MANIFESTO ON RURAL LIFE
National Catholic Rural Life Conference
The Bruce Publishing Company
Imprimatur: + ALOISIUS J. MUENCH, Bishop of Fargo
Feast of the Assumption
August 15, 1939
Fargo, North Dakota
National Catholic Rural Life Conference
printed in the U. S. A.
One need but take a cursory glance through American history to see that
this nation has always had some kind of agrarian problem. Agrarianism has
had a long and troublesome history. When our nation began, Daniel Shays led
the farmer into rebellion. The farmer of revolutionary days was burdened
with heavy debts; contracts were ruthlessly enforced against him; prices
were low; the savings of hard labor expended in clearing land of timber,
stumps, and rocks were being lost. Shays organized the first pressure group
among the farmers. His rebellion was crushed by armed force. From the hard
times of 1785-86 down to the hard times of our day is a far cry. But in the
intervening 150 years the farmer often found himself face to face with
serious problems. To cope with them, all sorts of panaceas were rushed upon
the scene. Some were radical and revolutionary in character; others were
legislative and monetary; still others were economic and political.
The fact is, of course, that the farmer's problem is so complicated by many
factors that it cannot be solved by a simple formula. It is not the purpose
of this MANIFESTO to offer such a formula. The MANIFESTO is not in the
nature of a blueprint with detailed specifications to show how the new
agrarianism is to be built and how the farmer's problems are to be solved.
There is no such complete solution available.
The purpose of the MANIFESTO is to state certain fundamental principles and
policies without which it would be folly to essay a solution. These
principles and policies are chiefly derived from Catholic social philosophy
as expressed in the social encyclicals of Leo XIII and Pius XI.
In propounding social philosophy, the Catholic Church does not leave out of
view the spiritual nature of man and his ultimate spiritual destiny. She
would not be true to her mission if she did so. Indeed, the salvation of
souls must ever be her first concern. But so intimately are material things
interwoven with man's daily conduct, its motives and its deeds, that the
Church cannot be unconcerned about what goes on in the material order of
things. In point of fact, a pure secularism which would divorce man's
earthly life from spiritual concerns is not in accord with the realities of
man's daily living. To ignore either the spiritual or the material in their
manifold interrelations can only result in disaster.
The Church has ever shown a special solicitude for those whose living is
derived from the land. "In the Twenty Centuries of Her Existence," writes
Archbishop Cicognani, Apostolic Delegate to the United States, "the
Catholic Church has ever shown, emphasized even, her predilection for those
who till the soil, on whose work and efforts depends so important a part of
the well-being of all." One need not search far or deeply for the reason
of this solicitude for the tiller of the land. The occupation of
agriculture offers the most favorable conditions, generally speaking, for
the development of private property, the fostering of home life, the
culture of initiative, prudence, thrift, courage and other priceless
virtues, and for the promotion of simple but wholesome and rugged living.
Agrarianism has entered upon a new phase in the twentieth century,
especially beginning with the period after the World War. Foreign markets
have been greatly reduced, nations have embarked upon vast, even though
costly, programs of economic self-sufficiency, domestic markets have shrunk
owing to lessened purchasing power and a lower birth rate. Population
shifts, because of the steady migration of farm youth from the populous
areas of Rural America into the dying city centers of Urban America, have
given origin to new and complex problems, and a dozen other factors,
largely of an economic and social character, have given rise to great
disparities between urban and rural living. The unbalance between the two
has been aggravated by the Great Depression from both an economic and a
social point of view. Archbishop Cicognani has summed up the whole problem
in a few trenchant words: "In the present world-wide economic disorder,
brought about by the abuses of capitalism, by technological changes, and by
dislocated relationship between rural and urban life, dangerous
inequalities and disproportions have developed to the detriment and, in
some instances, to the degradation of the farm population. Those who live
on the land form the larger portion of the human family and their labor is
the most important and indispensable for the livelihood of all. The most
elementary justice entitles them to standards of living no less abundant
and complete than those enjoyed by the urban population. Briefly, justice
should prevail between the farm and the city."
It would be a mistake to think that the problems of agrarianism are
entirely rural. What goes on back on the farm has its repercussions in the
city, and what happens in the city has its reactions on the farm. Wheels of
industry are quickly stopped if the farmer cannot buy industry's products
because he does not obtain a just share of the nation's income. The
immigration of farm youth to the cities often entails as consequences the
reduction of wages, the lengthening of bread lines, and the swelling of
city slums. A thousand different interrelations exist between city and
farm. The sooner it is recognized that agriculture and industry form an
economic whole with varied implications of a moral, social, and political
character, the better it will be for the material well-being of the nation.
To keep this thought to the fore has been among the prime objectives of the
National Catholic Rural Life Conference from the day it was founded by the
Most Rev. Edwin V. O'Hara, now Bishop of Kansas City. To give this thought
more definite expression is one of the chief aims of this MANIFESTO. Hence,
the economic, social, cultural, moral, and religious have all received
consideration in this statement. It represents the thinking of the National
Catholic Rural Life Conference over the years that have elapsed since it
was founded. For a long time the great need of a concise statement on
agricultural and rural problems has been felt by Catholic Agrarian leaders.
The MANIFESTO is the joint product of thought of eminent leaders in the
field of Catholic rural thought.
Lest the document be encumbered with factual, statistical, and illustrative
material, and cluttered up with references of a varied sort, Annotations
have been added in Part II. The reference to these is by paragraph number.
In a special Introduction to the Annotations we have given expression to
our sentiments of appreciation and gratitude to those who, by advice,
suggestion, and workmanship, were helpful in producing the document.
The MANIFESTO makes a venture on new ground, not that all fields have been
covered and that nothing more remains to be said on rural life questions,
but rather that for the first time, so far as we know, principles and
policies have been stated in a succinct and orderly fashion with respect to
Catholic Rural Life. We hope that the Rural Life Movement will march
forward with new strength and courage under the stimulus that has been
given it by this MANIFESTO.
ALOISIUS J. MUENCH
Bishop of Fargo
1. Cicognani, A. G., "Addresses and Sermons" (New York, 1937), p. 332.
2. Op. cit., p. 335.
Part I. MANIFESTO
I. The Rural Catholic Family
II. Farm Ownership and Land Tenancy
III. Rural Settlement
IV. Catholic Rural Education
V. Rural Catholic Youth
VI. Catholic Culture in Rural Society
VII. Rural Community
VIII. The Rural Pastorate
IX. Rural Church Expansion
X. Rural Health
XI. Rural Social Charity
XII. The Farm Laborer
XIII. Farmer Cooperatives
XIV. Rural Credit
XV. Agriculture in the Economic Organism
XVI. Rural Taxation
Part II ANNOTATIONS
I. The Rural Catholic Family
II. Farm Ownership and Land Tenancy
III. Rural Settlement
IV. Catholic Rural Education
V. Rural Catholic Youth
VI. Catholic Culture in Rural Society
VII. Rural Community
VIII. The Rural Pastorate
IX. Rural Church Expansion
X. Rural Health
XI. Rural Social Charity
XII. The Farm Laborer
XIII. Farmer Cooperatives
XIV. Rural Credit
XV. Agriculture in the Economic Organism
XVI. Rural Taxation
Importance of the Rural Questions
CHAPTER I THE RURAL CATHOLIC FAMILY
1. Among social institutions the family occupies the place of primacy. The
family is both the source of population and the chief agency in the
training and education of the child. The Christian family is the keystone
of the arch which supports our Christian civilization. Its attributes are
sanctity, unity, and permanence; and these in turn rest upon the sanctity,
unity, and permanence of the marriage bond. The Church, through her
vigilant protection of the family and of the marriage bond, has been and is
"the best guardian and defender of the human race."
2. The special adaptability of the farm home for nurturing strong and
wholesome Christian family life is the primary reason why the Catholic
Church is so deeply concerned with rural problems. Throughout her history,
the Catholic Church has instinctively felt a special kinship with the
cultivators of the soil, and her enemies find cause for reproach in the
fact that her sociological and economic teaching, even when expressed by
Leo XIII, breathes, as it were, a rural atmosphere. The explanation is to
be found in the unique relationship which exists between the family and the
occupation of agriculture. The farm is the native habitat of the family.
Industrial society works against the family and in favor of divorce,
desertion, temporary unions, companionate marriage; agricultural society is
characterized by the strength, permanence, and unity of the marriage bond
and the comparative rarity of its dissolution.
3. Both the occupational and the social activities of city life tend to
develop an individualism which destroys the unity of family life and
weakens the marriage bond. These conditions are further aggravated through
the employment of married women in office and factory. The occupation of
agriculture, on the other hand, by its very nature tends to promote the
unity of family life and to strengthen the marriage bond. The wife is of
necessity a business partner, the managing office of the farm is the farm
home, and husband and wife share intimately the business management of the
whole enterprise. All rural and urban divorce statistics reflect the
favorable influence of agricultural life on the unity and permanence of the
4. The fundamental purpose of the family, namely, the propagation and
training of children, is more readily set aside in the city. Statistics
indicate an insufficiency of births in the city to maintain even a
stationary population; whereas in rural sections they indicate a thirty
percent surplus. Striving capitalistic mentality, new assumptions in
respect to fundamental values, the acceptance of a false amoral secularism
in the place of the Christian concept of marriage are basic factors in
explaining the decline of city birth rates, which decline has been
accelerated through economic conditions. The countryside, though not immune
from these influences, is decidedly less susceptible to them. Then, too,
children are frequently economic assets on the farm, whereas in the city
they are economic liabilities from birth to maturity.
5. Rural environment offers distinctly favorable advantages for training
children in the domestic virtues. The authority of rural parents is more
pronounced, the influence of domestic traditions more respected; and farm
children are likely to become more imbued with the religious and moral
ideas of their parents than are the children of the city, surrounded as
city children are by a multitude of unfavorable influences during their
immature years. The farm home offers the only extended occupational
apprenticeship left in America, an apprenticeship where the parents are the
teachers, and every year of apprenticeship consolidates the domestic bond.
Farm life favors the unity and solidarity of the family. Unity of
occupation binds all the members together in common economic and
intellectual interests. Joint planning and discussion bind more strongly
the members of the family as the knowledge of scientific farming increases
their mutual interests. Recreation and even religion are more of a family
affair in the country than in the city. Common interests and association in
work, play, and worship strengthen the ties of domesticity and the bond of
6. Despite the special natural advantages offered for wholesome family life
on the farm, there are, under present conditions, serious disadvantages
which prevent the farm family from realizing a full and satisfying life.
These disadvantages can and should be removed.
7. The farm family not infrequently suffers from its condition of
isolation, lack of social and cultural contacts, lack of educational and
religious facilities for child, youth, and adult. The world of things and
daily toil tend to crowd out the things that give meaning to life. Though
it need not be so, the country is largely a place of cultural barrenness
where, in making a livelihood, people have neglected the art of living. The
tone of country life tends to the dull and commonplace. The farmer's mind
is often closed to the advantages of scientific farming. He is content to
follow traditional methods, which do not always make for progress.
Isolation has developed in very many farmers an unhealthy individualism
which blinds them to the need and value of cooperative effort and deprives
farming communities of the special benefits which only social living and
cooperative endeavor can procure.
8. In many rural areas there exists a widespread indifference to school
education. Farmers as a group do not appreciate the need for suitable
houses, esthetic landscaping, equipment which eliminates drudgery, and the
things which make for culture and refinement. Even where income warrants
these improvements, traditional habits often restrain the farmer from
making them. In the days of bountiful incomes for most farmers, only a
small percentage used their income to improve living conditions.
9. Taking the nation's farm population as a who]e, the farm family has
gravitated to a low economic and cultural level. Many farmers, however, and
many communities of farmers have not neglected the things which make for
culture and for economic security. Their success demonstrates the
possibility of economic security and wholesome living conditions on the
10. Ignorance born of isolation is, in a large measure, responsible for the
plight of the farm family. Education is needed to make the farm family
master of its economic destiny and to open to its members new cultural and
intellectual vistas. Education is needed to change the mental attitude of
the farmer and the farm family. The farmer should learn to look upon his
farm as a home. He should learn to appreciate the things necessary for
wholesome rural family life--a modern sanitary house, properly furnished,
equipped with laborsaving devices and installations, and supplied with
reading material and other things of cultural value. The extension of rural
electrification should make possible at moderate cost the elimination of
much of the drudgery characteristic of the average rural home. Rural
electrification should also stimulate the development of home arts and
crafts--a cultural and an economic blessing as well as another tie to bind
the family together. The farmyard could be made attractive with little
expense apart from the labor of the family. Landscaping, including the use
of trees and flowers, would give to the farm home its proper setting and
make it a pleasant and satisfying place of residence.
11. Schools, farm and parish organizations, cooperative agricultural
extension service, government bulletins, libraries, and the radio offer
means for educating the farmer to appreciate the need and value of better
living conditions and the means whereby they can be attained. They will
also help to broaden his outlook on life.
12. If the farm is to retain the more ambitious on the land, the work of
elevating the status of the farm family must be pushed forward with
rapidity. The results otherwise will be nothing less than tragic for the
nation, since the countryside with its surplus of births is the source of
the nation's population. The Church is vitally interested, as she is
vitally interested in the family and in the general welfare of society.
1. Leo XIII, "Christian Marriage," p. 66.
NOTE The Encyclicals of Pius XI are quoted from the N.C.W.C. editions of
these works. References to Leo XIII's "The Condition of Labor" are to "Four
Great Encyclicals" (Paulist Press). References to the other Encyclicals of
Leo XIII are to be found in "Great Encyclical Letters of Leo XIII," edited
by Rev. John J. Wynne S.J. (Benziger Bros.).
CHAPTER II FARM OWNERSHIP AND LAND TENANCY
13. Since God created the earth for mankind in general, the earth is the
heritage of all mankind. Although the title to the earth of mankind as a
whole sets certain natural limits, to private ownership, this title is not
in conflict with the institution of private property. Division of goods and
of ownership is founded on the natural law, since natural reason dictates
that such division is necessary in order that the goods of the earth might
be apportioned among all mankind in an orderly, efficient, and peaceful
manner. The limits of ownership and the division of property are determined
"by man's own industry and the institutions of individual peoples."
14. It is obvious that man has a natural right to the fruits of his labor.
To use the words of Leo XIII, "that which is required for the preservation
of life and for life's well-being, is produced in great abundance by the
earth, but not until man has brought it into cultivation and lavished upon
it his care and skill. Now, when man thus spends the industry of his mind
and the strength of his body in procuring the fruits of nature, by that act
he makes his own that portion of nature's field which he cultivates--that
portion on which he leaves, as it were, the impress of his own personality;
and it cannot but be just that he should possess that portion as his own,
and should have a right to keep it without molestation."
15. Man's natural right to own property is also based upon man's need for
ownership. St. Thomas Aquinas states that private property is "necessary
for human life." Man under present conditions of human society needs
property to provide the necessities of life for himself and for his family,
to live as a free man and to achieve for himself and for his family the
destiny, temporal and eternal, the Creator has intended for him. Without
the right and opportunity to own property, generally speaking, man is not
free; he cannot provide the necessities of life for himself and his family;
he cannot properly develop his personality nor procure for his offspring
the opportunity to develop the potentialities with which they are endowed.
To provide adequately for the children he has begotten, he must have the
right to transmit property by inheritance.
16. While ownership of property is sacred and inviolable, it is not
unlimited in the sense that a man may do with his property what he pleases
without regard for the common good. The requirements of social life impose
limits on the use of property and even on the right of ownership itself.
Some of these limits are determined by the natural and by the divine law;
while it is the function of the State to determine others. Although the
State has not the right to abolish private ownership since it is a natural
right, it is, however, the function and duty of the State to "control its
use and bring it into harmony with the interests of the public good."
17. In using his property, man is only exercising a stewardship given him
by his Creator; and even in the absence of State regulations he must
administer it in the interests of the common good. In the absence of State
regulations, the use which a man may make of his property is limited by the
fundamental principles of social justice and social charity.
18. This concept of ownership, set forth in the social encyclicals of Leo
XIII and Pius XI, by stressing the social purpose, the social limits, and
the social obligations of property, avoids the extreme of individualism
with its doctrine of absolute ownership and unlimited use. On the other
hand, by emphasizing the inviolability of individual ownership, it avoids
the extreme of collectivism which denies entirely the right of private
ownership. The encyclicals reflect the traditional teachings of the Church.
19. Since man needs property to attain to the status of a free man, to
develop his personality, and to provide for his family, it follows that an
economic system to be equitable must provide opportunity for the masses to
become owners. Unless this opportunity is offered to the masses, the
argument on which the right of private property rests is destroyed. The
stability of society requires widespread ownership. "The law, therefore,"
writes Leo XIII, "should favor ownership and its policy should be to induce
as many people as possible to become owners."
20. Although the land in the United States should offer the best
opportunity for the masses of men to acquire ownership and independence,
the trend toward tenancy is increasing at an alarming rate. Vanishing
ownership is a major problem in American agriculture today, which carries
with it disastrous moral, social, and economic consequences. Tenants do not
improve the land nor conserve the soil. They take what is possible from the
land and then move on to other acres. Even absentee owners not infrequently
exploit the soil and overlook the need of proper housing and building
maintenance in order to secure immediate cash returns. Tenancy usually is
profitable for neither tenant, nor owner, nor society. Soil mining, land
erosion, and human erosion are among the evils of tenancy. As a result of
our tenancy system, millions of once fruitful acres have lost their
fertility, and degrading standards of living have been forced on a
multitude of farm families.
21. The material value of ownership is stressed by Pope Leo XIII as
follows: "Men always work harder and more readily when they work on that
which is their own; nay, they learn to love the very soil which yields in
response to the labor of their hands, not only food to eat, but an
abundance of good things for themselves and those that are dear to them. It
is evident how such a spirit of willing labor would add to the produce of
the earth and to the wealth of the community." The individual who has a
stake in the land has excellent anchorage, a sense of security and
stability that cannot but redound to the welfare of his family and of the
community. The premises that are owned gradually become a shrine of
memories serving to bind the family members together with powerful
psychological ties. Holding land permanently, living upon it and
cultivating it, identifies a man with the rural community, gives him an
interest in it and its essential social institutions, tethers him to law
and order, and protects him against the inroads of pernicious social
22. Government intervention is not only warranted but even necessary to
check the trend toward tenancy and make it possible for farmers to become
owners again. Government measures are needed to correct evils inherent in
our present tenancy system.
23. Worthy of commendation is a new farm tenure policy providing for
federal acquisition and improvement of land, and resale of it under long-
term, low-interest contracts to tenants and to others who desire to operate
their own farms. In this resale the fee-simple absolute title should be
modified so that the government would be left in a position to assert its
right to discourage the subdivision and breaking up of economic units,
wastage of natural resources, reckless speculation, absentee landlordism,
Government intervention is needed in emergencies to prevent owners from
losing their farms, to rehabilitate certain disadvantaged groups, to
prevent land speculation and limit ownership by non-farmers, and to work
out a program for farms now submarginal for cultivation.
Tenant contracts and the relationship between landlords and tenants should
be changed to increase the security of tenants and to overcome the present
abuses incident to farm tenancy. Each State, through proper legislative
measures, should stimulate an increase in the number of family-size, owner-
operated farms through homestead exemptions or by means of differential
taxation favorable to such types of farms.
24. It is not within the power of the State nor is it the function of the
State to do all the things necessary to check the trend toward tenancy and
necessary to secure independence and decent living conditions for the
farmer. The farmer, too, must do something to help himself. Many owners
have been reduced to the status of tenants because of wrong methods in
farming, the lack of thrift, speculation in land, and speculation in cash
crops. The farmer must learn to regard his farm as a home and an
opportunity to rear his family in decency, rather than as a business on
which to grow rich at enormous risks. Christian cooperatives, of the
consumer, producer, and credit type, are means within the grasp of farming
groups for securing ownership, independence, and decent living conditions.
25. Immediate, sustained, and vigorous action is required to stem the tide
of increasing farm tenancy which will otherwise result in rural decadence.
1. Leo XIII, "The Condition of Labor," p.
3. "Summa Theol.," 2a, 2ae, q. LVII, art. 2.
4. Pius XI, "Reconstruction of the Social Order," p. 17.
5. Leo XIII, "The Condition of Labor," p. 26.
6. Leo XIII, "The Condition of Labor," pp. 26, 27.
CHAPTER III RURAL SETTLEMENT
26. Despite surpluses in farm products, the time is opportune for an
extensive program to re-establish families on the land. Commercialized
farming, the dwindling of city birth rates, and the shrinkage of purchasing
power among impoverished families are factors which in a large measure
explain overproduction in the field of agriculture. These conditions would
be offset gradually by the re-establishment of families on family-size
farms and even on smaller units from which they could obtain the things
required to supplement the income derived from industrial employment.
27. Land settlement can be used today to great advantage in the solution of
social, economic, and even relief problems which affect rural areas as well
as urban centers. Appropriations wisely expended in establishing on the
land people with farm experience, instead of grants for direct relief,
would help to restore to the nation the sorely needed economic balance.
Through well-planned re-establishment projects, security and opportunity
for normal living could be brought to large groups, with far-reaching
beneficial effects on the economic, social, and religious life of the
28. In many farm communities are young men and women of marriageable age
well prepared for successful management of farm homes. Marriage has been
delayed for lack of funds through which they could establish themselves on
farms. In the interest of society, these young people should be accorded
the opportunity for settlement on the land. This group constitutes the most
promising material for successful land settlement.
