FATHER JULES VANDEL reached Sydney on November 10th, 1894. He was the first Superior of the Community at Kensington and first Novice Master in Australia. When the Apostolic School was opened at Douglas Park he was appointed to its direct control. A dis­tinguished scholar, Father Vandel led a secluded and retired life. He was scarcely known outside the Community, but those who had the privilege of knowing him were deeply impressed by his winning personality, his gentle courtesy, and his profound knowledge of every branch of priestly science. The novices who were trained by this lovable priest hold him in great veneration, and retain to this day grateful memories of his fatherly care.



Rev. J. Vandel, M.S.C, D.D., Ph.D. Annals 1930

            It is the month of May. Christian souls throng around the altars of the Virgin Mother, and when the holy hymns and canticles sung in her honour cease to resound through the vaulted temples, there is heard the subdued murmur of prayer, the sighs of many an aching heart, as one by one the beads of their chaplets glide through their fingers. It is the month of May; all sorrow is arrested, all anguish sleeps, all passions are put to flight, all [ics are re-assured, all virtues blossom again. It is the month of May, the springtime of the soul, the season of grace, of prayer, of praise and repentance. During this joyous month is fulfilled from all parts of the earth the grand prophecy of the Queen of prophets, "Behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed."

            Beneath our Austral skies the month of May has not, perhaps, all the Charms which make it in the old world a veritable spring-time. However, is not without its own peculiar attractions. The burning heat of summer has passed away, the cold blasts of winter have not yet touched us. Refreshed with welcome autumn showers, the parched meadows are clothed anew with verdure, and fragrant shrubs waft far and wide their revivified perfumes. Our mornings are bright and fresh, our evenings calm and glorious.   Along our shores and in our forests gentle breezes play, and in the nocturnal serenity of our skies arc reflected countless stars.

            Our souls also are oftentimes parched by the summer's heat, by seasons of depression and aridity, when the atmosphere of earthly cares grows heavier and more stilled, when our passions rise like burning winds which blight and wither up the flowers of piety, when the world, like an implacable sun, envelops us in its consuming rays. It is the hour for us to repeat with the spouse of the canticles, "Come, O south wind, blow through my garden, and let the aromatical spices thereof flow." It is the hour for us to call with the prophet for the salutary rain: "Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the just." And it is thus that the month of May comes like the refreshing breeze which assuaged the heat of the furnace wherein were cast the three young Hebrews, "He made the midst of the furnace like the blowing of a wind bringing dew." It is thus Mary comes to our souls like the gentle autumn breeze which revives the drooping flowers, like the welcome shower which fructifies the arid soil.

            For all the Associates of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart the month of May should be a season of renewal of graces. Throughout the whole earth, in gorgeous cathedrals, in little convent chapels, in quiet country churches, in the sublime basilicas of the Eternal City, upon the shores of the distant islands of Oceania, beneath the palm trees of the deserts of Africa, everywhere the faithful clients of Mary are celebrating with piety the month of May, bringing flowers and offerings to deck the altars of the Queen of Heaven, appealing to her clemency, and begging her, unworthy though they be, to shower upon them her countless favours.

            Amidst all the devout clients of Mary the immense family of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart is not wanting for proofs of her love, nor do they lack fervour and perseverance in prayer. From many a spot marked out for us by Providence, in convents and colleges, in crowded cities and in desert solitudes, we meet each evening beneath the mantle of our dear Mother. We have so many thanksgivings to offer her, so many troubles to confide to her, so many graces to ask of her. We may wish, perhaps, to give her a particular pledge of our devotion, by burning a lamp in her honour, or by procuring the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in her sanctuaries, by interesting ourselves in the many good works placed under her powerful protection, by propagating the Annals, which are in Australia the mouthpiece of her love, the messenger of her blessings and her desires. Our Lady of the Sacred Heart has in reserve many favours for those who devote themselves specially to her service. The devotion of the month of Mary everywhere works marvellous prodigies. It was through the profane assistance of a Jew at one of the exercises of the month of May that one of the most celebrated and touching conversions of the age was, under God's Providence, brought about. This example will he more eloquent than any precept.

            Herman Cohen, who was of Jewish origin, was in 1847 considered one of the most remarkable musicians in Europe. He was the favorite pupil and adopted child of the famous master, Liszt. Together they travelled through the different countries of Europe, and were everywhere received with enthusiastic applause. We will let him recount himself, into what an abyss he was plunged, when the sweet Morning Star shone upon his darkened vision: "Society everywhere pampered me, feasted me, and discovering in me a mind rather yielding for my age, endeavoured to inculcate in turn those frightful doctrines, which, disinterred from the depths of hell, swarmed to the surface of another called Paris. Atheism, pantheism, socialism, complete license in matters pertaining to morals, had all a place in my mind."

            Whilst young Herman thus devoted his talents and influence to the service of impiety, he was urged by an artist to take his place in one of the churches of Paris in order to conduct an amateur choir established to sing the hymns and canticles in honour of Mary, during the holy exercises of the Month of May. Although a Jew he willingly consented. It was there, before the altar of Mary, that grace awaited him. Whilst he was rendering to the august Mother of God material homage, she was interceding for him with her Divine Son. The moment for benediction of the Most Holy Sacrament had come; the young Jew looked with disdain at the kneeling crowds. Suddenly an invisible weight pressed upon his shoulders, compelling him to sink to his knees in spite of the obstinacy of his will. At that moment he received the gift of faith in so lively a manner that never was he harassed by the slightest doubt, and so powerful was this faith that it overcame all the obstacles which were opposed to his conversion.

            A most fervent Christian life was not sufficient to satisfy the holy aspirations of Herman. He resolved to quit the world of which he had been one of the ornaments, and to devote himself to the cultus of the Most Holy Sacrament and the Blessed Virgin Mary. A quiet Carmelite Monastery seemed to offer him the refuge and the solitude he so eagerly coveted, and he knew neither rest nor happiness until he put on the holy habit of religion. Who would recognise in this humble novice the young artist, of whose grace and fascination the famous writer, George Sand, has written so brilliantly? He has exchanged his worldly garments for a coarse brown woollen habit, His hair, once so artistically dressed, is now closely shaven, his elegant shoes are replaced by worn sandals. To sumptuous viands and rare wines succeed a rigid and perpetual abstinence, and a diet of bread, water and vegetables, his narrow cell has for its sole furniture a couch consisting of a plank supported by two blocks. The austerity of the rule does not even authorize the use of a chair.  Constantly occupied with God and his own soul the young novice did not quit his cell, except to take part in the meditations, pious conferences, prayers, and chants of the community from midnight till eight clock in the evening.  Absorbed in his holy exercises Herman began to lose all remembrance of the world, when an incident occurred which rudely recalled it to him.

            In the year 1850 a lady arrived in Paris, and went to reside in a house near the Monastery. She was of distinguished appearance, and elegant manners, but her air of melancholy excited attention. On the day of her arrival she repaired to the Convent, and was present at the Office in the chapel. At the first notes of the organ, she was visibly affected, and soon, in the presence of all, burst into tears. She had recognised the touch of the consummate artist, who had been for so long the object of her pride and of her tenderness. When the Office was over she hastened to call on the Father-Prior begging him to give her back her son. The Prior informed her that her son was free, that she could see him when she wished and as often as she wished. When the poor Carmelite came into his mother's presence, she exclaimed in tones of real sorrow, "Oh, my God! how they have disfigured you with this robe, these sandals, and shaven head!" Then she endeavoured in her blind tenderness, by persuasions, tears, and supplications, to move the heart of Herman to return to the faith of his fathers. But all in vain; and the poor mother departed sorrowfully from the place which she regarded as the tomb which contained all that in this world she held most dear.

            When Father Herman had the happiness of making his religious profession, he changed the name so well known in the world into that of Augustine Marie of the Most Holy Sacrament. He became an ardent and indefatigable apostle of the Blessed Sacrament and of the Virgin Mother of God. His musical genius inspired him to compose the most soul-stirring melodies in honour of the Blessed Eucharist, and the Immaculate Queen of heaven. In the dedication of his canticles to Mary, he renders to her the homage of his conversion in these touching words: "Morning Star, you appeared to me in the darkness of the night, where I was wandering! Strength of the weak, you fortified my faltering steps! Refuge of sinners, you have given me a refuge in your Immaculate Heart!"

            The history of this life of evangelical abnegation and heroic sanctity had its origin in the exercises of the Month of Mary. It remains for our Associates to be faithful in rendering their homage to the amiable Queen of Heaven during the Month of May, that they may draw from it precious and lasting fruits of salvation and sanctification.






Born: 24 08 1892       Professed: 27 02 1919               Ordained  26 07 1924                died:  09 11 1975

            Leslie Rumble was born at Sydney, NSW, and baptised as an Anglican. He was one of the best known of MSC. His Radio Replies and other pamphlets were known throughout the English-speaking world and his influence on religious thinking was impossible to calculate.

            Leslie was a convert at the age of 21. The sureness of his faith enabled him to leave everything and at that mature age begin secondary studies. After ordination he was sent to Rome to study, the first Australian MSC to do so. On returning, after obtaining a Doctorate in Theology (DD) from the Angelicum, he taught Theology for several years at Kensington, and as a priest Kensington was his only appointment for nearly 50 yrs.

            In 1928 to prepare for the Eucharistic Congress in Sydney, he was asked to give some talks on the Catholic standpoint. These were so well received he was asked to continue the weekly talks, especially by answering hearers' difficulties. This he did for 40 years on 2UE and 2SM - a radio record! Every week he wrote out 5,600 words of script, researched it all himself, answered thousands of letters and found time to write books, instruct converts and be the official spokesman of the Sydney Archdiocese on questions of religion. His technique was so honest, painstaking and straightfor­ward that he maintained his hearers' interest to the end and so gave millions an insight into the Catholic religion that they could otherwise never have had.


RADIO REPLIES WEBSITE    http://www.radioreplies.info/author.php





Journal of the Australian Catholic Historical Society 17 (1996), 44-55 James Franklin

      Melbourne in the 1930s was the scene of the vigorous Catholic intellectual life of the Campion Society. Sydney was quite different, for reasons much debated but still far from clear, its version of the Campion Society was much less impressive, and there was riot much in the way of a public or lay Catholic intellectual life. In Sydney, Catholic philosophy, apologetics and controversy in the 1930s and early 1940s was almost a one-man show. The man was Father Paddy Ryan. If it was a question of attacking Communists, or replying to objections on radio, or debating philosophers, or setting up Catholic adult education, or writing a pamphlet to prove the existence of God, one contacted the Sacred Heart fathers at Kensington and got Father Ryan on the job. Born near Wodonga in 1904, he had studied at the Gregorian University in Rome, earning in 1929 doctorates in theology and philosophy with the highest honours, with work on the "Question of God" in modern European philosophy. He taught philosophy, of a strictly scholastic orientation, at the Kensington seminary thereafter. A series of lectures for the Catholic Evidence Guild at Sydney University which summarise scholasticism were printed in full in the Catholic press, at that time more hospitable than later to the discussion of intellectual topics.

His ability as a controversialist was first widely recognised in a debate with Anderson in a symposium on "Science, philosophy and Christianity" at Sydney University in 1936. The printed version makes it sound very little like a debate at all, but at least both Anderson and Ryan put coherent views. Anderson argued that "in so far as religion sets up a doctrine of meaning or explanations above the facts ("supernature") it is unscientific", and that Christian morality wrongly "takes the standpoint of the individual recipient of benefits" instead of exalting cultural achievement. Ryan then summarised the scholastic position on the knowability of God by natural reason, the reasonableness of faith, and the evils of taking scientific theories beyond their limits. He argued that inconsistencies between the Catholic faith and modern philosophies, such as materialism, are due to the faults of the latter.

Anderson and Ryan met again in 1939, in an symposium with two biologists on 'The origin of life'. The largest hall in the University was packed with 500 people; others were turned away. Ryan here defended one of the most controversial assertions of mid-century scholasticism, one in which he took a special interest: it was that spontaneous generation of life from the non-living is impossible, whether now or in the distant past, for purely philosophical reasons. Ryan argued that the "immanent nature of activity in living things" meant there was a difference in kind, not degree, between the living and the non-living, which could not be crossed without divine intervention. Though Catholic philosophy generally was giving up the fight against evolution by the 1940s, Ryan did riot. In his later pamphlet on the existence of God, he does however argue that if the theory of evolution were true, God would be even more needed, since "the Author of world order would have endowed the primitive organisms with the powers necessary to produce, by gradual development, the present order of the plant arid animal kingdoms" . Donald Home recalls attending the debate as a convinced Andersonian of long standing, and still being surprised at the position Anderson took:

I had been a believer in Darwinism ever since I had read in Cassell's Book of Knowledge that 'The protoplasm was the beginning of the wonderful story of evolution', and when Pritchett and I stayed back at the university one night to attend a symposium on evolution at which Anderson would be speaking I expected that, since a Catholic priest was to be one of the other speakers, Anderson would launch all his fury against the ignorance arid superstition of this clerical bigot. The large lecture theatre was brimming with people, and Anderson sat intent, silent arid sad-eyed, while the priest jumped on the theory of evolution and a scientist picked it up. Anderson sprang into the ring and floored the priest with a couple of blows. I was astounded when, after an obeisance towards Darwin because, like Freud, he had rejected the dualism of man arid nature, he then pummelled evolutionary ethical theory, on, blow after blow, because it was full of progressivist illusions. Things might not get better. They might get worse. With Anderson one did riot know where one was.

