Take away the supernatural
and what remains is the unnatural. GK
A quick update on the CNFRI apostolate from the
Apostolate of CNFRI continues to grow in strength, thanks to the
support of all our volunteers, and to your support. Please come
and visit our main centre at St Marys, which is exceptionally well
stocked with excellent spiritual reading and religious goods.
Our outlet at the Shrine of Our Lady of Mercy, Penrose Park, is also
well stocked and is supported by the many pilgrims that visit
there. In other good news we are looking forward to enhancing
our relationship with Parousia Media, with shared arrangements at St
We are pleased to announce the opening of a second hand room, where
you can purchase an excellent range of spiritual material, classic
literature, and homeschooling resources. Much of the material
has kindly been generously donated by Father Tierney, resulting from
a sort-out of his extensive library prior to the move. The
second hand room is located on the first floor of the Faith Resources
Centre at St Marys. We are also very grateful for the continued
support of the Parish Priest of Our Lady of the Rosary parish, Father
The setting up of the second hand room required an extraordinary
volunteer effort, and special thanks are extended to those who spent
many days on the work during their summer vacation, and to our other
volunteers who assisted.
Message from the Manager
welcome to Cardinal Newman Faith Resources’ first Newsletter for
2018. Father Tierney continues to settle into his new surroundings.
He is making new friends and acquaintances in the area as the slow
job of unpacking continues. Despite the fact that many of the books
that he refers to are still in boxes, he has managed to produce more
of his famous Handouts. In the meantime he is far from idle as he
investigates and writes numerous letters and articles to bishops and
priests regarding the turmoil handed to all Australians after our
Parliamentarians passed a bill, the principal aim of which is to
destroy marriage and family. He has put in a well-researched
submission to the Parliamentary Committee involved with Religious
Freedom. The content of his submission has been divided into several
handouts so that we can realise how disturbing the present wording of
the bill about to be brought before Parliament really is.
More than ever we need to increase our prayers and be ever vigilant
to ward off the evil that pervades society at present. Satan is
always in the background and often coats his plans with sugar to
deceive us. We must keep our minds and hearts open for God’s Word and
never become complacent for it is easy to fall and very hard to crawl
back up. So often we see the consequences of poor catechesis,
combined with selfishness, leading people into sin, so often seeing
those around us blindly and angrily turning vice into virtue. As
pastors, parents and teachers we must realise the importance of praying
often, frequent reception of the Sacraments and a properly formed
conscience, so that our hearts are in unison with the Will of God.
The year has flown and we have already entered the season of Lent, a
time of prayer, fasting and abstinence. We need to double our efforts
this Lent and be aware of how many graces are given and how strong we
can be when we go to Confession frequently, attend Mass and receive
Holy Communion often. God’s graces can open up oceans of Mercy for us
and give hope and peace to the world. It is wonderful to note that
more and more parishes are building Adoration Chapels, but Our
Blessed Lord is still present in the Tabernacle in every Parish
Church and overjoyed if we choose to spend extra time with Him, even
if we can only manage a few minutes after Mass.
Spiritual Reading is another essential way of strengthening our
faith. There have been a number of new books published recently,
including books for Lent, and we have these available for sale. One
of our projects this year is to have more good literature available
for children, teenagers and young adults. We will be emphasizing the
importance of the works of traditional authors along with some new
books. Our children are yearning for heroes and heroines who will not
lead them astray.
In the next few weeks we will be working closely with Parousia Media
to make more of their wonderful evangelising multimedia products
available. As a result we will be able to expand our premises at the
Mackillop Centre and have more storage and display area available for
our children’s and marriage and family sections. Though we plan to
keep costs and work minimal we do need to move light switches, cut a
doorway and thoroughly clean and paint the room next to us. We would
be very appreciative of help whether it be physical, financial or
extra prayers to help this go ahead smoothly.
Note that we also have some second hand books available for sale
again. In addition, there are a huge number of Homeschooling texts
and you are welcome any time to go through these during our opening
hours. The books are not catalogued but are neatly sorted into
sections on tables and shelves. If you do not live in Sydney you may
ring and ask us to send a selection or ask for a particular book and
we will check to see if it is there.