29. Among the multitudes living in the city on insufficient incomes, and
even among those on relief rolls, there are large numbers with farm
experience who are anxious today for an opportunity to go back to the
country. In this grouping, there are many who would make good use of an
opportunity to return to the land. It is in their interest and in the
interest of society that such opportunity be given them. A program to re-
establish this group would reduce the relief rolls of the city, help solve
the problem of unemployment and insufficient wages, and afford the members
of the group an opportunity to attain a decent standard of living that
would redound to the general welfare of society.
30. In our land settlement program there is a place for both the family-
size farm and homesteads with small acreages for families of industrial
workers. For families who derive their entire living directly from the
soil, re-establishment plans should be worked out on the better soils with
sufficient acreage to support a family in decency and comfort. Rural
homesteads for industrial workers should be grouped near industrial centers
so as to give workers an opportunity to increase their income, to achieve
independence by acquiring ownership at least on a moderate scale, and to
provide for their children the wholesome atmosphere of country life. Part-
time employment on his own farmstead with fewer hours in the plant or
factory is a desirable condition for the industrial worker and also for
society. Fewer hours for the industrial worker in the plant or factory
should permit the employment of a larger number of workers in industry.
Homesteads with land sufficient to supply deficiencies in incomes would be
a special blessing for certain low income groups.
31. Modern progress is not incompatible with plain, inexpensive living in
homes of simple construction, which the inhabitants can build for
themselves or at least can afford to pay for within a reasonable time.
Plans for buildings should be drawn so that single units could be built at
the outset and additional units constructed as the need and income of the
family warrant them. Elaborate theories that rural colony projects for
underprivileged people must provide all modern comforts from the very start
are absurd and in the long run tend to defeat their purpose. These theories
are responsible for more than one expensive failure in the field of
rehabilitation. Improved standards of living that go beyond improvement in
health, sanitation, and education should follow improved incomes. In the
case of some underprivileged groups a change in mental attitude, including
the development of a sense of appreciation, is necessary if they are to
make proper use of improved standards. A strong program of education must
be provided to produce this result.
32. It is most desirable, if not necessary, for the success of a project
that the members form a homogeneous group. An integrated philosophy of life
is essential for an integrated society, and common religious loyalties make
for its stability. The members of a group should be of the same religious
faith and in some instances perhaps of the same racial origin. The success
of a re-establishment project requires careful selection of families. A
thorough scrutiny should be made of the background and capabilities of
applicants, especially in the first experiments with settlement projects,
so that failure of a project may not discourage further attempts. Only
those who agree to cooperate in an educational program should be accepted.
33. The educational program should include appreciation of rural living,
the use of the soil, production for home use, cooperation, home arts and
crafts, and such other arts and skills as the particular needs of the rural
group require. United planning and cooperation, less dependence on
government, cooperative action in buying and selling and in the management
of local credit facilities, and improved standards of living should be both
the objective and the result of a properly conducted adult education
program. Such a program is essential to the success of a re-establishment
34. The government should encourage and protect rural re-establishment
projects. It should not formulate all plans or dictate all terms.
Provisions should be made for a large degree of local autonomy. The
government could render assistance through long-term loans with low
interest rates to cooperative groups organized to establish their members
on the land. Such loans would be warranted when the personnel of a
cooperative group and the details of the project give reasonable assurance
that the loans would be paid. The government could render further
assistance through loans to corporations organized by responsible citizens
of a community to promote the establishment of small homesteads, whenever
such projects are found feasible and sound. It would be wisdom on the part
of the government to extend financial aid, in the form either of loans or
of outright grants, to re-establish on the land those underprivileged
citizens now on relief, whose background, character, and capabilities give
assurance that they would make use of the opportunities given them, it
being understood that such projects are promoted and supervised by
35. Projects to re-establish in the country the underprivileged families of
a city should attract voluntary contributions or loans on the part of
taxpayers as well as the donations of philanthropic and charitable
citizens; for such projects would not only reduce the relief rolls of the
city but would also save large numbers from gravitating to the level of
degrading pauperism and becoming the permanent liability of future
36. Where feasible, the owners of large industrial plants should promote
rural homestead projects for their employees, and especially for those
whose yearly incomes, taking in account seasons of unemployment, are
insufficient for the proper support of their families. Employees should be
given opportunity for ownership. It is a social responsibility of the
owners and the controllers of great wealth to promote the welfare of their
employees and to aid even those whose employment is seasonable and
uncertain in securing at least a moderate degree of ownership and the
opportunity to support their families in decent comfort. Rural homestead
projects, however, should not be advocated to relieve employers of their
obligations to pay proper wages. Ownership of a home with a small
productive acreage would, in fact, make a worker less dependent upon his
employer and should place him in a position of advantage in negotiating for
proper wages. Rural homestead projects of the type recommended would
redound also to the interest of employers, inasmuch as they would give
employers an assurance of contented, reliable, and faithful employees,
anchored to the soil and not susceptible to pernicious, radical influences.
CHAPTER IV CATHOLIC RURAL EDUCATION
37. The objective of education is the preparation of man as an individual
and a member of society for both his temporal and his eternal destiny. The
purpose and character of true education is succinctly delineated by Pope
Pius XI in the following words: "Since education consists essentially in
preparing man for what he must be and for what he must do here below, in
order to attain the sublime end for which he was created, it is clear that
there can be no true education which is not wholly directed to man's last
end, and that in the present order of Providence, since God has revealed
Himself to us in the Person of His Only Begotten Son, who alone is 'the
way, the truth and the life,' there can be no ideally perfect education
which is not Christian education."
38. Education is the concern of three societies; namely, the family, the
State, and the Church--"three necessary societies, distinct from one
another, and yet harmoniously combined by God, into which man is born."
Pope Pius XI states the position of the family in the field of education in
the following words: "The family, therefore, holds directly from the
Creator the mission and hence the right to educate the offspring, a right
inalienable because inseparably joined to the strict obligation, a right
anterior to any right whatever of civil society and of the State, and
therefore inviolable on the part of any power on earth."
39. The family is not a perfect society having within itself the means
necessary for its own complete development. Man needs the State to secure
his temporal well-being and to attain the full development of his
personality and the enjoyment of the temporal blessings that the Creator
has bestowed on the human race. He is born a member of the State, a society
complete within itself, whose objective is the general welfare of its
members. The right and duty of the State in the field of education is based
upon the right and duty of the State to promote the temporal welfare of its
members. It is precisely because the function of the State is to promote
the temporal well-being of its citizens that education falls within the
sphere of the State's duties.
40. The right and duty of the State in respect to education does not imply
that it is necessary, expedient, or right that the State should arrogate to
itself the whole field of education. The State should foster, promote, and
aid education and insist upon certain standards requisite for the welfare
of society. More satisfactory results would follow if the State were to
leave a larger portion of educational activity to private endeavor and even
assist private religious institutions by paying them, in part at least, for
services rendered in the education of future citizens. Such a plan would
insure the teaching of religion, which is essential to the welfare and even
to the existence of the State.
41. The right of the Church in the field of education arises out of her
divine commission to "teach all nations" and her "supernatural motherhood
in virtue of which the Church, spotless spouse of Christ, generates,
nurtures, and educates souls in the divine life of grace, with her
Sacraments and her doctrine." The pre-eminence of the Church in the field
of education is predicated on her divine commission and on man's
42. There is no conflict between the functions of the family, the State,
and the Church in the field of education, provided the respective fields of
each are kept in mind. The education provided by the Christian family and
the Church is a foundation for good citizenship and, in fact, essential to
the stability and permanence of the State.
43. The paramount place of religion in education is self-evident to all who
believe in God. To use the words of Leo XIII as quoted by Pius XI, "it is
necessary not only that religious instruction be given to the young at
certain fixed times, but also that every other subject taught he permeated
with Christian piety." Religion should form the atmosphere of the
classroom. This is the reason for the Catholic school.
44. Wherever possible, both primary and secondary Catholic schools should
be provided for rural children and for rural youth. But such schools are
not possible in many rural areas, especially where the Catholic population
is a scattered few. The Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, with its
vacation schools and its religious-instruction classes conducted throughout
the year, provides a program of religious education where the Catholic
school is not possible. To meet needs of Isolated families living great
distances from priest and church, and to bring to the children of those
families a knowledge and love of the Catholic Faith, correspondence courses
in religion should be arranged. Discussion clubs for adults are another
valuable instrument for bringing a knowledge and an appreciation of
religion to the countryside.
45. The Catholic Rural Life Movement was prompted in its beginning by a
desire to bring to neglected rural sections a knowledge of religion.
Interest of Catholic leaders in the religious needs of rural dwellers led
to a further discovery that a lack of education in respect to material
things is a major cause for the low social, cultural, and economic level of
many farming groups and the reason for the migration of so many farm youths
to the city.
46. Education in our rural schools is largely urbanized. The subject matter
taught is a preparation for life in the city rather than on the farm. Many
textbooks in use tend to glorify city life and to lure youth away from the
farm. Urban-minded teachers, consciously or unconsciously, tend to promote
the trek to the city. Generally speaking, the education provided in rural
schools fails to imbue those who remain on the farm with an appreciation of
life on the land and neglects to equip them with the knowledge necessary
for successful farm operation.
47. Fundamental changes are needed in our rural educational program.
Education suited to the needs of the rural child and rural youth should
instill in them a love of farm life and lead them to evaluate the special
opportunities offered in the occupation of agriculture and in the rural
economy. In both the primary and the secondary school, in the home, and in
extracurricular activities, there is need for specific training in home
arts and crafts, in vocational agriculture, and in other matters which
pertain to wholesome and successful farm life. An education in scientific
farming and in the arts and crafts will create an interest in rural
activities among farm youth that will counteract the lure of the city. The
farmstead should be made the laboratory for rural education.
48. A closer connection between farm groups and the federal extension
service of state agricultural colleges is needed to bring to larger rural
groups the benefits of experimentation. Short-term courses in state
agricultural colleges would make a knowledge of scientific farming
available to many rural youths unable to take extended courses. It would
seem advisable to have units of the state agricultural college scattered
about the state for the benefit of both youths and adults.
49. The false notion that successful farm operation requires only the
minimum of education needs to be dispelled. Nor should rural youth be
denied the advantages of cultural education. Education in Rural America
should include cultural subjects in due proportion.
50. Needed changes in the scope and in the objectives of rural education
postulate not only changes in the textbooks and content of courses, but
especially changes in the selection and the training of rural teachers.
Rural teachers, too, must recognize the advantages of farm life and possess
the knowledge and the training necessary to prepare rural youth for its
place in the rural community. There is a need for further adjustments in
the curriculum of our teachers' colleges to prepare rural teachers for
51. Vocational guidance should have a place in rural education. It is
neither likely nor desirable that all who are born in the country remain on
the land. An integral rural society needs priests, doctors, lawyers,
teachers, nurses, farm leaders, and leaders in other professions. The
countryside should continue to contribute its quota to the professional
groups who serve both in the city and in the country. Rural youth needs
direction in choosing careers. No youth should leave the farm without a
reasonable understanding of what he is leaving and to what he is going.
1. Pius XI, "Christian Education of Youth" pp. 4, 5.
2. Ibid., p. 6.
3. Ibid., p. 12.
4. Matt. 28:19.
5. Pius XI, "Christian Education of Youth," p. 7.
6. Pius XI, "Christian Education of Youth," p. 31.
CHAPTER V RURAL CATHOLIC YOUTH
52. Youth is the material out of which the future is built. St. Gregory of
Nazianzen calls the training of youth "the art of arts and the science of
sciences." Among human activities the training and direction of youth
occupies the place of primacy.
53. Our age is youth conscious. Schools, youth organizations, luxurious
recreational centers, elaborate vacation camps-all these evidence the
widespread interest in youth. Large sums of money spent by private groups
and by governments on youth programs indicate that the age recognizes the
importance of developing the potentialities of youth. Autocratic rulers,
hostile to religion, recognizing that those who control youth control the
future, seek exclusive control so that they can indoctrinate youth with
their own political, social, and philosophic teachings.
54. The Church is interested in youth more than in any other class in
society. She recognizes that in the plastic years of youth lasting
impressions are made, habits and tastes are acquired, and character is
formed. She strives, during these impressionable years, to implant a
knowledge, love, and practice of the Faith and to protect youth from the
false philosophies and immoral influences of the age. "It is no less
necessary," writes Pope Pius XI, "to direct and watch the education of the
adolescent, 'soft as wax to be molded into vice,' . . . removing occasions
of evil and providing occasions for good in his recreations and social
intercourse; for 'evil communications corrupt good manners.' More than ever
nowadays, an extended and careful vigilance is necessary, inasmuch as the
dangers of moral and religious shipwreck are greater for inexperienced
youth. Especially is this true of impious and immoral books, often
diabolically circulated at low prices; of the cinema, which multiplies
every kind of exhibition; and now also of the radio, which facilitates
every kind of communication."
55. The spiritual in this world cannot be dissociated from the material,
and the Church's interest in youth, in consequence, is not confined to
things spiritual. She is interested in developing all the latent talent in
the individual so that he may achieve greater happiness and make valuable
contributions to society. She is not unmindful even of the value and worth
of recreational activities which add to the joy and happiness of youth and
absorb time which might otherwise be employed in acquiring what is evil.
56. The right to organize and direct youth, denied to the Church by rulers
in many places, is guaranteed under our form of government. While the
opportunity is given, it behooves Catholic leaders to make the fullest use
57. On the home and school rests the chief responsibility for the training
and education of youth. But there is also need for special youth programs
to use to advantage leisure time which might otherwise be used in the
acquiring of habits and tastes harmful to the individual and to society.
58. Leisure-time programs, motivated by the philosophy of naturalism, do
not meet the needs of youth. There is need for a nation-wide Catholic youth
program, impregnated with Christian principles. This program should embrace
the whole field of youth interest and activity, including recreation,
culture, education, and religion. It should be integrated with the life and
the activities of the home and the school and be guided by the Church.
These considerations are fundamental in every Catholic youth program.
59. A rural youth program, in its approach, technique, and content, will be
distinct from the urban and vary with the needs of each farm group. A rural
youth program can utilize existing organizations. Mention has been made of
the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine and its adaptability, through
vacation schools and discussion clubs, to religious training in rural
areas. The Junior Holy Name Society, sodalities, and kindred religious
organizations can be used for the religious training of youth as well as
for vehicles of Catholic Action.
60. These time-honored religious societies of the Church can be used to
meet the spiritual needs of youth. A complete Catholic rural youth program
should also meet the recreational, social, and cultural wants of youth, and
provide for education in things of a practical nature. Certain national
rural youth associations have social, cultural, and wholesome recreational
features, as well as programs suited to the practical education of rural
youth. Included in the programs of these associations is a practical
training in the arts and crafts, in the use of the soil, in marketing, and
in other practical techniques necessary for successful farming. These farm-
youth organizations have received the endorsement and the encouragement of
many bishops. As long as their activities are not in conflict with Catholic
ideals, they can be utilized to advantage in a Catholic rural youth
program. The rural pastor should take an interest in these youth groups.
The understanding pastor can direct the programs among his people along the
line of Christian principles and integrate them with the activities of his
61. The Catholic rural youth program can be co-ordinated and integrated
into the nation-wide Catholic youth program through the Catholic Youth
Organization. A well-conducted and integrated rural youth program,
supplementing the home and school, will give to rural youth a love of farm
life and help prepare farm boys and girls for successful careers--two
factors essential in overcoming the lure of the city.
1. "Oratio II," P. G., T. 35, 426.
2. Pius XI, "Christian Education of Youth," p. 34.
CHAPTER VI CATHOLIC CULTURE lN RURAL SOCIETY
62. Culture is more than refinement in manners, habits, and tastes. It
implies the development of the mental and the moral as well as the esthetic
faculties. It is a product of true education, whether received in or out of
the classroom. Practical as well as academic education contributes directly
and indirectly to the development of culture. Culture is not something
superficial; it is rooted deeply in the soul. Catholic culture is the
flowering of Catholic faith and Christian virtue. It is the product of
Catholic education and training.
63. By and large, the countryside is a place of cultural barrenness. The
low economic status that prevails in many rural families and among many
rural groups in part explains this condition. Culture presupposes leisure
time in which the individual may develop his personality. Under present-day
conditions, it usually presupposes the opportunity to use and to enjoy the
conveniences made possible by modern discovery and modern invention. It
presupposes the existence of economic conditions that will allow people to
live decent lives as become rational beings and children of God. The hovel
and the slum do not provide the soil suited to the growth of either virtue
or culture. Pope Pius XI recognized the interrelationship between culture
and virtue and a sound social organism when he wrote: "For then only will
the economic and social organism be soundly established and attain its end,
when it secures for all and each those goods which the wealth and resources
of nature, technical achievement, and the social organization of economic
affairs can give. These goods should be sufficient to supply all needs and
an honest livelihood, and to uplift men to that higher level of prosperity
and culture which, provided it be used with prudence, is not only no
hindrance, but is of singular help to virtue."
64. Sufficiency of income, however, is not enough to produce culture on the
countryside. A taste for the finer things which make for culture and for
its material expression is often lacking. In the days of plentiful incomes,
many farmers, as already indicated, neglected to use the opportunity to
develop themselves and give material expression to culture in better and
more beautiful homes. An appreciation of the things that make for culture
is needed on the countryside. This appreciation is a product of education.
65. The isolation of the farmstead has deprived the farmer of cultural and
educational contacts. The radio and improved roads have destroyed in a
large measure this isolation, although they have not always brought the
farm family into contact with the things of cultural value. These
instruments of modern progress, in fact, have often brought the rural
dwellers into contact with the trivialities and even with the degrading
influences emanating from the city. It has become necessary to counteract
the debasing city influences, the by-products of urban culture, which are
penetrating the countryside.
66. Farm and parish organizations, discussion clubs, parish and traveling
libraries, books, papers, and magazines are useful mediums for elevating
the cultural levels of country groups. Discussion groups, not only for the
study of religion, but also for the study of social and economic problems,
should have a foremost place in any well-ordered cultural program of a
rural parish. From such discussion groups of youths and adults, there would
develop a Catholic leadership in the fields of social justice and social
charity, such as Pope Pius XI had in mind when he wrote the following
words: "Many young men, destined soon by reason of their talents or their
wealth to hold distinguished places in the foremost ranks of society, are
studying social problems with growing earnestness. These youths encourage
the fairest hopes that they will devote themselves wholly to social
reforms." In speaking to the bishops of the world on the problems of
industrial society, Pope Pius XI said: "It is your chief duty, Venerable
Brethren, and that of your clergy, to seek diligently, to select prudently,
and to train fittingly these lay apostles among working men and among
employers." It seems right to conclude that the Holy Father would have
these same words adapted to farm owners and farm laborers.
67. The rural parish school or parish hall should be the center of the
social and cultural life of the community. In the parish school or parish
hall, there can be developed the Little Country Theater, choral groups,
glee clubs, parish orchestras, and similar activities of distinct cultural
value. The parish school or parish hall can be used to advantage in
carrying out an adult education program which should include not only
religion but also other subjects, especially those which have a direct
bearing upon rural conditions.
68. A rural parish with a social and educational program, in which cultural
and economic activities are integrated with religion and centered in the
parish hall or school, will be effective in developing among its members a
spirit of neighborliness and a helpful sense of solidarity. The social
relationships ensuing from such a program would help raise both the
cultural and the economic levels of the group and serve also as a strong
antidote against baneful urban influences. If we are to retain the better
type of youth on the land, the cultural standards of the countryside must
1. Pius XI, "Reconstruction of the Social Order," p. 25.
2. Pius XI, "Reconstruction of the Social Order," p. 46.
CHAPTER VII RURAL COMMUNITY
69. The trend of farm life has been to find a focal point for its varied
activities in some rural community. Even where farmers lived in isolation
and where face-to-face relations were established with only a few
neighboring farm families, there soon developed the necessity of finding a
common place to buy and sell; to locate a smithy, sawmill, or gristmill; to
establish church and school; and to provide for legal, medical, and other
professional services. County seats and trade centers, with railroad
stations, grain elevators, stock pens, warehouses, and stores, became the
focal point of farm life for miles around.
70. The dependence of the farmer upon markets, better means of
transportation, improved highways, and more rapid means of communication
have brought about great changes in rural America. The drift, not only of
population but also of all political, social, economic, educational, and
religious activity, has been townward. Rural hamlets, if they have not
disappeared, have stopped growing; rural villages have become smaller
rather than larger; whereas rural towns, especially those in which the
county seat is located, have grown from year to year in population and
activity. These rural towns comprise the most important rural communities
in the nation. They are distributing centers for merchandise of every kind;
they have banks, stores, and schools; they offer the services of lawyer,
physician, and other professional men; they often provide for clinical or
hospital care; and in general they make possible economic, social, and
recreational contacts of a varied kind. The Church offers the most
important weekly contact from a religious, and not infrequently from a
social, point of view in these rural towns.
