Poor Person's Home
SIR,—In a letter last week from " Samsdos " it is asked why parishioners do not give all they have got to give when they come to Mass on Sunday.
To answer this one must understand the life of the working-class homes and habits (I presume the priest only calls on workMg-class families). Mother might have quite enough money just to tide over the week-end, and for the time being only puts in a few pence in the plate on Sunday, but when George comes home on Monday she gets a little from him. Then again her lodger pays her on Monday night, so there are various domestic reasons why all the money cannot be left at the church on Sunday, but they give it when they can.
Then again a parishioner isn't likely to put 2s. in the plate on Sunday if he knows his parish priest is going to call on Monday for some more. There are some other kinds of people who are realty very generous at heart, yet never give anything away unless they are asked and then only if they like the cause. Then others won't give it at church, because they know they will thus miss the honour and pleasure of a visit from their parish priest, with whom they can have a little chat at home, if ever so short a visit.
Some Catholics don't go to Mass at all, and this provides another reason why their cash is not left at the Church, but they willingly give it to their priest when he calls. Some housewives have a habit, rather than a need, of putting their husband's Sunday suit in pawn on Monday, and this extra money is used for things outside housekeeping, such as a bit for the parish priest, insurance man, etc. The running of an ordinary working-class household is a complicated affair, beyond many people's belief perhaps.
As a last example I will give the parishioner who says to himself the parish priest Can have it if he calls for it. "There it is on the mantelpiece, and if he doesn't call for it (which perhaps he rather hopes), it will be used for the pictures or a few extra pints."
I have often thought it would be a good idea certainly in some parishes to form a committee who would be responsible for fixing and collecting a sufficient salary for the parish priest, seeing that so much is put away for church expenses and let the congregation know, in the form of a balance sheet, say each quarter, and if this system was adopted in a businesslike way and our parish priests relieved from the awful distraction and humiliation of worrying, Worrying, worrying over money.
FRANCIS JACKMAN. 49, Redeliffe Gardens. S.W. 10
The Priest's Visit
SIR,—We are told at the Mass, during the sermon, that those who pay outdoor collection are helping to pay for the church rates, ground rents, or for the upkeep of the school; but the money, which is collected inside the church, or outside, helps to keep the church going.
Another extract which struck me in a reader's letter recently was, " We never see a priest except on a cadging tour." Well, all the time I've been going round collecting, a priest has never accompanied me.
There is also one more point, 1 would like to point out, and that is the visiting of priests, to homes of Catholics in his parish. The last time a priest called at my home was thirteen months ago. Considering that our parish has been split up and made quite small, I think that at least they could call at a number of homes once a month.
The forty homes front which I collect are always asking me if the priest is coming to visit them.
What I would like to state clearly is: If priests would go round to the homes of their parishioners once a month, I am sure they would become more popular with their people, and I am sure the people would do a lot more for their priests and church.
OUTDOOR COLLECTOR. Fa ilsworth. Manchester.