Once again, we sincerely thank all our readers, friends and
supporters for your prayers and generosity. May God grant you a
Children: Lenten Adventure Activity Books (2 books) from Holy Heroes
Normally $39.95 now $24.95
Teaching children from an early age how to take part in Lent and Easter,
Lenten Adventure Activity Books 1 and 2 are sold as a set. Book 1 covers
Ash Wednesday to Palm Sunday. Book 2 begins on Palm Sunday and finishes
on Divine Mercy Sunday. They are packed full of excellent activities that
will give five to twelve years a very deep understanding of Lent and
Easter. Highly recommended. My Very First Easter Story Sticker Book $9.95
or Easter Sticker Book $9.95 The Story of Easter (Carry-Me-Along Board Book)
by George Brundage $8.95 Colouring Book about Lent Colouring Book from
St Joseph Colouring Books $3.00 Colouring Book about Easter Colouring Book
from St Joseph Colouring Books $3.00 Brother Francis Presents The Scriptural Stations of the Cross
- A Colouring Storybook $4.25 Brother Francis: What is Lent? - Colouring Book
from Herald Entertainment $4.25 Brother Francis 10: He is Risen – DVD $14.50 A Life of Our Lord for
Children by Marigold Hunt
$22.50 The First Christians by Marigold Hunt $21.50
Brother Francis 14: The Stations of the Cross – DVD $14.50 Lent and Easter in the Domestic Church: Activities to
Celebrate Catholic Liturgical Seasons by Catherine and
Peter Fournier $29.95 Filled with a variety of family activities, saint’s
celebrations and crafts, this book has something for everyone in the
family. Family activities include making of a Paschal Candle, special
Stations of the Cross, a Family Altar, a Garden for Mary, activities,
recipes for special homemade breads and more. Also included are stories
of special saints for the season with activities and prayers. Finally, it
offers numerous craft activities including cross stitching Guardian Angel
patterns, making alms boxes, Easter eggs, Stained-glass pictures, table
runners, and many colouring pages. The Way of the Cross for Children DVD by
Matthew Arnold $15.00 Celebrating Lent, The Way of the Cross for Children, The
Stations of the Cross or the Easter Story from St Joseph
Picture Books $3.00 each Easter! Fun Things to Do and Make by Christina
Goodings$16.95 Bringing Lent Home with St. Therese of Lisieux, Bringing
Lent Home with Mother Teresa (Excellent family books)
Pascal Candle Kit from Holy Heroes $39.95
This gorgeous new Paschal Candle Kit is exceptionally lovely. Each kit
contains everything you need to make one solid 8” pillar candle out of
100% pure beeswax sheets. This kit also includes: Wicking, rhinestones,
nails, pre-printed water decal labels and an interesting explanation of
the liturgical importance and symbolism of beeswax candles. Please Note:
The five drops of craft glue needed to affix the rhinestones to the nail
heads are NOT included in this kit. Holy Heroes - The Stations of the Cross CD
$14.95 Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy from Holy Heroes
$9.95 The Works of Mercy Card Game from Holy Heroes
4 games in 1! Great to teach ages 4 and up the 14 Corporal and Spiritual
Works of Mercy through games that will capture a child's imagination
through delightful illustrations of Jesus and children performing the
Works of Mercy.
Teenagers and Adults: Witnesses to Mystery by Grzegorz Górny &
Janusz Rosikon on special for $49.95
In this lavishly illustrated large coffee-table volume, writer Gorny and
photographer Rosikon embarked on a two year investigative journey to seek
the truth behind all the relics associated with the passion of Christ.
Beautifully presented and researched this book is highly recommended. Lent and Easter Wisdom from Pope John Paul II
$19.95 The Sacred Passion by Luis de la Palma $29.95
In this book, Fr de la Palma provides an aid for meditating on the
Passion. He recreates the events of Jesus' life beginning with Holy
Thursday and concluding with the burial of Our Lord and a powerful
evocation of the coming resurrection. The Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ
by Alban Goodier $24.95 The Sadness of Christ by Thomas More $23.95 40 Days and 40 Ways Daily Meditations for Lent Year B
by Henry Wansbrough $9.95 Calvary through the Eyes of Mary by Helen
The Fourth Cup CD by Dr
Scott Hahn $5.00 Easter Homilies by Benedict XVI $7.00 Making a Holy Lent: 40 Meditations to Prepare You for the
Church's Holiest Season by Father William Casey CPM
$25.95 Lenten Meditations with Fulton J Sheen $5.50 The Last Hours of Jesus: From Gethsemane to Golgotha
by Fr Ralph Gorman $31.95 Praying the Crucifix by Julien Chilcott-Monk
$7.00 Lenten Reflections by Scott Hahn on special
for $19.95 Meditations on the Stations of the Cross by
John Henry Newman $7.00 The Sacrament of Penance CD by Father William
Casey CPM $5.00 The Pain of the Crucifixion CD by Steve Ray
(Highly recommended) $5.00 Mystagogical Catechesis CD by Andrew Wood
(Highly recommended) $5.00 St Faustina Prayer Book for the Conversion of Sinners
by Susan Tassone $24.95 New Companion to Lent from the Catholic Truth Society $5.00 The Way of the Cross by St Alphonsus Liguori
$3.50 Lent and Easter by Joanna Bogle $7.00
Easter you may like to consider giving your children and grandchildren
good literature as a present. The following title are highly recommended
and will inspire them to keep and strengthen their faith: The Golden Princess and the Moon by Anna Maria
Mendell $27.50 The Golden Princess and the Moon by Anna Maria
Mendell is a teenage novel highly recommended for children 13 years and
up. It is written in a style not unlike the works of C S Lewis and George
MacDonald. There is an element of Grimm's fairy tales with animal
symbolism, the presence of an evil stepmother and heroes and heroines.