There is a much greater sense of the cut and thrust of live argument in the report of a debate Ryan held, also in 1939 and at Sydney University, on freewill. His opponent was A.G. Hammer, a lecturer in psychology at Sydney Teachers' College, later Professor of Psychology at the University of New South Wales. An audience of 500 was again estimated. Hammer claimed that "all our decisions are as necessary as the explosion of a bomb", and asserted that "we can predict all human acts with absolute certainty, granted a sufficient knowledge of a man's heredity, environment, arid other factors extrinsic to the will". Ryan took his stand on the "clear and unmistakable testimony of consciousness that it is very often in his power to choose freely amongst various actions which he has motives to perform". He is reported, in perhaps a moment of overkill, as having "proceeded to prove that the testimony of consciousness is absolutely reliable". Some interesting exchanges during the discussion are reported, which give some sense of Ryan's ability to argue on his feet - as well as the style of public trading of certainties that has come to play less part in the tradition of public debate:

Mr O'Neill, an ardent determinist: Dr Ryan assumes the "self" or "ego" to be an abiding reality. But as a mere succession of states, the "ego" could not be self-determining.

Dr Ryan: My appeal is to facts of experience. We have the direct and immediate experience of the "self" as an abiding reality arid the subject of successive states quite distinct from it. The facts cannot be explained away by futile indulgence in metaphysical speculations concerning the nature of the "ego".

Mr O'Neill: Your proof from the validity of consciousness means that all illusions are impossible. Yet there are illusions. Dr Ryan: How do you know that there are any illusions except from your consciousness of them? But the objection is pointless because I appeal, not to the testimony of consciousness merely as testimony, but as presenting objective evidence which enables us to distinguish between illusion and reality, between deliberate and indeliberate acts.

The chairman of the debate, John Passmore, perhaps less well-informed about the history of philosophy than he was later to become, then intervened with a historical point. "Relinquishing his duties as chairman", he accused Ryan of reviving Descartes' philosophy, and "attacked the notion of a self-determining principle, declaring it to be absurd". Ryan said that Descartes' philosophy was not the same as Aristotelico-Thomistic philosophy.

Mr Passmore: The only person other than Descartes who adopted Dr Ryan's line of approach was St Augustine, a man not regarded as a philosopher by anyone outside a certain religious organisation. Dr Ryan: Not one word of that is correct.

Ryan did riot confine his campaign to open debate. After collecting statements from students at Sydney Teachers' College, he had a letter written by his superior to the Director of Education demanding that something be done about the immoral teaching at the College. The determinism taught by the Andersonians at the College was the focus of the complaints. Dr Rumble's Radio Replies was used to publicise the campaign.

Ryan's interest in Sydney University continued. He claims:

I personally have argued for hours with graduates of Sydney University in a futile endeavour to convince them of their own existence, - so deeply had their very reason been undermined by scepticism and sophistry.

In condemning things of this sort, we are not condemning critical or progressive thought. We are condemning a perverse negation which spells the suicide of thought and makes all progress impossible.

In defending self-evident truths like one's own existence and personality, or easily demonstrable truths like the existence of God, we are merely defending the foundations without which all talk of justice and injustice is so much meaningless twaddle.

Donald Horne had the opportunity to tangle personally with Ryan in 1941, when Horne, as editor of Honi Soit, was a representative at a 'Youth Parliament' which saw a clash between Stalinists and Catholics. Horne recalls, "In the evening I drank beer with some of the Stalinists, infuriated by the unscrupulous red-herring tactics of the clerical fascists, who were not concerned with the constructive work of the Youth Parliament but with disrupting it by obscurantist Gestapo methods ... Whenever the name 'Catholic Action' was mentioned I would fall quiet with hate. We didn't know much about it, but there were rumours of hysterical meetings and secret plottings in some kind of conspiritorial Catholic anti-Communist campaign that was going on in Sydney. Any Catholic student who wore a Holy Name badge seemed a servant of a black and unscrupulous clerical reaction which, under the subterfuge of anti-communism, represented an ambition of Francoism in Australia. The Catholic resolution which particularly disturbed the 'Parliament' was one affirming "its complete adherence to the principles of democracy; its repudiation of the Totalitarian ideologies whether Nazi, Fascist or Communist". As Ryan said, Catholic Action, like any genuine democratic Australian, would be in favour, so it was fair to ask why the 'Youth Parliament' rejected it. "Characteristic in this respect", Ryan adds, "is the letter by Mr D.R. Home, published in 'Honi Soit' issue of June 27, 1941. Mr Home writes with deep emotion - with more heat than light. I gather from the references to the 'unbalanced priest' who speaks over Radio 2SM, 'the vaporisings of Dr Ryan', the 'Catholic papers' and sundry threats of Blitzkriegs to come, that he is making some sort of attack on me. But he does not face the real point at issue ... A genuinely democratic Youth Parliament really representative of the Youth of Australia would deserve support. But the same cannot be said of a Youth Parliament which provides a convenient cloak for anti-democratic and anti-British propaganda. Rumours of Catholic plots, Stalinists exposed ... much more was to be heard of these themes in the coming years.

Ryan gave a series of lectures on campus in 1943, which provoked the usual polarisation of opinion. There is a thoughtful reply to his arguments for the existence of God by medical student Doug Everingham, later Minister for Health in the Whitlam Government.

Ryan was employed by the Church in a huge range of activities during the 1940s and 50s. In 1936, during one of the hierarchy's periodic wringings of hands over the loss of young Catholics after they left school, lecture courses on apologetics and social theory were instituted, with Ryan as director. He was again involved, providing much of the study material, when the movement was reformed, with great but temporary success, in 1938. After the War, he headed a "Workers' School of Social Reconstruction". In 1954, the problem was as unsolved as ever ("There is practically no such thing in Australia as the Catholic mind", according to Ryan) and an Adult Education Institute (Director, Paddy Ryan) was set up in the city, to offer courses in apologetics, theology and public speaking (but not philosophy, where it was presumably not thought worthwhile to compete with the Aquinas Academy). Enrolments, however, were never more than a few score. He debated on the radio on more or less anything; in a single broadcast of 1941, he dealt with the permissibility of moderate consumption of alcohol, the idiocy of chain letters ("shows the depth of absurdity to which people can fall when they lack genuine religion") and the responsibility of H.G. Wells for the War ("If people teach, as Mr. Wells does teach, that the Ten Commandments are so much junk, they have no right to complain if Hitler presents them with a working model of their own philosophy"). Radio replies were one area where Ryan did have a rival, however. His colleague at Kensington, Dr Rumble, specialised in the genre, and books of his replies sold millions in Australia and overseas.

It was the Red Peril, however, that came to take up most of his energy. Catholic emotional involvement in the Spanish Civil War had resulted in Catholics being more concerned than most Australians about the perils of international Communism. While many Australians maintained a generally favourable view of the USSR at the time when Stalin was on the same side during the war against Hitler, and the membership of the Communist Party of Australia reached a peak in 1944, Catholic circles remained solidly hostile to Stalinist claims.

In 1943, Ryan answered one of the most effective leftist pamphlets of the day, Dean Hewlett Johnson's Socialist Sixth of the World. This was the pamphlet which had converted to Communism the young Frances Bernie, hitherto active in Catholic youth organisations, leading to her leaking papers from Dr Evatt's office to the Communist Party, and later to her appearance before the Petrov Royal Commission. Ryan's answer, concentrating on the lack of freedom of religion in Russia, sold some 45,000 copies. There was a reply by the indefatigable Communist, Lance Sharkey, longtime General Secretary of the Communist Party of Australia. Sharkey says that Lenin is as much in favour of a moral way of life as Father Ryan. But the fact that employers and their press laud the strikebreaker as a hero, while the workers regard him as a scab ("the most immoral creature on earth") "refutes Father Ryan's standpoint that there is a general, fixed system of morals that applies to all conceivable conditions". Further, Sharkey says, it is not part of Communism to attempt to uproot religion. It must be allowed to wither away with the "improvement of the material conditions of the masses" and "the development of knowledge of nature through scientific investigation". Ryan replied in a series of articles, collected into a pamphlet with the title Said Comrade Sharkey. It is a superior piece of propaganda. The chapter on 'Comrade Sharkey's "Truth" about Spain' is illustrated with pictures of murdered priests in Spain; that on 'Religion in Soviet Russia' has an enormous amount of evidence about the truth of Stalin's persecutions.

Ryan's finest hour came with a public debate at the Rushcutters Bay Stadium on Sept 23, 1948, on the topic "That Communism is in the best interests of the Australian people". His opponent was Edgar Ross, a member of the central committee of the Party. Despite rain, 30,000 turned up, clogging the trams. Half of the crowd had to hear the debate outside through loudspeakers. Ross opened with a quotation from Pope Leo XIII on the need to find a remedy for the misery and wretchedness of the working class. He went on to condemn monopoly capitalism, Imperialism, atomic bombs, American bases. "Against this, the Soviet Union stood strong, secure, stable and prosperous (applause and boos)". "The family was the bulwark of Soviet society (Laughter). In no country of the world were human rights so explicitly acknowledged. The Catholic Church in Russia enjoyed complete freedom of activity. (Dr Ryan scribbles furiously and waves a gently protesting hand to shush the audience)". Ryan then spoke. He alleged Communism was based on a degraded philosophy of life, that its programme necessarily involved ruthless and unlimited dictatorship, and that the Australian Party had no loyalty to God or country, but only to Moscow. "The audience broke out into coughing as Dr Ryan went measuredly into the influence of the philosopher Hegel on the thought of Karl Marx", but perked up when he waved the Communist Manifesto and discussed the possibility of getting a divorce in Russia simply by sending a card through the post to the registrar. Even more shockingly, he alleged that workers in Russian were forbidden to strike. Ross, in reply, "claimed that Dr Ryan had given a lot of generalisations on philosophy, a few lies about the Soviet, but nothing about the practical tasks confronting the worker in the real situation today". Catholic preaching about the evils of society was like trying to cure cancer with an aspro. To Ryan's claim that all the Catholic bishops in Russia were dead, in exile or missing, Ross replied that the churches were open "in thousands" in Russia. "To the laughter he shouted, 'Do you think I would pull the wool over your eyes?' One solitary shrill feminine voice shouted: 'Yes' ". Ryan asked what reliance could be placed on Ross's word, when "according to Lenin, Communist morality was wholly subordinated to the class struggle of the proletariat". "In saying that the Catholic Church supported Fascism, Mr Ross was (again the quiet unimpassioned voice) a liar. The Catholic Church was the deadliest enemy of Fascism, and of Red Fascism, too (Wild applause)".

Ross writes briefly of the occasion in his memoirs. He complains that "both sides were supposed to have equal rights in admittance to the Stadium and ringside seats. But when the doors were thrown open the ring-side and many rows back were already stacked with nuns, priests and students from catholic institutions, who led the cheering and booing." (According to others, the Communist Party Central Committee had done its best to round up all available members of the Eureka Youth League and the New Housewives Association.) Of the reaction Ross writes, "A report of the event took up half the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald and had the positive effect of introducing communism to thousands of people." He omits to mention that the other half of the page was taken up with the latest news on the Berlin blockade. An ability to put an upbeat construction of the facts was becoming increasingly necessary to Party members, and would become more so. Ross was one of the leaders of the Coal Strike the next year that did so much to assure Menzies' election victory.

Ryan's wish to spend some of his time in such an abstruse matter as the influence of Hegel on Marx is a perfect example of what Frank Knopfelrnacher was later to call the "seminarian-deductive" attitude to political doctrines. It is characterised, according to Knopfelmacher, by a "naive" kind of intellectualisin, which is pre-Freudian and pre-Marxist in believing in the "authentic force and causal efficacy of intellectual convictions". Ryan certainly did believe this, though whether it is naive is arguable. In any case, Australia has cause to be grateful for the "intellectualisin" that led to the Cold War being fought here, not with the secret killings of many other countries, but by Ryan lecturing the Communist housewives of New South Wales on Hegel.

