You have seen them – indeed, how could you help otherwise, for from Land’s End to John o’ Groats, from St George’s Cathedral to the North Sea, they lie scattered about this once Catholic land, testifying to the Faith and Love that then flourished – abbeys and monasteries and convents, now in ruins, where once holy men and women dwelt; whose walls have watched their daily lives of sacrifice, have heard their nightly chanting of the Office, and whose cloisters have echoed to the voices of God’s saints. Ghosts of a former glory, they haunt us with the memory of that heritage which our fathers surrendered with so slight a struggle. Ah, if we had been there, we would not have let the Faith die out so easily!
And yet, in our own day, a greater sacrilege hourly takes place, and we raise no finger to stop it. For what is the most beautiful abbey in the world compared to the soul of a child? Is not a child’s soul indeed the temple of the Holy Ghost? And the Angels, we are told, love to dwell therein, listening to the echoing harmonies of God.
Ruined Sanctuaries – there are so many of them. Look around in our big cities – go out into the squalid parts and see the pity of it – children whose eyes reflect the misery they have come to regard as natural, who know nothing of a mother’s love or affection, but whose hearts have been taught the ways of sin even before they knew what sin was. Here are the sanctuaries that we can save from final desecration, aye, and sanctuaries worth the saving. Even if it were only to bring a little happiness into their baby lives surely we would do something for these poor kiddies – but when it is a question of their soul’s salvation besides there is no sacrifice that we would not make. The Faith of our Fathers is living still, and we must hand on the precious heritage to the children.
For these children – for their happiness of soul and body – the Southwark Catholic Rescue Society has struggles and worked for forty-one years. During that time, twenty-five thousand boys and girls have been rescued from a misery worse than death, and tenderly cared for by the good Nuns and brothers. Today 1250 such kiddies look to the Southwark Catholic Rescue Society for their shelter, food, and clothing, and in turn the Society looks to you. You know you will not, cannot, refuse.
Monday, 25 August 2008
Catholic Rescue Society ad (1937)
The other day, thumbing through the Southwark Catholic Directory for 1937, I found this advertisement for the Catholic Rescue Society, later the Catholic Children's Society, and now to become the Cabrini Children's Society (see also More on the "Cabrini Children's Society"). I am sure that things were not perfect in those days but the emphasis on the saving of the children's souls certainly gives one pause for reflection.