The Golden Princess and the Moon is a classic retelling of “Sleeping
Beauty,” steeped in legend and magic. The beautiful but spoiled Princess
Rosamund (Rosa for short) has squandered the seven faerie gifts given her
on her christening day. She must reclaim these gifts in order to face a
terrible curse cast long before her birth. Prince Erik grew up hearing
stories of a sleeping princess, but all does not end happily when he
wakes her. For what happens when a princess of legend awakens in a world
that fears all to do with the old kingdom and Faerie? Alex O'Donnell and the 40 Cyber Thieves by
Regina Doman $22.00
An Arabian-Night Tale is combined with hi-tech adventure and romance. Black as Night by Regina Doman $23.00
Waking Rose by
Regina Doman $26.50 The Midnight Dancers by Regina Doman $22.00 Catholic Philosopher Chick Makes Her Debut by
Regina Doman and Rebecca Bratten Weiss $25.00
In a massive change of lifestyle, former NYC fashion writer Catelyn Frank
travels to Texas to start a doctorate in Catholic Thomistic philosophy
and search for Truth, Beauty, and the Perfect
Guy. Catholic Philosopher Chick 2 Comes on Strong
by Regina Doman and Rebecca Bratten Weiss $27.50
Catholic, Reluctantly - John Paul 2 High Book
All 5 books in this series are highly recommended. They are available at
Cardinal Newman Faith Resources. I Am Margaret, The Three Most Wanted, Liberation and Bane’s
Eyes Each book by Corinna Turner is extremely good value
at $24.95. This series of books will appeal to children 14 years and up.
They again show how important it is for your people to live according to
the Will of God. They can be purchased separately or as a
set. The Shadow of the Bear by Regina Doman $22.00
This gripping story set in modern times and based around the fairy tale
of Snow White and Rose Red gives an insight of how Catholic teenagers
overcome evil and temptations through struggles and keeping their faith.
All teenagers and young adults love this book.
The Complete Father Brown Stories by G K Chesterton $9.95
Chesterton’s style is an inspiration to young adults. Father Brown and the Ten Commandments $26.95 The Poet and the Lunatics $19.95 Man Alive $16.00 Four Faultless Felons $16.95 The Universe According to GK Chesterton edited
by Dale Ahlquist $16.00
The Screwtape Letters by C S Lewis $16.95 The Space Trilogy by C S Lewis $35.00. This
omnibus includes Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra and That Hideous
Strength. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Full-Colour Hardback Collection
by C S Lewis on special for $99.95
All 7 titles in the series are sturdy hardback books beautifully
presented in a protective slipcase.
is unique — a special Handouts to report on my arrival at Rockview, 143 Old Trunk Road, The Rock NSW 2655, phone 02 6920 2000.
Usually I avoid writing in the
first person, though I am no doubt over-guilty of doing so in speech.
I did not drive myself to The
Rock, but was driven by a priest friend on 9tnNovember, 2017. He had much more
stamina than I have, though with only one eye functional yet. [N.B. for
grammarians: I was going to say ‘than me’ as a preposition rather than
a conjunction — but feared it give offence.] Meanwhile my small
(matchbox toy!) Suzuki Sierra 1995 (4-seater 4X4) was driven by Daniel
Vieira, also heroically, since his forthcoming knee replacement
operation, both-knees at once, was only a week later, and with much
pain, before and after!
In the outcome of that momentous
day, very late that night, long after I’d gone to bed in a temporary
accommodation, a pantechnicon (in plain Aussie English, furniture van)
finally drove in to Rockview.
But it wasn’t the one which had
set out that morning. That had broken down in Gundagai — where
yester-year’s Dog sat on the Tuckerbox. Some vital part had gone bung
in that great swaying monster, and it refused to go forward or be
fixed. The four stalwart furniture-removal men called up on their
mobile phones for another vehicle, and reloaded the enormous load from
one caboose to another.
The precious load included the
voluminous remainders of my possessions and the whole of the family
chapel’s sacred furnishings. All these things had been lovingly
prepared for transportation by benefactors: “Bear one another’s
burdens, and so fulfil the Law of Christ,” said the Apostle (which is
patristic code for St Paul). My first Mass here was in the dining room,
“a home Mass”.
The welcoming family who so kindly
care for me in my old age had already arrived at Rockview weeks before, and were already settling in themselves.
In their goodness, they had also
been getting my new accommodation ready. It was the former army
barracks 18 metres X 5 metres (or, for the pre-metric, about 60 feet X
16½ feet) transported from Laureleigh,
Tarlo, c/- Goulburn, where it
had been the family-overflow accommodation. Some employed, some
voluntary, the labours of many were involved, all with their hearts in
it, to help me to get operational once more in my retirement apostolate
under its banner name of the Cardinal Newman Catechist Consultants,
which conveniently preserves the original initials from 1974, C.N.C.C.
So, dear Friends, I am and hope to
Yours sincerely and
gratefully in our Lord
Rev. Father B.J.H. Tierney
Known in traditional Irish style
as “Father Jim”
MY SAGA CONTINUES
Arriving was only a prelude — only the end of the
beginning. Settling-in to become fully operational will take at least
the same time-span as packing up for relocation, at least six months.
On this 69th day, I issue this cheerful report.
The chapel was operational for my
second day, with its overhead fan in the high cathedral ceiling.
The diocese has authorized it
primarily for my daily celebration of Mass, with the family usually
here on weekdays. On Sundays, they participate in the parish Mass,
while any visitors staying a few days would become my Sunday
Building up parish life is vital.
What Pope St Pius X said to a few cardinals is as relevant today as it
was then he said it over a hundred years ago:
What is most needed at the present
day is to have in each parish a group of laity who are at the same tune
Determined and really Apostolic.
The Vieira family’s new private
chapel is again dedicated to the Holy Family. It is even more beautiful
and inspiring of piety than its original at Laureleigh.