Ryan continued to speak against Communism to large audiences, notably at the time of the Coal Strike. During the campaign for Menzies' anti-Communism referendum of 1951, he toured the country, earning headlines in local papers like ' "Peace" movement part of Communist plot for war' (Armidale Express), 'Big audience hears Dr. P.J. Ryan talk on the Red menace', (Goulburn Evening Post), 'Anti-Communist authority in Walcha', (Walcha News). These speeches, and Ryan's study materials, are the prototypes of the thousands of Evils of Communism speeches in emotion-charged church halls that are such a central element in the Catholic Childhood of legend. An interesting feature of Ryan's own treatment of the issue, not always imitated, was his insistence on the positive aspects of Catholic social philosophy, and its incompatibility with laissez-faire capitalism:

What we need is not less capital, but more capitalists: not the abolition of property, but the wider distribution of it among private owners. We want this to enable the worker to become an owner so that he might achieve economic independence and political freedom. The industrial capitalist admitted in theory the right of personal property, but denied it in practice to the great majority of his fellow men.

Ryan is of course not saying anything unusual here. His programme is in line with the "corporatist" view of society, as a potentially homogeneous whole of organizations representing various interests, which also found expression in the Catholic bishops' social justice statements. The project aroused little enthusiasm outside the Catholic Church, and was eventually allowed to lapse, as the fight against Communism took centre stage; the Hawke government's "politics of consensus" has some resemblances to it. Ryan's position was average, except possibly for his support for bank nationalisation, which did not find much support from other Catholic leaders.

The public speeches were only the tip of the iceberg of Ryan's anti-Communist crusade. Ryan had been during the 1930s a leading proponent of "Catholic Action", a phrase with a range of meanings covering any lay action from prayer to politics. Party political action was excluded, but political action to combat Communism was not. As early as 1940, or possibly even in 1937, he had investigated the possibility of setting up Catholic cells in the unions, and around the end of the War, he was effectively the founder of the Movement in Sydney.  B. A. Santamaria credits Ryan with having achieved the difficult task of convincing Cardinal Gilroy that enthusiastic support for secret anti-Communist action was necessary. Gilroy appointed Ryan the Sydney director of the Movement about 1946, with the title "Director of the Catholic Social Science Bureau", and an office in the city, though without much in the way of money to run it.

The story of the success of the Movement and its allies in Sydney is still far from written. Suffice it to say that in 1949 there were many Communist-controlled unions, and within a very few years there were almost none. Facts have come to light, however, about one comparatively small but interesting aspect of the Movement's activities in Sydney, their collaboration with the security services. The matter casts some light on Ryan's opinions on the morality of various actions.

The records of an ASIO investigation of 1953 into leaks of information from the Commonwealth Investigation Service, the forerunner of ASIO, to Catholic Action in the late 1940s provides an insight into contacts between the security services and Ryan's operation. A senior officer, in the course of denying that he had passed any information to Catholic Action, writes:

1. I was an officer of Commonwealth Investigation Service from March, 1933, to October, 1949, when I transferred to ASIO. I had official contact with Catholic Action over the greater part of this period and visited the office of that organisation regularly up to about 1946. My dealings were with Dr Ryan, [deleted] and two persons whose names I do not now recall who were employed by the organisation prior to [deleted]. I was aware that Brigadier Galleghan and Mr Barnwell, of Commonwealth Investigation Service, were in contact with Catholic Action in that period also.

2. From approximately 1946 my C.I.S. duties became supervisory and I ceased to visit Catholic Action office, although I was in telephone contact from time to time. Brigadier Galleghan was also in contact, I think mainly by telephone, but Dr Ryan visited Commonwealth Investigation Service's office on at least one occasion to see him.

(Brigadier "Black Jack" Galleghan, earlier commander of the Australian troops in Changi, was at this time Deputy Director of the C.I.S. in Sydney, and was soon to go to Europe to select nearly 200,000 anti-Communists, mostly Catholics, for Calwell’s immigration program. Bill Barnwell was also an anti-Cornmunist specialist, and also went to Europe to select refugees.)

Further documents in the same ASIO file indicate that the C.I.S., and later ASIO, continued to employ an officer at Catholic Action headquarters, with Ryan's approval, for the purpose of acquiring information about suspected Communists which came from Catholic Action members. (Payment, £2, subtracted by Catholic Action from the officer's salary). Catholic Action felt the security forces were ill-informed about, especially, union matters, and were happy to fill the gap. The relationship between the two organisations was not close, and had its vicissitudes. From the point of view of ASIO, the aim was to get information without giving any in return, and Catholic Action sometimes resented giving high-quality information, such as shorthand records of high-level Party meetings, without sufficient reward in terms of information usable for propaganda purposes. On the other hand, C.I.S., and later ASIO, suspected that information they gave sometimes returned to them from other sources. To check this, in 1948 an officer supplied some false information, which was received back via Naval Intelligence. More disturbing was a leak of security information in 1948, though its nature is not disclosed. The investigation of 1953 revealed that a Catholic Action officer had actually worked from ASIO's office at Edgecliff.

It will be appreciated that if [deleted] used the Edgecliffe (sic) ASIO office for the purpose of carrying out Catholic Action organisational work, it left ASIO open to grave repercussions, if this became known to persons unkindly disposed toward this organisation. Such persons could imply that ASIO and Catholic Action were "hand in glove", and working in common to the point of sharing the same office.

More alarmingly for all concerned, some information about the liaison was publicly exposed. On 6 Aug 1949, W.T. Dobson, secretary of the Industrial Group in the Federated Clerks Union, dragged himself from Sydney Harbour into Nielsen Park, rang the police, and claimed that Communists had thrown him from a Manly ferry and stolen a bag containing secret documents relating to Catholic Action. Two days later, he changed his story, confessing that he was a fanatical anti-Communist and had made the story up to smear Communists.4Dobson's confession was a relief to both sides. The Communists enjoyed portraying "Diver" Dobson as typical of anti-Communists, and escaped any suspicions that their political methods might include throwing their opponents off ferries. The Catholics and security gained a general scepticism about any documents that might be associated with Dobson. That was just as well, because the Party still had the documents (though no story as to how they came to have them), and proceeded to splash photostats of them in Tribune and Labour News. They led with a particularly choice item, an official letter to Calwell agreeing to his request that a phone line be urgently installed for Dobson in his hotel room. Calwell made no attempt to deny its authenticity, and was compelled to explain in Parliament:

Mr. CALWELL. - I did make representations to the Postmaster-General at the request of Mr. Dobson. He came to see me, and fooled me. He came to me as the assistant secretary of the industrial group of the Federated Clerks Union and said he had the blessing of the head-quarters of the Labour party in New South Wales. I plead those facts in extenuation of my lapse. He was accompanied by another prominent representative of the industrial group, and he told me that he was carrying on certain work which, I believed, was of national importance. I made representations to the Postmaster-General to the effect that Mr. Dobson might by given telephone facilities, if that were possible, and a silent number to enable him to carry on the work of the industrial groups inside the union.

Mr. BEALE. - Was that work of national importance?

Mr. CALWELL. - That, to me seemed to be work of very great importance.

Calwell went on to suggest Dobson was linked to the Communists, and to the Liberal Party, presumably on the principle that the more theories about Dobson there were, the better. In view of later events, it is not to be expected that either Calwell or the Movement should be keen to mention their co-operation, but the Parliamentary record is there. Calwell, one of the founders of the Groups, had fallen out with them by 1948, but was still prepared to support their anti-Communist initiatives in 1949, the year in which the Groups caused his dumping from the Victorian state executive of the Labor Party. Further documents, said to be pages from Dobson's private notebook, included such gems as "Ryan appears to get a lot of unofficial information from Security". Since these facts are now confirmed by ASIO documents, there seems no reason to deny that the Dobson notebook was as genuine as the Calwell letter.

Dobson had committed an extraordinary series of frauds. In 1946 he had got a trip to Europe on Royal Navy ships by posing as a war correspondent for fictitious publications. He had been jailed for fraud in Hong Kong, but escaped prosecution in Manila. In Shanghai in 1948, he created a great deal of trouble with allegations of corruption against an Australian member of Parliament and an immigration official in Shanghai, and by claiming that one of the "top ten" Nazis had got into Australia as an immigrant, after escaping in a U-boat to Japan. The allegations proved unfounded, and Dobson eventually confessed to fabricating them in order to pressure the Australian consul to help him while he was imprisoned by the Chinese (awaiting trial for fraud, naturally). Unfortunately, one of the Dobson allegations had meanwhile turned out to be true, namely, that Australia had admitted as an immigrant a Mrs Glatzel, alias 'Diana Hamilton', who had broadcast Nazi propaganda in Shanghai during the War. Since the revelation of this information would have created unfavourable publicity for the immigration program, the matter was suppressed, and Dobson got a free trip home. The only good aspect from the anti-Communist point of view was that the combination of Dobson's falling on his sword and the revelation's appearing in Tribune, whose credit rating was poor, caused enough doubts about the whole matter to have it forgotten among larger matters like the Coal Strike and the corning election.

In connection with the takeovers of political bodies, there arose a subtle question of moral philosophy, disagreements over which caused much anguish in Movement and anti-Movement circles. The question is, may one vote at meetings of organisations to which one pretends to belong, but does not? James McAuley, generally supportive of the Movement, had been most worried about the question, and was assured by Santarnaria that stacking of meetings with people ineligible to vote had never been a Movement tactic - or if it had once or twice happened, in Sydney, it had been put a stop to. The NSW central office of the Movement did issue instructions against stacking union meetings in general; approval was occasionally given when there was considered to be a "moral certainty" that Communists would stack the meeting. The belief that stacking was widespread is probably to be attributed to knee-jerk reactions of those defeated in union elections by Movement candidates. On the other hand, students at Sydney University, where the Movement had spectacular success in 1951 and controlled all major student organisations, reported that Ryan positively encouraged Arts and Engineering students to vote at Medical students' meetings, and vice versa. Father Pryke, then chaplain at Sydney University and later a critic of the Movement, recalled that "Dr Ryan had once come back from the Vatican and reported to him and some Movement people that he had consulted some top moral theologians at the Gregorian and Lateran Universities and they had advised that Catholics were morally justified in doing anything that Communists did". Many Catholics were not prepared to lie on demand, and left the Movement over such tactics.

Ryan's point of view must be seen in an internationalist perspective. The "top moral theologians of the Gregorian" were of course seeing the problem in terms of Hungary arid Czechoslovakia - and Italy, the subject of some very pessimistic assessments in Church circles. There does seem something ridiculous in urging the future victims of Stalinism in, say, Czechoslovakia in 1948, to watch the people planning to hang them from lampposts vote illegally at meetings, but to scrupulously avoid doing the same themselves. Ryan and his supporters, like the Communists themselves, transferred their vision of an international struggle of immense forces of good and evil to the sleepy backwater of 1950s Australia. Those who had lived all their lives in Australia, especially, found it out of contact with local reality. The onus of justification for dubious tactics, then, probably shifts to the question of whether the Movement really believed a takeover of Australia by Communists from within was possible. It is the moral consequences of the question that account for its ability to generate so much heat even now. Another factor to take into account is that the inner Sydney branches of the ALP were not the scene of decent and civilised exchanges of views in the first place. Branch-stacking was a way of life in them long before the Communists, let alone the Movement, and there would not have been much point in getting involved at all in them without being prepared to match "normal" tactic for tactic. Still, it is a high-risk strategy, to say the least. What if (as Guy Fawkes no doubt wondered) one is found out? This can be a problem even for those who do not pretend any special ethical superiority, as Richo discovered. It is far more of a problem for churchmen, whose raison d'etre involves a bid for occupation of the high moral ground. When it was discovered that Ryan was, so to speak, subordinating morality to the struggle against the proletariat, people came to suspect that "everyone, from the Cardinal down, is guilty of conniving at flagrant dishonesty". Nothing came out into the full glare of publicity, but it is not difficult to understand why the Sydney bishops and the Vatican became extremely anxious to pull the plug on the Movement.

Computational casuistics is not easy.

