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Arkansas Catholic
Litlte Rock, Arkansas
April 15, 1911     Arkansas Catholic
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April 15, 1911
 

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Page Two THE SOUTHERN GUARDIAN FATHER ABRAM JEFFERSON RYAN THE POET By Rt. Rev. J. M. Lucey, V. G. The two words, poet and priest, are generally given as an index to the character of Father Ryan. We may safely add another title, that of pa- triot, for there is certainly no man in tile whole outh, soldier or civilian, who displayed more. patriotic devotion to the cause of the Southern Confed- eracy than Father Ryan. His whole being, poetic and priestly as it was, seemed to be at any and every moment so permeated with profound Southern feeling that the most trivial circmn- stance as well as the grandest occa- sions of lifo would awaken tile hidden fire as the steel, when it strikes the flint, calls for tile hidden flame. There was no qualification of senti ment or modification of language when speaking of important events of the Civil War. His whole soul became con- centrated in the act of expression of his ideas. On one occasion, thirty-four years ago, when delivering a lecture in a public hall at Pin.e Bluff, Ark., on the career of the leaders of he South- ern Confederacy, he declared that more of true greatness and granduer reposed in the tomb of Robert E. Lee than could be fouml elsewhere in the United States. This was the sentiment that he uttered. The language cannot be recalled. His soul was on fire. His whole frame quivered. His eyes were ablaze, and as the cadence of his pas- sionate tones closed, a hush of fear and awe fell upon the audience. There were present, however, in the audience several men who had serve4 as officers in th.e Federal army. One of thegn, though he had married a Southern lady: could not sit quietly and hear such a eulogy on the idolized commander of the Southern armies. He arose and with his family left the hall. The writ. er the next day asked Col. Herman Carlton, who was present, one of the greatest lawyers of the State and one of the most esteemed among old Con- fedora be sohliers, whether Father Ry- an's languag% properly interpreted; could justly give offense to anyone, and he replied in the negative. But wheth- er or not, Father Ryan could not speak otherwlse On a Southern subject than with the most intense feeling of South. crn patriotism. His Birth. Life and Death. There is some dispute as to the place of his birth and the exact date. Lim- erick, the city of Ireland's broken treaty, claims that he was born there in 1834. BOth Hagerstown, Maryland and Norfolk, Va., claim to be Iris birth place, the former in 1835 and the latter in 1836. The citizens of Norfolk have emphasized their claim by erecting to his memory a beautiful monument in one of their squares. It seems certain that the poet's early childhood was spent in Norfolk. There also lived a distant cousin of his mother, who had a daughter born on the same day as the poet. Their mothers playfully, yet hopefully, be- trothed them in their cradles and for the first five or six years of their lif.e they grew up with an understanding of the matter. When Abram was about seven years of ago his parents moved to St. Louis, Mo,, where lie was sent to the schools of the Christina Brothers. In his growth he becam( thoughtful and seri- ous beyond his years. His spirituality, his reverence for everything holy de- veloped so intensely that at sixteen he proposed to the beautiful girl that he was to have married later that they both give themselves to God. Your heart was born with veil of vir- gin on; I hear it rustle every time we meet. My heart was born with priestly vest- ments on; Thou wouldst not take the vestments from my heart .No more than I would tear the veil from thine. My vested and thy veiled heart part tonight, To climb our Calvary and meet in God. Go find your veil, A id I my vestments. Abram Ryan and Ethel Dallas never met again on earth. In after years lie came across her grave and heard her lifo story from the Superior who had been to her a mother in Christ. To- gether they had vowed to part from each 'other and the world forever. Though they loved each other truly, they deliberately chose the better part in answer to a higher call. Miss Salle Romanum, the comm.on sweetheart of every priest, was generally given by Father Ryan as the name of his be- loved on% when closely pressed for her name. There is no doubt that marriage woahl have cloyed to death the ideals of a life so priestly. It is the general expcrlence that if a priest satisfies Miss Salle Romanum and pleases his bishop: he will not be lonely. "This love talc, crowned by purest sacrifice, ' is very beautifully lohl in one of the poems, "Their Story Run- neth Thus." It is perhaps one of the most unworldly stories ever written and yet the interest in it is acntely human. At the Seminary of Our Lady of Ange]s nt Niagara Falls A'bram J. Ryan studied theology and was or- dained. He was doing missionary work] in Virgina when the Civil War broke] out. He went at once as a