At the other end is my bedroom,
the last 3 metres of the 18 metre building. My primitive mentality of
split-slab cabins finds the en
suite positively luxurious, but I am assured that this is nowadays normal, What is more, the bedroom has a modern airconditioning system
to cope with the fierce heat west of the Great Dividing Range of which
I had no experience. I wrote the first Catholic Family Catechism
in a medium-grade shack on top of that Great Divide at Hampton, with
wood fires throughout the year for cooking and continuous in winter.
The cool air goes through the
bedroom door into the workshop-studio, known for short as “the study”.
It is manu et. mente, ‘manual and mental’, i.e. “by hand and by
mind” — man’s creative activities “making” things, because he is made
in the image of a Maker, as J.R.R. Tolkien said. This is fitting, since
our Great High Priest was a carpenter, “and He wrought with Joseph, with
chisel, saw and plane”.
I have not yet rebuilt the
homemade bookshelves which I had made for my L-shaped studio-bedroom at
Laureleigh, Tarlo. I’ll start once I unpack the
planks from the ship’s 20 foot long container — which means I shall
have to postpone writing/typing.
This workshop-studio is the
biggest room in the rebuilt insides of the old barracks. Its east end
opens into the chapel, its west end into the bedroom It’s slightly
longer than the chapel, and with the same high vaulted ‘cathedral’
ceiling, an overhead fan and the same wonderful modem LED soft-white
lights recessed into the ceiling — no more buzzing noises from harsh
Expect “further thrilling
THE TRUE MEANING
OF CHRISTMAS by Don Trump, President of the USA
is not about the lighting of the National Christmas Tree...
Whatever our beliefs, we know that
the birth of Jesus Christ and the story of his incredible life forever
changed the course of human history. There’s hardly an aspect of our
lives today that his life has not touched: art, music, culture, law,
and our respect for the sacred dignity of every person everywhere in the
Each and every year at Christmas
time we recognize that the real spirit of Christmas is not what we
have, it’s about who we are — each one of us is a child of God. Each
and every person being a child of God is the true source of joy at this
time of the year. This is what makes very Christmas “merry”.
The tree-lighting ceremony is a
reminder that we are called to serve one another, to love one another,
and to pursue peace in our hearts and all throughout the world.
... thanked the country’s
teachers, pastors and all those religious and those people who have
taught us so much, for their leadership in our communities and our
And especially tonight I thank
America’s families. At Christmas, we are reminded more than ever that
the family is the bedrock of American life.
And so this Christmas we ask for
God’s blessings for our family, for our nation, and we pray that our
country will be a place where every child knows a home filled with
love, a community rich with hope, and a nation blessed with faith.
The lighting; of the National
Christmas Tree is a tradition that began in 1923 during Calvin
* * * *
Later in a tweet President Trump
wished those gathered for the tree-lighting “Merry Christmas”
everybody. Merry Christmas. Happy New Year.
Trump has not used politically
correct euphemisms for the holiday commemorating the birth of Jesus
Christ. He repeatedly promised on the campaign trail and after his
election that “we gonna start saying Merry Christmas again.”
This year’s Christmas decorations
at the Trump White House include a beautiful traditional nativity set
with a baby Jesus, halls full of Christmas trees and classic
decorations. The decorations are a tribute to the “time-honoured
traditions” of White House Christmases past, according to the Office of
the First Lady.
The Trumps’ first-ever Christmas
says “Merry Christmas.” None of the Obama’s Christmas cards ever did.
Thank you, President Trump.
Life Site News. See it for full text.
P.S. We must pray for him and for
all our own friends & foes.
NON-P.C. THINKING TO BE ILLEGAL !
it Mao Tse Tung who said, “If you use our words you will
think our thoughts and if you think our thoughts you will do our deeds”?
Already Australian Thought Police
enforce Laws which ban words, hence the mental ideas they express, to
inhibit us from teaching or even thinking non-Politically Correct
thoughts. Restrictions on Free Speech are getting tightened, like a
mental garotting. The Devil inspires politicians and chattering classes
to permit nothing but Freudian-Marxism.
Satan’s prototypes for a
dictatorship in Australia are Hitler, Stalin, Mao Tse Tung and Pol Pot.
Silent surveillance in both sky and streets, enhanced electronically,
is already all around and above. Even talking to a trustworthy friend
under the thick shade of a turpentine tree could be monitored. We can
expect the Bible and the Catechism will be banned books.
But be of good heart! The Word was
made flesh and we have seen His glory in the Resurrection! May our own
last words be, “Long live
Christ the King”. Better
suffer an honourable death than be a scoundrel.
WHAT I AM WORKING ON
regular Handouts of a single A4 sheet on both sides are my
constant concern. They provide vital religious knowledge, attitudes and
zeal, even when we but touch the fringe of His garment.
My highest priority is to keep the
Handouts going. They inform, re-assure and
encourage perseverance in “the faith once delivered to the saints”.
The next priority, simmering for
years on the back-burner, is the Catholic
Family CatechlST edition for
fathers, mothers, older siblings and other teachers to guide and
inspire use of the Catholic
Family Catechism in both
editions, Disciples (50 Q&As) and Apostles (500 Q&As).
A third priority is a Millennium Edition of the prayer book Heart Speaks to Heart. It crawls forward as I edit or write new
prayers and plan its lay out, and test its texts on others.
Lastly, there is the recreational
or hobby apostolate of “life-situational catechesis” in writing New Boys’ Bush Rescue, a sequel to New Boys Go Bush Again.