Gilroy appointed his auxiliary, Bishop Lyons, to oversee the Sydney Movement. Lyons did not get on with Ryan, nor, it appears, with many other members. In 1953 Lyons had Ryan replaced as director with a Jesuit seen to be a partisan of the Melbourne Groupers. Ryan was widely thought to have been unjustly treated, and the resulting tension contributed to the parting of ways between the Sydney and Melbourne branches of the Movement that had such far-reaching consequences at the time of the Split. Ryan himself resented the Melbourne takeover. The tension is illustrated by an event at the 1954 conference of the Movement in Melbourne. Ryan moved that in future, not all the speeches be given by Santamaria, as happened that year, but his motion was soundly defeated. Ryan was a key speaker at the meetings in 1956 at which the vast majority of New South Wales Movement men decided to accept the Sydney bishops' policy of staying with the Labor Party instead of joining their Victorian and Queensland colleagues in what later became the DLP. At the meeting of seven to eight hundred Movement leaders held at St Paul's, Kensington, on 30 September 1956, which finally saw the decision to "stay in and fight" agreed to by almost all, Ryan spoke after Bishop Carroll. A participant recalled: 

       The substance of Dr Ryan's address was that he would obey his Bishop even if he thought he was wrong, but on this matter he knew his Bishop was right - history proved that break-away parties never lasted - "they were not worth two bob". It was this meeting, as it happened, that provided the occasion for the closest the bishops came to public exposure as liars. In 1959 the Catholic Weekly officially denied claims in the Sydney Morning Herald that Catholics had been adjured to stay in the ALP "as a matter of loyalty to the Cardinal". One of the participants at the Kensington meeting offered to name the speakers and the most prominent of those present, if the claim were made again. Nothing more was heard of the matter. In a brief document of 1962, 'Why the Movement failed', Ryan argues that the original policy of purely fighting Communism was not kept to, and the Movement began to target non-Communists and thus became rightly seen by many Labor leaders as a danger to themselves. Further, in some places - though not Sydney - there was infiltration by the enemy. It is not entirely clear what Ryan means by the "failure" of the Movement. If it was not intended to take control of the ALP, but only break the Communist hold on unions, then it would appear to have succeeded. If, on the other hand, its aim was to effect a spiritual transformation of Australian workers and replace monopoly capitalism with a harmonious society of medieval guilds, providing contented artisans and farmhands with the leisure to master scholastic philosophy, then doubtless it failed to do so, but the prospects of success were surely so low as to make depression at the outcome inappropriate.

Ryan was still on deck in 1968, complaining about the laxity of Church responses to Humanae Vitae; there is no possibility, he thinks, of a Catholic disagreeing in conscience with the Pope's ruling. He died in 1969.

Catholic intellectual life has become more diverse since Paddy's day. Its leaders are, in their various ways, more professional, better able to stay abreast of overseas developments. But who could get thirty thousand on the trams out to Rushcutters Bay?

School of Mathematics, University of New South Wales


Catholic   Action



 Rev. P. J. RYAN, M.S.C., D.D., Ph.D

The Scope of These Articles.       

            CATHOLIC ACTION is a household word throughout the Catholic world of to-day. In response to the insistent call of the Supreme Pontiffs, the zealous Catholic laity is anxious to enter this apostolic crusade for Christ our King.
             In Italy, France, Spain and elsewhere Catholic Action has progressed by giant strides, growing daily in power and extension as an instrument for the re-christianization of society. Here in Australia the movement is as yet in its infancy, but the deep faith and self-sacrificing generosity of our people, together with the splendid work already accomplished, more than justify the hope that it will become a most effective means of establishing the beneficent Reign of Christ in every heart and home throughout this island-
continent, as well as in the public life of our nation as a whole.

            Like every good work, however, the movement has many enemies, not the least of which is ignorance of its true nature and scope. It is unfortunate that Catholic Action—perhaps especi­ally Catholic Action—should be obscured "by a thick fog of error, equivocation and prejudice." Many people speak of Catholic Action, but few, apparently, have an accurate knowledge of its true meaning. The lucid and oft-repeated teach­ings of the Holy See remain for the most part a closed book.

            As a result, there is much uncertainty and confusion. Enthusiasm wanes, time is wasted; precious energy is misspent because misdirected. Organisation and co-operation—so necessary to­day—are more difficult to establish, and less fruitful in effect, because the objectives to be gained and the precise means to be employed are not correctly or clearly understood.

            These articles represent an attempt to explain the genuine nature and scope of Catholic Action in the light of the authoritative pronouncements of the Holy See.

            Since Catholic Action is a lay apostolate, it will be useful to determine here the position of the laity in the Church, for this will enable one to view the movement in its true setting, and thus greatly facilitate the right understanding of it. We begin, therefore, with a brief survey of the nature and divine mission of the Church.


Christ Our Lord.

            SOME two thousand years ago, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity became man by assuming a human nature in the chaste womb of the Virgin Mary, and was born into the world as Jesus Christ. He came in His human nature as the Ambassador of God to men, as the Great High Priest of the human race, its greatest Teacher and its Supreme Ruler. As He was then, so is He now, and such will He remain forever. He is our Great High Priest, at once Priest and Victim, who, by offering Himself on the Cross, made superabundant satisfaction to the outraged justice of God, freed us from sin and raised us once more to the love, friendship and sonship of God. He is the infallible Teacher, Truth Itself, who taught us all it is necessary to know of God, of the future life, of the destiny of man. He is the Supreme Ruler of all creation, a King not by election but by nature, who founded a sublime code of moral and religious law, the observance of which would ensure eternal salvation, and the contumacious violation of which would inevitably lead to eternal damnation.


The Foundation of the Church.

            JESUS Christ did not remain J visibly amongst us, but before returning to His Father He made ample provision for the propagation and permanence of His work in the world.

            During His public life, Our Lord deliberately chose out twelve men from amongst His followers or disciples. These men He called Apostles, and He instructed and prepared them as only He could for the sublime but arduous mission He intended them to fulfil.

            Then, when He was about to leave this world, He sent them forth with St. Peter at their head, to teach and to sanctify and to rule all men in His name and with His authority and assistance. They were to teach all men His whole doctrine till the end of the world. They were to sanctify all men, for to them was given the power to offer the Sacrifice and to administer the Sacraments of the new Law, thereby applying to each individual soul the treasures of grace won for us by the Sacrifice of Calvary. They were to rule all men in everything pertaining directly or indirectly to salvation: "Whatsoever you shall bind upon earth shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth shall be loosed also in heaven." (Mt. xviii, 18.)

            The terms of that final commission given to the Apostles by the Saviour are particularly solemn: "All power is given to Me in heaven and on earth. Going, therefore, teach ye all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you, and behold I am with you all days even to the consummation of the world." (Mt. xxviii, 18-20.)

            Even to the consummation of the world. Our Lord did not wish His work to cease with the death of the Apostles, but wished it to be perennial and indefectible, lasting to the end of time. The Apostles transmitted to others the threefold power given them by Jesus. These others are the Bishops placed by the Holy Ghost "to rule the Church of God which He hath purchased with His own Blood." (Acts xx, 28.)

The Bishops are assisted in their work by priests, who share with them the Sacrament of Holy Orders and are subject to their jurisdiction.

The Church a Society.'

           "TO the Apostles, therefore, and to their lawful successors, Christ gave the power to teach and to sanctify and to rule all nations till the end of time. On the other hand, He obliged all men under pain of eternal damnation to receive the Apostles and their successors, to accept their teaching, and to obey their laws: "He that heareth you, heareth Me ; and he that despiseth you, despiseth Me ; and he that despiseth Me despiseth Him that sent Me." (Lc. x, 16.) "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be condemned."

            Now the successors of the Apostles—the Pope and the College of Bishops, appointed by Christ to teach and to rule, and the multitude of the faithful who accept their doctrine, and submit to their God-given authority, constitute a society in the strict sense of the term ; that is to say a group of persons permanently united under a common authority for the attainment of a common end, by common or social means. The authority is vested in the Pope and the Bishops; it is exercised over the multitude of the faithful, directing them to the attainment of the common end which is the knowledge, love and service of God, here, and the beatific possession of God hereafter. The means to be employed are the Mass and the Sacraments, and the inestimable treasures of grace confided by Jesus to this society. The name of this society is the Catholic Church.


The Church an Unequal Society.           

             '"THE members of this society, the Church, are equal in some  respects; they  are  unequal in other respects.  All are equal as regards salvation. Here there is no exception of persons. Every member of the Church is the adopted child of God, with the privileges and obligations which such adoption implies. All will be saved or lost according to their fidelity or infidelity to the law of God and the duties of their state.

            But the members are unequal in other respects: Though all are members of the mystical Body o Christ, all have not the same function to fulfil in that Body. The right to command was given by God to the College of Bishops. And to this right there corresponds, on the part of the faithful, the duty to submit. The Bishops are not the representatives or delegates of the people. They do not and cannot receive their power from the people, nor can the people deprive them of it. They receive it from the Apostles who received it immediately from Christ.

            The Church, then, is not a democratic but an unequal society. In a democratic society all members possess equal rights as regards government ; in the Church they do not. This inequality is not due to force of circumstances, nor to usurpa­tion, but to the immediate institution of Christ Himself.


The Church a Monarchical Society.

             '"THE Bishops themselves            are not all on an equal footing. They are subject to the Roman Pontiff, the successor of St. Peter who possesses the fulness of the power given by God to His Church. The position of the Supreme Pontiff is not merely one of honour, but one of supreme and full power of jurisdiction over the whole Church, both in matters of faith and morals and in those pertaining to the discipline and government of the Church. His pastoral power extends to each and all of the Churches, as well as to each and all of the pastors and faithful, independently of any human authority.

            The Church is therefore not only an unequal but a monarchical society, for the supreme authority is vested in one person, the Pope.

              Such is the constitution of the Church. This constitution is unchangeable. It was laid down once for all by Our Divine Lord, and no power on earth can alter it.


The Hierarchy.    

              "THE rulers of the Church are sacred persons—persons consecrated to God. In virtue of the Sacrament of Holy Orders, they have received the power to offer up the Sacrifice of the Mass and to administer the Sacraments instituted by Christ. Hence, it is that the governing body in the Church is called the Hierarchy, and the form of government hierarchical. The word Hierarchy comes from two Greek words: hierossacred, and archeinto rule, and is here used to designate the totality of powers established in the Church for the guiding of man to his salvation.

            To sum up, the Church is a society founded by Our Divine Lord to continue His redemptive  work in every nation and in every age; a society supernatural in its origin and purpose ; unequal, hierarchical, monarchical in its constitution, since to the Hierarchy alone was confided the threefold power to teach, to sanctify and to rule, and the fulness of this power is vested in the Pope.


The Mystical Body of Christ.       

            CLERGY and laity, though distinct classes, form but one   society,   and   are   united under one supreme authority. But the union of the members of this society with Christ and with each other, is far more intimate than that which results from citizenship of an external, visible institution. By Baptism we are reborn into the royal family of God; we become the brothers of Christ, and co-heirs with Him to the Kingdom of His Father; there is in us a supernatural life of which Christ is the source. The intimacy of the union which exists between faithful Christians and Christ has been clearly taught by Our Lord Himself. He identifies Himself with the least of Christians: "Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me." (Mt. xxv, 40.) To Saul, "breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord," He put the question: "Saul, Saul, why persecutes! thou Me? .... I am Jesus whom thou persecutest." (Acts, ix, 4-5.) He compared the relationship existing between Him­self and His disciples to that which exists between the vine and its branches: "I am the vine; you are the branches: he that abideth in Me and I in him, the same beareth much fruit, for without Me you can do nothing." (John xv, 5.) For those who accept His teaching and obey His commandments, Christ becomes the source and fountain-head of supernatural life, just as the vine is the source of life for the branches which remain united to it. Though we retain our own personality we are in a mysterious, supernatural way one with Christ and one with each other.

           St. Paul insists most emphatically on this teaching of Jesus, regarding which he received special revelations. We are members of a mystical Body of which Christ is the Head. To say that this Body of which we are members is a "Mystical" body does not mean that it is imaginary, metaphorical or unreal. It is called "mystical" because it is not the physical Body of Christ; because it is supernatural and of a nature which we cannot fully understand: It is, as the Apostle writes, "the mystery which has been hidden from ages and generations, but now is manifested to His saints," and of which he (St. Paul) is in a special way the "minister according to the dispensation of God." (Col. 1, 26.)

          The Church is not merely an organisation but an organism, whose members are united with Christ and with each other to constitute one living whole. This organism St. Paul compares with the living human body which is composed of many members, all co-operating for the well being of the whole: "For as the body is one and hath many members; and all the members of the body, whereas they are many yet are one body, so also is Christ." (1 Cor.12, 12.) So close is the union Christ and His mystical Body, that St. Paul here uses the word "Christ" to designate the Church. "Now you are the body of Christ and members of member." (ib.,5, 27.).

         The Church then, according to God's revelation, is a mysterious organism endowed with supernatural life by Christ its Head, by Whom it is perennially vivified, sanctified, guided and increased. It is in a certain sense an extension of the Incarnation by which all things are restored in Christ and referred by Him to God.


Solidarity of Interests.