ehaplain I in the Confederate army and served I till the close of the war, the greater] PRIEST OF THE SOUTH part of the time in the Eighth Tennes- see Regiment. Then he came back to his humble nfin- istry among the bereaved people of Tennessee and . Georgia, comforting them with 'tl sacraments of tlio church, Singing the .requiems o their dead sons and their "Lost Cause." All hls'stirring battle songs, his "Sen- tinel Songs" anti ' ' in nleuloriams" "were-written in'.these years of that war ad its sad sequel from 1861 to 1870an published in the various Southern journals, chiefly in "The Ban- ner of the South," which he edited himself in Augusta, Ga. Many of them first saw the light in "The Charleston Gazette," edited by Patrick Ford. For a time lie was editor of "The Morning Star," New Orleans. In 1870 he was given charge of a church and congregation, St. Mary's, in Mobile, Ala, where in 1910 a fine menu. ment was erected to his boner, and for thirteen years tie found there compara- tive peace and rest and wrote some of his best poems. From the peaceful seclusion of Mo- bile he was sent on a lecture tour by Bishop Quinlan to collect funds for a cathedral lie was building. That-was in 1883. We hear of Father Ryan for the next two years from various cities of the Union. From Baltimore, where.. after his lecture for the benefit of the cathedral, he gave a second lecture from the proceeds of which, in grati- tude for the hospitality of the ,Tcsuits, lie established a medal for poetry in Loyola College, Baltimore. In Boston the prejudices against the poet of the rebellion melted at once before the ar- dor of the gentle priest, who so loved souls and saw only good in. everybody. te retired to a Franciscan moncstary in Louisville, Ky., in 1885 to write a life of Christ. He died there April 23, 1886. The mourning for him was gen- eral throughout the country, but es- pecially in the South. The great heart of America was touched and gave back generously indeed love for love, irre- spective of color, race or creed. North aml South mourned alike for the man who had given himself so entirely to his country and his God. The Blue and the Gray stood side by side as Captain Lathers placed on his coffin a wreath of lilies and roses, the floral tribute of his soldier friends. Then in a voice trembling with emotion Genera] Baker read the resolutions passed by the Con- federate officers a a meeting held the evening befor% extending heart-felt sympathy to every ex-Confederate who survived the Lost Cause and mourning with them in their common loss. In Father Ryan's death each ex-Confed- erate felt "that the country had been bereft of its brightest ornament; that a precious brilliant had dropped from the coronet of American poesy; that the religion of Christ had lost an elo- quent and a stainless minister, firm in his own faith, but distinguished for his gentle charity to the professors of every faith; and that the ex-Confcd- crate soldier had lmrted forever with the bravest of comrades and the truest and 'tenderest of friends. When the casket containing Father Ryan's remains reached Mobile, it was received by Bishop Quinlan and his priests and a throng of sorrowing friends. Rich and poor, young and old hastened to do honor to the "man they had all loved and revered. On the 26th of April, 1886, after solemn services at the cathedral, the body of Abram Jefferson Ryan was laid at rest in a small brick vault among the deceased Children of lary of lobile, a church organization of young ladies, of which lie was spiritual director. IIere his grave was nameless, until in 1891 a friend placed a marble slab at its head. Later the Children of ]VIary raised a marlfle shaft to his memory. :His last resting place is in the eastern portion of the cemetery, where the rays of the morning sun first fall upon the hallowed precincts. In 1910 an imposing monu- ment was erected through the instru- mentality of the U. C. . and the U. D. C., and it might be said of the entire South, and the whole country for that matter, as contributions were gen- erally made. Priestly Life. In his preface to his poems Father Ryan says thitt "his feet knew more of the humble steps that lead to the altar and its mysteries than of the steps that led up to Parnassus and the home of the muses, and that souls were more precious to him than songs." He won some distinction as a pulpit orator, a lecturer aud an essayist. His pulpit oratory was especially fine. It was not of the cold, unimpassioned kind which passes over the heads of its hear. ors without making any impression either on mind or heart. His words in. variably aroused men to a sense of duty; made them turn from their evil ways and suggested to them high and ualflc aspirations. When lecturing in Boston, Archbishop Williams tohl trim that "there are three rages ]n Boston, Mrs. Laugtry, Laurence Barrett and Father Ryan." One of the Boston pa- pers said: "ttis action was that of a sacred dramatist; his voice was phe- nomenal, his appearance mysterious, his gestures as unconsciously made as a child's, and everybody who heard him loft the church with tile impression that tie holds in