This last item has a status akin
to daily exercise, eating, drinking and sleeping. These are a
ready-made reasonable excuse for finding it, humanly speaking, a more
attractive expenditure of time.
PERSONAL PROVIDENCE — a reflection
1960, my seminary lecturer in History of
Philosophy asked me, “What are your main academic interests?” I
answered instantly, “Scripture and Liturgy”. On reflection later, I
realized I was actually saying, “Religion”. Yet I had no prospects of
higher studies in either, being hopeless at the necessary languages,
ancient or modern.
From ordination in 1964, I was
much involved in classroom catechetics and teaching lay catechists.
From 1975 to the mid-1980s, in between parish work, I was building up
the Cardinal Newman Catechist Centre and writing A Programme for Apostles of Christ in High
School and its Teacher’s Books,
and my magnum opus, the Catholic
My retirement apostolate since
1995 has concentrated on catechetics, the handing on the Faith: its
supportive skeleton in Q&As, filled out with explanations and Bible
texts, and augmented by the life-situational catechesis of writing
THE events quoted herein are ‘for
real’! This apparently fictional account really did happen, in 1947 and
1948. Father James Tierney was actually there for the Monster fete in
1948, his first year in High School (now called Year 7), and his father
was there all through it as the English Master, and one of the
characters in his own book, which he called the Blahwah. The publisher changed the name to Hopeton High. Some later chapters, woven in from elsewhere, are
embellishments of the story-teller.
You can buy it on internet second
hand books: Hopeton High by Brian James, pen name for John
Lawrence Tierney, father of The Rev. B.J.H. Tierney.
was published in 1963, but the events described mostly happened 15 or
16 years before, at Homebush Boys’ High School. Publication had to be
delayed till three key characters died... What follows are excerpts
from Chapter 1 on a Parents and Citizens Association meeting. They are
being persuaded, or conned, by the Science Master, fictitiously named
from Hopeton High
WAS CLAPPING at the announcement.
Mr Stingo stood. Mr Stingo was
forty and distinguished looking (he had a clipped black moustache) and
alert (he wore big horn-rimmed spectacles). He spoke with a clear
“We are not strangers to each
other,” began Mr Stingo, and there was something remarkably like a
groan from Mr Skelter, which was drowned in a recurrence of clapping.
“And I know you will bear with me in a short survey of modern thought
as it impinges upon the educational problem. Not many years ago
education was a matter of hit or miss —” “Hear, hear!” from Mr Skelter.
“Hear, hear!” ignored.
“Education was a matter of crude
imitation and an onerous conning of words and cramming of facts.
Children did not think. They were not trained to think. The
system was psychologically unsound and scientifically absurd. We have
altered that. We now know exactly how the mind works...”
“Hear, hear!” from Mrs Wilton who
had once done six months ‘sike’ at the University.
“We now know exactly. The
receptivity of the mind works entirely upon the visual and the
auditory. The mind is really nothing more than a modern factory, and in
its economy the visual and auditory sensations are the raw materials
that come in at one end and the finished product of thought comes out
at the other. It is really as simple as that — but hitherto it was not
realized. But, thanks to modern scientific method, the factory can turn
out the perfect product.”
“Really, really, Mr Skelter, I
must proceed. Now, you people have seen the light: Last year you
purchased, at the cost of many hundreds of pounds, the latest and most
efficient of movie projectors. That is now part of our modern equipment
and does much to provide for the Visual in our school work.” “But you
don’t use it” — Blast the fellow! There goes that Skelter again.
“Mr Skelter.” Mr Stingo was
metallically severe now in his tones. “Mr Skelter — you must know that
we have no means of blacking out this hall, and how can we use the
projector if the hall is not blacked out?”
“Whose fault is that? Couldn’t
“It is no one’s fault. The
Department is responsible for the blacking out. It is strictly a
departmental responsibility. We cannot possibly undertake anything of
constructional activity. In September the Department sent two officers
of the Architectural Branch. In December two officers of the Repairs
Branch. In February four officers of the Building Branch. The reports
of these are now in departmental hands, and we were advised early in
March that the matter is receiving consideration.” “Still — in the
meantime — as I say — the projector is not being used — ”
“It will be, Mr Skelter,
rest assured, just as soon as departmental sanction is obtained. And
knowing the Department as I do that should be in the future. However,
we have now provided for visual education, so that lessons in
geography, physics, chemistry and economics can be given with full
profit to all. Even, if necessary, history, literature and sport can
profit immensely. The big thing is—we have the projector.” “Where, Mr
Mr Grimwade [the chairman] sat up
straight — with no little difficulty — and said “E-r-rh!” And then,
“Order- eh - Mr- eh- Skelter! ”
“I asked where is it now?” Mr
Skelter rose, his moustache bristling like the cat’s whiskers when
confronted by the next-door’s terrier. “I have reason to believe, Mr
Chairman, that the projector is not in the school, but is at Mr Snagg’s
place and is being used for...”
A momentary glimpse of rage... a
gleam of white teeth...
“I need hardly remind you of the
seriousness of the matter. The projector is now the property of the
Department, and any unauthorized abstraction of it can lead to
prosecution... and we should inform the police at once...”