          JUST as the members of the human body are subordinated to the head and act in unison for the good of the whole, so also the members of the mystical Body of Christ are bound up in unity of interests and purpose with Christ their head. Every Catholic is a member of Christ's mystical Body, and as such is bound to "put on the Lord Jesus Christ,"—to reproduce in his or her own life something of the virtue and holiness of Christ Himself. The first duty, then, of every Catholic is personal sanctification. But membership of Christ's mystical Body also involves fundamental duties to one's fellow men. It is the will of Our Divine Lord that all men should be saved; that they should be instructed in His Divine Truth, and be nourished by the life-giving, heavenly food which is His own Body and Blood.

            It is His will that the members of His Body which have fallen away through apostasy, or separated themselves by mortal sin from the source of life should be restored once more to the full communion of His love and grace. There is but one Christ and one mystical Body of Christ. Of that Body Christ wishes all men to be living members.

            For the fulfilment of this Divine desire, Our Lord has deigned to depend, to a large extent, on the co-operation of those who belong to His mystical Body. Within the mystical Body, the task of continuing the redeeming work of Christ belongs by vocation and by office to the Hierarchy alone. But lay people too are obliged to co­operate, under the direction of the Hierarchy in their own sphere and in the measure of their capacity. They are obliged to do so because they are members of the mystical Body of Christ, and must, therefore, live and labour for the interests of Christ. The Hierarchy has the right to call upon Catholic laymen to assist in winning the world to the Saviour, the more so since, in virtue of the Sacrament of Confirmation, they have attained the age of spiritual manhood and are thus fitted in a special way for the defence and propagation of God's kingdom on earth. When the faithful, united with their priests and bishops, thus participate in the works of apostolate and individual and social redemption, then more than ever are they the chosen generation, the kingly priesthood, the holy nation, the purchased people of which St. Peter speaks. (1 Pet., ii, 9).


The Voice of History.

           In every age of the Church's           history the laity has collaborated with the Hierarchy in its world wide mission of Redemption. There are several references to such co-operation in Sacred Scripture. One or other must suffice here. The Gospels speak of numerous disciples—apart from the twelve specially chosen by Our Lord—who preached the advent of the Messiah; of the Geresan cured by Christ who "went his way and began to preach in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him; and all men wondered." (Mark 5, 20) ; of the woman of Samaria on account of whom "many of the Samaritans believed in Him," (John 4, 39) ; of "Joanna the wife of Chusa, Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others who ministered unto Him of their substance." (Luke 8, 3).

            To the people of Thessaly St. Paul wrote thus: "And you became followers of us and of the Lord; receiving the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Ghost: So that you were made a pattern to all that believe in Macedonia and Archaia. For from you was spread abroad the word of the Lord, not only in Macedonia and Archaia, but also in every place, your faith which is towards God hath gone forth, so that we need not to speak anything." (1 Thess. 1, 7-8). Clement, Apollo, Aquila and Prisca his wife— St. Paul's "helpers in Jesus Christ"—Phebe, Onesiphorus, and Tabitha, a woman "full of good works and almsdeeds which she did," were among the outstanding lay helpers of these apostolic times.

            But the lay apostolate was not confined to these. One of the characteristics of the early Christians was their zeal to make converts. Millions of men and women of every social class toiled and suffered and cheerfully gave their lives to diffuse and defend the Truth of Christ. The names of Cecilia and Agnes, Fabian and Sebastian, Cosmas and Damian, John, Paul and innumerable others, are written in letters of gold in the Church's roll of honour, the Calender of Saints. And these lay heroes of the early centuries found worthy successors in Elizabeth of Hungary, Wenceslaus of Poland, Edward of England, Louis of France, Joan of Arc, Benedict Labre—to mention only a few who are canonised saints.

            The Crusades of the Middle Ages were a magnificent effort on the part of the Catholic laity, not only to deliver the land and the tomb of Jesus, but to defend Christian religion and civilisation against the hordes of Islam.

            Frederick Ozanam, the founder of the St. Vincent de Paul Society; Mile. Pauline Jaricot to whom is due the foundation of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith; Mile. Marie Tamisier to whose prayers and aspirations we owe the International Eucharistic Congresses which play such an important part in Catholic life to-day; Contardo Ferrini, the saintly Professor of Law; Francis Moscati, Professor of Medicine at Naples ; Julius Salvatore of Florence; Peter George Frassati, the young engineering student of Milan; Dr. Louis Necchi, of the Sacred Heart University in the same city—these are glorious figures of lay apostles in more recent times. And with them stands a multitude which no man can number— Catholic men and women of every age and nation and social condition, who by prayer, example and active apostolate did what they might for the triumph of he Christ they loved.



            UNDER    the Supreme Pontiffs Puis X, Benedict XV, and Puis XI, the lay apostolate has assumed a more definite and comprehensive form, with a characteristic organisation of its own, which would enlist the whole Catholic laity in the crusade for Christ the King. This modern, organised form of lay apostolate is called Catholic Action.

            The name "Catholic Action" is of recent origin; the particular form of organisation which it represents is new; but the lay apostolate, of which it is the most modern and approved form, is as old as the Church. Catholic Action then, is not an innovation but "the restoration and continuation of that apostolate which has been exercised from the first centuries of the Church, from the days of the first propagation of Catholic truth." (Puis XI: Discourse to the Representatives of the Catholic Federations of France, June 12th, 1929).

            It is an apostolate which follows naturally from the very nature of the Church—a mystical Body of which Christ is the Head and we the members, working with Him for the salvation of the world.



            THE glorious lay apostolate which has at all times  flourished   in   the   Church   of God follows naturally from the very nature of that institution.    The Church is a Mystical Body of which Christ is  the Head and we the members, whose privilege and vocation it is to co-operate with Him in the work of redeeming the world.   Catholic Action is not an innovation, but the  continuation  and  consummation  of the  lay apostolate in modern times.    Of this we spoke in a previous article.

            The meaning, aim and programme of Catholic Action, its organisation, its characteristics and necessity may now be more easily and accurately grasped. The subject is in fact almost unlimited, but the "Annal's" space, as the Editor was careful to point out, is not unlimited. Neither is the pati­ence of my readers. The present article must, therefore, be confined to the explanation of the meaning, aim and programme of Catholic Action.



            The" Name.

            IF the term "Catholic Action" be taken as it stands, without reference to the very clear and definite explanation of it which has been given by Pope Pius XI, it is un­doubtedly very general and even rather vague.

            In the first place, "Catholic Action" may be applied to any approved Catholic activity of what­ever kind, whether exercised by an individual or by a society. It may be noted here that such indiscriminate use of the term Catholic Action is an abuse which unfortunately occurs very frequently.

            Again, the term may be used in a more restricted sense to signify any form of apostolic activity exercised by an association or a society. The St. Vincent de Paul Society, the Legion of Decency, the Catholic Evidence Guild, and numerous kindred organisations would be "Catholic Action" in this sense.

            Finally, "Catholic Action" may be employed in a still more limited sphere to signify the ensemble of lay organisations which exercise any or every form of apostolate, not only with the approval of the hierarchy, but in direct dependence on it, and with constitutions determined and sanctioned by the hierarchy itself. This, and this only, is Catholic Action in the strict sense of the term; the official Catholic Action, Papal and Roman, which the Pope wishes to see everywhere established. It includes only those organisations bearing the name of Catholic Action societies which come into existence by the special mandate of the Hierarchy, and which in the form of their organisation closely follow that of the Hierarchy.


Auxiliary Associations.  

                          "THE St. Vincent de Paul Society and various similar religious and charitable institutions already in existence constitute Catholic Action in the broad sense. They are what Pope Pius XI has called "Auxiliary Associations." In a letter to the Bishops of Argentine (4th Feb., 1931), the Holy Father wrote: "Besides the great institution which may be called official Catholic Action, there are in your midst other associations, the scope of which is to promote piety and religious formation or charity and benevolent associations which, on certain occasions, we have called the valient auxiliaries of (official) Catholic Action, since their aim coincides on many points with that of Catholic Action."


*Note.—Occasionally His Holiness has given essentially the same definition at greater length. For example, in his letter to the President-General of the International Union of Catholic Women's Leagues (30th July, 1928) Catholic Action is defined as "the participation of lay Catholics in the apostolate of the Hierarchy for the defence of religious and moral principles, for the development of a sound and beneficent social action, under the guidance of the ecclesiastical Hierarchy, outside of and above all political parties, with the aim of restoring Catholic life in the family and in society."


The Pope's Definition of Catholic Action.  

        THE   present  Pontiff has repeatedly defined Catholic Action (in the strict sense) as "The participation of the laity in the apostolate of the Hierarchy." This definition has not been given haphazardly, but, as the Holy Father assures us, "deliberately and with forethought and even, it may be said, not without divine inspiration."* (Discourse to the Young Women's Group of Italian Catholic Action, 19th March, 1927.)

            Catholic Action, then, according to the de­finition given is an apostolate; that is to say, a mission to labour for the glory of God and the salvation of souls. It is a lay apostolate: Clergy and religious exercise another and higher apostolate which is theirs by vocation. Priests are essential for the direction of Catholic Action; religious orders may be of great assistance to it, but neither priests nor religious form part of it. And it is a lay apostolate which is obligatory for all Catholic lay people "without any distinction of age, sex, class, civil status, party and race" (Pius XI., Letter to Cardinal Bertram, of Breslau, 13th Nov., 1928). No one is exempt, even the children are asked to do their share.

            Furthermore, Catholic Action is a lay apostolate which is a participation in the apostolate" of the Hierarchy. It means the collaboration of the laity in the sublime work which, by the commission of its Divine Founder, the Hierarchy of the Church is accomplishing amongst all people and through­out all ages. Since this apostolate is the con­tinuation of the mission of Our Divine Lord, it follows that Catholic Action is the participation of the laity in the apostolate of Jesus Christ Him­self. In the beautiful words of Pope Pius XI: "(To participate in the hierarchial apostolate) means to participate in that primordial apostolate which came forth immediately from the Heart, Life and Hands of Our Blessed Lord, and which is perpetuated in all generations in the worldwide extension and age-long growth of the Apostolate College, the Episcopate." (Discourse to the Catholic Associations of Rome, 19th April, 1931.) Catholic Action is an apostolate distinct from that of the Hierarchy, and in all things subordinate to it. The whole supernatural order and everything that belongs to it, as well as the right of determining what belongs to it, were con­fided by Christ to the Church, and in particular to the Hierarchy of the Church. Catholic Action belongs to the supernatural order and consequently is dependent on the Hierarchy, which has the right and the duty to form, organise and direct it in the way best suited to the attainment of its spiritual and supernatural ends. Catholic Action does not mean that laymen become members of the Hierarchy, or that they acquire any of the rights which were given by Our Divine Lord to the Hierarchy alone. They exercise a secondary and subordinate but very necessary apostolate. They are the instru­ments of the Hierarchy—free and intelligent in­struments—whose privilege it is to share in so noble a work.


A Noble Dependence.     

           THIS dependence on the Hierarchy is not something burdensome, degrading, unworthy of a man. On the contrary, it is a privilege and—as history shows—a very necessary guarantee of security. Men look upon it as a privilege to be able to serve under some famous general; they deem it an honour to fight for a noble cause. Now the Catholic laity is asked to fight for the noblest cause in this world—the sanctification and eternal salvation of souls, under the banner of Jesus, the Son of God, and under the immediate command of officers appointed and assisted by Him.



            CATHOLIC   ACTION has the same super-natural end as the Apostolic Hierarchy—the salvation of souls, the establishment of the reign of Jesus Christ in each individual soul, in the domestic circle, in social and political life. It aims at bringing men to an ever better knowledge of the doctrine of Christ; it aims at securing for them the full benefit of the means of salvation and the riches of grace with which the Church abounds. It labours for the realisation of the ideal that in every place, from the rising of the sun to its setting, God may be known, loved, worshipped, and faithfully obeyed.



Preparing the Apostle.   

         IN the supernatural order, to which Catholic Action belongs, nothing can be done without the assistance of divine grace. "Without Me you can do nothing," said Our Lord. "Whether it is little or great," comments St. Augustine, "it cannot be done without Him, without Whom nothing can be done." We cannot hope to communicate Christ to others—nor will we feel the incentive to do so—if the love of Christ be not dominant in our own hearts. It is precisely for this reason that the reigning Pontiff so strongly insists on enclosed retreats as a preparation for the lay apostolate.  (Encyclical Mens nostra: On the Spiritual Exer­cises, Dec. 20th, 1930.)

            Solid virtue is indispensable in one who aspires to the apostolate, but it is not of itself sufficient. We must be able clearly and accurately to explain the teaching of our faith, and to refute the objections which are raised against it. It is no exaggeration to say that immense numbers of Catholics would be unable to give to non-Catholic enquirers an accurate explanation of the most elementary truths and practices of the Catholic religion.