reserve an indefinite power of thought wbich lie can muster into service whenever he wishes;" In Montreal the same sympathetic enthusi- asm was aroused. A Jesuit father said: "I never heard such a torent of thought, so I praise God for it, and I never heard such a voice." But the greatness of the work of any priest is not to be traced to his ser- mons, no matter how learned and elo. quent lie may be. It comes, if it comes at all, from the quieter walks of life where in every contact lie imparts what- ever of goodness and holiness he may possess. It is told of Father Ryan that once an ohl apple wonlan, to wheal he had "been particularly kind, in recogni- tion of his charity, one day empticd a dozen or more of her choicest apples into his confessional. A friend of his made public, after his death, a touching incident which illustrates the deep personal intcrest that lie took in each individual case of his parish. Among his parishioners in Mobile was an exquisitely beautiful girl whom he endeavored to convert from a lifo of worldliness and sin. His admonitions and pleadings were in vain, but prostrate before the altar this apostle of souls prayed incessantly for the salvation of this stray lamb of his flock. One day lie received a hasty summons to what proved to be the death bed of his poor penitent. She. with a couple hundred others, had gone on an excursion. There was a boiler explosion. The young girl in question sustained frightful injuries. Her face. hnds and arms were horribly burne,1. She lived just a week. after the acci- dent and died a most edifying death. Father Ryan held a mirror before the girl's face. helping her to say farewell to her shattered beauty and thank God for his wonderful goodness in removing the beauty which to her had been an occasion of sin. Another trait of his priestly life was to aid his brother priests in their par- ish work. In 1877 Father Ryan made a pleasant visit to the writer at Pine Bluff, where lie was and is pastor. There was at the time no railroad con- neetion between Little Reek and Pine Bluff. transportation being by steam- boat or stage. The steamboat was more or less irregular once or twice a week, and the stage a daily. Oil this account the greater part of the travel was by stage. It happened at the time of the visit of Father Ryan that the pastor of Pine Bluff, whose mission extended south to the Louisiana line and east to the Mississippi River, with unknown western linfits, had arranged for the administration of the Sacrament of Confirmation at Arkansas Post by Bish- op Fitzgerahl. 1% was th.erefore neces: sary for him to accompany the bishop, leaving Pine Bluff without a service. Father Rvan arrived at Pine Bluff with Bishop Fitzgerald on a Thursday even. ing, November 8, 1877, by stage. The day was wintry, the snow falling and the outlook gloomy. Father Ryan had been suffering from his .lungs and was very much weakened by the trip. The pastor's house had only two furnished rooms and meals were taken at a distan boarding house. Father Iyan refused' to go to a hotel or to accept an invi- tation from several of the best fami- lies of the city. He said that lie came to Pine Bluff to help his friend, Father Lucey, and take his place on Sunday. If the accommodations were good enough for the pastor they were good enough for him. The next morning Bishop Fitzgeraht and the pastor were obliged to leave Father Ryan in his glory, as they had a seventy-five nfile ride before them. There were some few miles of walking to do. or private conveyance, as it was humorously called, when Bishop Fitz- gerahl carried the big saddle bags, in which were all 'the vestments for divine service-catechisms and books of in- struction. Father Ryan recovered his strength by Sunday and delivered two of his characteristic sermons. During th week he gave a lecture in the largest hall of the town, which was flled by a large and general assemblagn of citi- zens. That h.e captivated every one by his portrayal of Southern character and Southern greatness was to be ex- pected. In returning to Little Rock the distinguish.ed visitors had the good for. tune of a pleasant ride on  steamboat. Literary Work. Besides his poems, Father Ryan wrotc much in prose in the form of articles for newspapers, magazines and a few books, but it is as a poet, and especially as a Southern poet, that his fame wa permanently established. Some one has said that a poet is a person who has beautiful thoughts and writes them for others to read. Father Ryan says that "the poet is great nature's own high priest." A poet needs no biographer, no monu- ment, other than his own songs. Th.ey are the true history of himself, of his mind, his heart, his soul, and are, if there be any good in them, a monument that grows, not deeays, with time. If the messages they bear to other hearts and souls be true in tone, if they have the human power to open hearts and the God-like power to lift them above earth's sores and cares, then they live and grow with the human lives they brighteu and the poet's name is linked with the good words he brought, for- ever and ever. Father Ryan's works were collected and