[Mr Snagg] ...“Mr Chairman. I must
interpose... The projector is at my place at present. I have the
Headmaster’s permission — needed at a charity fete — a children’s
session, Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse and all that. The machine was idle
pending the darkening of the hall... All rot talk of prosecution...” In
such a spate all flotsam was carried forward as in a floodwater channel
in a thunderstorm. But Mr Skelter was not carried forward, though
shaken at the base a little. “It’ll look funny just the same if there
is no departmental sanction.”
That revived Mr Stingo’s metallic
ease and aplomb. He was an authority on departmental matters. “In a
case of this kind, Mr Skelter, you know as well as I do that the
Headmaster acts in loco. ”
“Pity he’s not here tonight then,
“He is ill, Mr Skelter, and I am
deputizing for him.” As a matter of cold hard fact the Head was so ill
that he was attending a bridge party as a means of recovery. Mr Stingo
didn’t see fit to mention this circumstance.
... Mr Stingo took up his theme
and his scheme with all his wonted metallic enthusiasm. “My proposal is
briefly this, ladies and gentlemen. Since no modem scheme of education
can meet the demands of modem life without due and adequate provision
for exploiting to the full all the advantages of the visual and
auditory, and since the visual side has been catered for by the
installation of our movie projector — unfortunately not at the moment
being fully availed of pending the departmental provision of
blacking-out for this hall — all that remains is the installation of a
public address system.”
“Hear, hear!” from Mr Scroggie,
and a shuffling of awakened interest in all but Mr Skelter...
“As you know,” whirred on Mr
Stingo, “a public address system allows for full and clear
communication by the Headmaster with every part of the school, and a
pick-up attachment makes it possible to broadcast and relay programmes
from every important radio station in the world. In a word, then, your
boy, sitting in his classroom, with no move or effort on his part, can
listen-in to the parliamentary debates in Canberra, a concert in
London, a presidential address in Washington or an opera in Paris. In
like manner important announcements by the Headmaster — or myself — can
be heard. Your boy is therefore in direct touch with all that is going
on in the world around him — he becomes truly a citizen of the world
and an integral part of the march of human progress. And — oh yes” — he
glanced at Mr Skelter — “I should say that a perfectly streamlined
programme of lessons will be co-ordinated with the address system. For
example: your boy will be in the hall, watching, say, a picture of
peach-picking at Leeton while a specially selected departmental
lecturer will be giving a talk on, say, the Murrumbidgee irrigation
system. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the proposal I put before you
for your enlightened consideration.”
Mr Grimwade announced that the
matter was—eh —open for—eh—discussion. There was a deal of this,
liberally mixed with admiration for Mr Stingo. Mr Skelter, hunched up
in his overcoat, was almost forgotten. Mrs Wilton and Mrs Upjohn agreed
that Mr Stingo was “Wonderful!”
“What will it cost?” asked Mr
Bullock. “Yes, that’s a consideration,” said Mr Sims.
“Cost!” said Mr Stingo. “I have
discussed the cost with Mr Scroggie.” (Mr Scroggie was an expert on
such costs, being a salesman, on commission, for Winter and Slide, the
big electrical and radio firm.) “Perhaps Mr Scroggie would like to say
a word on that.”
Mr Scroggie had a lot of words to
say. Fittingly, too, he was a live wire. “A little tinpot show,” he
said, “would run to a hundred and fifty. No pick-up or anything like
that. Out of date, really. Outmoded.” Mr Scroggie mixed the homely
metaphor and the patter of the street with his shrewd calculations.
“Then there is the job that picks up local stations only, panning out
at three hundred. Not a bad job, really, but hardly up to the dignity
and importance of the school. Then there is the Warwick Peerless — a
regular sooper-dooper — that does all and more than Mr Stingo has said.
And cheap at eight hundred.” He himself was “easy”, but the Warwick
Peerless was the only outfit he’d consider himself.
Eight hundred pounds! A lot of
money, certainly. But still a little thing beside the education of the
young. Mr Puddle, on request, gave the financial position. The movie
projector, said Mr Puddle, had cost three hundred pounds. It was now
paid for. Monthly dances averaged, spread over the year, two hundred
pounds. In hand at the moment was one hundred and twenty pounds. That
would lead to finding another six hundred and eighty pounds if the
system were installed. Could it be found? He thought so.
Mr Grimwade cleared his throat and
said “E-r-rh”. In face of all this Mr Bullock proposed and Mr Sims
seconded that an address system be installed. That was carried
unanimously — but for Mr Skelter. He said nothing.
More discussion. It was decided to
leave the final decision of type of system to Mr Stingo and Mr
Scroggie. Couldn’t be left in more capable hands. But the Warwick
Peerless was the only possible system. Mr Stingo and Mr Scroggie had
already decided on that. There was only the detail of paying for the
thing. A small detail. Mr Skelter unhunched himself. Mr Skelter said
“Ah!” When Mr Skelter said “Ah!” there was generally something behind
it. Mrs Wilton proposed holding a monster fete — at the school. Monster
fetes, she said, could easily rake in (the phrase was clearly owing to
the Scroggie influence) — could easily rake in seven or eight hundred
pounds. It only needed organizing properly. The motion was promptly
seconded by Mrs Upjohn. Supported by Mrs Snagg. Supported by Mr
Templemore, who always supported anything popular…
The above are excerpts from
Chapter One of Hopeton High as
in the CNCC Newsletter n. 153 (end of 1997).
old Newsletter n. 109, 3m
July, 1992, before the attempt to abolish male and female!