71. Village settlements, in which farm families live grouped together and
go to their tasks in the fields the same as factory workers would to
theirs, did not develop in rural America, apart from certain planned rural
communities, established recently as resettlement projects, either by
private initiative or with government help. The land survey and homestead
laws of other days, which parceled out whole sections of land to
homesteaders and required that they live on them, tended to scatter farm
families over the countryside. True, there are disadvantages arising out of
the grouping of farm families in villages and towns, especially from an
economic point of view; the homestead would in many instances be separated
by a considerable distance from the work fields, entailing a loss of time
and increased transportation costs. There would, however, be many
advantages, especially from a social and cultural point of view. Neighbors
would be nearer; living conditions would be better and cheaper than in the
open country, with regard to water, sewage disposal, and electric current;
religious activity would be intensified; schools would be improved;
professional service would be more prompt, dependable, and efficient;
organizations would be stronger and more active; the spirit of solidarity
and cooperation would grow among the villagers and townspeople.
72. In any case, however, no matter what the form of rural community, much
will depend on the leadership given its people. Since a closer proximity of
city to country has brought about the expansion of urban influences, right
leadership will seek to sort out the best of these influences, while
conserving the best interests of agriculture and rural living. Rural
leadership will develop an interest in the rural community, show forth its
advantages, and stimulate pride in and loyalty toward local institutions.
In looking after the interests of the rural community, rural leaders will
not underestimate the racial and cultural history of the people of the
community, but will rather seek to preserve what is best in their
traditions, so as to inspire love of family, loyalty to country, and
devotion to Christ's Church. The importance of the rural community should
induce Catholic colleges to include in their aims the development of rural
73. The rural community merchant plays an important role in the life of the
community. Usually a product of the community and sometimes of the business
itself, often the owner of the establishment, he can be of special
assistance to the people of whom he forms a part. He knows their needs and
desires; with them he shares days of prosperity and days of adversity. His
relationship with the community must not be founded entirely on the selfish
profit motive which would lead him to seek more than reasonable returns for
the services rendered. Unfortunately his influence is being undermined by
chain stores, and even manufacturers, processors, and distributors, who
dictate terms and policies not always to his advantage or to that of his
patrons. Loyal to the institutions of the rural community, the honest
merchant is deserving of the support of the people of his community. If the
question of establishing a consumers' cooperative be raised, his interests
should be properly consulted and safeguarded. The cooperative may in fact
offer a solution to the difficulties of the merchant who is menaced by the
competition of corporation merchandising; in such a case his experience
would prove to be a valuable asset to the cooperative.
74. Closely associated with the economic life of the community is the
banker. Where he retains his independent status and has not become the
hireling of large urban banking institutions, he can be of great service to
the citizens of the community, with whose many financial and economic
difficulties he becomes intimately acquainted. In times of stress
especially, his services as a friend and counselor of the people of the
rural community will be invaluable. In adverse days he, better than anyone
else, can join social charity to social justice.
75. There is a fruitful and undeveloped field of service for the local
community editor. He is often an obscure personage with scanty income,
especially in the smaller towns. There is an opportunity for the energetic
rural-community editor to enhance his prestige and income and to render
valuable services to his community. He can make his paper a vehicle of
culture and education, an instrument for developing community solidarity,
and a potent force in furthering the common interests of both town and
country. As a further service, he can help make the dwellers in the town
and in the country conscious of their interdependence.
76. The attorney in a rural community enjoys an exceptional opportunity to
promote respect for law and order, to encourage harmony and peace, and to
foster relations of good will among the people of his community. The
attorney's contact with public life, together with his legal training,
makes him an invaluable adviser and guide in things that concern the
general well-being of the community. Because of his advantageous position,
it is essentially important that he be guided in his advice and judgments
by the principles of the moral code.
77. Aside from his contribution to the general health of the people, the
physician should promote respect for God's laws in matters of health that
touch on the moral code. In these days of false theories respecting sex
life and marital relations, the physician carries a high responsibility to
guide others along lines of sound moral principles.
78. The teacher likewise has many opportunities, not only during school
hours but also as a citizen of the community, to influence the cultural
life of the people. Rural culture has been very much handicapped because of
a lack of the proper kind of leadership. The teacher can bring many
cultural influences to bear on the lives of the people. This has become so
much the more important since degrading urban influences are infecting the
rural social group.
79. The rural pastor, too, should be encouraged to assume the
responsibilities of leadership, not only in things religious but also in
things social and economic. Attention to the principles of rural economics
and agrarianism will build up confidence in his leadership among the
people. The rural pastor has opportunities to shape the lives of the people
of his community, such as are given to few others.
80. Catholic rural youth, which have received the benefits of a good
Catholic education, should consider it a privilege and a duty to pass on to
others the good things acquired during the years of Catholic training. If
the graduates of our Catholic colleges would become more articulate in the
life of their community, especially within the comparatively narrow
confines of a rural community, they could wield a tremendous influence in
enlarging the sphere of Catholic culture. Their leadership would be of
priceless value to God and country.
81. The place of women in the social life of the rural community needs to
be stressed. In any plan to elevate the status of the farm group and
improve living conditions on the countryside, leadership should be sought
among the women as well as among the men. Catholic women should take their
places not only in parish organizations but also in organizations which are
82. The relations between Catholics and non-Catholics should be actuated by
the spirit of Christian charity. No compromise, however, should be made
with respect to the truths of religion; yet a kindly and neighborly
attitude, one toward another, is one of the prime dictates of Christian
charity. To do the truth in charity, as St. Paul exhorts, needs to be
heeded under all circumstances. Mixed marriages usually become a problem in
rural communities where Catholics mingle freely with non-Catholics in
social and business affairs. Under such circumstances, parents and priest
have a special duty, to prevent as far as possible such marriages; and when
a mixed marriage cannot be prevented, it becomes the duty of parents and
priest to lessen the dangers to the Faith that may arise out of it.
83. The rural community, affected by the change following in the course of
modern invention and progress, is being subjected to influences, good and
bad, from various sources. To bring into play the good influences with
increasing force is one of the great tasks of all who are interested in
rural life. Rural leadership is challenged as never before because of the
awakening of rural people in late years to the possibilities of a healthy
and wholesome life in rural communities.
CHAPTER VIII THE RURAL PASTORATE
84. Catholicism in the United States is urban. According to conservative
estimates, five sixths of the Catholic population live in the cities. This
fact gives the rural pastor a unique position in rural America. Here and
there one finds rural areas solidly Catholic; and in such territories the
Church is usually in a flourishing condition.
85. For the most part the rural pastor is in pioneering fields. He is a
first-line messenger of God, exercising a ministry as simple and apostolic
as that of the early Church. There are many unsung heroes doing God's work
in isolated rural sections of our land. Their work is among a scattered
flock on the prairies of the West, or in the hills of the South, or in the
forests of the North, or in the lowlands of the East. They live far from
fellow priests and have few of the comforting contacts of cultured men.
86. There are, however, many human compensations in their work. They are
recognized "leaders of the faithful, the support of the stumbling, the
teachers of the doubtful, the consolers of those who mourn, the unselfish
helpers, and counselors of all." Their education is far above that of
others in the community. Aware of this, Catholics and non-Catholics alike
come to the priest with their varied problems, not only religious but also
domestic, civic, educational, material, and moral. He is as one who speaks
with authority. If properly exercised, the influence of his ministry may be
87. His first concern is, of course, spiritual. All else is subordinated to
that. Addressing the Mexican bishops and priests, Pope Pius XI wrote:
"Then, too, by encouraging the spiritual formation and the interior life of
those who are to collaborate with you, you put them on guard against
dangers and mistakes that are always possible. Having in mind always the
purpose of Catholic Action, which is the sanctification of souls, according
to the gospel precept: 'Seek ye first the kingdom of God' (Luke 12:31), you
will not run the risk of sacrificing principles for ends that may be
immediate or secondary, nor will you forget that to that ultimate end are
to be subordinated every social and economic work and charitable
88. But this priestly ministry should not be confined to the sanctuary. To
attain his spiritual objectives, the priest must needs take an active
interest in the material welfare of his people. "Let no member of the
clergy," writes Benedict XV, "imagine that such action is incompatible with
his priestly duties, because it is carried out on economic grounds, for it
is precisely in this field that the salvation of souls is endangered." The
rural pastor should give his attention to the grave social questions with
which his people are grappling--"the agrarian problem, land distribution,
the improvement of the living conditions of the workingmen and their
families." The Holy Father's exhortation, "Go to the workingman,
especially where he is poor, and in general go to the poor," may be
applied also with respect to the farmer, particularly the hired farmhand
and those who have left their homelands; these latter, torn away from their
country and traditions, more easily become the prey to the insidious
propaganda of the emissaries seeking to induce them to apostatize from
89. Because of his influence and contacts as a religious leader, the rural
pastor can be of great assistance to his people in helping them to obtain
the facilities of state agricultural colleges, experiment stations, and
government credit organizations. He should take an active interest in
cooperative movements, in rural youth organizations, and in other
activities planned to serve the social and economic interests of the
community. Our Holy Father, no doubt, had activities of this type in mind
when he wrote: "We are happy to voice Our paternal approval of the zealous
pastoral activity manifested by so many bishops and priests who have, with
due prudence and caution, been planning and applying new methods of
apostolate more adapted to modern needs." Addressing the Mexican
Hierarchy, the late Holy Father stated that "works, commonly called social
service (do not lie), outside the scope of Catholic Action. Because these
works aim at the practical application of the principles of justice and
charity and are a means of winning the multitudes, since souls often are to
be reached only by the relief of corporal suffering and economic need, We
ourselves and Our Predecessor, Leo XIII of blessed memory, have recommended
them frequently." It should be emphasized, however, that "Catholic Action
should never take the responsibility in matters that are purely technical,
financial, or economic because such matters lie outside the scope and
purpose of Catholic Action." The rural pastor, becomes all to all men in
order to win all for Christ.
90. Seminarians should be imbued with a love for the apostolic ministry on
the countryside. But especially must "all candidates for the sacred
priesthood be adequately prepared to meet their task by intense study of
social matters." A great mission field lies before them in home mission
91. No efforts should be spared to make living conditions, even though
modest and simple, as good as possible for the rural pastor. By means of a
traveling or mail library, good books should come into his hands. The
ambassador of Christ must not be denied the cultural contacts that would
make his priesthood an effective influence even among simple rural folk.
1. Pius XI, "On the Church in Germany," n. 43.
2. Pius XI, "On the Religious Situation in Mexico," p. 9.
3. Benedict XV, "To the Bishop of Bergamo," 1920.
4. Pius XI, "On the Religious Situation in Mexico," p. 11.
5. Pius XI, "Atheistic Communism," n. 61.
6. Pius XI, "Atheistic Communism," n. 62.
7. Pius XI, "On the Religious Situation in Mexico," p. 10.
9. Pius XI, "Reconstruction of the Social Order," p. 46.
CHAPTER IX RURAL CHURCH EXPANSION
92. Although the Catholic philosophy of life is rooted in rural traditions,
the membership of the Catholic Church in the United States is, as
previously stated, largely urban. Most of the pioneer Catholics settled in
the cities; and ecclesiastical authority, solicitous for their spiritual
welfare, encouraged them to remain in the city, where they could avail
themselves of the service of the Church. Many of the Catholic pioneers who
moved westward to settle in rural communities were lost to the faith for
lack of priest and church. The Church concentrated her efforts on the
cities, where Catholics were in such large numbers; while the Catholics in
rural sections were, to a great degree, neglected.
93. The growth and progress of the Catholic Church in the United States is
dependent, in a special way, on the growth and progress of the rural
church. The countryside, where only one sixth of her membership is found,
is the chief source of the nation's population. City families are not
reproducing themselves. Immigration from other countries has practically
ceased. Without accessions from the countryside, the urban population tends
to extinction. Unless the Church be strengthened and expanded in the rural
sections, we are faced with the prospect of a dwindling Catholic
94. The countryside in the United States offers the most fertile field for
missionary endeavor, both among Catholics and among the millions of
unchurched people. A rural church expansion program should have as its
first objective the development of a vigorous Catholicity among rural
Catholics. Many rural Catholics have been denied the opportunity of
drinking in Catholic culture and of acquiring Catholic learning. They would
respond more readily to Catholic influences than does the average city
Catholic, surrounded as he is with a multitude of unfavorable influences.
95. The millions of unchurched dwellers on the countryside also offer a
promising field for missionary endeavor. In many areas of the South, the
forebears of these were Catholic, three and four generations ago. Many are
now ready to accept the Faith; they await the efforts of the zealous
96. Behold, therefore, the fields ripe for the harvest. Christ has given
the command, "Teach all nations" and "Preach the Gospel to every
creature." Christ has left the example after which our home mission
activities should be patterned. He preached the Gospel on the mountainside,
on the shores of the lake, in the cornfield, and in every hamlet and
village of Palestine.
97. The Church from early times and through the centuries has evidenced a
special interest in rural folk. Distinct parishes were first organized for
rural groups, and the office of rural dean was created to serve the rural
districts. The Confraternity of Christian Doctrine and the Confraternity of
the Blessed Sacrament were founded to teach religion and to foster devotion
among rural people.
98. A number of religious orders have shown a special concern for rural
groups. "The bringing of religion into the lives of people wherever found,"
was the rule laid down for the Benedictine Order by its founder; and in
carrying out this rule, the sons of St. Benedict have distinguished
themselves by their devotion to agriculture and by their spiritual
ministrations among rural people. Several religious communities were
founded for the express purpose of serving in rural districts. With the
concentration of the Catholic population in industrial centers and with the
growth of the Catholic educational system in the city, the people on the
land were soon forgotten; and the very religious communities which were
established for rural missionary work found other activities for which the
need seemed greater and abandoned for the time the cause of souls in rural
areas. The countryside still remains the great home mission field.
99. The founding of the Catholic Church Extension Society of America at the
beginning of the century marks the beginning of a new and definite interest
in the underprivileged rural sections. Through the Catholic Church
Extension Society, the Catholics of the nation were made conscious of the
needs of neglected rural areas. Through the efforts of this foundation,
subsidies have been given to the struggling Church at its weakest points.
The Catholic Church Extension Society originated the chapel car, the
forerunner of the motor mission and motor trailer chapel. The American
Board of Catholic Missions is another agency which has helped to mother the
struggling Church in the religiously neglected rural sections of the
100. Conscious of the need for extending the arm of Holy Mother Church,
members of both the diocesan and the regular clergy, with the approbation
of bishops, have organized themselves into bands in several dioceses for
the purpose of conducting missions for Catholics and non-Catholics, in
churches, in halls, in public parks, and even on street corners. Through
motor missions results have been achieved that warrant their further
101. Religious communities of women, dedicated to the teaching of religion
to the poor and neglected, are doing excellent work in certain rural areas.
Seminarians and members of Catholic Evidence Guilds have explained and
defended Catholic teaching on the public platform, with results that
indicate a valuable field of training for seminarians and the possibilities
latent in the lay apostolate.
102. There is an urgent need in the United States for a religious community
of priests and lay brothers which will devote itself entirely to the rural
mission field. There is also a need for a community of Sisters, dedicated
to the same cause, whose work will be integrated with the religious
community of men. The members of these religious communities should receive
specific training for the rural mission field. Through the integrated
efforts of these two communities and the grace of God, a solidarity would
be given to missionary efforts in the home mission field.
103. The expansion of the rural church in the United States would receive a
great impetus through programs of charity and through the successful
efforts of the Church in furthering the economic and social welfare of
rural groups. Both Catholics and those without the fold would come to
recognize the truth contained in the following words of Leo XIII: "The
Catholic Church, that imperishable handiwork of our all-merciful God, has
for her immediate and natural purpose the saving of souls and securing our
happiness in Heaven. Yet in regard to things temporal she is the source of
benefits as manifold and great as if the chief end of her existence were to
insure the prospering of our earthly life."
1. Matt. 28:19.
2. Mark 16:15.
3. Leo XIII, "The Christian Constitution of States," p. 107.
CHAPTER X RURAL HEALTH
104. Only with the aid of a rural health program can a Catholic rural
welfare program, under present social conditions, achieve its immediate
objectives and conserve its ultimate purposes.
105. The countryside, with its abundance of fresh air, sunshine, and broad
open spaces, offers special natural advantages for healthful living. On the
other hand, there are serious disadvantages. The countryside is
characterized by a lack of proper sanitation and intelligent protection of
food and water supply, lack of proper control of communicable diseases, and
lack of adequate hospital and medical facilities. There is a widespread
ignorance of food values, proper diet, and health habits, and a lack of
information relative to preventive and corrective measures in respect to
ailments and physical defects.
106. In the city health is a social achievement attained through the
application of scientific knowledge and community effort. By and large, the
use of science to improve health conditions has been neglected in the
country. As a result, despite the natural advantages of the country, the
city is gradually becoming a more healthful place of residence than the
country. In many rural districts of the nation, deplorable health
conditions exist, which grow worse from year to year. Because of the
isolation of farmsteads, it is not possible to provide rural dwellers with
the system of sanitation and food inspection, and with the hospital and
medical service enjoyed by city dwellers. It is possible, nevertheless,
because of the special natural advantages of country life, to achieve,
through the application of scientific information and social organization,
more healthful conditions in the country than are possible in the city.
107. The greatest health need of rural areas is health education. The rural
dwellers must first be converted to the need and value of scientific means
for improving and conserving individual and community health. A program of
rural health education should include food values and proper diet; habits
which promote both mental and bodily health; sanitation, including
protection of food and water supply destruction of noxious weeds, and
drainage to destroy harmful insects; proper housing; preventative and
corrective measures in respect to ailments and physical defects.
108. Health education can be achieved through schools, farm organizations
including adult and youth clubs, county nurses, county agents, and
government bulletins. The promotion of public health is a proper function
of government Without the intervention of the State, ordinarily no adequate
health program can be realized. State intervention is needed for the
prevention and the control of communicable diseases, for the elimination of
noxious weeds and insects, for drainage and sanitation, and for health
education. State aid is needed to help protect and conserve the health of
109. Although the intervention of the State is necessary for an adequate
health program, it is neither desirable nor necessary that the State
arrogate to itself the whole field of community health. It is well to leave
to private and cooperative endeavor as much of the work as such
nonpolitical groups can and will carry on in an effective manner.
110. There is a need, and also a place, for a Catholic rural health
program. A close relationship exists between health and religion. For this
reason the health program should not be entirely secular. The care of the
sick and especially the sick poor is charity.
111. A diocesan rural health program will vary with the resources of the
diocese, the Catholic facilities available, the density of Catholic
population, and the assistance it may receive from public sources for the
care of the sick and especially for the care of the needy sick. Existing
community health resources should be used. In some places it will be found
advantageous to appoint a diocesan rural health director. This official
might also serve as the diocesan hospital director. Needless to say, this
official should be capable and thoroughly acquainted with the work. Special
training is desirable, if not absolutely necessary. The staff will vary
with the needs and resources of each diocese and be largely the result of
development. A Catholic health program should be carried on in rural
Catholic schools and in parish and farm organizations.
112. The Catholic Church, through its hospitals, clinics, laboratories,
nursing schools, and schools of medicine, has made a distinguished
contribution to the health program in the United States. Unfortunately the
program is almost entirely urban. The time has come when the facilities of
a Catholic hospital or health center should be extended to the smaller
cities and towns to serve the needs of rural areas.
113. Catholic hospitals would be making a valuable contribution not only to
the development of the Catholic rural health program but also to charity
and religion, were they to adopt the policy of sending motor health clinics
to neglected rural sections. This service would be a valuable adjunct to
the motor mission service and would make for its greater success.
Solicitude for the poor and sick, a mark of Christ's own, would draw, as
nothing else would draw, the multitudes to accept the Church. The health
consciousness which would result from such a service would pave the way for
the Catholic hospital to serve the countryside.
114. Maternity Guilds should be organized in rural parishes and
communities. A health and hospital insurance program
is another health activity which may be developed under
Catholic auspices. The development of such a program
would help insure adequate hospital and medical services in rural
115. There is a broad and yet untilled field for a Catholic health program
on the countryside. This field offers special opportunities for promoting
human welfare, the exercise of charity, and the spread of the Faith. Parish
life, in this age especially, should be renewed in the spirit of works of
mercy, spiritual and corporal, which in former ages brought rich harvests
to the Faith.
CHAPTER XI RURAL SOCIAL CHARITY
116. Pius XI, in his encyclical on "Atheistic Communism," specifies charity
as the chief remedy for the ills which afflict society, and the compelling
argument against "the false persuasion that Christianity has lost its
efficacy." "We have in mind, writes the saintly Pontiff, that Christian
charity, 'patient and kind,' which avoids all semblance of demeaning
paternalism, and all ostentation, that charity which from the very
beginning of Christianity won to Christ the poorest of the poor, the
slaves.... Its faithful observance will pour into the heart an inner peace
which the world knows not, and will finally cure the ills which oppress
117. Christ made charity the previous mark of identification by which His
own would be known. In all human relationship charity should be present.
Pope Pius XI says, "Charity 'which is the bond of perfection' must play a
leading part" in the reform of the social and economic order and again,
"social charity should be as it were the soul of this order." Charity
cannot take the place of justice; but even after justice is done, there
still remains a wide field for the exercise of charity.
118. Christ designated the poor and the unfortunate the special objects of
our charity. The work of charity can be carried on among these
underprivileged groups more effectively and fruitfully through group
action, known today as organized charity. Organized charity is an
expression of social charity toward the underprivileged.