published in ]880. They were of- fered to the public with considerable diffidence on the part of the author, whose humility shone in the fcw touch. ing 'words of preface to the volume. There was considerable diffidence also on the part of the publisher and the few friendly critics who introduced the book to the public. Most of the poems had already up- mystic, meant to touch hearts more than heads, puzzled them. IIow could they understand the priest-poet who elaimod that for happiness, crowns of thorns endure, and are to be chosen before crowns of roses? That Calva- rics and Gethsemanies take deepest hold on humanity? In respectful silence, however, they withheld their formal verdict, while they tacitly made a place for him among the immortals. Ed- mund Clarence Stedman, who, long be- fore, had secured for himself a niche in the emple of fame, gave honorable place in his "Library of American Lit. eraturo" to Father Ryan's "Sweet Blessed Beads." and "The Conquered Banner." William Cullen Bryant placed "The Rosary of My Tears" and "Sen- tinel Songs" among his "World's Gems of Poetic Art." Father John Talbot Smith, whoso opinion is valued in these matters, in a preface to the thirteenth edition of Father Ryan's Poems in 1894, testifies to the genius of the man who, with no technical knowledge of the poet's art, had all the gifts and achieved all the success of the true poet. Said Father Smith: "lie had the uncontrollable divine impulse to sing the emotions of his soul; his mental grasp took in the cx  isteneies of time and eternity, the won- drous relations of man with his Crea- tor and with his own kind; and he ut- tered the soul's thought musically, often with unusual grace and power." That the poems ran through thir- teen editions in fourteen years is a good test of their popularity and so of their merit, for "the heart of the people is always right." Among his Southern patriotic poems, ' ' The Conquered Banner, ' ' ' ' The Sword of Robert Lee" and "The Sentinel Songs" are the most frequently quoted. Father Ryan told a friend how "The Conquered Banner" was written. "I was in Knoxville when the news came that General Lee had surrendered. It was night and I was sitting in my room in a house where many of the regiment of which I was chaplain were quarter- ed, when an old comrade came in and said to me: 'All is lost; General Lee has surrendered.' I knew by his whit- ened face that the news was too true. Then a thousand thoughts came rush- ing through my brain. [ could not con- trol them. That banner was conquered; its folds must bc furled, but its story must be told. We were very poor in the days of the war. [ looked around for a piece of paper to give expression to the thoughts that cried out within me. All that I could find was a piece of brown wrapping paper that lay on the table about an oht pair of shoes that a friend had sent me. [ seized this piece of paper and wrote 'The Conquered Ban- ner.' Then I went to bed, leaving the lines there upon the table. The next morning the regiment was ordered away, and I thought no more of the lines written in such sorrow and deso- lation of spirit on that fateful nigh.t. What was my astonishment o see them a few weeks later appear above my name in a Louisville paper! The poor woman who kept the house in Knoxville had gone, as she afterward told me, into the room to throw the piece of paper into the fire, when she saw that there was something writte.n on .it. She said that she sat down and cried, and, copying the lines, she sent them to a newspaper in Louisville. And that was how 'The Conquered Banner' got into print." THE CONQUERED BANIER. Father Ryan. Furl that Banner, for it's weary; 'Round its staff 'tis drooping dreary; Furl it, fold it, it is best; For there's no a man to wave it, And there's not a sword to save it, Aud "there's not one left to lave it In the blood which heroes gave it, And its foes now scorn and brave it; Furl it, hide it, let it rest. Take that Banner downl 'tis tattered; Broken is its staff and shattered; And the valiant hosts are scattered Over whom 'it floated high. third of a series of sermons on ,"Spir- itual Lessons from the gouthern Poets." His subject was Father Ryan. i He saidj in part: "Father Ryan is the most religious poet of the South. Lanier was musi- cian, philosopher, scientist, even in his: verse. Poe was a consummate artist,! a melodist of the most exquisite witch- cry. Hayno is full of woodcraft and the pure love of literature. Key is a p'ltriotic lawyer and theological hym- mist of the nobl) sort. Father Ryan in his verse seems to know nothing but the hunmn heart and God. "The greatest of Father Ryan's poems is his famous 'Song of the Mys- tie.' It is a confession of lfis mystic faith. It haunts one like the strange enchantment of Schubert's 'Serenade,' or the weird wonder of Itandel's 'Largo.' It is a comment on the an- cient words, 'Be still and know that I am God.' It reveals the value of solitude and silence. It tells us that sometimes we ought to shut out the uorld entirely and wlthdraw into the quiet,*and tlmre find in our own hearts a valley of silence, where God may speak and show to