IS a great evil for boys to become brutes or
wimps. In the past, brutishness
was more common than wimpishness. Brutishness was simply passed on from one
generation of males to the next, partly by neglect and partly by the
imitation of brutal adults. The wives and children of brutes suffered
The family and the peer group, for
better or for worse, were, and still are, powerful influences on the
young. Formerly, schools aimed to be extensions of the home: teachers
saw themselves as acting on behalf of parents, in loco parentis, but now they sometimes act as change agents on behalf of secular humanists, often unwittingly, without
any realization that they have been programmed to do so. Moreover, even
in the home the TV and video box constitute stranger danger, (to use the new jargon of child abuse).
Since 1975, government policy has
been more and more guided by the particularly virulent secularism of
the feminist philosophy. Schools have become more and more
committed to a unisex
upbringing and a unisex outcome. This is not just government schools but
often Catholic schools, too. One would have thought that, in a
scientific age obsessed with institutionalized education, the truths of
biology and psychology would have more impact, not to mention history,
experience of life and common sense...
A unisex upbringing tries to make
boys as like girls as possible — and vice-verse! Or to meet half way,
as hermaphrodites. A sissy boy was once rare — but no longer, and his
new name is wimp.
Wimpish men are increasingly
common, and rise to high places of influence and power, as long as they
profess the feminist philosophy of unisex. Real women despise them:
wimps do not complement their femininity in the way real men do. Wimps
are bad for marriage and family. Nor is it just in secular society that
they abound, either: the Church has been infiltrated!
The feminists abhor, so they say,
violence, but actually, they induce it, at least in the long term.
Partly as a bi-product of their treatment of boys, and partly by their
plans for “women’s liberation,” the unisex upbringing often brings out
brutishness in girls. It is scarcely progress to have more women in
AND ORIGINAL SIN
But biology is assertive, too, and
original sin very influential. In the outcome, we have not only a new
breed of wimpish boys but, paradoxically, an increase in the number of brutal boys, girls, men and women.
Perhaps it was to be expected,
this violent reaction of the savage feminist attack on masculinity, and
on fatherhood in particular. Perhaps it is also due to the new
abhorrence for discipline, including the abolition of corporal
punishment for boys. Perhaps it’s due to contempt for God and His grace
and the facts of original sin. Perhaps it’s due to the studied lack of
graciousness, manners, courtesy and chivalry. Perhaps it’s for all
The cruel facts remain. In 1992,
brutality is on the increase: cruelty of all kinds, such as abortion,
suicide, murderous driving, robbery under arms, bashing for
self-fulfilment, rape, incest, drugs, hatred of parents... not to
mention the refined forms of violence such as school sex education,
self-worship psychology, fornication, adultery, contraception and all
the other abuse of the body and the person contrary to the good God's
plans for us.
It more urgent than ever for a
great effort to help boys grow up into Christian gentlemen.
Neglect in the upbringing of boys
has been a common failing on the part of their fathers down the ages.
Nowadays it’s called a permissive
upbringing, by which is
meant indifference... “I don’t care what you’re like; just do your own
thing; do it your way...”
Part of the vocation of a mother
has always been to get a father to fulfil his vocation towards their
sons. Part of the vocation of all women should be
to civilize the brutishness of men, not just helping them practise
self-control and self-restraint, but to overcome their male laziness.
Thus a wife often has to prompt her husband to practise his vocation as
a husband, to help with the menial tasks, a vital part of a man’s
consideration for a woman, and a very necessary example to their
The mothering of boys (and
girls, too) includes
involving them in the chores: washing
up, helping in the kitchen (and learning to cook!), making beds
(properly!), keeping their own rooms tidy, gratitude for every meal and
everything done for them.
Virtue — its root meaning, by the
way, is strength and manliness — is not half way between the extremes
of brute and wimp. Rather, the virtue of a Christian gentleman stands
far above the evils and transcends them.
Therefore, one ideal for boyhood
is to avoid both brutishness and wimpishness and become a Christian
gentleman. Masculine strength should be cultivated, self-controlled,
and placed at the service of God, family, wife, mother, women,
This won’t happen by accident, but
needs discipline and grace. Grace is supernatural, from God, through
Sacraments and Prayer; discipline is natural, from parents, and those
who act for them, and essential for counteracting the remaining effects
of original sin. If you don’t know what the preternatural gifts are,
you need the Catholic Family
Catechism Apostles’ Edition nn.
58 and 69 and its notes.
for Boys from Anglican authors
Crompton was the pen name of Miss Richmal
Lamburn, the author of the famous William books, from 1922 to the
The daughter of an Anglican
clergyman, she persevered as a devout church-going Anglican throughout
her virtuous life.
The next five paragraphs [except
for words in square brackets] are quoted from her biography, Richmal Crompton, The Woman behind William, by Mary Cadogan, Unwin Paperbacks,
London, Sydney, 1987.
In her adult novels [of which most
people have never heard], the speeches of some of her characters draw
on the Grail mythology as a symbol of idealism in the context of
wartime sacrifice [in the first World War]: ‘We all felt we could die
for our ideals — we were crusaders, we were the knights of the Holy
Grail,’ [...] ‘the splendour of idealism and self-sacrifice and
comradeship and courage...’