119. Although the objective of Christian charity is primarily the welfare
of the individual and only indirectly the welfare of society, the welfare
of society is best promoted in this indirect way. Christian charity assumes
no condescending attitude toward the recipient of charity. It sees in the
one to whom it ministers a soul fashioned to God's image, a child of God,
an heir of Heaven, a member of Christ's mystical body. In fact, Christ
taught us to see Himself in those to whom we minister when He said, "As
long as you did it to one of these, My least brethren, you did it to Me."
This approach of Christian charity is not inconsistent with the best
technique developed in modern schools of social service.
120. Secularized social service and government relief cannot take the place
of Christian charity. Material relief without charity lacks the element
necessary to elevate the recipient. Material relief without charity is
121. An economic crisis, which has deprived millions of the opportunity to
earn their daily bread and support their families, has been the occasion
for the development in the United States of a nation-wide system of
secularized social service, promoted by the government and financed out of
government funds. The advocates of secularism would appropriate to the
State the whole field of social welfare service, leaving no place for the
Church or for private agencies of charity.
122. It is not only a proper function, but even a duty of the State to
assist its needy and underprivileged citizens and provide for the care of
the dependent and neglected child; but it is neither necessary nor
expedient that the State arrogate to itself the whole field of social
science. The area of service which a government welfare agency can render
is a restricted one. A bureaucratic secular agency cannot supply the
spiritual influences required to reform the erring and, often even
necessary, to rehabilitate the underprivileged. Only an agency dominated by
the spirit of religion and charity can effect rehabilitation in such
instances. The State should encourage and aid private agencies of charity
as far as possible, paying at least in part for services rendered in the
rehabilitation of the underprivileged and the delinquent and especially for
the care of the dependent, neglected, and delinquent child. It is wisdom on
the part of the State to use private agencies in accomplishing ends which a
government agency cannot effect.
There is need for an understanding and active Catholic interest, both
clerical and lay, to help mold the public welfare program and impregnate it
with the principles of Christian charity.
123. Although it is a proper function of government to extend aid to the
underprivileged members of society, especially in emergencies, it is,
however, desirable that funds for this purpose be derived, as far as
possible, through voluntary donations to private charities. It would indeed
be unfortunate if government relief programs were to interfere with
donations to our private charitable institutions and agencies, especially
at a time when the need for them is greatest. Government aid is no
substitute for charity.
124. There is need for organized charity in the rural areas as well as in
the urban centers. On the countryside are underprivileged families, broken
homes, needy aged, erring and wayward youths, hovels and slums where
children are reared to crime and poverty. The countryside offers a fertile
and yet untilled field for the activities of the Society of St. Vincent de
Paul, the Ladies of Charity, and the Legion of Mary.
125. The parish is the natural unit of organized charity, especially in
rural areas. The unfortunates in need of spiritual and material aid are the
members of a parish who offer to the rest of the parish special
opportunities for the exercise of charity. A small organized group of
volunteer charity workers, carefully selected, is a need in every parish.
126. There is need in the rural diocese for a central diocesan agency or
bureau with at least some trained personnel to co-ordinate and unify the
work, to train and direct the volunteer parish workers, to provide
professional service where professional service is required.
127. A study club in each parish, composed of parish social charity workers
and others interested, would be very useful in training the workers in the
principles of social charity and in the technique of social work. The
course of study should be outlined and directed by the central diocesan
128. It would be advisable to unite parish groups into county units with a
priest living in or near the county seat as director. Where parishes are
too few for county organizations, it might be more feasible to organize on
129. Current government policies, exemplified particularly through the
grants-in-aid to states under social security legislation, tend to shift
the solution of most cases of social distress back to the local community.
Most of the dependent children, who heretofore would have been sent to the
urban orphanage or urban charity bureau, will now be cared for in the local
community. Case work, involving delinquent juveniles, delinquent
adolescents, and needy aged, has also become a local responsibility. These
new trends in social work make it imperative that there be Catholic groups
of social charity workers in every community.
130. Parish social charity workers could safeguard the spiritual and
material welfare of dependent Catholic children, securing placement in
suitable Catholic homes when it is necessary to remove children from their
own homes; render assistance to delinquent and pre-delinquent juveniles and
adolescents; protect the needy aged against exploitation, secure them
adequate assistance and bring them the solace of religion; minister to
families in special need of spiritual and material aid.
131. The new trends in the welfare program of the government rather
definitely indicate that the permanent population of child-caring
institutions will be composed largely of mentally retarded, physically
handicapped, and problem children. The program of care and training in our
institutions should be adjusted to meet the needs of children falling into
132. County units could be very effective in influencing public policy and
procedure along the lines of Christian social charity. The diocesan
organization, with ramifications running into every community and parish,
would constitute a potent influence in molding along the lines of Christian
principles public policies and legislation in respect to social welfare.
133. The closet cooperation should exist between public and private
agencies in everything affecting their common work and common problems.
Parish groups of social charity would develop in a parish the spirit of
charity and a program of charity in which the parish as a whole would
1. Pius XI, "Atheistic Communism," nn. 46, 48.
2. Pius XI, "Reconstruction of the Social Order," p. 44.
3. Ibid., p. 29.
4. Matt. 25:42.
CHAPTER XII THE FARM LABORER
134. Because of his great pastoral solicitude for the toiling masses, Pope
Leo XIII has been called the Pope of the Workingman. In his celebrated
pronouncement, commemorating the fortieth anniversary of his distinguished
predecessor's encyclical on the "Condition of Labor," Pope Pius XI wrote of
him: "In this document the Supreme Shepherd, grieving for 'the misery and
wretchedness pressing unjustly' or such a large proportion of mankind, with
lofty courage took upon himself to defend the cause of workingmen,
'surrendered, isolated and helpless, to the hardheartedness of employers
and the greed of unchecked competition."'
135. In his social encyclical on the "Reconstruction of the Social Order,"
Pope Pius XI showed himself no less solicitous for that "immense multitude
of workingmen," who, "oppressed by dire poverty, struggle in vain to
escape" from the difficulties which encompass them. His sympathy goes out
to "the immense army of hired rural laborers, whose condition is depressed
in the extreme and who have no hope of ever obtaining a share in the land.
These, too, unless efficacious remedies be applied, will remain perpetually
sunk in their proletarian condition." Many of these farm laborers live in
wretched hovels rather than homes; they work long hours, receive little
pay, and eke out their existence under conditions of abject poverty.
Because of their squalid living quarters as well as insufficient and
unbalanced diets, they are an easy prey to all sorts of illnesses. Such
inhuman living conditions are a disgrace to a nation which has been endowed
by the Creator with the unlimited bounties of nature. Refusing to bear this
heavy yoke any longer, farm laborers have become restive and rebellious,
especially since they have been goaded on by communistic agitators who,
pretending to desire only their betterment, lure them on by all sorts of
promises. Attempts, however, have been made by some earnest leaders and
with some measure of success to organize this unfortunate group and improve
their lot. Their efforts, however, have been confined to limited areas and
the progress has been slow.
136. Social justice must not be denied to farm laborers. Their rights and
liberties are not different from those of workers in industrial centers.
The following observation of Pope Pius XI applies to farm laborers: "Social
justice cannot be said to have been satisfied as long as workingmen are
denied a wage that will enable them to secure proper sustenance for
themselves and for their families; as long as they are denied the
opportunity of acquiring a modest fortune and forestalling the plague of
universal pauperism; as long as they cannot make suitable provision through
public or private insurance for old age, for periods of illness and
137. Social charity also has its obligations toward these unfortunate
laborers. Employers of hired farm labor should treat their workers as
brethren in Christ. They should not do to them what they would not want to
have done to themselves. Pope Pius XI bids them to be mindful of their
responsibility. Their surplus income is not left entirely to their
discretion. They have grave obligations of almsgiving, beneficence, and
liberality, as well as a duty to use their property in a manner that will
insure human living to their workers.
138. But farm laborers must also strive to help themselves. Wherever
possible, they should organize for the protection of their rights and
legitimate interests as well as for the provision of mutual help and for
the pursuit of moral and religious duties. Their efforts will be brought to
disaster, however, if they listen to men of evil principles who work upon
the people with artful promises and excite foolish hopes, which usually end
in futile regrets.
139. One of the objectives of organization should be to help farm laborers
acquire farms which they can call their own. Not every farm laborer is
qualified to own and manage a farm, but there are those who would improve
their earthly lot if they were given an opportunity to till their own soil.
By thrift, cooperative credit, and financial assistance from the
government, they would be able to lift themselves out of their proletarian
status. With regard to them the State has a special duty. If a family finds
itself in great difficulty, utterly friendless, and without prospect of
help, it is right that its extreme necessity be met by public aid; for each
family is a part of the commonwealth.
140. While our objective is social justice and social charity for all, it
should be recognized that the righting of a wrong economic system is not a
speedy process. If the wrongs of farm laborers cannot be corrected
immediately, the laborers should be patient and remember that there is
blessing in poverty accepted in the spirit of Christ. Without giving up
hope of improving their lot and without ceasing to use every lawful means
to achieve for themselves social justice, "let them remember that the world
will never be able to rid itself of misery, sorrow, and tribulation, which
are the portion even of those who seem most prosperous.... 'Blessed are the
poor!' These words are no vain consolation, a promise as empty as those of
the communists. They are the words of life, pregnant with a sovereign
1. Pius XI, "Reconstruction of the Social Order," p. 5.
2. Ibid. p. 4.
3. Ibid. p. 21.
4. Pius XI, "Atheistic Communism," n. 52.
5. Pius XI, "Atheistic Communism," n. 45.
CHAPTER XIII FARMER COOPERATIVES
141. Men are groping about to restore to society its organic form which the
extreme individualism of the past century destroyed. Some seek the
restoration through a planned economy enforced by the State, others through
the establishment of a socialistic or communistic government.
142. Group action, however, cannot be superimposed on free citizens by the
State. Theodore Roosevelt remarked trenchantly: "The government is
powerless to conscript cooperation." Cooperation must grow out of the
consciousness of men that their social nature requires forms through which
it may best express itself.
143. Farmers are untrue to their social nature if they do not organize
their agricultural activities, as workmen, technicians, doctors, employers,
students, and others of like character organize their respective
activities. "These groups and organizations," writes Pope Pius XI, "are
destined to introduce into society that order which We have envisaged in
Our Encyclical "Quadragesimo Anno," and thus to spread in the vast and
various fields of culture and labor the recognition of the Kingdom of
144. The order envisaged by Pope Pius XI is that of an organic society, in
which the various associations of men, organically linked together in
vocational groups for the common good, promote the material, cultural, and
religious interests of their members, men and women who live in the same
cultural atmosphere and share the same way of life. The farmer, too, should
unite with fellow farmers in vocational groups. Although cooperatives may
not realize completely the ideal of vocational grouping the Holy Father has
in mind, they contain in their fundamental principles the possibilities for
145. Farm cooperatives are voluntary associations of farmers organized with
the prime purpose of giving greater stability and better security to their
farming enterprise. There are consumer, production, purchasing, marketing,
and credit cooperatives. Among American farmers, marketing cooperatives
have advanced the farthest. A farm cooperative organized on sound
principles of cooperation is controlled by the farmer. One vote only should
be allowed to each member, no matter how large his investment in the
cooperative. The profit motive should be subordinated to the general
welfare of the members and to the common good.
146. Farm cooperatives are necessary. Were it not for cooperative
enterprise, the family-type farmer would be at the mercy of the
economically powerful in society. Unorganized, he would find himself pitted
as an individual against the organized forces of concentrated wealth. The
farmer cannot allow himself to become a slave either of a domineering State
or of the economic dictatorship of the mighty of this earth. The farmer
will be free only insofar as he is organized.
147. Relying on his native resourcefulness, the farmer should beware of
professional promoters of cooperatives who come into the community, hold
forth unfulfillable promises, and seek to mulct him through the
organization of cooperatives that are such in name only. Especially should
he be distrustful of political schemers who seek to use the cooperative
movement for their own purposes.
148. Before organizing a cooperative, farmers should give the principles
and technique of sound cooperation careful study, and only after
considerable educational work has been done, should they attempt to
organize. Without a membership educated in the principles of cooperation
and without sustained interest, a cooperative is doomed to failure. The
spirit of cooperation is always essential to the success of a cooperative.
149. Members of cooperatives should not allow themselves to be lured on by
materialistic or utilitarian considerations. In the long run, as experience
shows, materialistic objectives will be disastrous to them and will usher
in the abuses of the amoral capitalism, which they seek to displace, by
opening the door to graft and racketeering, to fraudulent administration,
to misrepresentation of consumer's goods, and to other vicious and sinful
abuses. Remote and absentee control is one of the hazards of a cooperative.
Co-ordination of local units should be secured without sacrificing local
autonomy through centralized control.
150. Social justice must form the groundwork of cooperatives. "It is of the
very essence of social justice to demand from each individual all that is
necessary for the common good." In the cooperative, the members must
realize that only if they contribute their proportionate share to the
common good, will the cooperative be of value to them.
151. Social charity must be the soul of every cooperative enterprise.
Referring to the whole economic regime, Pius XI says that "social charity
should, as it were, be the soul of this order." In the absence of social
charity the wisest regulations come to nothing. "Then only will it be
possible to unite all in harmonious striving for the common good, when all
sections of society have the intimate conviction that they are members of a
single family and children of the same Heavenly Father, and further, that
they are 'one body in Christ and every one members one of another' so that
'if one member suffer anything, all members suffer with it.'"
152. The foundations, therefore, of genuine cooperatives are Christian. It
should be emphasized that in a genuine cooperative the members stand in a
definite ethical and religious relation one to another; hence they have not
only rights but also duties. Without the ethical principles and the
religious ideals of the Christian religion, cooperatives will become close-
knit oligarchies, actuated by selfish and monopolistic policies. The
pursuit of selfish interests cannot but lead to economic warfare among the
153. The State should foster and protect cooperatives through proper
legislation and through loans at reasonable interest rates. The State,
however, should refrain from exerting an arbitrary control over them.
154. While cooperatives are not proposed as a panacea for all conceivable
economic and social ills, nevertheless soundly established cooperatives
will be potent agencies for the protection of the farming group. Properly
organized and properly managed, cooperatives should achieve the following
results: fair prices to the farmer for his products and fair prices to the
consumer, the maintenance of high standards in the marketing of quality
goods, the prevention of proletarianism by bringing about a wider
distribution of property, and cultural advantages for the farm family and
for the community. By reason of the organic union, which they effect among
their members and through mutual cooperation, "the attainment of earthly
happiness is placed within the reach of all."
155. Conducted in a truly Christian spirit, cooperatives will be valuable
schools for training in social virtues, such as resourcefulness,
responsibility, mutual helpfulness, justice, and charity. From cooperative
enterprise will come other important social by-products, such as folk
drama, folk song, folk music, and folk literature. Folk schools have
achieved remarkable success in countries where cooperatives flourish among
the rural people. Catholic rural life will be strengthened under a system
of cooperatives conducted in accordance with well-tried democratic
principles and inspired by ideals of social justice and charity.
CHAPTER XIV RURAL CREDIT
156. Credit is the lifeblood of the economic body, necessary for the
manufacturer and the merchant and necessary also for the farmer. The farmer
needs long-term credit, furnished at reasonable interest and repayment
terms, to buy his land and to build his home, barns, sheds, and other farm
buildings. To make improvements on the land by clearing, draining, and
fencing it, as well as to purchase the necessary machinery, horses, cattle,
poultry, and other farm animals, he may need intermediate credit. Short-
term credit may be needed to help the farmer obtain seed in the spring and
carry the crop until he can get it to the markets in the fall. If it is
necessary to hold his crop in crib, elevator, granary, or other storage
place until the market is favorable, he may require additional short-term
157. In the past the farmer obtained his credit in various ways Individual
lenders, local people with money to invest including retired farmers,
granted him the advances he may have needed to acquire his farmstead.
Bankers in rural towns loaned him money for short-time needs. Implement
companies arranged with him for the purchase on the installment plan of
machinery needed to run the farm. Insurance, trust, and mortgage companies
made him loans for various purposes.
158. But only too often the terms of the loans were onerous, interest rates
were high, and the plan of payments on the loans was not flexible enough.
As a result, if in a series of years crops failed because of drought, hail,
insect pests, or some other calamity, or if prices of farm commodities were
abnormally low, foreclosures of farms were not infrequent. Farmers lost
their equities in the farms; years of savings vanished. They then either
drifted into the city to look for work or continued to farm as tenants. The
large increase in tenancy today is due, to no small extent, to the usurious
methods used in the past in financing the farmer.
159. Whenever possible, the farmer should seek to lay aside some of his
earnings for years when crops are poor or prices low. The virtue of thrift
is very important for the farmer. He should avoid miserliness, on the one
hand, and extravagance, on the other. Many farmers have been brought to
ruin because they were greedy for land; they acquired more land than they
could operate with the members of the family; they began to farm to make
money rather than to make a living. Speculating in land, mortgaging all
they had, they lost all and made themselves poor. Balanced thrift and
joyous contentment are virtues indispensable to success in farming.
160. Since the individual farmer does not command much credit, he should
strengthen whatever credit he may have, by joining it with the credit of
other good farmers of the community. Pooling resources in cooperative
credit associations is of great advantage to the member farmers. Interest
rates can be kept low, repayments can be made on reasonable terms,
character can be used as collateral, and in every way credit terms can be
made more favorable. Wherever developed, such credit associations have been
instrumental in reducing foreclosures on farms. Moreover, they have enjoyed
the confidence of governmental loaning agencies.
161. The purpose of such credit associations should be to help not only the
farmer already on the farm but also the young farmer who wishes to have a
farm of his own. Properly organized, such credit associations can be the
depositary of the liquid assets of a farmer for bad times and can serve as
an agency for the elimination of commissions, high fees, and extra charges,
usually incident to loans. These are all important items because they
increase the costs of farming by a very appreciable amount. The State
should assist such cooperative credit associations in their beginnings
through favorable legislation and adequate money advances. In doing so, the
State promotes public well-being because farm Ownership is rendered more
secure, wealth is more equitably distributed, and a large portion of the
nation's population is taught the important lesson of self-help. Healthy
agrarianism is undoubtedly one of the chief assets, if not the chief asset,
of a State.
1. Pius XI, "Atheistic Communism," n. 68.
2. Pius XI, "Atheistic Communism," n. 51.
3. Pius XI, "Reconstruction of the Social Order," p. 29.
4. Ibid., p. 44.
5. Pius XI, "Atheistic Communism," n. 29.
CHAPTER XV AGRICULTURE IN THE ECONOMIC ORGANISM
162. In his encyclical on the "Reconstruction of the Social Order," Pope
Pius XI deplores the fact that "social life lost entirely its organic
form." This resulted from the amoral individualism of the past century,
which atomized societary life into different economic units, each
independent of the other and each working for its own selfish purposes
regardless of the well-being of others in society.
163. In the social order there are parts and parts, members, as it were, of
one and the same social body; each member is different from the other and
each has its special function; but each is necessary also for the well-
being of the whole. If one part of the social body suffers, the whole
suffers. A society that is founded on classes with divergent claims, each
opposed to the other, cannot be healthy; social ills of a varied kind will
afflict the social body in such a state of things. To be sound and well,
all the members of the social body must work together in harmonious
cooperation. This is an important principle in organic life.
164. This principle has been very much disregarded in the relations between
agriculture and industry. Industry has gone its own way without much
thought of the needs of agriculture, and vice versa. Yet the two are
vitally dependent upon each other. If the thirty-five to forty million farm
people of the nation receive an unfair price for agricultural products,
their purchasing power is reduced. They can no longer buy what industry
produces and places on the market for sale. When markets become glutted,
merchants no longer place orders, manufacturers stop their machinery and
send their workers home, and millions of factory workers and their families
are in distress. If, on the contrary, workers in industry are underpaid,
they cannot consume in sufficient quantities the products that come from
165. In all conferences called by the government to improve the economic
order, not only should capital and labor be brought together, but the
farmer, too, should have representation.
166. Organizations of bankers, businessmen, employers, and employees should
not disregard agriculture, in drawing up their respective economic
programs. Any improvement in the farmer's condition spells improvement for
the banker. the manufacturer, the merchant, and the factory worker. In
planning legislation, the entire organic life of the nation should receive
consideration. Laws should be integral; piecemeal legislation is always
harmful. Tariff legislation has often favored industry at the expense of
the farmer. To protect by a high tariff the industrial products which the
farmer must buy is equal to putting a tax on the farmer's income. His
purchasing power is thereby reduced, and as a result other sectors of
167. Of great importance is the maintenance of a parity of prices between
agriculture and industry. This is not an easy task; it bristles with
difficulties. It may involve regimentation of the farmer by the government.
It were better if the farming group were thoroughly organized; then,
through the economic and the political power of organization, the farmer
would achieve, in a notable degree, a balance between the prices he
receives for his products and the prices he pays for the things needed on
168. Of concern to the farmer is the decline of the birth rate in
industrial centers. Such a decline of birth rate is equivalent to a
shrinking of markets. As markets shrink, the surpluses in wheat, corn,
cotton, and other agricultural commodities will become more and more a
serious problem. Technological progress allows the farmer to produce more
per farm unit than in former years. Less man power also is needed on the
farm. The advocacy of an economy of abundance in agricultural products
stands in patent contradiction to the advocacy of an economy of scarcity in
population. Upon a normal increase of people in the nation will depend a
proper balance of markets. Legislative remedies will be of small avail in
seeking balanced markets if the forces of birth control go about unhindered
in undermining the supports of the market by advocating measures that make
for a shrinking population.