            Piety without instruction may be sincere, but it lacks foundation and is easily vitiated by superstition. Both knowledge and piety are absolutely necessary for a true apostle. Catholic Action aims at "the thorough religious and civil education of the whole man—the solid piety, deep and extensive knowledge of sound doctrine and the full integrity of morals without which it is not possible to exercise a fruitful apostolate" (Pius XI.: Letter to Cardinal Bertram, 13th Nov., 1928).

            As its immediate objective, therefore, and as a necessary prerequisite of efficacious apostolate, Catholic Action aims at the thoroughly Christian education and the sanctification of its own mem­bers.

*Note.—It is not possible here to give more than a very brief outline of the programme of Catholic Action. For further information on this matter I would refer my readers to the excellent "Handbook of Catholic Action," by the Rev. A. J. Goodman, M.S.C.


External Works.

            AS regards external ways and means of apostolate, the field of Catholic Action is immense. It includes absolutely everything which in any way, directly or indirectly, pertains to the divine mission of the Church. On this point, Pope Pius XI has fre­quently insisted. For example, in a letter written last December to Cardinal Cerejeira, of Lisbon, he declares—speaking of Catholic Action—that "no activity which is possible and useful must be excluded from its programme."

            The programme of Catholic Action, then, partakes of the universality of the Church's mis­sion. Now the mission confided to the Hierarchy of the Church embraces the threefold power to teach, to sanctify and to rule. Catholic Action collaborates with the Hierarchy in the exercise of each.


            I. Firstly, Catholic Action may assist the Hierarchy in the work of teaching the world. There are a thousand ways in which this apostolate may be exercised; to mention all would be impossible, but a few of the more important may be noted:—

(1)   The Catechetical Apostolate.—Immense good can be accomplished by instructing children (and adults) in the truths of their faith; by preparing them for the worthy reception of the sacraments; by procuring a more profound and extensive knowledge of the things of God through the distribution and explanation of the Gospels, etc.; by promoting a love of the Church's liturgy—a love based on an understanding of its significance; by studying and teaching the History of the Church—itself an argument for her divinity. (The Catholic Action societies of the Archdiocese of Sydney have devoted themselves to this work with considerable success.)

(2)    The Cultural Apostolate.—The study of the problems of every order—philosophical, moral, religious, social, political, scientific—in the light  of Catholic teaching. The Catholic solutions of these problems, which are always the true solutions, are to be popularised by means of study clubs, cultural schools, series of lectures, national congresses, and so forth.

(3)    The Apostolate of Education.—The defence of the rights of the Church in the matter of education; the provision of moral and religious help not only for the children but also for the teachers —especially those in State schools; the erection and support of Catholic schools; insistence on Christian ideals in educational programmes. All this is a very practical and necessary form of apostolate in Australia to-day.

(4)    The Apostolate of the Press.—The establishment and development of Catholic newspapers, periodicals, pamphlets, reviews, news agencies, Catholic wireless stations, Catholic libraries, etc.

(5)    The Missionary Apostolate.—Organised efforts to help forward the work of converting the infidels, by daily prayer and sacrifice; by supplying the material needs of the mission; by propaganda for the purpose of making the missions known.

(6)   The Apostolate of Defence.—Catholics are asked to defend Christian doctrine on faith and morals against the attacks of atheists and neo-pagans; a work which is particularly important to-day, in view of the diabolical activities of the communistic anti-God leagues.


II. Secondly, Catholic Action may help the Hierarchy in the sublime Apostolate of Sanctification.

(1)   The Apostolate of the Eucharist.—Catholic Action derives its strength and inspiration from the Eucharist, the Source of all holiness; it seeks, therefore, by every lawful means to increase devotion to this most Holy Sacrament.

(2)    The Apostolate of Vocations.—Catholic Action seeks to provide the funds necessary for the education of ecclesiastical students; to foster vocations to the priesthood and religious life; by prayer it endeavours to increase the number of vocations, according to the command of Our Lord: "Pray ye the Lord of the harvest that He send labourers into his vineyard."

(3)   The Apostolate of the Family.—The Christian preparation of young people for the duties and responsibilities of married life; the regulation of marriages; the consecration of the family to the Sacred Heart.

(4)   Catholic Action promotes and supports institutions the scope of which is greater spiritual perfection—workers' retreats, week-end retreats, •missions, religious associations and sodalities, etc.

(5)   It strives to create a moral atmosphere favourable to Christianity, and by every legitimate means to defend Christian morals against the paganising influences of immoral papers, fashions and amusements.

(6)   Catholic Action promotes and supports works of social charity for the poor and destitute; it gives full support to the St. Vincent de Paul and similar societies; its members would visit the sick in the hospitals and the sick poor in their homes; it would assist the workers by providing them not only with religious and moral help, but with every possible economic aid.

(7)   Catholic Action exercises a beneficent influence on social and political life by propagating the Gospel principles of justice and charity and insisting on their observance.


III. In the office of ruling the Church, the Catholic laity has no direct part, since this was confided by Christ Our Lord to the Hierarchy alone. Catholic laymen, however, have the right and the duty to defend the rights of the Church against the fantastic nationalism and worship of the State which is doing so much harm to-day.



The Social Question.

            ALTHOUGH Catholic Action may undertake any or all of these forms of apostolate, it is obvious that its activities should be energetically and perseveringly employed on those works which bear the closest relationship to the needs of modern society.

Now, it may be asked, what are the works on which Catholic Action should concentrate to-day? Pope Pius XI has answered this question:—

            "Among all these activities, however, some are particularly urgent, because they respond to the ' greatest and most felt needs. Among which we enumerate to-day the giving of assistance to the working classes; and we wish to say assistance not only spiritual—which must always occupy the first place—but also material, through those institutions of social justice and of evangelic charity.

            Catholic Action will then take care to promote these institutions, although it must leave to them a distinct responsibility and autonomy in things purely technical and economic. Its principal task will be always to see that they derive inspiration from principles openly Catholic and the teaching of this Apostolic See." (Letter to Cardinal Cerejeira, of Lisbon, Dec., 1934.)

            It is the wish of the Holy Father that the activities of Catholic Action societies be devoted especially to the practical solution of the social question according to Christian principles. (These principles are  set forth  in  the  Encyclicals,  Rerum  Novarun of Leo XIII, and   Quadragesima Anno of Pius XI)


An Organised Apostolate.

            '"THE   multitudinous forms of apostolate mentioned above are not to be exercised by individuals, but by societies, whose organisation closely follows the hierarchial organisation of the Church. It is mainly in the form of its organisation that Catholic Action differs from other societies the aim of which is apostolic. But of this next month.




The Necessity of Organisation.

            SOONER or later in life men begin to realise their limitations. They come to see that there is much which they cannot accomplish without the co-operation of other men. There is nothing strange in this, for man is by nature a social being—a "social animal," the old philosophers said—who needs domestic and civil society to supplement the deficiencies of his individual self.

            Co-operation means the combination of many minds and wills bent on the active prosecution of a common end. The closer the combination the greater will be the power of any given body of men. Union gives a new strength, which in­dividuals as such do not possess. The mere fact of combination strengthens the conviction and encourages the energy of each individual, and thus increases his contribution to the power of the whole. If two men work separately for the same purpose the value of their work may be illustrated thus: 1+1=2. If they work against each other the value of their work is 1—1 =0. If they work together it is not merely a matter of addition but of multiplication: (1+1)2=4.


Catholic Action an Organised Apostolate.

            CATHOLIC  ACTION is a lay apostolate,   but  not every lay apostolate is Catholic Action. Catholic Action is social action—an essentially co-operative work. It has to be organised in order to offer effective resistance to the highly organised enemies of the Church and the name of Christ, and in order to accomplish the greatest possible good. Without organisation, any considerable degree of success is impossible. "Happy concord and union of forces," writes Pope Pius XI, "constitute the first absolutely necessary condition for the successful result of all Catholic Action, and of any ecclesiastical enterprise" (Letter to Cardinal Cerejeira, of Lisbon, 10th Nov., 1933). The organic structure of Catholic Action is implied in its definition: The co-operation of the laity in the apostolate of the hierarchy. Since the hierarchical apostolate in which the laity participates is an organised apostolate, it follows obviously enough, that Catholic Action will itself be organised. The definition of Catholic Action, then, as Pope XI. observes, "expresses at once the whole organic nature and the beauty of Catholic Action." The isolated efforts of any individual, however good and praiseworthy they may be, do not constitute Catholic  Action  as   explained   by  the   Supreme Pontiff.


Hierarchical IN Organisation.

            In the form of its organisation, Catholic Action is naturally conformed to the hierarchical order of the Church. It will therefore be subject to the Roman Pontiff, to the Bishops, and to the Parish Priests, according to their respective jurisdictions. It will be dependant on the Parish Priest in the parish, on the Bishop in his diocese, on the Supreme Pontiff in the nation. Outside of Italy, in which national Catholic Action is immediately subject to the Holy See, the Pope is represented by the Primate, the Council of Bishops, or one or more members of the hierarchy de­signated by the Holy See.

"National, diocesan and parochial organisation are three essential characteristics of Catholic Action,' which follow naturally from the fact that it is subordinated to and co-ordinated with the hierarchy" (Mgr. Civardi: Manual di Azione Cattolica, I., p. 113).


Catholic Action Societies.

            Action is to be organised according to the parish, the diocese, and the nation. But how is the laity to be organised within these spheres. It is true that Catholic Action is "the universal and harmonious action of Catholics without exception of age, of sex, of social condition, of culture, of political and national tendencies." (Pius XI., Letter to Cardinal Bertram, 13th Nov., 1928.)

It is also true, on the other hand, that one huge, formless grouping of laity would be both unwieldy and useless. The human body is not one large organ, but an organism comprising a considerable number of organs, each having its proper purpose and function, but all harmoniously co-operating for the good of the whole. It is the same with the organism which is Catholic Action. National Catholic Action is a vast organisation built up of smaller organisations or associations. Each of these has its own specific work and aim, yet all co-operate for the triumph of the cause of Christ in the nation as a whole. But in what way are the various organisations to be formed?

            *Parochial organisation, however, as Mgr. Civardi notes, is not so binding as not to permit of inter-parochial associations and activities. In the statutes of Italian Catholic Action we read: "Local associations will ordinarily be constructed on a parochial basis." (Art. 3.)

            The most natural principle of division—and one suggested by pontificial documents—is that of age and sex. "It is easily understood," writes Pius XI. in his letter to Cardinal Bertram, "that the practical realisation of Catholic Action will differ according to age and sex and the varying conditions of time and place."

            The Holy Father suggests then that, in broad outline, the Catholic laity be divided into four groups : Men, women, young men, young women."



     UP to the present we have explained the general lines of organisation which are common to all Catholic Action, both because of its nature as a participation in the apostolate' of the hierarchy and by reason of the express teaching of the Supreme Pontiff. It will now be useful to survey briefly the organisation of Catholic Action as it exists in Italy to-day. In this country Catholic Action has been organised under the immediate supervision of the Holy See, and constitutes a very compact and efficient body. We turn then to Italy for a concrete example of the Catholic Action which the Pope wishes to see everywhere established.


National Organisations.

    AS it stands to-day, Italian Catholic Action comprises six national groups:

    (1) Catholic Men (Unione Uomini).

    (2) Catholic Young Men (Gioventu Maschile) .

    (3) Catholic University Men (Universitari Cattolici).

    (4) Catholic Women (Donne Cattolichi).

    (5) Catholic Girls (Gioventu Femminile).

    (6) Catholic University Women (Universitarie Cattoliche).

            All these organisations are nation wide. With the exception of the University Associations, which constitute a group apart, they are organised according to parish, diocese and nation. Take, for example, the Catholic Men's Society. The first cell of this society is the parish association. At the head of this association is a president, and a priest called the ecclesiastical assistant, both nominated by the Bishop, and a few councillors elected by the members. The parish associations of men are united in the diocese to form a diocesan group, which is governed by the Diocesan Council. At the head of this there are again a president and an ecclesiastical assistant, nominated by the Bishop, and a number of councillors elected by the parochial presidents of the men's associations in the diocese. The diocesan groups of men are again united under one central and national authority. This authority is vested in a president and assistant nominated by the Holy Father or his representative. And these are assisted by a council.

The other organisations—with the exception  


University Associations.

            UNIVERSITY associations of men and women are formed In every university city. Outside of university cities, in places where there are a sufficient number of graduates, local "secretariates" are established, which are affiliated with the associations in the Alma Mater or the nearest university. The various university Catholic Action societies are united in the diocese to form diocesan groups, and again in the nation under a national council, which governs the subordinate associations in matters pertaining to the university life of the nation.


Specific Aim and Purpose.          

