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Booklet as Guide To Interracial Harmony


By Msgr. George G. Higgins On Monday, June 22, representatives of the major reli­ gious groups of this country jointly sponsored an outdoor prayer service in Washington, D.C., within the very shadow of the Capitol, to give thanks for the passage of the Civil Rights Bill and to pledge Representatives of the churches themselves to do everything and of other organizations and within their power to prel)are agencies desirous of promoting their constituents to live up this worthy objective at the to the spirit as well as the letter ef this historic federal sta,lute. The distin­ lfUished partici­ pants in this unpreced'ented service-which wo uld have bee n literally u nth ink able less than a dec­ ade ago - had reason to be very proud of the role they had j 0 i n t I y played in bringing about passage of the Civil Rights Bill. As might have been expected, however, they were properly modest about their own accom­ plishments and, instead of pat­ ting themselves on the back, they apologized for being Johnny-come-latelies in the cru­ sade for interracial justice and pledged themselves to make up for lost time in the crucial days tha t lie ahead. The several prayers that were effered at this very impressive interreligious service were the yery opposite of pharisaical ill tone. Representatives of the major religious groups, in offering thanks to God for the passage of the Civil Rights Bill, did not pretend, like the Pharisee in the Gospel narrative, that they and their followers or constituents have been better than the rest of men on the matter of racial justice, but rather, like the Pub­ lican, they expressed contrition and regret for the past failures ef the churches and the church­ related agencies' and institutions and a firm purpose of amend­ ment. Dignity, Equality In summary, they said that the passage of the Civil Rights Bill is not the end but only the be­ ginning of their joint efforts as religious leaders to implement the teaching of their respective ehurches on the dignity and equality of all men regardless' of their racial origin or the color of their skin. This is all too obvious, of eourse, and, though it had al­ ready been said in another con­ text by the President of the United States and by other re­ sponsible public leaders since the passage of the Civil Rights Bill, it was well that it was said again, in a religious setting, by representatives of the churches, for it will be up to the churches and church-related organiza­ tions and institutions to take flte lead in preparing the Amer­ ican people to comply with the Civil Rights law and to go the law one better, 90 to speak, by YOluntarily developing in every eommunity in the United States an atmosphere of interracial ltarmony.

Mystery Ride Fall River Council, Knights of eolumbus, will hold a mystery ride Saturday night, July 25. Gino DiNucci will be chairman. Participants will meet at 7 at North Eastern Avenue and Bed­ ford Street. The unit also plans a chicken barbecue and family outing for Sunday, Aug. 30 at Camp Tom Welch, Assonet. In eharge of this event is Edmond L Metra&.




local level will want to pay careful attention to the common sense advice contained in a new booklet, "Guidelines: A Manual for Biracial Committees," which, as coincidence would have it, was published by the Anti­ Defamation League of B'nal B'rith on the very day tha,t the interreligious prayer service TARES VOWS: Sister mentioned above was held in Washington. Veronica Francis, daughter Lea.dership Myth of MI'. and Mrs. Francisco The author of this 96-page Ayers, St. Mary's parish, booklet, George Schermer, who New 3edford, has pronoun': is a recognized expert in the ced te:nporary vows as a Sis­ field of inter-group relations, says, among other things, that ter 0:: St. Francis at St. the popular belief that "racial or Elizabeth Motherhouse, Al­ religious groups can be con­ legany, N.Y. She attended trolled or managed through Northwestern University be­ leaders" is a myth. He warns that it is a delusion fore entering religion. on the part of government of­ ficials and prominent commu­ nity figures to assume that they have established inter-group communications by bringing leaders of the various population . TOKYO (NC) - Archbishop elements together. Mario Cagna, Apostolic Inter­ A local committee of "promi­ nuncio, presented a Vatican do­ nent, respected and wise people nation of $10,000 for relief of can decide what and how to Niigata earthquake sufferers communicate," Mr. Schermer during a visit to the Foreign continues, "but their mere pres­ office. ence or participation on a com­ Catho lie Relief Services ­ mittee does little to influence National Catholic Welfare Con­ the behavior of what is pre­ ference cabled the Foreign Office sumed to be their following. an offer of assistance. 'Followers' quickly reject the In in1;ensity almost as severe leadership if it deviates from as the 1923 Tokyo' earthquake, the wishes and opinions of the the recent one in Niigata left group." behind it a trail of death, suf­ Local Level Imp4>rtant Mr. Schermer's warning serves fering, and widespread destruc­ tion. Damage to Church prop­ to confirm the fact-which, as erty in Niigata City was exten­ we have already noted, was re­ peatedly acknowledged by all of live. The downtown Christ the King the participants in the Washing­ Cathednl was damaged se­ ton prayer service - that the churches are really just begin-' . verely and its bell tower is leaning precariously. The Bish­ ning to face up to their responsi­ bilities and opportunities in the ·op's hc,use sank down and moved three feet forward; the field of race relations. Up to this point they have .ildjoining minor seminary was done a reasonably good job at ;iolted away from it and lifted ,)ff its foundations, while tile the top level by issuing public statements and manifestos on ]llarish h.illl was damaged beyona lrepair. The grounds of the cath­ the morality of race rela·tions 'fral compound are a mass of but, by and large, they have yet ,:hl1rned up earth. to succeed in organizing and The nearby convent of the effectively deploying their re­ Daughters of the Sacred Heart sources at the local level. of Jesus is leaning at an angle Mr. Schermer's booklet should prove to be very helpful to them. ~and the interior heavily 'dam­ uged. in meeting this crucial challenge. Copies of the booklet can be secured by writing to: Anti­ Defamation League, 315 Lexing­ Clon Ave., New York, N. Y. 10016.

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PEKIN (NC) - The Peoria (IlL) Diocesan Council of Catho_ lic Men will launch a diocese­ wide program of liturgical in­ furmation and instruction as a lay arm of the Diocesan Lit­ urgical Commission. With a mandate O'f Bishop John B. Franz and the approval of the liturgical commission, the DeCM will be practical effect to the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy on the parish level. A combination of parish-level clinics, demonstration Masses, sermon outlines, and TV pro­ grams is expected to greatly assist the pastor in bringing to his people an awareness and un_ derstanding of the meaning of the Ii turgy in the life of the Christian.

NEW YORK (NC)-Auxiliary lIishop John J. Dougherty (jf Newark was guest of honor at a receptioll. here and met repre­ sentatives of Catholic organiza­ tions ana. agencies working wiUa the Unitt!d Nations. The Bishop, president of Se10a lIall University, South Orange, ~r. .I., was named in April at the 1I1eeting ()f U. S. bishops to suc­ ceed the late Bishop James H. Gciffiths as assistant for U.N. af­ flairs to the chairman of the Na­ tional Catholic Welfare Confel'­ ence Administrative Board. Guests at the reception, spon­ s:>red by the NCWC Office of U.N. Affairs, included the official U.N. representatives of 11 inter­ national Catholic organizations having consultative status with. the U.N. Economic and Social Council and of three national Catholic organizations accred­ ited by the U.N. Office of Pub­ lic Information.




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Members of the Staff of St. Anne's Hospital, Fall River, were among delegates to the Catholic Hospital Associa­ The moral issue has been rec...