1. Pius XI, "Reconstruction of thc Social Order," p. 26.
CHAPTER XVI RURAL TAXATION
169. The primary purpose of taxation is to provide the several political
units, such as townships, school districts, cities, counties, states, and
the Federal Government, with the necessary funds to carry on their
respective political functions in the interest of the public well-being.
170. In recent times, however, taxation has also been used for economic and
social purposes; namely, to destroy business harmful to health or life, to
make impossible bad financial practices, to prevent harmful concentration
of economic power, to effect a better distribution of wealth, and to
eliminate abuses in trade and commerce. Taxation may be legitimately used
for such purposes. It may not be carried, however, to the point where
private property can no longer exist. "The State is, therefore, unjust and
cruel," writes Pope Leo XIII, "if in the name of taxation, it deprives the
private owner of more than is just." Pope Pius XI amplifies this statement
of his illustrious predecessor as follows: "Hence, the prudent Pontiff had
already declared it unlawful for the State to exhaust the means of
individuals by crushing taxes and tributes. 'The right to possess private
property is derived from nature, not from man; and the State has by no
means the right to abolish it, but only to control its use and bring it
into harmony with the interests of the public good.'"
171. If rural society is to be well served, an adequate amount of taxes
must be collected. Indeed, rural society profits from a wise and prudent
expenditure of tax money for roads, electrification, sanitation, flood
control, conservation of natural resources, eradication of harmful weeds
and insects, schools, libraries, and other social utilities provided by the
State to promote public welfare. It would be false economy to neglect the
greatest of all natural resources--human health, life, and culture--by
failing to provide for the public services necessary to maintain them.
172. There has been a trend, however, to expand government functions beyond
reasonable limits. Larger funds are required by governments than a
generation ago. Governments, like individuals, may live beyond their means
and heavily mortgage the future in order to maintain the new vested
interests of public servants and officials. Government costs have been
increased also through a waste of public funds by expending them on unwise
and unprofitable projects; by duplicating governments, municipal, township,
county, state, and federal; by erecting expensive school buildings and
furnishing unnecessary equipment because of a false philosophy of
education; and by the entrance of the State into fields of activity which
should be reserved for private and cooperative endeavor. Public funds for
social welfare and relief could be conserved through a fuller use of the
facilities offered by private agencies, especially since these agencies,
dominated as they are by the spirit of charity and religion, can
rehabilitate where government efforts fail.
173. Since most of the taxes levied are property taxes, it is inevitable
that taxes come to rest most heavily on the land. The farmer pays, in
consequence, a disproportionately larger share of taxes than does the urban
dweller. This is the conclusion of all economists who have gathered and
studied the facts bearing on this question. It is, therefore, the better
part of wisdom, if the farmer scrutinizes with keen vigilance new proposals
for extending State activities that involve heavy expenditures of money.
174. Because of high taxes tenants become discouraged and do not strive for
ownership; farm owners find themselves unable to pay taxes, with the result
that farmsteads are lost through foreclosure or revert to the State as idle
lands. The State is faced with the problem either of allowing the land to
produce inferior species of trees, or of reforesting it at heavy public
costs, or of letting other farmers occupy land that has failed to produce
even its taxes. It is a known fact that high taxes tend to increase
interest rates. And high interest rates make it difficult for tenants to
become eventual owners. High taxes become a serious practical problem not
only for the farmer but also for Church, school, and other social
175. Many correctives need to be applied to the tax structure in Rural
America. The property tax puts a heavy burden on the farmer, especially in
years of crop failure. This tax was once an equitable tax, when the nation
was more than go per cent agricultural. But today property is held in other
forms--stocks, bonds, savings accounts? and other less tangible and less
visible forms. Those newer forms of property possession open avenues for
tax escape. The farmer, on the other hand, cannot conceal his land and
barns and sheds. They are seen by the assessor. Assessments are also often
inequitable; great variations occur not infrequently within the same
township. Assessments on small properties frequently represent a higher
proportion of real value than assessments on large properties.
176. How can these inequalities be corrected? Various measures have been
suggested. The exemption from taxation of farm homesteads up to a certain
value is receiving wider and wider consideration. Some are urging a farm-
products tax in order to relieve the farm owner from tax burdens when his
crop is poor or when prices are low. Others advocate a progressive land
tax. A progressive land tax would tend to promote the family-size type of
farm, discourage large holdings for speculative purposes, and reduce to a
necessary minimum commercialized farming, with its system of manager,
foremen, and hired laborers. To achieve a more equitable apportionment of
taxes, as between farm and city dweller, it has been proposed also to
increase tax rates on intangible wealth, represented by stocks, bonds, and
other instruments of ownership, as well as on income derived from
inheritance. In considering all these proposals, the one aim to be kept in
view constantly is the achieving of a better measure of social justice for
the farmer by relieving him of inequitable tax burdens.
177. In order to prevent speculation in land, serious consideration should
be given to fair and practical proposals to tax the unearned increment of
land values. This would assure property rights to those who by their labor
turned "the sands of the desert into gold" and who by unremitting toil
applied brain and brawn to the resources of God's nature. Not by
speculation do nations grow rich, but only by the toil of its workingmen.
178. The farmer should beware of rash promises held out by tariff
legislation. Such legislation is usually nothing less than a tax which he
as consumer pays for the things he needs for farm and home. While the
farmer needs a tariff for protection against unfair practices of dumping
agricultural products into his home market, nevertheless he should not
allow himself to be deluded into believing that tariffs necessarily
guarantee stable prices either in home or in foreign markets. Despite high
tariff-walls, prices for his products not infrequently are very low. The
tariff is often a double-edged sword used against the farmer. On the one
hand, it raises the prices of the industrial goods which he buys; on the
other, it leads to retaliatory measures of foreign nations against the
agricultural surpluses which he cannot sell in his home market.
179. Schemes to lower the value of money often contain hidden forces, which
in effect are those of taxation. Devaluation of money standards is
equivalent to a tax on foreign importations; home manufacturers and
merchants are protected in proportion to the amount of devaluation and
consequently may raise prices behind this new wall of protection. The
farmer as a consumer pays for this protection every time he buys an article
on the industrial market. Theoretically, he too should benefit from higher
prices because of the cheapening of money; but practically it does not work
out that way, particularly in years when bumper crops automatically shut
out foreign importations.
180. Taxation is a very important subject for consideration in any plan to
improve the economic status of the farmer. Consideration should be given to
the uses which are to be made of tax money as well as to the equitable
distribution of the burden and to the types of taxation which exert a
beneficial effect on the rural economy. Information is available for
remedying many of the iniquities in our tax system. Further studies are
necessary to provide a comprehensive reform.
1. Leo XIII, "The Condition of Labor," p. 27.
2. Pius XI, "Reconstruction of the Social Order," p. 17.
PART II ANNOTATIONS
A number of persons, of the clergy and of the laity, aided directly and
indirectly in the publication of the MANIFESTO. A group of them met in St.
Louis, April 13-14, 1937, to discuss the scope and contents of such a
MANIFESTO. They were: The Most Rev. Bishops Edwin V. O'Hara, Karl Alter, A.
J. Muench, C. H. Winkelmann; Rt. Rev. Msgr. J. M. Wolfe; Revs. W. Howard
Bishop, James A. Byrnes, J. M. Campbell, G. Estergaard, L. G. Ligutti, John
LaFarge, S.J., Virgil Michel, O.S.B., K. J. Miller, C.SS.R., William T.
Mulloy, J. H. Ostdiek, Felix N. Pitt, Vincent J. Ryan, Edgar Schmiedeler,
O.S.B., Rudolph B. Schuler, Joseph Steinhauser, Louis N. Zirbes; Miss
Dorothy J. Willmann, the Messrs. Frank Bruce, F. P. Kenkel, and Joseph
Out of this group committees were appointed to draw up statements on
various phases of rural life. These statements furnished materials for a
tentative draft of a MANIFESTO, which was submitted to the participants of
the St. Louis group for criticism and suggestions. The tentative draft was
revised and amended in accordance with suggestions and recommendations
offered, and was submitted to the Executive Board of the National Catholic
Rural Life Conference for further action. The Board suggested a Committee
composed of the Most Rev. Aloisius J. Muench, Bishop of Fargo, the Very
Rev. Dr. Vincent J. Ryan, and the Very Rev. William T. Mulloy, both of the
city of Fargo, to prepare a revision of the tentative draft so as to secure
greater uniformity of structure and style.
This Committee held a series of meetings throughout the winter of 1937-38
and prepared a final redaction of the MANIFESTO for further consideration
by the Executive Board of the Conference. In preparing this redaction other
authorities in the field of industrial or rural economics and sociology
were consulted. Valuable comments and constructive criticism were obtained
from Rt. Rev. Msgrs. John O'Grady, Francis J. Haas, and John A. Ryan; the
Revs. Urban Baer, Dr. George Johnson, Marcellus Leisen, O.S.B., A. McGowan,
J. C. Rawe, S.J., A. M. Schwitalla, S.J.; Mr. Francis M. Crowley, Mr. J. M.
Sevenich, and Dr. O. E. Baker.
At the National Convention of the Conference in Vincennes, September, 1938,
after careful consideration and thorough discussion, the MANIFESTO was
approved and ordered to be published by the Board. It remained to compile
the materials for the Annotations. This required painstaking research and
many hours of labor. Special acknowledgment should be expressed to the Very
Rev. Dr. Vincent J. Ryan for his editorial services in preparing the
manuscript of the MANIFESTO as well as for his untiring labors in
completing the Annotations. In the gathering of these, most valuable
assistance was given by Rev. Dr. Edgar Schmiedeler, O.S.B., Secretary of
the Catholic Rural Life Bureau, Rev. James A. Byrnes, Executive Secretary
of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference, Rev. Marcellus Leisen,
O.S.B., and his rural sociology class at St. John's University, Rev. J. H.
Ostdiek, Rev. John C. Rawe, S.J., Rev. W. Howard Bishop, Rev. Rudolph B.
Schuler, and Dr. H. L. Walster, Dean, North Dakota Agricultural College.
In making these acknowledgments there is no intention, it is superfluous to
say, of making any one person accountable for the opinions expressed and
the conclusions set forth in the MANIFESTO. It is a composite work of many
minds who gave serious attentions to manifold, and at times,
controvertible, positions taken in the MANIFESTO.
ALOISIUS J. MUENCH
Bishop of Fargo
Annotations on Chapter I
THE RURAL CATHOLIC FAMILY
The compilers acknowledge their debt of gratitude to the Most Reverend V.
O'Hara, Bishop of Kansas City, for much of the material and phraseology in
the first three paragraphs. Cf. the following works of Bishop O'Hara:
"Church and the Country Community" (Macmillan Company, 1927), and,
"Spiritual and Material Mission to Rural America," Catholic Rural Life
Objectives (First Series, 1935).
"The family may be regarded as the cradle of civil society, and it is in
great measure within the circle of family life that the destiny of the
State is fostered."--"Chief Duties of Christians as Citizens," 1 p. 106.
1. In a letter to the Catholic people of Uruguay on the occasion of the
Centenary Celebration of their National Independence, Pius XI wrote: "The
family, because it is the fountain source of human existence and the
fundamental bond by which through an unbreakable love one individual is
bound to another, is the basic unit of society. Upon the material well-
being and the moral purity of the family depend the morality and the well-
being of the community. Steps, therefore, taken to improve home life
physically or ethically or to give economic security to the home, are steps
taken for the good of the community; and steps by which the dignity, the
sanctity or the inviolable unity of the home are undermined are steps which
lead straight to decadence endangering the very life itself of organized
2. "The family as a social institution is stronger in rural areas than in
urban centers. The farmstead is not like a shop, office, or factory to
which men and women go in the morning and leave again at night, but it is
also a homestead. Where farm ownership is rendered secure the homestead is
held in honor by generation after generation as it passes on from father to
son. The farmstead is for all members an economic unit. Young and old,
father, mother, and children have a common stake in it. The vicissitudes of
the climate, the approach of the seasons for sowing and harvesting, the
land, the seed, the machinery, the fowl and cattle--all evoke a daily
interest around the table at meal time or in the evening as the family
gathers around the fireside. These are all important elements to hold the
family together."--Muench, Aloisius J., "The Catholic Church and Rural
Welfare" in "Catholic Rural Life Objectives" (Third Series, 1937), p. 16.
3. "In large metropolitan areas 19.0 per cent of the homes were broken in
1930; in villages the figure was 14.7 per cent, while in country areas it
was only 8.1 per cent."--Kolb-Brunner, "A Study of Rural Society" (Boston:
Houghton Mifflin), p. 26.
"The employment of married women is a subject of great importance today. It
is linked so closely with the welfare of the home and the family and
related so definitely in the long run to the health of the race and the
progress of the Nation that it has become one of the most complex problems
before the country."--Eleventh Annual Report of the Director of the Women's
Bureau (U. S. Dept. of Labor, Women's Bureau, 1929), p. 25.
Cf. Haas, F. J., "Man and Society" (1930), pp. 171-175; on "Married Women
Wage-earners." Monsignor Haas estimated that there were two million married
women wage earners at the time his book was written.
4. "The causa causans of the declining birth rate within the western
European sphere of civilization is the striving spirit, a derivation of
capitalistic mentality."--Von Ungern-Sternberg, Roderick, "The Causes of
Declining Birth Rate within the European Sphere of Civilization," Eugenics
Research Association, Monograph IV (1931), p. 202.
"More important than the striving spirit, apparently, is the fact that in
agriculture the family is the economic unit, whereas in industry and
commerce the individual is the economic unit. In agriculture a wife, or at
least a family to live with, is almost essential in operating a farm, and
children can work and probably more than pay their way from ten years of
age onward. This has been truer in the past than at present, when school
takes so large a proportion of children's time up to the age of 14 years,
and frequently to a later age. In urban occupations, on the other hand, a
wife contributes little to the family income, unless she works outside the
home, and under such circumstances it is difficult to raise a family.
Children, likewise, contribute little, if anything to the income in the
cities until they are about ready to start a home of their own. And in the
professional and upper business classes, children not only must be sent
through college, but sometimes need to be supported for a few years
afterward. They are commonly an economic liability from birth till
marriage. Under such circumstances, and assuming the absence of widespread
religious or patriotic convictions, it is to be expected that rigid
restriction will occur in the size of the family among urban dwellers,
except, as previously noted, among the rich by inheritance."--Baker, O. E.,
"The Church and Rural Youth" in "Catholic Rural Life Objectives" (Series
Dr. Baker sums up his conclusion in the following words "A civilization to
be permanent must be based primarily on agriculture, or on some other
culture in which the family is the economic unit. In the rural family,
children have a place, and the work they do tends to strengthen rather than
to weaken character. In the rural family the aged also have a place--a
useful, respected place."--Loc. cit.
"The Problems of a Changing Population "(U. S. Printing Office, Washington,
D. C.). A report of the Committee on Population Problems to the National
Resources Committee, issued May, 1938. The majority report forecasts a
decline In population starting by 1980. The minority report, with no little
evidence to support it, states that the decline will begin by 1955 and by
1980 the population will have slipped back from its 1955 high by ten
5. "Taken all in all, in the rural family, ideals of virtue are sounder,
religion is held in greater honor, children obtain a better training in
affairs than the youth of the streets, and the spirit of democracy is more
easily schooled where members cooperate on the same economic basis, than is
the case in urban families who often live in congested city areas, whose
members are in dally contact with the materialism and sensuality of the
world and pursue each different ways of life independent of one another and
motivated largely by selfish interests. Domestic or home virtues thrive
better in the rugged atmosphere of the farm home than in the artificial and
blighting air of the city."--Muench, Aloisius J., "The Catholic Church and
Rural Welfare" in "Catholic Rural Life Objectives" (Third Series, 1937), p.
"Subsistence agriculture utilizes the services of all the adult and
adolescent members of the family, with due regard for their divergent
capacities, in the production, as far as is practical in a given locality,
of the things which supply at least the food requirements of the family.
Children are welcome on such family farms, because at an early age there is
much wholesome work that they can do with profit to their character and
health. Through this preservation of the family economy and family life,
the family farm alone can give us the rising birthrate needed to replenish
our dying populations."--Rawe, J. C., "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of
Happiness in Agriculture" in "Catholic Rural Life Objectives" (Second
Series, 1936), p. 42.
The farm business has one special advantage, which is not to be minimized.
It is really a family cooperative. Father and sons plow and cultivate and
harvest; mother and daughters take care of the chickens, milk the cows,
churn the butter; and even the little children do many chores--all so
beautifully co-ordinated that the operation of their particular farm is a
family accomplishment. If America needs anything today it needs just such
solidly integrated family life.
8. "The problem, however, is not altogether economic. There are too many
cases where farmers can easily afford modern houses equipped with modern
conveniences and do not, to lay the deficiency all to inadequate incomes.
It is often a matter of educating country people to a proper standard of
living. Primitive standards carried over from pioneer days too often
prevail. The habit of doing without things too often reigns. But when once
the benefits to be derived are clearly demonstrated old standards and
habits tend to give way. If one farmer in a neighborhood installs a modern
heating, light or water plant others are likely to see the advantages and
follow suit."--Sims, Newell LeRoy, "Elements of Rural Sociology" (New York:
Thomas Y. Crowell), p. 455.
9. "There were, in the United States in 1929, approximately 1,700,000 farms
which yielded gross farm income of less than $600, based on value of
products sold, traded, or used; a few more than 900,000 farms that yielded
less than $400 income; and almost 400,000 farms that yielded less than
$250. On these farms yielding less than $600 income, approximately
7,700,000 men, women, and children lived, whose lives were disadvantaged
because of the lack of purchasing power....
"During the depression, at least 31/2 million, or more than 1 out of every
4, rural families in the United States had received public assistance at
some time."--"Disadvantaged Classes in American Agriculture," Social
Research Report No. VIII (United States Dept. of Agriculture), pp. 5, 6.
"A study of 1,935 families living in 'submarginal land purchase areas' of
Kentucky shows 28 percent of them living in log houses and 50 percent
living in 'box' houses: 63 families with more than five members each were
living in one-room houses; and in five such cases, the families had ten or
"The value of 228 houses included in a study of Knott County in the same
State averaged $340, ranging from $20 to $7,000. Twenty-eight percent of
the home-makers interviewed in that county reported that the roof leaked.
In a study of Grayson County in Kentucky it was found that the average
value of houses was $931, the range being from $50 to $8,000. In a recent
study of 816 Appalachian Mountain families, it was revealed that about 75
percent of their homes were heated by fireplaces and more than 90 percent
were lighted by oil lamps. Approximately 38 percent used springs as their
main water supply and less than 10 percent had telephones.
"In some semiarid sections, where correct, land-use adjustment
had not yet been accomplished, thousands of families, after two or three
generations of settlement, are still living in sod houses or modified
dugouts."--Ibid., p. 59.
In comparing the laborsaving devices of the city and the country home,
Bishop O'Hara made the following observation in 1927: "There are many farm
homes now as well equipped with these conveniences as are the great
majority of city homes, and with the rapid development of rural
engineering, especially in the application of electricity to farm needs,
the farm woman will not be greatly handicapped in this respect. Besides no
small part of the farm woman's enjoyment will consist in progressively
securing these labor-savers."--O'Hara, Edwin V., "The Church and the
Country Community" (The Macmillan Co.), p. 41.
Since these words were written rural electrification has seen a great
development. It promises to eliminate drudgery from many farm activities.
12. "More serious still is the possible loss of quality in the stock that
is being sifted by migration. Rural exodus apparently often means stock
depletion. It seems to be those with push and initiative who tend to
migrate while the less enterprising and mediocre individuals are left
behind. There is abundant evidence of depletion in many sections, as any
observer of rural conditions can testify."--Sims, Newell LeRoy, "Elements
of Rural Sociology" (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell), p. 319.
1. The Encyclicals of Pius XI are quoted from the N.C.W.C. editions of
these works. References to Leo XIII's "Thc Condition of Labor" are to "Four
Great Encyclicals" (Paulist Press). References to other Encyclicals of Leo
XIII in "Great Encyclical Letters of Leo XIII," edited by Rev. J. J. Wynne,
S.J., (Benziger Bros.)
Annotations on Chapter II
FARM OWNERSHIP AND LAND TENANCY
13. "Man is older than the State and he holds the right of providing for
the life of his body prior to the formation of any State. And to say that
God has given the earth to the use and enjoyment of the universal human
race is not to deny that there can be private property. For God has granted
the earth to mankind in general; not in the sense that all without
distinction can deal with it as they please, but rather that no part of it
has been assigned to any one in particular, and that the limits of private
possession have been left to be fixed by man's own industry and the
institutions of individual peoples Moreover, the earth, though divided
among private owners ceases not thereby to minister to the needs of all;
for there is no one who does not live on what the land brings forth." Leo
XIII, "The Condition of Labor," pp. 4, 5.
"With reason, therefore, the common opinion of mankind, little affected by
the few dissentients who have maintained the opposite view, has found in
the study of nature, and in the law of nature herself, the foundations of
the division of property, and has consecrated by the practice of all ages
the principle of private ownership, as being pre-eminently in conformity
with human nature, and as conducing in the most unmistakable manner to the
peace and tranquillity of human life."--Ibid., p. 6.
