LAST week's great news that our Catholic Youth Movement has been nationalised by direction of the Bishops of England and Wales is all the More welcome when it is appreciated that the decision has been reached after considerable thought and discussion. I learn that Bishop Mathew, the first chairman of the Movement (we must now familiarise ourselves with the initials, N.C.Y.A.), was requested as far back as October last year to undertake the spade-work. By thoroughly acquainting himself with the many and varied activities of Youth throughout the country, and by personal contact with those responsible, he has at fast been able to have the hierarchy approve a plan that will satisfy all.
Salient points of the schemes are that the N.C.Y.A. will comprise representatives of each of out eighteen dioceses. as well as representatives of each national society engaged in any active (as distinct From purely spiritual) work for boys and girls.
The Y.C.W. and the Squires will have a block affiliation, the result being that the sum total of Catholic effort in the Youth field will be the essence of the new national representative body, that that act as a sort of ha Ron between Government and Catholic youth, as well as encourage and co-ordinate Catholic act shy. Within the rough framework of the scheme there appear at once ,arictio creases in an attrac
t/1'e canvas that will • have to be ironed out. and delegates will have their. chance to thrash things out. at the first general con
vention to be held this month. I feel that the N.C.Y.A. through the very fact of its existence, apart from any propaganda work it will undertake. will do much to intensify the Movement everywhere_ till the point Is reached when we can say that Catholic Youth is being catered Junin every parish wolund a single exception.
IF YOU GET A CHANCE—GO
" If any boy gets the chance of going to one of these N.A.B.C. courses, he should take it,writes Bernard O'Leary, one of four boys between 16 and 18 sent by Fr. Peter Moore, of the St. John's, Islington (London) Club to a recent course for training Leaders held by the National Association of Boys Clubs at the Regent Street Polytechnic. They attended on six alteinate Sundays .hetween 11 and 6, and had their meals supplied.
Says Bernard: " Arriving on the first Sunday. we were divided into various groups, according to the patticular branch of club work we had chosen for special study. Jimmy Grounds nad selected ' Club Manage
ment,' Louis Marenghi and Charlie Sweatman ' Arts and Crafts,' whilst
had chosen ' Drama.' " Though the lads saw little of each other during the day, they met for meals and the general lecture and debate which wound up the day. Bernard. busy in his section, began by learning the different types of play, how to choose items suitable for 4:tub fellows to produce, how to choose a cast, and how to improvise costumes. In the afternoon be had exercises in acting.
The second Sunday Bernard spent at Toynbee Hall, where he watched and helped to criticise the annual Shakespeare •Festival, while on the third (and now back at the Polytechnic), he learnt about stage setting and lighting. devoting the atternoon to acting.
" We went over many points," says Bernard, " which might otherwise have been missed. The course wa-s concluded with a week-end at Aldenham College in the country (a most enjoyable time). I for one can truthfully say it was one of the best things of my eighteen years of life. During the week-end the drama group, with the help of the other groups, put on a show which was good fun for all. We held debates and sports, and formed a youth council for discussing matters and difficultes which may occur in all London clubs."