August 19, 2011

What was in the news on Aug. 18, 1961? A bigger role for laymen, and a suggestion by a Boston pastor to close Catholic grade schools

By Brandon A. Evans

50 Year LogoThis week, we continue to examine what was going on in the Church and the world 50 years ago as seen through the pages of The Criterion, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Here are some of the items found in the August 18, 1961, issue of The Criterion:

  • Former U.S. delegate named top papal aid
  • Chicago clergy unite to ease racial strife
  • Bishop asks bigger role for laymen
    • “NOTRE DAME, Ind.—Religious superiors were urged [by Fort Wayne-South Bend Bishop Leo A. Pursley] to provide lay people with the opportunity and encouragement of playing their role in the Church’s mission. … ‘We shall not lose face, status, prestige, uniquely and irrevocably ours by holy orders or religious profession,’ the bishop said, ‘if we take the hand of our lay brother in Christ and show him how he can help us in our work.’ ”
  • Close our grade schools, Boston priest suggests
    • “BOSTON—A Catholic pastor, who is a columnist for The Pilot, Boston’s archdiocesan news weekly, has proposed that the parochial elementary school system be abandoned in favor of a more productive investment in secondary and higher education. … Msgr. [George W.] Casey based his proposal on the presumptions that Catholic schools ‘are not going to get financial aid from the federal government,’ and that population trends will cause acute monetary and personnel problems in the elementary system. … ‘Let us face it, the chief reason for the Catholic school system is the preservation of the faith. And I, for one, have never seen a child lose its faith in the elementary grades, unless the parents lost it for him. But I have seen high school boys and girls lose it on their own. If we can only have Catholic influence around in some grades, let us have it around in the crucial years when the powers of reasoning are being strengthened, the inclination to challenge sharpened and vocations and careers are being decided.’ ”
  • School system head takes another view
  • Pope names ten to Pontifical Science Academy
  • Groundbreaking set for Brebeuf
  • Africa is awake
  • Seeking to ‘Africanize’ Christianity
  • Italian priest: Operates ‘clinic for sick marriages’
  • Dubs communism ‘undertow of past’
  • Catholic schools given no aid in Philippines
  • New Carmelite chapel to be dedicated Aug. 22
  • Large class is invested in Woods ceremonies
  • U.S. theologian clarifies decree on psychoanalysis
  • Pope appeals for safe driving
  • Christians adopt common prayers
  • Walter B. Smith, Hoosier general, dies at age of 65
  • Want action now: Hit bias in parish life
  • Gave Castro first Communion, ousted
  • U.S. disarmament agency is ‘must,’ Jesuit declares
  • Protestants welcome unity body

(Read all of these stories from our August 18, 1961, issue by logging on to our special archives.)

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