"Community of goods is set down as a part of the natural law, not as though
it were a dictate of natural law that things should be possessed in common,
and that there should be no private property, but because the marking off
of separate possessions is not done by nature herself but rather according
to human convention."--"Summa Theol.," 2a, 2ae, q. LXVI, art. 2.
St. Thomas Aquinas advances the following arguments to prove the necessity
of private property for individual and social welfare:
"Every one is more careful to look after what is his own private concern
than after what is common to all or many, since every one avoids labor and
leaves to another to do the duty that belongs to a number of persons in
common, as happens where there are many persons to wait on you. Human
affairs are handled in a more orderly fashion where every individual has
his own care of something to look to; whereas there would be confusion if
every one indiscriminately took the management of anything he pleased. A
peaceful state of society is better ensured, every one being content with
his own lot. Hence we see that disputes arise not uncommonly among those
who have any possession in joint stock."--"Summa Theol.," 2a, 2ae, q. LXVI,
"Speaking generally, a division of goods and of ownership
titles proceeds from the law of nature, for natural reason dictates such
division as necessary in the present circumstances of fallen nature and
dense populations."--Cardinal de Lugo, "De Justitia et Jure," d. 6, s. I.
Courts throughout the United States have consistently recognized in their
decisions that the right of ownership is a natural right. The following
terse statement from a legal decision of Justice Patterson in the case of
Van Horne v. Dorrance represents the American legal tradition in respect to
ownership: "The right of acquiring and possessing property and having it
protected, is one of the natural, inherent, and inalienable rights of man.
Men have a sense of property; property is necessary to their subsistence,
and correspondent to their natural wants and desires; its security was one
of the objects that induced them to unite in Society. No man would become a
member of a community, in which he could not enjoy the fruits of his honest
labor and industry. The preservation of property, then, is a primary object
of the social compact."--"Van Horne v. Dorrance," 2 Dall. 304 (1795).
14. "It is just and right that the result of labor should belong to him who
has labored."--Leo XIII, "The Condition of Labor," p. 6.
15. "That right of property, therefore, which has been proved to belong
naturally to individual persons must also belong to a man in his capacity
of head of a family; nay, such a person must possess this right so much the
more clearly in proportion as his position multiplies his duties. For it is
a most sacred law of nature that a father must provide food and all
necessaries for those whom he has begotten; and, similarly, nature dictates
that a man's children, who carry on, as it were, and continue his own
personality, should be provided by him with all that is needful to enable
them honorably to keep themselves from want and misery in the uncertainties
of this mortal life. Now in no other way can a father effect this except by
the ownership of profitable property, which he can transmit to his children
by inheritance. A family, no less than a State, is, as we have said, a true
society, governed by a power within itself, that is to say, by the father.
Wherefore, provided the limits be not transgressed which are prescribed by
the very purposes for which it exists, the family has, at least, equal
rights with the State in the choice and pursuit of those things which are
needful to its preservation and its just liberty."--Leo XIIII, "The
Condition of Labor," p. 7.
Referring to the teachings of his predecessor and theologians who taught
under the guidance of the Church, Pius XI writes:
"Their unanimous contention has always been that the right to own private
property has been given to man by nature or rather by the Creator Himself,
not only in order that individuals may be able to provide for their own
needs and those of their families, but also that by means of it, the goods
which the Creator has destined for the human race may truly serve this
purpose."--Pius XI, "Reconstruction of the Social Order," pp. 15, 16.
Cf., Ryan, John A., "Distributive Justice," Revised Ed., Chaps. IV and V
(Macmillan Co., 1927); also Cram, Ralph Adams, "What is a Free Man?" in
"Catholic Rural Life Objectives" (Third Series, 1937), p. 35.
16. "Private Ownership must be held sacred and inviolable."--Leo XIII, "The
Condition of Labor," p. 26.
"The right to possess private property is from nature, not from man; and
the State has only the right to regulate its use in the interests of the
public good, but by no means to abolish it altogether."--Ibid., p. 27.
"It follows from the two-fold character of ownership, which We have termed
individual and social, that men must take into account in this matter not
only their own advantage but also the common good. To define in detail
these duties, when the need occurs and when the natural law does not do so,
is the function of the government. Provided that the natural and divine law
be observed, the public authority, in view of the common good, may specify
more accurately what is licit and what is illicit for property owners in
the use of their possessions."--Pius XI, "Forty Years After," p. 17.
In the same passage Pius XI quotes from his illustrious predecessor Leo
XIII, the following qualifying words: "It is plain, however, that the State
may not discharge this duty in an arbitrary manner. Man's natural right of
possessing and transmitting property by inheritance must be kept intact and
cannot be taken away by the State from man."--Ibid., p. 17.
Pius XI also speaks of "the boundaries imposed by the requirements of
social life upon the right of ownership itself or upon its use."--Ibid., p.
17. "It belongs to what is called commutative justice faithfully to respect
the possessions of others, not encroaching on the rights of another and
thus exceeding one's rights of ownership. The putting of one's own
possessions to proper use, however, does not fall under this form of
justice, but under certain other virtues, and therefore it is 'a duty not
enforced by courts of justice.' Hence it is idle to contend that the right
of ownership and its proper use are bounded by the same limits; and it is
even less true that the very misuse or even the non-use of ownership
destroys or forfeits the right itself."--Pius XI, "Reconstruction of the
Social Order," p. 16.
"But if the question be asked, How must one's possessions be used? the
Church replies without hesitation in the words of the same holy Doctor (St.
Thomas Aquinas): 'Man should not consider his outward possessions as his
own, but as common to all, so as to share them without difficulty when
others are in need.... Whoever has received from the Divine bounty a large
share of blessings, whether they be external and corporal or gifts of the
mind, has received them for the purpose of using them for perfecting his
own nature, and, at the same time, that he may employ them, as the minister
of God's Providence, for the benefit of others. 'He that hath a talent,'
says St. Gregory the Great, 'let him see that he hideth not; he that hath
abundance, let him arouse himself to mercy and generosity he that hath art
and skill, let him do his best to share the use and utility thereof with
his neighbor.'"--Leo XIII, "The Condition of Labor," pp. 13, 14.
18. "There is, therefore, a double danger to be avoided. On the one hand,
if the social and public aspect of ownership be denied or minimized, the
logical consequence is 'Individualism,' as it is called; on the other hand,
the rejection or diminution of its private and individual character
necessarily leads to some form of 'Collectivism.' "--Pius XI,
"Reconstruction of the Social Order," p. 16.
19. "It is true that there is a formal difference between pauperism and
proletarianism. Nevertheless, the immense number of propertyless wage-
earners on the one hand, and the superabundant riches of the fortunate few
on the other, is an unanswerable argument that the earthly goods so
abundantly produced in this age of industrialism are far from rightly
distributed and equitably shared among the various classes of men."--Pius
XI, "Reconstruction of the Social Order," p. 21.
"Among social institutions that touch upon the material well-being of
people, postulate high moral qualities, and produce rich social by-
products, few, if any, are the equal of private property. Basic to peace,
order, and progress is the security of private property. On this account
Pope Leo XIII, almost 50 years ago, in his celebrated encyclical, "Rerum
Novarum"--"On the Condition of Workingmen"--developed at length arguments
in behalf of private property. 'The law, therefore, should favor
ownership,' he wrote, 'and its policy should be to induce as many people as
possible to become owners.' Many excellent results will follow from such a
governmental policy. First of all property will be more equitably divided.
Many of the economic and social evils of our day go back to the fact that
the distribution of wealth is not more equitable. 'Wealth, therefore, which
is constantly augmented by social economic progress, must be so distributed
amongst the various individuals and classes of society,' emphasizes Pope
Pius XI in his encyclical on the "Reconstruction of the Social Order,"
'that the needs of all, of which Leo XIII spoke, be thereby satisfied.'--
Muench, Aloisius J., "The Catholic Church and Rural Welfare" in "Catholic
Rural Objectives" (Third Series, 1937), p. 17.
20. "The general trend . . . has been toward tenancy, with a lessening
ratio of equity in farm real estate held by the farm operator. In brief,
farmers are gradually losing ownership of the land.
"The proportion of farms operated by tenants has increased from 35 percent
in 1900, 37 percent in 1910, and 38 percent in 1920 to 42 percent in 1930
and in 1935. The percentage of farm land operated under lease has increased
from 31 percent in 1900, 33 percent in 1910, and 37 percent in 1920 to 44
percent in 1930 and 45 percent in 1935. The equities of the farm operators
of the Nation constituted 54 percent of the value of all farm real estate
in 1900, 50 percent in 1910, 46 percent in 1920, 42 percent in 1930, and
have presumably decreased even further since 1930.
"The proportion of farms operated by tenants who owned none of the land
they farmed ranged in 1935 from 70 percent in Mississippi to 6 percent in
Massachusetts. The proportion of farm land under lease to the operator in
1935 ranged from 62 percent in South Dakota to 8 percent in Maine and
Massachusetts. The equities of the farm operators in all farm real estate
in 1930 ranged from an average of less than 30 percent in the three states,
Illinois, Iowa, and South Dakota, to an average of over 70 percent in the
three states of Maine, New Hampshire, and West Virginia, with a low of 28
percent in South Dakota and a high of 78 percent in Maine...."--
"Miscellaneous Publication," No. 261(U.S.D.A. 1936), pp. 1, 2.
Another way in which the increase of tenancy is shown is the following on a
basis of counties: "There were only 180 counties in 1880 wherein as many as
half the farms were tenant operated, and practically all these were in the
South; but in 1935 such counties totaled 890, and they effectively
blanketed the Cotton Belt and much of the more fertile parts of the Corn
Belt as well. The number of counties wherein half or more of the land in
farms was under lease to the operator was 403 in 1910, 772 in 1925, 1,020
in 1930, and 1,107 in 1935.--Ibid., p. 3.
"The increase in farm tenancy, in both numbers and percentage of all
farmers was steady from 1880 to 1930, although at varying rates from decade
to decade. The numbers added each decade for this 50-year period were as
follows: from 1880 to 1890, 270,392; 1890 to 1900, 730,051; 1900 to 1910,
329,712; 1910 to 1920, 100,128; and 1920 to 1930, 209,561. Between 1930 and
1935, another 200,790 were added making the number of tenant families 2.8
times as many in 1935 as in 1880."--"Disadvantaged Classes in American
agriculture," Social Research Report No. VIII (U.S.D.A), pp. 44, 46.
"The existence of almost 3,000,000 tenant families, the members of whose
households constitute approximately 13,000,000 farm people, sets a social
problem of the first magnitude with which the Nation must wrestle in an
intelligent and constructive way, for farm tenancy in many of its aspects
is a disadvantaging condition in the lives of those who live and work in
that status. The fact that the rate of tenancy has moved up from 25.6
percent in 1880 to 42.1 percent in 1935, and the fact that the number of
farm tenant families has almost troubled between 1880 and 1935 clearly
indicate that this condition is being aggravated rather than alleviated as
time goes on."--Ibid., p. 37.
At its worst, tenancy forces family living standards below levels of
decency; develops rural slums; and breeds poverty, illiteracy, and disease.
In such circumstances, tenant families live in houses of poor construction,
almost universally in need of repair, often without doors and windows, with
leaky roofs, and sometimes even without doors. Seldom are these houses
equipped with running water, electricity, bathrooms, or indoor toilets. The
surroundings are usually unsightly and devoid of beauty. The poorer tenant
family's food is simple, lacks in variety, and often lacks some of the
essentials of good nutrition. Their clothing, in a great many cases, is
inadequate for the mere protection of the body, much less to provide any
sense of satisfaction. The incessant movement from farm to farm and from
community to community of families living under such conditions constitutes
a disintegrating influence upon all social institutions and all forms and
types of social participation. Systematic church attendance is impossible,
neighborhood relations are constantly disrupted, and the children of tenant
parents find their school attendance periodically interrupted."--Ibid., p.
It is possible to conceive a tenancy system which works to the advantage of
tenant and owner. A certain amount of tenancy is a normal condition. Where
a tenancy system provides for long-term possession with reasonable rents
and proper housing, although it is not as satisfactory as ownership, it is
not wholly objectionable. Occasionally we have a condition of tenancy which
approximates a copartnership between tenant and owner. Tenancy as a step
toward ownership is not objectionable. But tenancy, in the United States,
generally speaking, is away from ownership. It frequently follows on the
loss of ownership. It usually is conditioned by short-term and insecure
possession and lack of cooperation between owner and tenant.
21. Parish, cooperative, and community organizations are greatly hampered
by a mobile tenant population which cannot be expected to take the
necessary interest in a community where their residence is insecure and
often only for a short period.
22. European countries that have made rapid strides in solving their
tenancy problems are Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland. In each case
the government has given some assistance.
23. Cf. "The Report of the President's Tenancy Committee" (Government
Printing Office, Washington, D. C.). On the basis of this report the 75th
Congress of the United States passed the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act,
approved July 22, 1937. The Act has four main subdivisions: Title I,
dealing with loans for the buying of land; Title II, with rehabilitation
loans and farm debt adjustment; Title III, with the retirement of
submarginal land; Title IV, with certain administrative provisions. A
popular summary of the Act is found in "Our Rural Proletariat," No. II
Social Action Series (National Catholic Welfare Conference).
Cf., "Report and Recommendations of the Farm Tenancy Committee," a special
committee of the Iowa State Planning Board. The findings of this committee
indicate the extent to which the evil of tenancy has spread in the most
fertile farming districts of America. The committee recommends definite
legislative measures to improve tenancy conditions. Included in these
recommendations are provisions for the improvement of tenant contracts.
24. Cf. MANIFESTO, Chapter XIII, on "Farmer Cooperatives." There is little
or no real justification for the disgraceful tenancy situation of the
United States. Considering our relatively small population and our normal
needs there is certainly no scarcity of land. Indeed, the United States is
blessed with an abundance of good, fertile soil. Land in farms amounted in
1935 to 1,055,180,009 acres. Of this, about 360,000,000 acres are normally
under cultivation. Over against this abundant supply of land is a
population of approximately 130,000,000, now not far from stationary.--Cf.
"The Farmer Looks ahead," Farmers' Bulletin No. 1774 (U.S.D.A.), p. 7.
Dr. O. E. Baker sees a major hazard to farm ownership in the United States
arising out of the transfer of wealth produced by the farm population from
the country to the city. He writes as follows: "Moreover, as the more
ambitious and better educated rural youth migrate to the cities and embark
on professional or business careers, the wealth of the farm population
tends to concentrate in the cities. If it costs $2,000 to $2,500 (at pre-
depression prices) to rear and educate the average child on American farms
to the age of 15, when he may be assumed to be self-supporting--and $150 a
year does not seem an excessive estimate of the cost of food, clothing,
medical services, education and all the incidental expenses--then the
6,300,000 net migration from the farms of the nation during the decade
1920-1929 represents a contribution of about $14,000,000,000. This
contribution is almost equal to the value of the wheat crops plus half that
of the cotton crops during these years.
"Nor is this all. When the farmer and his wife grow old and die, the estate
is divided among the children. During the decade 1920-1929 about one-fifth
of the farmers and their wives died, and their estates were distributed
among the children. Nearly half of the children had moved to town, and many
of those children who remained on the farms had to mortgage these farms to
pay the brothers and sisters who lived in the cities their share of the
estate. A rough estimate indicates that between $3,000,000,000 and
$4,000,000,000 was drained from the farms to the cities and villages during
the decade 1920-1929 incident to the settlement of estates.
"Although it is not intended to draw up a balance sheet of rural-urban
contributions, it is worthy of note, in passing, that there are great
movements of farm wealth to the cities in addition to those incident to
migration. Interest on debt paid to persons other than farm operators
amounted to about $7,500,000,000 during the decade 1920-1929, and rent paid
to persons other than farm operators amounted to about $10,500,000,000.
These payments are of a different character from the movement of wealth
incident to migration, but there can be but little doubt that portions of
these payments were for the use of capital that had been previously
transferred to the cities as a consequence of migration.
"The only adequate solution I can see to this problem of farm tenancy is
the transmission of the farm from father to son by inheritance. This
involves a change in the attitude of many rural youth towards farming, a
change in opinion as to things worth while, a different philosophy of
life."--Baker, O. E., "Will More or Fewer People Live on the Land" in
"Catholic Rural Life Objectives" (Second Series, 1936), p. 66.
In many areas the wrong use of the soil is a major cause of the low
economic status of farming groups and their consequent loss of ownership.
Farmers sometimes persist in pursuing a type of farming which scientific
studies have shown to be unprofitable in the long run. To cite an example,
the findings of the agricultural experts have been ignored by farming
groups in the Great Plains area. Owing to insufficiency of moisture this
area, while suitable for grazing, has been found unsuitable for grain
farming. Despite the recommendations made after scientific study, the
farming group persists in making wheat their major crop. The Federal
Government continues to make seed loans for this purpose, thus encouraging
a type of farming that cannot be made profitable.
Annotations on Chapter III
26. With large groups engaged in commercialized farming, overproduction is
inevitable. The extended and large-scale use of power machinery results in
increased production with a minimum of labor. This implies a constantly
diminishing number of workers and a constantly diminishing number of
families on the farm. In the days when the horse was the chief source of
power both in the country and in the city, the farm supplied both the
country and the city with power. Now the country buys its power from the
city, and the farmer has found no other source of income to replace that
which he once derived from the sale of power to the city.
With the mechanization of power, oat fields have been converted into wheat
fields and other cash-crop fields, another factor in bringing about
overproduction and consequent low prices for the things the farmer must
sell. The family-size farm with its horses and oat fields would tend to
lessen the economic unbalance. People settled on family-size farms would
rear families, which would tend to absorb agricultural surpluses as well as
the surpluses of the factory.
Cf. Rev. John Rawe, S.J., "Mechanical Technology on the Land" in "The
Catholic Rural Life Bulletin," May, 1939.
"The implications contained in the conclusion that a civilization based
primarily on an industrial and commercial system in which the individual is
the economic unit is doomed to a declining population, strike deep and
extend far.... The message I wish to leave with you is that the restoration
of the family as the fundamental institution of society, the development of
an economic system which does not penalize parenthood, the establishment of
a social code which approves the self-sacrifice of parents for the sake of
children, and the revival of emphasis on the duty of the individual to
promote the welfare of the nation and the race, are, in my opinion,
essential to the preservation of any civilization. If the American people
continue in the way they are going, they are likely to bring upon the
nation the fate which descended on ancient Rome."--Baker, O. E., "The
Church and Rural Youth" in "Catholic Rural Life Objectives" (First Series,
1935), pp. 17, 19.
27. Continued relief degrades those who receive it. The borrowing of large
sums to meet the needs of relief clients upsets the economic balance and
cannot be continued indefinitely. Both the social and the economic well-
being of the nation require that relief funds, as far as possible, be used
to place people in a position to help themselves. Industry will never again
be able to absorb the man power of the cities. The relief rolls can be
reduced permanently and wholesome living conditions can be assured by
shifting a portion of our urban population to the land.
"There is no doubting the fact that overcrowded industrial cities must be
decentralized; they are incubators of disease, poverty and immorality
unspeakable. The sooner the crowding is relieved the sooner will a sane,
normal mode of life come to those enjoying the change; the sooner too will
the Communist bogey vanish. A list of the large industrial centers will
give you a list of the Communistic hotbeds. It cannot be otherwise in a
rankly capitalistic society, for Communism is the natural offspring of
capitalistic industrialism.... If anyone has a solution for avoiding these
extremes, more convincingly workable than this back-to-the-land movement,
he has not been energetic in forwarding it."--Fichter, J. H., "A
Comparative View of Agrarianism" in "Catholic Rural Life Objectives"
(Second Series, 1936), p. 113.
28. In 1935 Dr. O. E. Baker, Senior Agricultural Economist, Bureau
Agricultural Economics, U. S. Department of Agriculture, stated that (op.
cit., p. 25) "More than 2,000,000 youths are backed up on farms who would
have migrated to the city under pre-depression conditions."
29. "The equilibrium between city population and rural population is a
decisive presupposition for a healthy economic and social system--but trade
unionism everywhere has not concerned itself with these questions. Why is
it, that such viewpoints have escaped and still escape trade unionism
although the depression should have forced them upon the unions? Two causes
among many may be named: first, the fact that trade unions look foremost to
wages and hours and at the price level; and second, they represent mostly
the urban sector of labor. And we know that the urbanized mind and
certainly the urbanized mass-mind is closed to any 'backward' trend."--
Briefs, Goetz, "The Back to the Land Idea" in "Catholic Rural Life
Objectives"(Third Series, 1937), p. 95 .
30. Dr. Edgar Schmiedeler discusses three possibilities for part-time
"One, people can live on small acreages or in villages, even though their
work is in the city. Two, they can live on farms or in villages and devote
part of their time to farming and part of it to rural industries. Third,
they can live on farms and devote part of their time to commercial farming
and part of it to home industry. In every case, whether engaged in urban,
country, town or home industry, these people would be living in the
country, they would not be cooped up in those modern whirlpools of
destruction--our gigantic industrial cities. They would be enjoying, at
least in considerable measure, the advantages of a rural mode of living."--
Quoted in Johnson, George, "The Professional Preparation of Teachers for
Catholic Rural Schools" in "Catholic Rural Life Objectives" (First Series,
1935), p. 55.
