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to say a quasi-necessity, to a good many priests, especially those who have country parishes with several outlying missions; it is a perfectly legitimate recreation to a good many more clerics who are unable or unwilling to take more active, healthful exercise; and it is an extravagant, time-wasting fad for the exceptional few (and generally youthful) priests who would probably be extravagant and time-wasting in other ways if there were no such things as motor-cars in
existence. Fr. Lavers. As the rube congressman said in his
only speech during the session, “Them's my sentiments to a t." The auto is replacing the horse, and a priest whose work makes the keeping of a horse either a necessity or a notable convenience ought to invest in a car as soon as he
can afford one. Fr. Hogan. Father John's reference to recreation
and exercise suggests a question. How is it that some of our clerical friends who used to deplore their lack of time to take even an hour's walk a day for the good of their health can find, now that they have autos, from two to three
hours a day for riding? Fr. Dempsey. That's an easy one, Tim. It wasn't
time, but inclination, they lacked. Even for those fellows, however, the motor-car is a blessing. They get some fresh air nowadays, anyway. Spinning along the country roads at the rate of twenty miles an hour is much better than lounging around the house, busily engaged in doing nothing
Fr. O'Connor. What about the advantage of hav
ing a car in the case of sick calls? Mgr. Eversley. That argument for the priestly au
tomobile may be easily overstrained, I think. In rural parishes or small villages, it has of course considerable weight; but in our larger towns and our cities street-cars and, in an emergency, taxicabs, furnish as speedy a method of transportation as is necessary. The priest who didn't keep a horse before he purchased his auto will hardly stress its utility with regard
to sick calls. Fr. Brawley. Well, Father John, what do you
think of the priest-chauffeur phase of the question? If I get a car, as I hope to do next year, had I better learn to run it myself, or get my
man-of-all-work to learn how to do so? Fr. John. If I were you, I'd certainly do both. Be
your own chauffeur when you have to, or when you find it convenient; but let your man do the driving when you wish to give a ride to your housekeeper, your Sisters, or any other female friends. And don't forget that the obligation to wear the Roman collar is binding even on priest-chauffeurs. And now, as I haven't any auto, and don't propose to use the street-cars tonight, I must be going back to St. Joseph's. I'll look for you to-morrow or next day, Jerry.
Good night, boys.
Yes? Then wait a minute, Father John, and
THE PRIEST AND SOCIAL PROBLEMS
Religion clean and undefiled before God and the Father, is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their tribulation: and to keep one's self unspotted from the world-St. James: é, 27.
We desire that, towards the end of their education in the seminaries, the aspirants to the priesthood should be instructed, as is fitting, in the pontifical documents which deal with the social question and with the Christian democracy.-Leo XIII.
By an effectual propaganda of writings, by stirring oral exhortations, and by direct aid let the priest strive to ameliorate within the limits of justice and charity the economic condition of the people, favoring and furthering those institutions that tend in that direction, especially those which purpose to marshal the multitudes against the invading domination of socialism, and which at one and the same time save them from economic ruin and moral and religious demoralization.—Pius X.
ALMOST a thousand years before the Christian
era the astes declared: "Nothing under the sun is new, neither is any man able to say: Behold this is new: for it hath already gone before, in the ages that were before us.” Some eight centuries later, in the prologue of Eunuchus, Terence asserted: “In fine, nothing is said now that has not been said before.” And a nineteenth century versifier gives expression to the same idea in the quatrain,
"Nothing under the sun is new :
The old was old in Solomon's day;
As the false and the true will be alway."
As regards essentials and fundamentals, the basic facts of religion and science, and the innate tendencies of human nature, all three statements are no doubt indisputable; but with respect to non-essentials and accidentals, to growth and development of doctrines and beliefs, to inventions in science and discoveries in nature, to creations and combinations in arts and crafts, and to the multifarious ways in which concrete humanity is wont to express itself, Solomon's "Nothing under the sun is new," is as far from the literal truth as would be its contrary, “Everything under the sun is new."
The title of the present chapter, for instance, suggests at once to a middle-aged or an elderly priest a variety of clerical studies and pastoral activities which, in their present form, were practically non-existent when he left the seminary and began the work of the parochial ministry. With regard to acquired knowledge congruous to clerics, it is rather interesting to compare the views set forth in standard priestly handbooks published three or four decades ago with the requirements demanded by accredited ecclesiastical authorities to-day. In one such handbook, published in this country in 1885, we read: “What, then, is a priest bound to know and study especially? He must study especially those things that he needs most, to wit: Theology, dogmatic and moral, Holy Scripture, the principles and maxims of the spiritual life, especially if he has the guidance of religious, whether teachers in his school or cloistered nuns. He must also study Church history, liturgy, and canon law, at least as far as it is needed in this country.”
."i The list probably impressed most of 1 The Oatholic Priesthood, by the Rev. M. MWler, C. 88. R.
its readers when the book was new as being fairly exhaustive, although the author makes no mention of economics, sociology, social action, social service, or the like terms and phrases.
Another clerical volume, published in Paris in 1888, has a chapter entitled "What Branches of Knowledge Should a Priest Preferably Study?" Deferring the discussion of Holy Scripture and theology to subsequent chapters, the author devotes a paragraph to each of the following subjects: one's mother tongue, Latin, philosophy, and sacred eloquence; and concludes with the statement, "There are still other studies very worthy of a priest; such as ecclesiastical history, canon law, literature, the positive sciences, the sciences best known in Europe."2 Here, again, we note the absence of any direct reference to social and economic studies as being quasi-essential to the intellectual equipment of even the scholarly cleric.
Canon Keatinge, whose well-known book, "The Priest: His Character and Work," was published in 1903, devotes, his fifth chapter to “Study. A Taste for Reading"; and advocates attention to various branches besides the technical studies mentioned above; but he, too, pretermits specific treatment of social science as a branch of knowledge scarcely negligible by the sacerdotal student. True, in a later chapter, a thoroughly practical and helpful one on “Social Work and Lay Help,” he expounds a doctrine which indicates a mastery of that science gained either from books or from his experience of life on the mission; but the fact re
· Le Trésor du Prétro, par lo R. P. Mach, k J.