             EACH of the above-mentioned national organisations has its own specific scope and purpose. The aims of the National Union of Catholic Men, for example, are set out in the statutes as follows:—

A. Formation.

            (1) The religious and moral perfection of the members. Note the word perfection. Men who have already received a thorough religious formation are asked zealously to continue the necessary but never-ending task of personal sanctification, in order the better to fit themselves for the work of the apostolate. They are therefore asked to make full use of the means of sanctifi­cation provided by the Church: The Mass, the Sacraments, devotion to the Sacred Heart, the Rosary, and other approved devotions; spiritual reading and study, especially of the Gospels; enclosed retreats, and so forth.

            (2) The domestic formation of the members (formazione famigliare). This involves full knowledge of one's duties as a Christian husband and father. Particular emphasis is laid on the duty of religious education—a duty which includes the delicate but important matter of education to purity. Public and indiscriminate "sex instruc­tion" by State officials is a usurpation of family rights, which in practice leads not to purity but its opposite.

            (3) The social and civil formation of the members according to Christian principles; the preparation of the members for active participation in civil and social life. Catholic Action, while taking no part in party politics, endeavours, nevertheless, to form enlightened and upright statesmen who will respect the rights of God and His Church, and will put the good of the nation before personal or party interests.

            This programme of "integral" formation is to be realised by study circles, courses of lectures and sermons, and by private study.


B. Action.

            The apostolate confided to the men is naturally exercised in the domestic circle, in the parish, and  in society at large. The father of a family must see to it that the whole tone and atmosphere of the home is thoroughly Catholic. This applies in the first place to his own home and then to the homes of others. Obviously, in the latter case great prudence and tact are indespensable, but, rightly carried out, this work will accomplish great good and be of considerable help to the clergy. (Those who imagine that this form of apostolate is unnecessary in Australia either do not know what a really Christian home should be or are not ac­quainted with the true state of affairs. Apply to any Catholic school and learn from the nuns or brothers how often their work is hampered or even brought to nothing by a careless, indifferent and worldly home.)

            In the parish, the men's association should be, as Mgr. Civardi writes, "the right hand of the Parish Priest," and this for the simple reason that it comprises the most experienced and influential of his parishioners. It is asked to co-operate with the Parish Priest by instructing the children in Christian doctrine, by promoting the religious tone of the parish, by taking corporative part in religious functions, by assisting the St. Vincent de Paul Society, by supporting Catholic educational and charitable institutions within the parish, by promoting Catholic literature. It is also expected to strengthen the bond of union between pastor and people. The enemies of the Church have long ago realised that the easiest way to success is to alienate the people from the priest, for once the pastor is ousted the flock is more easily dispersed.

            In social life at large the duty of defending and propagating Catholic principles develops mainly on the "National Union of Catholic Men." These are asked to defend the Christian concept of marriage; to oppose strenuous resistance to disruptive and subversive teaching on marriage and sex— even by the use of the law courts and agitation for appropriate legislative measures; to devote themselves earnestly to the solution of the social question according to the principles laid down in the papal encyclicals; to labour for the establishment and development of an efficient and vigorous Catholic press; to support Catholic libraries and study circles; in a word, to work for the complete regeneration of society according to Catholic principles. In all their activities they will be guided by the norms determined by the hierarchy.


Co-ordinative Organisation.

            THE six national organisations which constitute Italian Catholic Action are not isolated units, each independent of the other. On the contrary, they are intimately united with each other by means of three co-ordinative institutions, which are: The Parish Council, the Central Diocesan Council (Giunta Diocesana), and the Supreme National Council of Catholic Action (Giunta Centrale).

            The Parochial Council consists of a president, nominated by the Bishop, the presidents of the four Catholic Action associations existing in the parish, and of other persons, not more than four, nominated by the Parish Priest. Thus, the whole Catholic Action of the parish is at the disposition of the Parish Priest for parochial activities.

            Much in the same way, the Central Diocesan Council co-ordinates and unifies the whole Catholic Action of the diocese. It is composed of a president and assistant, both chosen by the Bishop, the presidents of the diocesan groups, including this time, the presidents of the University Associations, and two other members (presidents of Parochial Councils) chosen by the presidents of the Parochial Councils of the diocese.

            Finally, the whole Catholic Action of the nation is united and directed by the National Council of Catholic Action, which is immediately subject to the higher ecclesiastical authorities. The National Council consists of a president and ecclesiastical assistant nominated by the Holy Father or his representative. It is assisted by a council which includes the general presidents and ecclesiastical assistants of the six national organisations, and several presidents of diocesan councils nominated by the higher ecclesiastical authorities.

            The scope of the National Council is to secure unity of action in matters which affect the nation as a whole. (Here in Australia, the educational question, for example, would be a matter for the National Council. Moreover, the office of this body is to prevent overlapping—and consequent friction—in the activities of the national groups.

            The National Council has also the right to institute special departments (Segretariati) to deal with particular problems of national import. Thus, in 1923 the National Council or Italian Catholic Action created two boards—one for education, the other for morality; in 1930 another— the Board of Culture—was instituted.


Professional Sections.

         MEMBERS of the Catholic Action Societies belonging to the same category or profession are united to form "Professional Sections." The aim of these sections is not merely or primarily material advantage, but religious, moral and cul­tural advancement in accordance with the general principles of Catholic Action. (The institution of "Professional sections" would be easy enough in Australia. The Guild of St. Luke, for example, would constitute a professional group within the Catholic Men's organisation.) Membership of these professional sections need not be restricted to any particular national group. The  Catholic Teachers' Association, for instance, unites members of the six national groups.


Auxiliary Associations,  

              BESIDES the Catholic Action Societies properly so-called, there are numerous "Auxiliary Associations" which constitute Catholic Action in the broad sense. These associations—of which the St. Vincent de Paul. Society is a typical example—differ from Catholic Action in the strict sense, either in the form of their organisation or their more restricted scope, or because the aims they pursue are not those of Catholic Action.

            The aim of Catholic Action is not to supplant these societies, but to render them every possible assistance. They are asked to collaborate with Catholic Action. (Here in Australia many of them, by means of slight modifications in their constitutions, could form an integral part of Catholic Action. Our university societies of men and women would require no great change in their constitutions in order to bring them into con­formity with the requirements of University Catholic Action in the strict sense.)

            Members of the auxiliary associations may become members of the Catholic Action societies and vice versa. This often proves to be of advantage to both.


Things to be Noted.

                         '"THE foregoing survey of Italian Catholic Action, however brief and inadequate, will help readers to realise how vast a thing is the Catholic Action movement; how it unites the whole Catholic laity in one grand universal apostolate; how its organisation closely follows the hierarchical order of the Church ; how it is subordinate to, and dependent on the hierarchy. It will also serve to correct misleading or erroneous notions which would identify Catholic Action with the Holy Name Society or the St. Vincent de Paul Society, or would place the essential of Catholic Action in daily Communion.

            For the successful working of such an immense plan a high degree of unselfish co-operation is necessary. Selfishness and petty jealousies would be the death wound of Catholic Action and the best allies of the enemies of the Church.




THE  POPE Or His Representative.

National  Council of           

General President and Ecclesiastical Assistant named by the Holy See or Its Representative.

Catholic Helped by a Council which is composed of the Presidents and Ecclesiastical Assistants of the National Groups, together with Actioseveral Presidents of Central Diocesan Councils, chosen by the Pope or his Representative.




Department of Education.


Morality Department.    


Department of Culture.


















National Group:

President and Ec­clesiastical Assis­tant

nominated by the Pope or his Representative. Councillors named by these.

National Group:

President and Ec­clesiastical Assis­tant nominated by the Pope or his Representative. Councillors named by these.

National Group:

President and Ec­clesiastical Assis­tant nominated by the Pope or his Representative. Councillors named by these.

National Group:

President and Ec­clesiastical Assis­tant nominated by the Pope or us Representative. Councillors named by these.

National Group:

President and Ec­clesiastical Assis­tant nominated by the Pope or his Representative. Councillors named by these.

National Group:

President and Ec­clesiastical Assis­tant nominated by the Pope or his Representative. Councillors named by these.





















1     Professional Sections


















Central Diocesan Council                       


President and Ecclesiastical Assistant, nominated by the Bishop. (Giunta             

The President of each Diocesan Association, including? those of University Groups.   

(Two Presidents of Parochial Councils, Diocesana)  chosen by the Presidents of these Councils in the Diocese.)




Diocesan Council :

Diocesan Presi­dent and Ecclesi­astical Assistant nominated by the Bishop;

a number of elected Councillors.


Diocesan Council:

Diocesan Presi­dent and Ecclesi­astical Assistant nominated by the Bishop;

a number of elected Councillors.


Diocesan Council :

Diocesan Presi­dent and Ecclesi­astical Assistant nominated by the Bishop;

a number of elected Councillors .


Diocesan Council :

Diocesan Presi­dent and Ecclesi­astical Assistant nominated by the Bishop;

a number of elected Councillors.


Diocesan Council:

Constituted as other Councils.


Diocesan Council:

Constituted as other Councils.












University Men  (5)


University Women





















   Professional   Sections,   















Parochial            President and Ecclesiastical Assistant nominated by the Bishop. Council.                         The President of each Parochial  Association.   

Other members, not more than four, chosen by the Parish Priest.






Parochial Association :

President and Ecclesiastical Assis­tant ; Directive Council.


Parochial Association :

President and Ecclesiastical Assis­tant : Directive Council.


Parochial Association :

President and Ecclesiastical Assis­tant ; Directive Council.


Parochial Association :

President and Ecclesiastical Assis­tant ; Directive Council.


No University Groups in the Parish as such.







Young Men






Young Women








Supernatural Motives.

                        IN the first place, those who wish to take part in Catholic Action must be guided in all their endeavours by supernatural motives. Catholic Action entails considerable self-sacrifice. It involves persevering study of Catholic doctrine and the exact observance of all one's duties as a Catholic; it requires a courage which will be proof against the innumerable disappointments and rebuffs which are the lot of every apostle. It is here that merely human motives fail.

It must, moreover, be borne in mind that the conversion of souls is not so much the result of our efforts as the fruit of God's grace. The purer our motives the holier our lives, the more intimate our union with God, the greater will be our power as God's instruments for the salvation of souls. It would be fatal to forget that it is from supernatural faith and charity that external works derive their value as means of apostolate. Without these they would be "sounding brass and tinkling cymbal"—fine sound without substance and without lasting effect.

            Again when the supernatural is not present, the highest works of apostolate would be void of merit and reward. "And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing." (I Cor., xiii, 3.)

            Supernatural life and motive are therefore necessary to the apostle: (1) In order to secure perseverance in the face of the difficulties which every apostolate entails; (2) in order to procure the real and lasting good of souls; (3) in order to make his work acceptable to God, and deserving of merit and reward.

            Holiness of life then, is far more important than external activity, but both are indispensable for Catholic Action.

CATHOLIC ACTION means an enlightened laity, a devout laity, an organised laity, which devotes itself to active apostolate in direct dependence  on  ecclesiastical  authority.

            The first necessary condition of Catholic Action is a mandate from the hierarchy. The approval given by the hierarchy to associations which promote particular charitable or beneficent works is not sufficient. Where there is not a formal commission from the Hierarchy to participate in its apostolate there is no Catholic Action properly so called. (Mgr. Cicognani.)

Catholic Action is Catholic or universal for three reasons: (a) As regards its members—it extends, without exception, to all Catholics of whatever age or condition; (b) as regards the formation which it gives—it applies to the whole man, guiding him from childhood onwards, penetrating by its reformative and ennobling activity, to the secret well-springs of his thoughts and desires, accompanying him in the home, at his work, directing his relations with his fellow men ; (c) as regards its programme, which is all-embrac­ing and includes every work conducive to the good of souls.

            Catholic Action is action because it is an apostolate, and every genuine apostolate means intense activity. This activity, however, has nothing in common with the noise and bustle usually attributed to our friends across the Pacific ; it is the strong, deep, noiseless activity which reforms men inwardly in order to make them zealous apostles of the Cross of Christ.

The formal commission or mandate from the Hierarchy, the direct dependence on ecclesiastical authority, the hierarchical organisation, the world-embracing programme of apostolate—all these are essential to Catholic Action in the strict sense of the term.

         But there are other characteristics which must be insisted on, if the lay apostolate is to be correctly understood;

         A MAN does not qualify as a doctor by affixing brass plate to his door and arranging hours for consultation.    He must first have followed a long and arduous course of study and successfully negotiated a series of difficult examinations. But his labours do not end here. If he is to be really a success at his profession, he must continue to study his whole life through.

            Catholic Action is an apostolate which requires serious and continuous study. Inscription in a Catholic Action Society does not fit one to expound and defend the faith. The majority of Catholics give up the study of their religion when they leave school. They may go on and become very pro-ficent in their particular professional or technical pursuits,, but their religious knowledge and out­look remain that of a boy of fourteen or fifteen.