"In the large cities it is becoming more and more difficult, apparently, to
find a place to rear the child, and more and more difficult for the old to
find employment. Any economic system which prevents the reproduction of the
race will pass away.
"I am hopeful that part-time farming may preserve enough of the economic
and social attributes of the rural family to maintain population stationary
after such a mode of life is characteristic of a large portion of the
people of the nation. But this is by no means assured. If a system of part-
time farming, associated with industrial and commercial employment, does
not accomplish this essential objective, it will be slowly replaced, I
believe, by an agricultural civilization; in which, however, many
industries will be carried on within the home, as they were a century
ago."--Baker, O. E., Op. Cit., p. 19.
The Granger Homesteads project at Granger, Iowa, developed under the
leadership of Rt. Rev. Luigi G. Ligutti, reveals the possibilities of
similar projects under Catholic leadership. The following brief description
of the project is found in government literature:
"The Granger Homesteads were constructed to provide 50 miners' families
with modern homes at low cost, complete with large tracts of land and
facilities to permit these families to raise and produce much of their food
requirement, thus enabling them to raise the standards of living. Granger,
located in the heart of the coal mining area in central Iowa, was chosen as
the project site to demonstrate the effectiveness of the subsistence
homesteads plan as adapted to the need of part-time workers. There are
seven mines within seven miles of the project and nearly all of the
occupants are employed in the mining industry. The industry in this area is
characterized by seasonal employment and the period of inactivity, from
April to September, coincided with the growing season, thus giving project
occupants an opportunity to devote much of their time to the production of
the subsistence gardens.
"A tract of 224 acres of rolling, well-drained land whose soil is suitable
to the production of common garden vegetables was selected as the project
site. The soil varies from fine sand loam to silty clay and gravel.
Possible crops include corn, grains, hay, berries, and truck garden
produce. Individual wells and pressure pumps supply water. Sewage disposal
is provided by individual septic tanks. Electricity is provided through the
power lines of a private utility, and telephone service is available to
individual subscribers. A system of county roads connects the homesites
with each other and with adjacent highways.
"The 50 homesteaders now in occupancy on the project represent the type
whom the sponsors of Granger Homesteads had in mind when the project was
planned. They are all normal families and there are no one-person families
in residence. The husband-wife-child family predominates. The male head of
each family was the chief wage earner and was gainfully employed at the
time of application. There are 39 bituminous coal miners on the project
together with 2 office workers employed in the mining industries. The
remaining homesteaders have varied occupations. The average annual income
of these families at the time of selection was $908. In spite of the severe
drought of last summer, these families were able, through the subsistence
gardening, to increase their annual incomes by $69 per household all the
selected families had had previous farming or gardening experience."
For further information on the Granger Homesteads, cf. "Thesis" by Rev.
Raymond Duggan, Ph.D., "A Federal Resettlement Project at Granger, Iowa,"
School of Social Work, Catholic University.
On the rural homestead projects of Nova Scotia, Bertram B. Fowler, in "The
Lord Helps Those," p. 162, states:
"The important angle of the housing co-operatives in the mining districts
lies in the acre that will surround each house. As they build co-
operatively these men will become less and less at the mercy of seasonal
layoffs. Taking part of their substance from the land they will in time
find it unnecessary to work twelve months a year in the mines and mills."
31. For the administration's survey of its homestead projects, cf. "Report
of Administrator of Farm Security ,Administration" (1938), pp. 15-18.
Government resettlement projects in the United States have been costly
experiments. They can hardly be rated successful, especially if their cost
be considered. They can be justified only as laboratory experiments. If
settlement projects are to succeed, there must be a larger measure of local
autonomy and local responsibility in formulating and in carrying out the
The people of the United States could learn much from the successful
housing projects now under way in Nova Scotia under the direction of the
Extension Department of St. Francis Xavier University. The plans for these
projects enable low-income groups to build modern houses which cost, plus
their labor, $1,650 per unit. The houses are cooperatively built through
the labor of the members of the cooperative and through loans from the Nova
Scotia government. The government loans up to 75 per cent of the value of
the building, and amortization plans for retirement of the debt are
arranged with provision for payments of $12 per month. Complete local
autonomy is preserved. With $100 in cash and through his own labor, an
individual member of the cooperative may be able to provide himself with a
home of his own. A program of education lasting for six months precedes
construction work. The story of the project is told in the issues of the
"Extension Bulletin" published at Antigonish, Nova Scotia.
Cf. Ralph Borsodi, "Flight from the City" (Harper & Bros.), Chap. V, on the
unit plan of construction.
32. The racially homogeneous Catholic settlements of pioneer days were most
successful. Dr. Edgar Schmiedeler has described a number of them in, "A
Better Rural Life" (Joseph F. Wagner, Inc.). Racial homogeneity at the
present time, except in isolated instances, is of relative importance for
the success of a settlement, but oneness in religion is exceedingly
33. Without a suitable educational program a settlement program is doomed
to failure from the start. For lack of such a program, past attempts at
colonization have failed. With certain groups, years of patient effort will
be necessary and much paternalistic direction. On the proposed
rehomesteading of certain groups in the cotton belt, Dr. F. P. Kenkel
"If the Southern tenants, and particularly the croppers, are so ignorant,
backward, inefficient, and lacking in initiative, as the promoters even of
their cause admit them to be, their regeneration cannot be accomplished
except by a long protracted process of spiritual, moral, intellectual, and
economic training. Grant every share-cropper in the South a plot of ground,
a well-built cottage, the necessary livestock and tools, and in the course
of not so many years the experiment will have proven a failure."--Kenkel,
F. P., "The Economic Disfranchisement of the ShareCropper" in "Catholic
Rural Life Objectives" (Second Series, 1936), p. 97.
The project undertaken by Rev. F. McGoey of King City, Ontario, is an
example of a Catholic project for settling the underprivileged of a city on
the land. The project received the voluntary support of the citizens of
Toronto, who recognized in it a means of reducing the cost of relief as
well as a means of preventing permanent pauperism.--Cf. "Rural Catholic
Action: Diocesan Directors' Series 1," Rural Life Bulletin, N.C.W.C.,
Washington, D. C.
36. If plant and factory owners were to assist their employees in acquiring
their own homes with small acreages, there would be less interference on
the part of government and fewer labor disputes.
Annotations on Chapter IV
CATHOLIC RURAL EDUCATION
38. "Education is essentially a social and not a mere individual activity.
Now there are three necessary societies, distinct from one another and yet
harmoniously combined by God, into which man is born: two, namely, the
family and civil society, belong to the natural order; the third, the
Church, to the supernatural order.
"In the first place comes the family, instituted directly by God for its
peculiar purpose, the generation and formation of offspring; for this
reason it has priority of nature and therefore of rights over civil
society. Nevertheless, the family is an imperfect society, since it has not
in itself all the means for its own complete development; whereas civil
society is a perfect society having in itself all the means for its
peculiar end, which is the temporal well-being of the community; and so, in
this respect, that is, in view of the common good, it has preeminence over
the family, which finds its own suitable temporal perfection precisely in
"The third society, into which man is born when through Baptism he reaches
the divine life of grace, is the Church; a society of the supernatural
order and of universal extent; a perfect society, because it has in itself
all the means required for its own end, which is the eternal salvation of
mankind; hence, it is supreme in its own domain.
"Consequently, education which is concerned with man as a whole,
individually and socially, in the order of nature and in the order of
grace, necessarily belongs to all these three societies in due proportion,
corresponding according to the dispositions of Divine Providence, to the
coordination of their respective ends--Pius XI, "The Christian Education of
Youth," p. 6.
39. "In the first place it pertains to the State, in view of the common
good, to promote in various ways the education and instruction of youth. It
should begin by encouraging and assisting, of its own accord, the
initiative and activity of the Church and the family, whose successes in
this field have been clearly demonstrated by history and experience. It
should, moreover, supplement their work whenever this falls short of what
is necessary, even by means of its own schools and institutions. For the
State more than any other society is provided with the means put at its
disposal for the needs of all, and it is only right that it use these means
to the advantage of those who have contributed them."--Ibid., p. 17.
"It also belongs to the State to protect the rights of the child itself
when the parents are found wanting either physically or morally in this
respect, whether by default, incapacity, or misconduct, since, as has been
shown, their right to educate is not an absolute and despotic one, but
dependent on the natural and divine law, and therefore subject alike to the
authority and jurisdiction of the Church, and to the vigilance and
administrative care of the State in view of the common good."--Ibid., p.
Nothing can ever replace the home in the teaching of religion to children.
The function of the Catholic school is to aid and supplement the home in
the teaching of religion. In the sacrament of matrimony husband and wife
receive a special grace to assist them in the proper rearing of their
children. The most important phase of Catholic Action is the instructing of
parents how to teach religion to their own children. With this thought in
mind the leaders in the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine are developing
a literature for the education of parents. Most valuable material for the
guidance of parents in teaching their children religion is found in the
40. The decision of the United States Supreme Court in the "Oregon School
Case" safeguards the natural and inalienable right of parents in respect to
the education of their own children and right of parents to send their
children to a private school of their choice. This decision reads: "The
fundamental theory of liberty upon which all governments in this Union
repose excludes any general power of the State to standardize its children
by forcing them to accept instruction from public teachers only. The child
is not the mere creature of the State those who nurture him and direct his
destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty to recognize and prepare
him for additional obligation."--"Supreme Court of the United States,"
October term, 1924, Nos. 583 and 584.
"And let no one say that in a nation where there are different religious
beliefs, it is impossible to provide for public instruction otherwise than
by neutral or mixed schools. In such a case it becomes the duty of the
State, indeed it is the easier and more reasonable method of procedure, to
leave free scope to the initiative of the Church and the family, while
giving them such assistance as justice demands. That this can be done to
the full satisfaction of families, and to the advantage of education and of
public peace and tranquillity, is clear from the actual experience of some
countries comprising different religious denominations. There the school
legislation respects the rights of the family, and Catholics are free to
follow their own system of teaching in schools that are entirely Catholic.
Nor is distributive justice lost sight of, as is evidenced by the financial
aid granted by the State to the several schools demanded by the families."-
-Pius XI, "The Christian Education of Youth," p. 31.
In colonial days religion had its proper place in the classroom of the
primary and the secondary school and later even of the university. The
divorce of religion from education is a rather recent experiment, adopted
to meet the situation arising from divergent ideas about religion. The
attempt to remain neutral on religion has not proved a success. It paves
the way for the dominance of an irreligious philosophy in the field of
The development can hardly be pleasing to anyone who believes in God. It
would have been better for the United States had our American system of
education developed after the manner of the systems which obtain in
England, in Holland, and in certain Canadian provinces--countries as
democratic as our own--where provisions exist for the tax support of
private schools on the basis of services rendered. It would be just and in
keeping with wise public policy for the State to pay private schools,
conducted by various religious groups, on a per-capita basis for services
rendered in the education of its citizens. Incidentally, such a policy
would effect a great saving to taxpayers inasmuch as the cost of education
in many of our private religious schools is one fourth to one third the
cost of education in the public school. Constitutional provisions prevent
the acceptance of such a policy, but constitutions can be changed. The time
seems opportune to educate the American public to the justice and the
wisdom of such a policy, and the folly of our attempt at purely secular
Upwards of two million pupils are receiving their education in the Catholic
schools of the nation without any expense to the taxpayer. It is unjust
that the Catholics of the nation should be compelled to bear this heavy
burden for reasons of conscience and in order that their children might
The United States Constitution and the constitutions of several states do
not exclude the children of the private school from participation in the
direct aid to parents provided at times out of tax money for the education
of children, such as free transportation. This aid can be secured by proper
legal enactments. The possibility of indirect aid to our schools through
assistance given to parents should be further studied.--On these
possibilities, cf. Johnson, George, "The Federal Government and Education
for Rural Life" in "Catholic Rural Life Objectives" (Third Series, 1937),
41. "From such priority of rights on the part of the Church and of the
family in the field of education, most important advantages, as we have
seen, accrue to the whole of society. More over in accordance with the
divinely established order of things, no damage can follow from it to the
true and just rights of the State in regard to the education of its
"These rights have been conferred upon civil society by the Author of
nature Himself, not by title of fatherhood, as in the case of the Church
and of the family, but in virtue of the authority which it possesses to
promote the common temporal welfare, which is precisely the purpose of its
existence. Consequently education cannot pertain to civil society in the
same way in which it pertains to the Church and to the family, but in a
different way corresponding to its own particular end and object.
"Now this end and object, the common welfare in the temporal order,
consists in that peace and security in which families and individual
citizens have the free exercise of their rights, and at the same time enjoy
the greatest spiritual and temporal prosperity possible in this life, by
the mutual union and coordination of the work of all. The function
therefore of the civil authority residing in the State is twofold, to
protect and to foster, but by no means to absorb the family and the
individual, or to substitute itself for them.
"Accordingly in the matter of education, it is the right, or to speak more
correctly, it is the duty of the State to protect in its legislation, the
prior rights, already described, of the family as regards the Christian
education of its offspring, and consequently also to respect the
supernatural rights of the Church in this same realm of Christian
education."--Pius XI, "The Christian Education of Youth," p. 16.
44. Canon 711 orders the erection of the Confraternity of Christian
Doctrine in every parish.
"The religious vacation school is not in any sense a substitute for a
parish school. But to a parish without a parish school it is like a spring
in a desert land where there has been no way and no water."--O'Hara, Edwin
V., "The Church and the Country Community," p. 61.
The Sisters of Service are carrying on a very effective program of
correspondence instruction for the children of scattered rural Catholic
families in Western Canada. Rt. Rev. Victor Day, V.G., Helena, Montana, is
the author of a correspondence course or religious instruction.
Cf. O'Hara, Edwin V., "Religious Vacation Schools and the Diocesan
Superintendent of Schools," "Proceedings of the National Catholic
Educational Association" (1930); and by same author, "The Church and the
Rural Community," Chap. IX; cf. also Schmiedeler, E., "A Better Rural
Life," Chap. III.
45. Cf. Schmiedeler, E., op. cit., PP. 12, 47.
46. "Catholic educators should take into full account the difference
between the city and the country in formulating the program of studies.
While the large objectives of Catholic education are the same in all
schools, the means of attaining them will vary according to the conditions
of the locality. There is a vast divergence between the city and the
country in educational resources, in materials of instruction and in the
pupils' background of experience. Likewise, there is a big difference in
the conditions of the community and in the needs of the children It is an
accepted principle that education should be adapted to the conditions,
needs and capacities of the pupils. Why then should diocesan authorities or
religious communities in their zeal to enrich courses of study and raise
standards of achievement endeavor to enforce uniformity over a diocese or a
province and try to inflict on rural children a program of instruction
which in every case is designed to meet the needs of city life?"--Ostdiek,
Joseph, "The Rural Parish School Program" in "Rural Life Bulletin" (May,
1938), p. 25.
"Conference thought in the field of Agriculture has led it to give mature
consideration to the problem of the rural grade and high schools--both
public and parochial. On the side of the curriculum there is need of a
readjustment to suit the needs of rural youth, to introduce an agricultural
note into the daily school programs, to the end that agriculture may again
be accorded the popular respect it deserves and formerly enjoyed.
Unfortunately too many rural schools have had a definitely urban turn,
textbooks and books of reference have been largely dominated by the
industrial note, and too often the rural school children have been made to
experience an unwarranted sense of inferiority of rural life as against the
life of city populations. To counteract these serious defects there is also
a definite need of introducing courses in the private and State normal
schools that will have for their direct purpose the formation of teachers
properly equipped in intellect and sympathies to serve the rural population
in grade and high schools which dot the rural landscape."--Mulloy, Wm. T.,
"Presidential Address" in "Catholic Rural Life Objectives" (Third Series,
1937), p. 148.
"For a number of years now, the occupation, the vocation, the profession of
land cultivation has been without its proper educational safeguards in the
fields of religion, sociology and economics. Farming or country living, as
this Conference understands it, has for a prolonged period been without
educational facilities devoted to its maintenance. Our family farm system
is in the deplorable position that engineering would be in today, if there
had been no engineering schools for the last fifty years."--Rawe, C. J.,
"Catholic Rural Social Planning" in "Catholic Rural Life Objectives" (Third
Series, 1937), p. 75.
Pointing out, then, that the philosophy and principles of the State
agricultural schools are not Catholic philosophy or principles, Father Rawe
discusses the need for a Catholic "agrarian cooperative school." He goes on
to say that:
"There is a greater national need for such a Catholic School of
Agricultural Economics and rural sociology than there is for a Catholic
school of engineering, of business administration, of commerce or any of
the trades."--Ibid., p. 76.
47. "The rural school curriculum should embrace all the essential features
or subjects of the city schools plus other subjects and experiences which
are needed in preparation for life in the country."--Pitt, F. N., "Youth
Problems in Rural Areas" "Catholic Rural Life Objectives" (Third Series,
1937), p. 58.
". . . it is the proper specific function of the rural school to give the
pupils an adequate understanding of country life, to create the proper
attitude or outlook, to foster a spirit of intelligent and voluntary
cooperation, to build up community activities and to train in the necessary
formal, social and vocational subjects. This is a big assignment for the
school, but it is essential to the welfare and progress of the people on
our countrysides.--Ostdiek, Joseph, loc. cit., p. 12.
48. For a brief description of U. S. Extension Service, cf. Schmiedeler's
"A Better Rural Life," pp. 105-111.
Dr. Chris Christensen, Dean of the School of Agriculture of the University
of Wisconsin, reports on the new development of their Farm Short Course in
the following words: "This revitalized Farm Short Course is in fact a farm
folk school. It truly provides a broad cultural as well as practical
training for farming, rural organization, and rural citizenship. Its
curriculum, or course of study, is built around the social and cultural
needs, as well as upon the vocational interests, of young men. In addition
to practical training in production, emphasis is placed upon work in the
economics of distribution, cooperation, marketing and consumption. Time and
space in the curriculum is found for rural politics, rural sociology,
discussion and public speaking. Courses in dramatics, music appreciation,
art and literature help to provide for the cultural side."--"The Place of
Youth in Agriculture" in "Catholic Rural Life Objectives" (Second Series,
1936), p. 25.
A similar Folk School Plan is developing under Dean H. L. Walster, North
Dakota State Agriculture College, Fargo.
49. "Denmark has showed the way in the development of rural civilization.
The folk-schools for adults in that country operate during seasons when the
farmers can take advantage of the courses offered. These schools do not
specialize in agriculture. They are for the farmers but have for their
object the development of his capacity to grasp general ideas. That, we
repeat, is the cultural need of rural society, without which it will
forever be impossible to keep intelligent and capable boys and girls on the
farm."--O'Hara, Edwin V., "The Church and the Country Community" (The
Macmillan Co.), p. 54.
50. "Certainly the schools should instill in the minds of the rural youth
an interest in the country, give them a knowledge of rural problems and
prepare them to take their part in building up a strong rural community. To
achieve this the rural high-school teacher must be trained particularly for
his work. He must know and love the country, and he must have a clear
understanding of rural problems together with the attempted solution. The
problem here is one of properly trained teachers and an adequately arranged
curriculum."--Pitt, F. N., "Youth Problems in Rural Areas" in "Catholic
Rural Life Objectives" (Third Series, 1937), p. 59.
"Rural educators feel that the country parish schools are entitled to
teachers who are not so much more prepared as differently prepared and
better adapted to their job. They challenge the fitness of a teacher for
any position in any school who has failed to acquire a full understanding
of our complete national life, rural as well as urban, agricultural as well
as industrial They challenge the fitness of a teacher for a position in a
rural school who has failed to grasp the importance of the land foundations
to the nation and to the Church; who has failed to discover the rich assets
of the rural environment and neglected to learn the interests and needs of
country children."--Ostdiek, Joseph, "The Rural Parish School Program" in
"Rural Life Bulletin" (May, 1938), pp. 26, 27.
Annotations on Chapter V
RURAL CATHOLIC YOUTH
Cf. Winslow, W. T., "Youth: A World Problem." Winslow, Administrative
Assistant, National Youth Administration, Washington, D. C. This
publication of 138 pages, referred to as "A Study in World Perspective of
Youth Conditions, Movements and Programs," covers 101 countries.
"Organize Youth ever more widely on that foundation of that piety and
wisdom which is proper to you, and above all in exemplifying and applying
the truths of the Gospel to the social life of the day. The security of our
Catholic youth in their Christian life is a thorough knowledge of the
teaching of our Holy Church, the guardian and expositor of the revealed
truth of God. To give to our youth, particularly to the girls and young
women of our day, a knowledge, a love, of Catholic truth and a
determination to carry it out both in personal life and as members of
Catholic organizations, is really a great crusade to which you may lend all
the resources at your command."--Cicognani, A. G., Apostolic Delegate to
the United States.
Organized Catholic effort in behalf of youth was strongly urged in a decree
of the Holy Office issued in Rome on November 5, 1920, which read in part
as follows: "The Holy Office calls the attention of Ordinaries of places to
the fact that certain associations of non-Catholics are doing great harm to
Catholic youth by drawing them away from the faith under the pretext of
affording them opportunities for physical culture and education. The
inexperienced can easily be deceived by the fact that these associations
have the financial and moral support of very respectable citizens, and do
very effective work in various fields of beneficence. Their real nature,
however, is no longer doubtful, as it has been openly declared in the
magazines which are their organs. They aim, as they say, to cultivate the
characters and improve the morals of youth. This culture which is their
religion, they define as 'perfect freedom of thought, dissociated from the
control of any religious creed.'"
