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Arkansas Catholic
Litlte Rock, Arkansas
March 1, 1930     Arkansas Catholic
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March 1, 1930

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With the approach of Lent, the session of p~yer and serious consid- eration of the vital facts of our re- lation to .God our Creator, Redeemer and Final Judge, it has been my rule be v~ite you on some topic bearing on these essentials of Chris- tian life. On several occasions I have made use of a recent letter of our Holy Father the Pope. At times I have made extracts from it, call- ing to your attention the principles thereof, in order to impress on you those things on which the head of the Church wishes to advise us all. It seems providential that Our Holy Father has gi/'en us at this time his wonderful Encyclical Letter on that most troubled of all prob- lems, education. It is most oppor- tune then, that we should have the instructive and inspiring words of the Supreme Pontiff before us dur- imr this time of prayer and reflee.- tton. "So important and so vital are the words of this letter of Our Holy Father, that I feel it a duty 'to give everyone the opportunity of hearing Word for word, the full text of His ~aessage. Therefore for this Lent I am proposing t~) you for meditation, Study and guidance the words of the Head of the Church on this most im- I)ortant of all topics. ' With but a few words I am pre- senting it to you and sincerely hope that you will hear it thoughtfully and carefully, and of course, with the reverence that is due a solemn pro- nou~cement of the Vicar of Christ: and the Supreme Head of the Church. Before going further let me call Your attention to the fact that in this statement on Christian education Pope Plus XI, is not proposing anything timt is new or strange to Catholics or Catholic thought. Our Holy Father has gathered together the age old teachings and traditions of the Church and places them be- fore us again in this concise form, to assist us and enlighten us in our dealings with the ~)roblem of educa- tion. You will see. that in unmistakable terms the Head of the Church clearly sets forth the Place and duty of the family, of the State and of the Church in educational ma~ers. It is also interesting to note that the Supreme Pontiff refers to a recent To The Clergy and Laity Greeting: decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in th~ course ,~f His explanation. The Pope points out that the real difficulty of the present problem of education is to be found in the fact that those eutside of the Church have persisted in ignoring the neces- sity of religion in the formation of the minds and hearts of youth. In doing so they have created the edu- cational problem and in attempting to solve it, they have been led astray by hundreds of theorists who persist in offering untried and hopeless rem- edies. These proposed solutions are useless and produce no effect be- cause they persist in trying to re- place the divine in man with the hu- man. In short, ignoring Eternal Truth, they lead to confusion and spiritual blindness that obscures all sense of true values and in many cases blights and distorLs the na- turally inherent moral sense of man- kind. It is well for you to consider the words of our Holy Father, that our children must not be segregated en- tirely from the rest of the world. He insists that they are preparing to take a place therein, and this prep- arafion to be practical and wort~t while must be of such a character that on its conclusion our youth will be equipped for the position that should be theirs, viz., that of in- telligent men and women who in their own spheres will be ready to defend the' Church, Her teachings and Her ideas and do so |n a capabl~ impressive manner that will win re- spect for themselves and reverence for the Church and Her Mission. Let me call your attention again to the fact, that you are singularly blessed here in this Diocese with In- stltutlons, founded and carried on for thd sole purpose of giving your children the true Catholi: or Chris- tian ideal of culture. Indeed there are few places in thts country where the opportunities for both primary and secondary education along the lines of the highest Christian Princi- ples are so numerous and accessible. These Institutions are being carried on at a great sacrifice by men and women who have dedicated thei~ lives to the work of carrying out the Christian concept of education, which is the only true one and as our Holy Father says, the only hope of all Society. It is then, to be hoped that fathers and mothers will heed the paternal words of advice which our Holy Father offers and consider them se- riously and weigh them, and thus at- tain an appreciation of the tremen- dous import of their duty in the education of their children. To impress us, the Supreme Pon- tiff recalls the awe inspiring words of our Divine Lord, "Woe to the world because of scandals." Parents will then remember that in failing to take advantage of the advice of' the head of the Church and the oppor- tunity offered by the Church for the Christian education of their children, they too may have to bear the burden of the threat contained in the words of our Blessed Lord quoted by the Pope. How many of us have known pa- rents that have failed in this respect and how often have we witnessed the hopeless, lifelong sorrow of these same parents when their chil- dren in later life not only ignored the most precious thing they could give them, but deliberately threw it away defiantly challenging the pa- rents, the Church and God Himself. Therefore, I sincerely hope that )u will accept these words of the Holy Father regarding Education and realize that he-ls speaking the mind of the Cht~rch on this topic. Remem- ber that the Supreme Pontiff is giving you here not his own thoughts, not those of any system newly pro- posed but rather the wisdom of the ages which the Church has gathered through the years. I wish you, priests and people an abundance of the Easter joys and I am sure that you will share in them generously if you will take advant- age of the opportunities of grace which are offered you at this season by the Chur, ch. Remember those who were faithful to Our Divine Master were the firs~ to greet Him on Easter so it will be with you, if you follow the advice of the Church and take advantage of those things which she offers for the good of your soul, so will you participate in their fruits which will be a blessed Easter filled w~h the happiness and peace that only true Faith can find. L [ ]JNO. MORRIS Bishop of Little Rock