In 1924, Richmal Crompton spent a
holiday in Paris. That she was bowled over by the beauty of the Roman
Catholic Mass which she attended at the splendiferous church of
Sacre-Coeur is clear from her account of it in her travel journal:
“Boys and young men in church in
Paris: There must be a touch of devotion and piety in boys and young
men in England untapped and wasted. All the natural chivalry and
devotion repressed by training [she is referring to the English public
schools, i.e. private schools open to the public]. It blazed forth at
the call of war [1914-1918]. To many it was a religious war needing a
religious fervour. As the rich idle young flocked to the Crusades in
the old days to sacrifice ease and luxury and comfort and life — so
would the young do now if modern life made any calls on it, if the
idealism of youth were not allowed to die unused. Religion is too much
repressed. Our clergy are too fond of trying to pose as men of the
And, referring to the Roman
Catholic Service: “That is how God should be worshipped — with light
and colour and music. The wonderful beauty and intimacy of the
exquisite little shrines with their blaze of candles like so many stars
of hope and their band of apt and silent worshippers — the utter
abandon and lack of self-consciousness of the worshipping — unmoved,
unconscious of the staring and curious tourists who pass by.”
In the Sacre-Coeur experience, one
sees glimpses of Richmal’s religious passion, which is normally quietly
contained within her Anglicanism.
Raymond was an Anglican clergyman, a
chaplain in World War I with the British army at Gallipoli. Later, he
resigned from the ministry and wrote novels with clerical or religious
One of his greatest books was Tell England, first published in 1922, and its edition of 1925 was the 23rd reprint!
On the troop ship taking them to
Gallipoli, the young subalterns fresh out of school asked their
Anglican padre, a high church priest,
“What are we to believe about
the Mass?” The narrator (the story is written in the first person)
describes his answer: “Padre Monty told us. He told us strange things
for us to hear. We were to believe that the bread and wine, after
consecration, were the same Holy Thing as the Babe of Bethlehem; and we
could come to Mass, not to partake, but to worship like the shepherds
and the magi; and there, and there only, should we learn how to
worship. He told us that the Mass was the most dramatic service in the world,
for it was the acting before God of Calvary’s ancient sacrifice; and
under the shadow of that sacrifice we could pray out all our longings
and all our loneliness.
“‘Now, come along to daily Mass,’
he pleaded. ‘Just come and see how they work, these ideas of
worshipping like the shepherds and of kneeling beneath the shadow of a
sacrifice. You’ll find the early half-hour before the altar the
happiest half-hour of the day. You’ll find your spiritual recovery
there. It’ll be your healing spring... ’
‘“You boys are hero-worshippers
and there’s nothing that warm young blood likes better than to do
homage to its hero, and mould itself on its hero’s lines. In the Mass
you simply bow the knees to your Hero, and say, “I swear fealty
[=loyalty].” I’m going to mould myself on you.’”
Further along, says the narrator,
“Monty opened with a preliminary bombardment in which, in his
shattering style, he fired at us every argument that ever had been
adduced for private confession, ‘the Sacrament of Penance’, as he startled
us by calling it. The Bible was poured out upon us. The doctrine and
practice of the Church came hurtling after. Then suddenly he threw away
theological weapons, and launched a specialized attack on each of us in
turn, obviously suiting his words to his reading of our separate
“‘Confession is simply the
consecration of your own natural instinct — the instinct to unburden
yourself to one who waits with love and the gift of forgiveness — the
instinct to have someone in the world who knows exactly all that you
“‘Christianity from beginning to
end is the consecration of human instincts. The Christ-idea is the
consecration of the instinct to have a visible, tangible hero for a
God. The Mass is the consecration of the instinct to have a place and a
time as an Objective Presence, where one can touch the hem of His
garment and worship. And confession is the consecration of the human
instinct to unburden your soul; to know that you are not alone in your
knowledge of yourself; to know that at a given moment, by a definite
sacrament, your sins are blotted away, as though they had never been.’
The narrator continues, “His
victorious contention, by its very impulse, carried its colours into my
heart. I yielded to his conviction that Catholic Christianity held all
the honours.” Monty then switched his argurnentum ad hominem
to the other young man: ‘Don’t you think,’ he asked, ‘that if you’ve
gone the whole way with your sins, it’s up to a sportsman to go the
whole way with his confession? And everybody knows that it’s much more
difficult to confess to God through a priest than in the privacy of
one’s own room. It’s difficult, but it’s the grand thing; and so it
appeals to an heroic nature more... ’ “‘The two cardinal dogmas of my
faith,’ said Monty, ‘are, the Mass and Confession.’”
Not bad for an Anglican, and an
improvement on catechesis within some Catholic circles in Australia.
Catholic schools might well adopt
the vision statement of some independent Protestant Christian schools
in Victoria: To serve the Lord
in the world according to the gifts God has given.
The role model for boys growing up
is the Lord Jesus Christ. He is, of course, the model for Christians of
both sexes; He is specially the model for boys growing to Christian
manhood, to become Christian gentlemen. The apostles, especially Sts
Peter & Paul, are also a tremendous help to boys, just as St.
Joseph is for husbands and fathers. Hence another means of gaining this
grace is the study of the Sacred Scriptures and the reading of the
lives of the Saints. Start with St. Luke’s Gospel and Adventures of the
Apostles (i.e. the Acts!).
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