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less useful to a parish priest than are wide knowledge and ardent zeal. The happy combination of spirituality and humanness which so often results in a certain measure of personal magnetism that irresistibly draws him to the young men of his flock, is a peculiarly valuable external grace for which a priest may well be especially thankful. With the active support of these young men in his various social works, a pastor is safe to achieve results eminently worth while. Lacking such support, a measurable amount of commendable, not to say necessary, work will assuredly be left undone. Not all priests possess this personal magnetism, and those who are without it must do the best they can to supply its place by additional work-and prayer. All priests, however, can, if they will, avoid in their relations with their lay helpers, be these helpers young or old, men or women, one capital fault—the domineering spirit, the tendency to play the rôle of dictator or autocrat, the obvious desire to be what has been inelegantly, if expressively, called “the whole push." The records of many a parish throughout this country are the graveyards of scores of societies done to death by the despotic officiousness of wellmeaning priests who were consumed with a zeal not according to knowledge.
While the scope of this chapter does not admit of any detailed description of the multifarious “works" in which the social action of the priest may display itself, it may be worth while to remark that the religious societies to be found in all wellorganized parishes can be utilized for social service of various kinds. A present-day specialist in the work of the laity, Father Garesché, S. J., enumerates, for instance, the following activities of committees in certain sodalities: “They are making a survey of the parish, organizing parish welfare sections, helping the poor and the sick, distributing Catholic literature, assisting the missions, teaching Catechism, looking after friendless boys and girls, promoting sociability among Catholics, aiding the parish schools, and in many other ways acting as a zealous lay auxiliary to their pastors.” An energetic pastor who has in his parish a St. Vincent de Paul Conference or a Holy Name Society should, it would seem, be able similarly to widen the service of such an organization beyond the specific purpose for which it was established. Young men's institutes can readily be utilized for other work than the primary one of promoting the moral and physical well-being of the members— utilized, for instance, in efficiently aiding the pastor in his solution of the ofttimes arduous boyproblem. And so with other existing societies, clubs, circles, or guilds: each of them, with no detriment to its particular aim, may be made serviceable in one or another department of the Catholic lay apostolate.
To sum up: an exemplary priest of the present day can not well afford to ignore either the theory or the practice of social action. While such action is only secondary or supplementary to his spiritual ministrations, it is often so bound up with the religious welfare of his people that to neglect it may easily be tantamount to a dereliction of pastoral duty. The general knowledge of social science which he has casually acquired may commendably be increased by his reading such works as deal with the particular social problems existent in his parish; and the incidental social work which he habitually performs in attending to his parishioners may laudably be augmented by definitely organized social service. Priestly zeal will lead him to avail himself of the help of the laity, and common sense will prevent his alienating such help by underrating its importance, checking its initiative, or obscuring its merit. “It is a great art,” says Father Vermeersch on this point, “an art which requires self-effacement—not to be too much in evidence, but to encourage the initiative of others; to suggest useful proposals, and let others have the credit of their results."
THE PRIEST AS TRAVELLER
The travelled mind is the catholic mind, educated out of exclusiveness and egotism.-A. B. Alcott.
The world is a great book, of which they who never stir from home read only a page.-St. Augustine.
In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils from my own nation, in perils from the gen. tiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea.—2 Cor.: æl, 26. THE thoughtful reader of the new Codex of
Canon Law as a whole, or of any notable portion thereof, cannot but be struck with the admirable sanity, the common-sense judiciousness, and the forthright practicality evidenced in its various provisions. Nowhere else in the Code, perhaps, are these qualities more conspicuous than in the division which, quite naturally, proves especially interesting to priests, book second, "De Personis." And not the least admirable of the regulations set forth in this second book is canon 465, in virtue of which pastors are allowed to take an annual vacation of two months, either continuous or interrupted, a privilege restricted only by the wise provision that, when a pastor desires to go away for more than a week, he must secure the acquiescence of his Ordinary and provide an approved priest for the care of his parish. It may not be necessary, but neither is it impertinent, to add that to this particular canon, not less than to any and all others in the new Code, are applicable these sentences of the reigning Pontiff in his Bull of promulgation, Providentissima Mater Ecclesia: "All enactments, constitutions and privileges whatsoever, even those worthy of special and individual mention, and customs, even immemorial, and all other things whatsoever to the contrary notwithstanding. Wherefore let no one violate or rashly oppose in any way this document of our constitution, ordinance, limitation, suppression, derogation, and expressed will."
It means much, to some of us at any rate, that the wise old Church, taking account of her experience throughout the centuries, and supplementing her previous legislation by specific statutes in harmony with present-day conditions, has thus set the seal of her high approval on the principle of vacations. Henceforth a priest's taking his holidays will be considered an entirely natural procedure, something to be done as a simple matter of course, and not a more or less abnormal measure, scarcely compatible with priestly zeal, undertaken in something of an apologetic spirit, and justifiable only as a necessary preventive of imminent physical collapse or nervous breakdown. That a good many ecclesiastical and religious superiors have hitherto underestimated the importance of vacations in the life of a priest, and quite underrated the value of periodical holidays in increasing the priest's efficiency in his appointed work, is a statement not likely, we think, to be called in question by any judicious cleric who has reached the fifth decade of his years. To speak of no others than the dead, we have personally known several Ordinaries and religious superiors who, while admit