because I have a vocation to be a school-master.
M.P.s and Martyrdom One reason why school-masters in the colonies, among natives, so oftee make a hideous mess of things is because they have no vocation whatsoever to be school-masters; they regard their occupation as the necessary job hich they would find nowhere else, certainly not at home, or at best arc faddisis.
It remains that the priesthood, schonlmastering, and doctoring seem to me about the highest vocations that there are, save also that of being a politician. assuming that the politician is also prepared to he an evangelist and especially a martyr. . . Wonde.eful vision—the House of Commons tilled with apostolic martyrs!
Well, when all is said and done, it is character that counts; if a man has an extra dose of intelligence, so much the better, but the clever bad man is just a Satan.
Twang and Burr Well, I prefer, iit the moment, to repose ins mind and imagination among these old grey walla and to reflect on the Lanca-Wire witches, and to rehearse old sturdy names that have survived the centuries ever since their yeoman
Continued from, preriovs column bearers stubbornly laid down their lives, or anyhow their livelihoods, for the Faith, and to look with contentment at sI) many young fellows. still at school, whose mentalities please me very much; awl to recall that my only excuse for Icing here is to explain, because I happen to live in London, the tremendous enterprise that they wish to undertake in a very poor parish there.
Yes; the Cockney twang cuts across the Lancashire burr, and I like both. Not that this school burrs. But the fells, the rivers, and the ancient farms around us do so. I shall go back to 'London with my convictions strengthened and my hopes higher, and thinking still better (if possible) of the two awls Of England,