            Moreover we live, here in Australia, in an environment which is predominantly Protestant, or rather, pagan. Unconsciously we adopt standards of life and conduct which are more or less opposed to the truths of faith. Religion becomes a phase or department of life, and not—as it should be—the guiding spirit of life itself. Fundamental deficiencies such as these can scarcely be remedied without earnest and persevering effort. A knowledge of the Catholic position for defensive or apologetic purposes only is not sufficient. What is required is a positive Catholic culture which will revitalise the whole fabric of society. The aim of Catholic Action is precisely this.

            The majority of Catholics could and should possess a much deeper and more extensive knowledge of their faith than they do to­day. To increase and perfect one's knowledge of the Church's teaching is a duty which is binding on all members of Catholic Action ; it is a duty which —as the Holy Father has declared—is especially binding on the lay leaders of Catholic Action.

            If, then, you would be a genuine Catholic Actionist, be prepared for study, for "Catholic Action requires as an essential principle the apostolic training of those who wish to be active and zealous participators of it." (Pius XI: Discourse to young Ecclesiastics of Rome, March, 1935.)


*Cf. Encyclical Non abbiamo bisogno, June 29th, 1931: Letter to Cardinal Bertram, of Breslau, Nov., 1928; Letter to Cardinal Schuster, of Milan, 1931 ; Concordat with Italy (1929), Art. 43; Concordat with Lithuania (1927), Art. 25; Letter to Cardinal Cerejeira, of Lisbon, Nov., 1933; Discourse to the Young Ecclesiastics of Rome, March, 1935, etc., etc. Pope Pius XI insists on the principles already laid down by Pope Pius X in the Encyclical:  Fermo Proposito, 11 June, 1905.



            CATHOLIC   ACTION   is non-political,  or,  rather, supra-political.    It has no merely political end in view ; it is far removed from party politics.    This is a point on which the Holy Father particularly insists: "We have repeatedly and solemnly affirmed and protested that Catholic Action, both by reason of its nature and essence . . . and of our precise and categorical instructions, is outside and above all political parties." (Encyclical: • Non abbiamo bisogno.)

            For this reason the former German Center Party and the Italian Popular Party were not Catholic Action. In Italy the Partita popolare has been suppressed, but Catholic Action is allowed free scope. In Spain we have a Catholic political party (Accion popular) and Catholic Action (Accion Catolica) existing side by side. Individual Catholic Actionists may be members of a Catholic political party—or of any other party which is not opposed to the Church. But Catholic Action is not to be identified with any political party.

            Although Catholic Action is quite apart from party politics, it still has a great deal to do with politics. We repudiate the old Masonic catch cry (and half truth) that "religion should have nothing to do with politics!"

            When it is not a question of party politics, but of politics in the etymological sense of the word, which considers the common good of the nation as a whole, Catholic Action has the right and the duty to take part.

            Politics in this sense constitutes one field of apostolate for Catholic Action. Its aim in this sphere is (1) to prepare statesmen (of whatever party) who will place the rights of God, the salva­tion of souls and the good of the country as a whole before personal or party interests ; (2) to see that party programmes be in conformity with Christian principles.

            The relationship of Catholic Action to politics is thus briefly explained by Pope Pius XI. in his letter to Cardinal Cerejeira of Lisbon (Nov. 1933):

            "Catholic Action," he writes, "like the Church whose direct collaborator it is ... keeps itself aloof and outside any political party, being no longer directed to safeguard - special interests of groups, but to procure the real salvation of souls by diffusing as much as possible the Kingdom of Our Lord Jesus Christ. . . . However, this does not prevent individual Catholics from taking part in organisations of a political character when these, in programme and activity, give the necessary guarantees for safeguarding the rights of God and of their conscience. On the contrary, it must be stated that participation in political life is a duty of social charity, and this for the reason that each citizen must con­tribute, according to his opportunities, to the welfare of his own nation. . .    Catholic Action, therefore, though not taking part in politics in the strict sense of the term, shall nevertheless prepare its soldiers to take part in political affairs —men inspired by the principles of Christianity, which alone can bring peace and prosperity to peoples."



ARCHBISHOP NAVARRE arrived as a young priest in Sydney on August 13th, 1882, and founded the New Britain Mission. The spread of the Mis­sionaries to Thursday Island, the gateway of New Guinea, was the means God made use of to bring about the establishment of our first house in Sydney, and Father Navarre was God's instrument. He was a man of far-seeing vision, and our beginnings both here and in the great mission fields of Melanesia and Micronesia owe their founda­tions to this illustrious member of the Con­gregation. During the thirty years of his apostolate, Dr. Navarre was ever the most devoted and intrepid of missionaries. He died at Townsville on his way from Thursday Island to Sydney on January 7th, 1908.


First Superior in Australia:


            FATHER COUPPE was chosen as the first Superior of our foundation in Sydney and the first Procurator of our Missions. This distinguished missionary was destined as a priest and as a bishop to carry on a glorious apostolate among the pagans for thirty-seven years, but Divine Providence halted him on the way, to lay the foundation of our work in Australia. Historic Botany was the selected place, and there he com­menced the apostolate of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart on April 8th, 1885.


Second Superior in Australia:


            IRELAND, the fruitful home of mis­sionaries, supplied our second Superior, in the person of the genial and warm­hearted     Father Michael Tierney. He assumed his duties on July 26th, 1885, and was responsible for the building of the nave of the present church at Randwick and the erection of the first presbytery. He was privileged to in­augurate our work in Randwick by celebrating the first Mass, on November 15th, 1885, and he was the first priest of the Congregation to give missions in Australia.


Third Superior in Australia:


            ON December 27th, 1887, Father Emile Merg took over the reins of government as Superior of the Community and Procurator of the Missions. Father Merg was essentially a man of order, and succeeded in accomplishing all his undertakings. He secured the land where the present Monastery stands, and supervised the erection of the beautiful Gothic building which crowns the heights of Kensington. He also founded the Australian Annals and the Arch-confraternity of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart.


First Provincial:


            WHEN Father Treand arrived in Sydney as Personal Representative of Father Chevalier, on December 7th, 1891, he found the work of the Congregation well under weigh. The foundations had been well laid by his predecessors. Under his wise, zealous and saintly administration, a new era of prosperity dawned upon the Congregation. For thirty-five years he laboured as parish priest among the people of Randwick, where his name is held in benedic­tion, and while caring for his pastoral charge, he gave twenty-seven years to administrative duties, as Superior and Provincial, and was always and at all times, father, friend, and counsellor of every member of the Province. In 1905, the Congrega­tion had advanced so rapidly in Australia that the General Council decided to make it a separate Province, and Father Treand was elected the first Provincial.


First Superior & Novice Master, Kensington:


FATHER JULES VANDEL reached Sydney on November 10th, 1894. He was the first Superior of the Community at Kensington and first Novice Master in Australia. When the Apostolic School was opened at Douglas Park he was appointed to its direct control. A dis­tinguished scholar, Father Vandel led a secluded and retired life. He was scarcely known outside the Community, but those who had the privilege of knowing him were deeply impressed by his winning personality, his gentle courtesy, and his profound knowledge of every branch of priestly science. The novices who were trained by this lovable priest hold him in great veneration, and retain to this day grateful memories of his fatherly care.


Chronology   of   Dates

               1881—Leo XIII called upon the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart to evangelise the Vicariates of Melanesia and Micro­nesia ; they numbered then just fifty members, including novices.

               1882—On August 13th, the wish of the Supreme Pontiff was honoured, when Father Navarre, Father Cramaille, and Brother Fromm arrived in Sydney and embarked for New Britain on August 26th. They were the first members of the Congregation to reach these shores.

               1884—On January 28th, Father Ferdinand Hartzer, Father Vatan, Father Gaillard, and Brother Joseph de Sands stepped ashore and weighed anchor for New Britain on March 12th.

              1885—On January 31st, Father Couppe and Father Verius accompanied by three Lay Brothers and five Sisters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, arrived in Sydney.

            Meanwhile, Archbishop Moran urged Father Navarre to occupy New Guinea. That wish of the Archbishop was the means God made use of to establish the Congregation in Sydney. Early in February, 1885, conversations took place between Fathers Navarre, Couppe, Verius and the Archbishop, which led to the definite assurance that Botany and Randwick would be entrusted to the Sacred Heart fathers. Father Couppe was named Superior and Pro­curator of the Missions.

            On April 8th, Father Couppe commenced alone his pastoral duties in the newly erected parish of Botany. At the end of April he was joined by Father Hartzer, who had been recalled from the Missions.

            On November 15th, Father Michael Tierney, who had arrived in August, celebrated the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the school-church at Randwick, and Randwick became the headquarters of the Congregation in Australia.

            1885 is, then, a year of golden memories, and our mission activity in Australasia radiates from the above illustrious priests and eventful dates.

            1886—July 26th, Father Couppe departed for New Guinea and Father Michael Tierney became Superior of the Randwick Community, and built the first presbytery and church.

            1887—On December 27th, Father Emile Merg arrived in Sydney, as Superior of the Community and Procurator of the  Missions.

            1889—Father Merg established the Archconfraternity of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart and issued the first copies of the Australian Annals.

            Father Verius was raised to the episcopate and became Coadjutor to Archbishop Navarre, and afterwards the Apostle of New Guinea.

            1890—On October 5th, our first Superior in Australia, Father Couppe, was consecrated Bishop of New Britain. It is interesting to note that the three great missionaries, Fathers Navarre, Couppe and Verius, who watched near the cradle of our Australian Foundation, were consecrated Bishops within the short space of twelve years.

            1891—On January 15th, Father Merg selected eight acres of land at Kensington, in order to build a monastery.

On December 7th, Father Peter Treand arrived in Sydney to take up the duties of Superior of the Community, and approved the purchase of the site where the monastery stands.

            1897—December 5th, opening of the Sacred Heart Monastery by Cardinal Moran.

            1903—December 3rd, Father Henry Chetail takes the Con­gregation to Tasmania.

            1904—December 8th, we purchased Nepean Towers, Douglas Park, and changed the name to St. Mary's. It is now the Novitiate and Apostolic School.

            1905—December 8th, Father Treand becomes the first Provincial. Marks the establishment of the Australian Province.

              1906—August 26th, Father Gsell was created Administrator Apostolic of the Diocese of Palmerston and Victoria (Port Darwin) and founds our first Australian Mission.

              1910—May 5th, the first Mission to be given by an Aus­tralian priest of the Province was conducted by Father A. J. Goodman, at Kensington, N.S.W.          

              1912—March 1st, we opened our Apostolic School at Douglas Park. The first students were J. Madigan, R. Lopez, E. Sheedy, M. McEncroe, and J. Long.

              1913  20th January, Father Edward Nouyoux elected Provincial.

              1914  September 7th, the   Congregation is  established at  Hindmarsh, South Australia.

              1916— November 5th, Archbishop Cerretti, Apostolic Delegate, blessed and opened the first wing of the Apostolic School, Douglas Park.

              1919  26th February, Father Arthur Perkins is elected Provincial.

              1921  May 15th, setting of foundation stone, Scholasticate, Kensington, by Archbishop Cattaneo, Apostolic Delegate.

October 2nd, the new transept to Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church, Randwick, was blessed and opened.

November 9th, opening of the new church at Hindmarsh, South Australia.

November 13th, St. Brigid's Church, Coogee, was blessed and opened.

              1922            February 16th, Father Michael Ryan elected Provincial.

              1923            The Memorial Chapel to Bishop Verius was opened, and now ranks among the artistic oratories of Sydney.

              1924            Reverend Father Rumble and Patrick McCabe, a scholastic, were selected for the signal honour of pursuing their studies in the Eternal City. They were the first Aus­tralian members of the Province to graduate in Rome.

              1925            April 4th, Father Paul Fleming elected Provincial.

April 17th, we established the Congregation in Brisbane.

              1928            September 16th, Dr. Rumble inaugurated the Radio Question Box, 2 SM, which is now an Australian institution.

              1929            March 20th, marked the establishment of the "Bush Mission," Centralia.

              1931            March 1st, we opened our first Secondary School, at Toowoomba.

April 7th, Father Arthur Perkins elected Pro­vincial.

July 5th, Belgian Gardens, Townsville, entrusted to the Congregation.

October 10th, Palm Island Mission, Townsville, given to the charge of Father P. J. Maloney.

December 26th, Father Lyons arrived in Eastern Papua and founded our own great "Foreign Mission."

              1934            July 7th, blessing and opening of new wing, "Downlands," Toowoomba.

              1935  June 22nd, Port Keats Mission was founded; Father R. Docherty in charge.   

October 6th, Jubilee Wing, Apostolic School, Douglas Park, was blessed and opened by Archbishop Sheehan, in the presence of the Prime Minister, J. A. Lyons, and a dis­tinguished gathering of clergy and laity.

November, a second wing to "Downlands," Toowoomba, commenced.