us things unutter- able. ' ' In Baltimore, 1906 the Rev. Dr. eli- OME HOMTLY TRUTHS. ver Ituckel, pastor of the Associate By the Rev. Dr. Cantwell, Editor of Congregational Church, preached the The ]k[onitor, New Jerscy. SONG OF THE MYSTIC. :Father Ryan. I walk down the Valley of Silence, Down the dim, voiceless valley, alonel And I hear not the fall of a footstep Around me, save God's and my own; And the hush of my heart is as holy As hovers where angels have flovn. Long ago I was weary of voices hose music my heart could not win; Long ago I was weary of noises That fretted my soul with their c.in; l:,o,g ago I was weary of places Where I met but the humans--and sin I walked in the world with the worldly; I craved what the worhl never gave; And I said: "In the world each ideal That shines like a star on life's wave Is wrecked on the shores of the And sleeps like a dream in a grave." And still did I pine for the Perfect And still found the False with the True; I sought 'mid the human for ttcaven But caught a mere glimpse of i/s blue; And I wept when the clouds of the mortal Veiled even that glimpse from my view. Oh! 'tis hard for us to fold it; That never shall float into speech; lIard to think there's none to hold it; And [ have had dreams in the Valley Hard that those who once unrolled it Too lofty for language to reach. And I toiled on, heart-tired of the hu- man, And I moaned mi the mazes of men, Till I knel L long ago, at an altar, And I heard a voice call me; since then I walk down the Valley of Silence That lies far beyond mortal ken. Do you ask what I found in the Valley? 'Tis my trysting place with the Di- vine. And I feel at the feet of the Holy, And above me a voice said: "Be mine. ' ' And tlere arose from the depths of my spirit An echo, "My heart shall be thine." Do you ask how I live in the Valley? I weep, and I dream, and I pray. But my tears are as sweet as the dew- drops That fall on the roses in May; And my prayer, like a perfume from Censers, Ascendeth to God night and day. In the hush of the Valley of Silence I dream all the songs that I sing; And the music floats down the dim Valley Till each finds a word for a wing, That to hearts, like the Dove of the Deluge, A message of Peace they may bring. But far on the deep there are billows That never shall break on the beach; And that [ have heard songs in the silence And I have seen thoughts in the Val- ley- Ahl me, how my spirit was stirred And they wear holy veils on their faces Their footsteps can scarcely be heard They pass through the Valley like Vir gins, Too pure for the touch of a wordl Do you ask me the place of the Valley: Ye hearts that are harrowed by care? It licth afar between the mountains. And God and His Angels are there; And one is the dark mount of Sorrow And one the bright mountain of Prayer. We must now conclude this imper- fect sketcii of Father Ryan's life It has been to us a labor of love. especially as we are fulfilling, a long- deferred promse to a dear friend in Little Rock that we would sometime soon etch out in the form of rcmlnis- once aml tribute what we had gath- ered concerning one who had long been idolized in every Southern heart. We can safely leave the highly honorable career of the noble-hearted Father Rvau to the safe keeping of those who glory in their membership in the U. D. C., .*.he U. C. V. and the U. S. C. V. And th,ls for a time we bid farewell to Father Ryan. T'amp--Kin I get a bite to oat here? Woman--Yes, if you'll saw that pile of wood Tramp (sizing up the job)--I ain't askin' for no ten dollar a plate ban- quet, lady.--Boston Transcript. Now must furl it with a sigh. Fur] that Banner! furl it sadlyI Once ten thousand hailed it gladly, And ton thousand wildly, madly Swore it should forever wave; Swore that foeman's sword should never Hearts like theirs entwined dissever, Till that flag should float forever O'er their freedom or their grave! Furl it! for the hands that grasped it, And the hearts that fondly clasped it, Cold and dead are ]ylng low; And that Banner--it is trailingl While around it sounds the wailing Of its people in their woe. For though conquered, they adore it! Love the cold, dead hands that bore itl Wep for those who fell before ill Pardon those who trailed and tore itl But, oh! wildly they deplore it, Now who furl and fold it so. Furl that Banner; Tru 'tis gory, Yet 'tis wreathed around with glory, And 'twill live in song and story, Though its folds arc in the dust; For its fame on bright, est pages, Penned by poets and sages, Shall go sounding down the ages-- Furl its folds though now we must. pcared from time to time in various Fur] that Banner, softly, slowly, publications. North and South, and they Treat it gently--it is holy-- had. in every instance pleased the popu- For it droops above the dead. Jar ear. The professional critics re. I Touch it not--unfold it never, rosined almost altogether dumb. ]Let it droop there, furled forever, The sad, minor key of the gentle[ For its people's hopes are dead. Great cathedrals are necessary; they are especially necessary among Catho- lics. They are necessary, because they are the highest material expression of the Christian's faith; because they are the places of worship to God and, right- fully, the grandest that the mind of man cau conceive, the grandcst that the hand of man can build. No one with a proper appreciation of the rela. tions between the creature and his Cre- ator can object to them. Great cathedrals are necessary among Catholics especially, becaus- the church is the home of God; it there, in the tabernacle, that the Abid- ing Presence dwells. And vho will put limits to the costliness and the beauty of God's house? Shame on the great Catholic diocese that does not aspire to have a great cathedral, the crown and glory of the diocese and the supremetabernacle of thc Blessed Sacrament! Great universities are necessary; they are necessary as the abodes of the highest learning and the citadel of truth. The universities are the filling- out of the church's ideal in education; from their walls must come the de. fenders of her doctrines; they must house the profound scholars who will cope with a profane science which in- sists that there is a perpetual conflict between the natural and the super natural order. But though cathedrals and universi- ties are necessary, there are two agen- cies which are far more necessary for the spiritual well-being of the children of God; we mean the parochial school and the Catholic press. No man who thinks can doubt this. And we have the .direct testimony of Our Holy Father Plus X to the same effect. Leo XIII and Pins X have both insisted over and over again on the necessity of the Catholic press. Leo XIII has declared that a Catholic pa- per is a continuous mission and Plus X has announced that in vain will we build chnrches and schools if we neg- lect the press. What stronger testi- mony could Pins X give to the impor- tance of the Catholic press than his command that over the little print- shop in Venice which he had estab- lished and from which a Catholic pa- per he had founded was published, there should be placed this inscription: "The Greatest Work of Plus X." The indifference of Catholics in the Cnited States to the Catholic press is unaccountable. We cannot explain it in an intelligent Catholic people. Were it not for the self-sacrifice of a com- paratively few individuals, the Cath- olic press of the United States might be represented by a series of noughts. We have not one single English daily; and we have but few Catholic week- lies that are not battling against ex- tinction. The poverty and the neglect of Catholic editors are almost a prey. orb. And it is only through the fasci- nation of the faith that men like Daly and McCarthy and O'Shea and O'tIa- gun and so many other fine Catholic laymen cling to their work. When the gifted O'Malley died he left his family struggling. We charge that the Catholic laity in general are dead to the necessity of a strong Catholic press and we are of opinion that much of this indiffer- ence is due to the priesthood. Some one has said that the curse of the Celt is his individualism. Does it come down from the old patriarchal idea which held so deeply in the Irish life? The Celt is an individualist. The joke that you never saw an Irish or- chestra, becanse every man would want to be a leader, seems to have a foun- dation in fact. No priest in the world works harder within the limits of his parish than the Irlsh-American priest. He is su- preme there. But no priest in the world is less disposed to aid the church's work outside of those limits. In com- parison to our Protestant neighbors, what we Catholics do for the missions of the church is insignificant. Place any of us priests in cllarge of a mis- sionary department, we are willing to work ourselves to death; ask any of us parish priests for a collection for the missions and we turn away with indifference. s it the individualism of the Ceil? And who cares for the Catholic press? It does not concern the priest why should it concern the people? It is not a parish matter, let it live or die. In the meanwhile, two-thirds of the Catholic people rarely hear a ser- mon. There are four five,, six or seven Masses; priest and church edifice are pressed to meet the demand; the ser- mon is at the last lass. Circumstances make a sermon of any length an im- possibility. The most successful preach- er is the newsboy on the street corner. The Sunday reading is the scandals, the sensations, the crimes, the heresies, the false principles, the suspicious mor- ality of the daily press. ffight we not ]lave at least the antidote in the home? Evenpoison, when deprived of it poi- sonous element, as it enters, is not dan. gerous; it is really no longer poison. A mind and Imart fortified against this worldly and dangerous reading by right principles and solid instruction is to some degree proof against the poison. We must rid the serpent of his poisonous fangs. Is New Jersey doing its share for the Catholic press? Who knows? Who cares? Does a Catholic paper enter every Catholic home? Until this is accomplished, nmch remains to be done. A beautiful stone church? Yesl But our Lord did not consent to change the stones into breadl , Continued o. Page 7 % !