The decree continues:
"These youths . . . who are endangered are first shaken in their
traditional faith . . . injury occurs in the case of those whose home
training in religion has been wanting through negligence or ignorance."
After pointing out that certain associations attack the faith of youth
under the pretense of purifying it and of giving youth a better knowledge
of the true way of life "above all churches and apart from any religious
creed," the Sacred Congregation asks all Ordinaries "to guard young people
carefully from the contagion of these societies.... To warn the unwary and
confirm those who are faltering in faith; build up strongly in the spirit
of Christ such societies as you have among you; cultivate others of the
same kind; call upon the wealthy of our faith to help, so that they may
have the means to combat the enemy. At the same time exhort pastors and
those who have charge of organizations of youth to do their duty vigorously
and especially by the publication of books and pamphlets to check the
errors that are being broadcast, to expose the wiles and deceits of the
enemy, and to come to the assistance of those who are looking for the
truth."--Cf. Bouscaren, "Canon Law Digest," Vol. 1, p. 607.
55. "The Church therefore is the educational environment most intimately
and harmoniously associated with the Christian family.
"This educational environment of the Church . . . includes the great number
and variety of schools, associations and institutions of all kinds,
established for the training of youth in Christian piety, together with
literature and the sciences, not omitting recreation and physical
culture."--Pius XI, "Christian Education of Youth," p. 29.
"The solution (as suggested before) is parish and community centers
together with good schools, a strong deep faith, a virile parish life and
in particular true Catholic homes where God is the center, where night and
morning prayers are said in common."--Pitt, F. N., "Youth Problems in Rural
Areas" in "Catholic Rural Life Objectives" (Third Series, 1937), p. 59.
58. "There are other youth organizations in charge of selfish leaders 'who
leave no stone unturned in order to inoculate youth with a social,
political, and economic philosophy which teaching, to say the least, is
detrimental to the best interests of both State and Church.... Into these,
undoubtedly, Catholic youth is being inveigled and the question is whether
this should be permitted or a Catholic substitute offered."'--Treacy, J. P.
(Quoting Rev. Vincent Mooney, C.S.C.), "Will Youth Be Served?" in "Catholic
Rural Life Objectives" (Third Series, 1937), p. 103.
"If there are no wholesome activities to fill up leisure hours, if there
are no proper amusements, then boredom may create serious problems."--Pitt,
F. N., "Youth Problems in Rural Areas" in "Catholic Rural Life Objectives"
(Third Series, 1937), p. 59.
"That there is definite need for an organized youth program under Catholic
auspices at this time, none can deny. Neither can we ignore the challenge
by refusing to participate in the development of this project. It is a
magnificent chance to translate Catholic Action into Action, and no greater
opportunity for service has ever come to us. We need but glance around us
to learn that youth is being organized for every phase of activity. Various
forces, many of which are obviously detrimental to faith and morals, are
very active along these lines, and in many fields youth associations are
multiplying rapidly. If we do not organize Catholic youth under the
protecting arm of the Church, then other agencies will do it for us.
Witness the tragedies following in the wake of Communism. Sordid
literature, vicious amusements, countless counter-attractions,
irresponsible leaders--these continually beckon to youth and consequently,
self preservation requires more concerted action on our part. The C.Y.O. is
a practical answer to this difficult question."--"C.Y.O. Manual," Diocese
of Fort Wayne, Indiana.
59. "A rural youth program should be a part of a general rural program. It
should be but one aspect of a comprehensive program to bring to farm life
the many blessings which can and should characterize the agricultural mode
of living. We cannot hope to instill in youth a permanent love for rural
life if over forty per cent of our farmers are to be tenants; or if farm
incomes are to be such that reasonable standards of living are impossible,
even during so-called normal times; or if farmers are to be discriminated
against in such matters as taxes, marketing, credit, and legislative
protection. Every step toward improving the lives of adults is a step
toward improving the lives of youth. Every social and economic evil
surrounding the fathers and mothers of rural youth is an obstacle in the
way of a successful youth program. That is why I consider every element of
the Catholic Rural Life Conference enterprise of vital importance to a
rural youth program. You take care of fathers and mothers, and our youth
work will be comparatively easy....
"A rural youth program should meet the needs of all rural youth. It should
not be for boys only, or for girls only; it should be for boys and girls.
It should not be for the younger youth only, or for the older youth only;
it should be for younger youth and older youth. It should not aim primarily
to attract youth with athletic interests, or with social interests, or with
cultural and recreational interests, or with guidance interests; a rural
youth program should be as broad in its activities as are the interests and
needs of youth. Every boy and girl should be able to find something of
interest and profit....
"A rural youth program should be a rural program, and not an urban program.
By this I mean that the nature of rural facilities, of rural needs, of
rural people, and of rural living should be considered in planning the
activities. It is true that rural urban differences are becoming less and
less pronounced, largely because of modern transportation and
communication. But there are still significant differences.
"The home is ordinarily more important to a rural youth than to an urban
youth. More can be done to help youth through rural homes than through
urban homes. (One is lucky to find members of many urban families at home
long enough to influence them.) Incidentally, this is a point in favor of
4-H work; it draws boys and girls to the home; and not away from it. The
rural home is such an important unit to the rural youth that many
individual activities can and should be carried on there, which is one
answer to the problem of distances in carrying on rural programs."--Treacy,
John P., "Will Youth Be Served?" in "Catholic Rural Life Objectives "(Third
Series, 1937), pp. 105-107.
60. "4-H Clubs may be organized on a parochial basis. In fact, from the
early days of the 4-H movement a number of parishes have had Clubs. In
certain sections these parish groups are fairly numerous today. In not a
few of them pastors, and in some instances even the teaching Sisters, take
a definite and practical interest in them. During 1937 several Directors of
Diocesan Rural Life Bureaus, with the approval of their respective
Ordinaries, recommended the organization of clubs for all the rural
parishes of their dioceses, and took steps to aid in their establishment.
Such organization on a diocesan scale bids well to grow rapidly in the near
future. This fact, among others, would seem to make it advisable at this
time that a special Catholic investiture ceremony be devised, and that it
be made use of in the case of Catholic candidates The colors and pins, for
instance, might be blessed and presented at a religious ceremony."--
Schmiedeler, E., "A Better Rural Life" (Joseph F. Wagner, Inc., 1938), pp.
"The 4-H Clubs offer a most comprehensive program for rural youth.
Recreational, educational, vocational and cultural features aim to help
youth to acquaint themselves with the modern problems of rural living; . .
"Such a program, however, must needs be spiritually motivated. An
appreciation of the home, home surroundings and interests, and an
evaluation of parish and community life must be developed if the 4-H Clubs
program is to nurture youth's complete life. Religious practices, spiritual
values, and supernatural aims must be inculcated; habits along these lines
must be established."--"Catholicizing the 4-H Clubs" (Study Project No. 7),
Foreword (The Queen's Work).
The Future Farmers of America is another youth organization adapted to
inspire rural youth with an appreciation of life on the land and to impart
to rural youth practical education in rural living.
"A strong and successful Catholic Youth Organization in Europe and Canada
is the "La Jeunesse Ouuriere Chretienne," popularly known as the J.O.C. or
Jociste. In France there is a special branch for rural youth. This is known
as the J.A.C. or Jaciste.... The Jeunesse Ouvriere Chretienne (J.O.C.) or
Jocist Movement in foreign countries is a very commendable example of what
can be done in the line of Catholic study clubs. These groups which are
organized for the working class of Catholic Youth between the ages of 16
and 21 meet weekly at various private homes for their discussions and
social activities. The single club is rather small in size in order to
safeguard the essential element of individual participation in discussions
which under the guidance of a priest center around current social problems
and their relationship to Catholic thought. The Jocist organization, which
is international in scope, publishes a paper and a magazine."--"Report,
Twentieth Annual Franciscan Educational Conference," p. 113.
61. For the unification of Catholic youth work the establishment of a
National Catholic Youth Council is under consideration by the hierarchy.
This will be under the supervision of the Episcopal Committee on Youth.
Diocesan Youth Councils, or their equivalent, under other names, are being
rapidly established throughout the country. The parish is accepted as the
basic unit. Then follow interparish tie-ups on a city-wide, district, or
deanery basis. With such an official and nation-wide organization Catholic
Youth can present a united front and become a vital force in Catholic
Action. It can also safeguard the Church's interest on a national scale
insofar as issues, programs, and policies centering about youth are
Annotations on Chapter VI
CATHOLIC CULTURE IN RURAL SOCIETY
62. Culture is a word difficult to define. In fact, there is no universal
agreement on what constitutes culture. The word connotes different things
to different minds. The word "culture" as used in this text designates the
result of the harmonious development of man's moral, intellectual, and
esthetic faculties. The ideal of culture is a synthesis of the gentleman,
artist, scholar, and saint. It needs hardly to be explained that the word
"gentleman" as used here is not to be understood in its derived sense,
connoting refined taste in respect to dress, possession of the lighter
graces, and acquaintance with the meticulous forms of etiquette. However
valuable those accomplishments may be, they do not identify the gentleman
in the sense in which it is here used. The word is to be understood in its
On its esthetic side culture is not limited to an appreciation of the fine
arts nor to the ability to execute them. A rural group may have culture
without acquaintance with either Shakespeare or Browning and without
knowledge of the special difference between the art of Raphael and the
paintings of the Georgian school. Culture may well find its chief
expression in the popular arts. Tolstoi explains the distinction in the
following words "The fine arts represent only an insignificant part of the
real art with which we transmit our inner experience to or receive it from
others. The whole human existence is full of art objects beginning with
lullabies, dances, mimic intonations, and ending with religious services
and public ceremonies."--Qu'est-ce que l'Art (Paris, 1903), p. 60.
Culture cannot be superimposed on a group. It must grow out of the life of
the rural community. It will be deeply rooted in their modes of thinking
and in their philosophy of living.
Culture implies a right appraisal of values and an appreciation of both
material and spiritual good. Culture is best expressed in its creative
aspect. Rural Catholic culture will find expression in refined manners; in
artistic homes and neat farmsteads, equipped with modern conveniences and
devices that eliminate drudgery; in music, art, and literature; in folk
drama; in the liturgy and in church chant; in artistic church architecture;
and above all in virtuous living. On rural church architecture, the noted
architect, Dr. Ralph Adams Cram, makes the following observation:
"There is no gainsaying the fact that the average Catholic church in
industrial centers, mining areas and the farming country is ugly and arid
in its architecture.... It costs no more to build a good church than a bad
one; less, in fact, for the trouble with many architects, and especially
with the large class of pseudo-architects, is that they do not know how to
stop when they get through. Good architecture is not measured in terms of
monetary value; . . .
"The problem of 'the redemption of the Holy Places' of Christian art is now
less in the hands of the artist than in those of the bishops, priests and
professors."--Cram, Ralph Adams, "The Status of Church Art and
Architecture" in "Rural Life Bulletin" (May, 1938), pp. 7, 9.
"I want to repeat that the task of those who would recover the creative
values and zestful participation in folk culture is to discover and promote
ways and means of building it back into rural life, not wholly on
foundations that have partially collapsed, but on the basis of both old and
new foundations. Let farmers produce for the market, but teach them and
their families to produce also for home consumption and include in their
home production objects of art and beauty at which they can become just as
apt and in which they can have just as much creative experience and zest as
anyone else. Let them have electric lights, running water, and other
household conveniences in their homes, but help them to recover and rebuild
their love for the beautiful and the simple. Let them mechanize their farms
and reduce their hours of labor, but help them to utilize the leisure
created thereby in reading good books, singing great oratorios, acting, and
even writing drama, and in all other kinds of recreation. Let them go to
the picture show and get acquainted with how the other segments of society
live, but help them to know that personal, human association with family,
friends and neighbors is to be cherished equally with all the numerous
impersonal, more or less transient contacts of the outside world
combined."--Taylor, Carl C., "The Restoration of Rural Culture" in
"Catholic Rural Life Objectives" (Third Series, 1937), p. 90.
63. Some object to the association of modern conveniences and laborsaving
devices with culture, perhaps because certain groups identify culture with
the bathtub, electric lighting, electric power, and other mechanical
devices. Although the possession of the conveniences made possible by
modern invention and discovery cannot be identified as culture,
nevertheless a real culture would appraise them at their proper value and
make a proper use of them.
Culture still exists on the countryside. One finds cultured families on the
countryside and communities where high culture prevails. There are farm
communities which possess a culture deeply rooted in their religious life.
It finds expression in an appreciation of the finer things--in books, in
music, in wellarranged houses and in neat farmsteads with their trees and
flowers, in modern conveniences where they are available, in the artistic
church, and in the community center where social contacts are established
and mutual interests are promoted.
There are, however, vast reaches on the countryside characterized by a lack
of culture. Without a doubt low economic conditions is the major cause of
the lack of culture in many rural sections of the nation. In many areas it
is a case of human erosion following upon soil erosion. In some areas,
where prosperity reigned a few years ago, the development of culture has
been arrested and even reversed by the agricultural crisis which has
gripped the farm groups for two decades.
The farmers as a group were prosperous twenty years ago. As a group they
did not use the opportunity to improve their homes and they did not use
their money on the things which make for culture. Traditional habits and
lack of appreciation is the explaining cause.
We have lost some of the constituents of our earlier rural culture through
such changes as the commercialization of recreation and the growth of
modern methods of communication and transportation. During the past decade
there has been some effort to retrieve these losses.
"The things we have lost in rural life during the process of these
transitions, or at least the things we want regained or built into rural
life, are apparently: (1) not only the economic but social and
psychological security which we had in the period when self-sufficient
agriculture prevailed; (2) the richness of rural life which many less
commercial agricultures have because of their art, music, drama, folk
recreation, and community participation; (3) those qualities of personality
and the social values which we think grow only out of family and
neighborhood life; (4) some things which the rural life of the past could
not have had because of its isolation and consequent limitation in the
consumption of certain types of goods and services....
"The loss of folk arts, folklore and folk culture has come largely through
the impact of commercialization. Again, I do not believe this needs to be
so, but what we must do to keep it from being so is to spend time and
energy for and be tremendously concerned about, the development here, there
and every place in rural life of folk art, folk culture and folk life.
"As a sociologist, and somewhat as a social psychologist, I am convinced
that Professor Cooley was right concerning the primary group values of
love, loyalty, friendship and sympathy. They are tender and valuable plants
which grow only, or at least best, in the face-to-face groups of the
family, the neighborhood and the playground. These things have all tended
to give way in the face of commercialization and wider social contacts. If
they are valuable in and of themselves, then the promotion of every type of
human association which recreates them and guarantees them to rural people
should be assiduously undertaken everywhere in rural life....
"There is, however, a high degree of futility in simply crying out against
the decadence of any culture, the ideologies of which no longer have roots
in the daily life of the people. If the birthrate is falling, if the old
folk culture is dying, if the old primary groups of the family and
neighborhood are less prevalent, less dominant and less secure, the major
attack is not to cry about, or even to preach about them, but to plant the
seeds, nurture the roots and cultivate the elements of life which will
reproduce the old culture or replace it with a better one. To do otherwise
is to convict men and groups of men of their tins, but offer no way of
salvation."--Taylor, Carl C., "The Restoration of Rural Culture" in
"Catholic Rural Life Objectives" (Third Series, 1937), pp. 89, 90.
"With the unbounded energy of youth something to do and some place to go
will sooner or later be found. Improved highways and the prevalence of
automobiles give them an opportunity to go places. These places are either
the nearest city, or town;, the country road house or local cafe. These
latter have multiplied and are constantly increasing in every locality.
They are wayside cafes, with tables or booths, a dance floor, an electric
victrola, and of course a bar. For summer there is the outdoor dance
platform. Such places range all the way from a log cabin with a table or
two to the sumptuous road house equipped with floor show and gambling
rooms. Being out in the country they are free of any municipal regulations
and consequently they are open all night with no restrictions except what
the owner makes. Such places are becoming more and more the night haunts of
our boys and girls in the country. If there is nothing for the young people
to do and they have no means of getting anywhere, they soon become
dissatisfied with their surroundings. Restlessness sets in and they are
ripe for anything which offers any promise of relief from boredom."--Pitt,
F. N., "Youth Problems in Rural Areas" in "Catholic Rural Life Objectives"
(Third Series, 1937), p. 56.
"Happily there has been a notable multiplication of various homespun
activities in this field (rural art) during the past decade. It is a
development that is as much in the nature of a revival as of something new.
Early America was not without her art. Even the pioneer had his music, his
drama, his festivals, his handicrafts. It is to be hoped that the present
revival will be consistently stimulated and intelligently guided. If this
is done, life in rural America will unquestionably be the gainer for it,
for art has many genuine values. Thus, it interests and refines the
individual. It recreates and rejuvenates him. It puts zest and enthusiasm
into everyday living. It offers wholesome ways of spending leisure time. It
puts dignity and spirit and interest into work. It uplifts and enriches all
life."--Schmiedeler, Edgar, "A Better Rural Life" (New York: Joseph F.
Wagner, Inc.), p. 280.
66. ". . . it is somewhat disconcerting to read in the report of the
American Library Association (of 1927) that while 54,404,568 urban dwellers
were using such service (only 3,415,415 were not), there were only
9,624,936 rural dwellers who were using the library facilities offered to
them, while 47,054,168 were without such service.
"That was in 1927. In 1935 we are told that there were only 1,135 counties
in the United States without some sort of library aid and 3,065 with it.
But even that is too large a number without reading equipment easily
accessible. Yet there are plenty of books on the market and publishing
houses are constantly increasing, and book production is growing apace."--
Willmann, D. J., "Reading in the Rural Home" in "Catholic Rural Life
Objectives" (Third Series, 1937), p. 164.
"Beginning first with novels, then, get your discussion group going. Let
people agree. Let them disagree. That's one of the best ways to arouse
curiosity. It's a wonderful way to get them to read something else. Swing
then into your biographies and autobiographies, short stories, essays,
poetry, history, apologetics, religion and spiritual reading."--Ibid., p.
Much popular material on the application of Christian principles to our
society, suitable for discussion-club purposes, is available at the
headquarters of National Catholic Welfare Conference, particularly the
Social Action Department. Special attention is given by this Department to
Christian principles and their application in the fields of industrial
relations and international relations in civic life, rural life, and family
67. "Every rural parish if at all possible should have a community house or
hall. Such a building would serve as a meeting place for all the parish and
community clubs, provide facilities for amateur theatricals, for moving
pictures, socials, card parties, dances, for basketball and all sorts of
indoor games. It should serve as a club house and gymnasium and be
available at all times for the young people. In short the parish center
would have to compete with the road house and the nearby city by providing
amusements and places of meeting equally attractive but of a far more
wholesome and cultural nature. In addition to the parish community house
there should be societies and clubs of various kinds for the needs of young
people at the various age levels. In addition to the usual parochial
societies of a religious nature, there could be some of a purely social
character. Dramatic clubs, card clubs, 4-H clubs, athletic teams, etc.
Catholic young men and women should be brought together as much as possible
under proper auspices. In one parish to my knowledge where there is such a
center and a year round program of social activities, there has not been a
mixed marriage in twenty-five years. With such a community center properly
organized, there could be a planned program of leisure time activities for
all seasons of the year. It would go far if not all the way, towards
solving the social problem for young people in the country. It would keep
them interested in their surroundings, content with rural life; it would be
educational and cultural; it would also be a very effective means of
overcoming native diffidence, timidity, awkwardness and give a training in
the social graces oftentimes found wanting among rural people."--Pitt, F.
N., "Youth Problems in Rural Areas" in "Catholic Rural Life Objectives"
(Third Series, 1937), p. 56.
"In speaking of rural dramatics the work that is being done by the
agricultural colleges must not be overlooked. Not a few of these schools
are today energetically promoting an active interest in the dramatic art.
One or two institutions first pointed the way and others soon followed.
Apparently the sources of revival are largely to be found in North
Dakota."--Schmiedeler, Edgar, "Art in the Countryside" in "Catholic Rural
Life Bulletin" (November, 1938), p. 27.
"The Little Country Theatre" originated on the campus of the North Dakota
State Agricultural College under the direction of Prof. Alfred G. Arvold.
"Culture is the flowering of community spirit. The lack of it in the
country has been due to the excessive individualism of the farm.
Cooperative enterprises promise to build up real rural communities by
creating common bonds of interest. When farmers work together, perhaps they
will play together. Their recreation will be socialized if their business
is socialized. The cooperative movement will be justified by its social as
well as by its economic efforts."--O'Hara, Edwin V., "The Church and the
Country Community," pp. 82, 83.
The following reference is to the adult education program carried on in
Nova Scotia under the direction of St. Francis Xavier University:
"Economic education through action has emancipated them as a people. Herein
lies the real importance of the movement. It is not so much that they are
sure of themselves as business men as that they are sure of themselves as
free men and women. The economic program becomes then but a step on the
upward march."--Fowler, Bertram B., "The Lord Helps Those, pp. 160, 161.
It is useless to talk about elevating the cultural status of rural America
without hope of improving the economic condition of the rural group. The
economic, social, educational, and cultural advancement should be promoted
through an integrated program in which religion plays a dominant part.
Experience has proved in more than one instance the folly of trying to
build with religion left out.
Annotations on Chapter VII
A recent study in one State has provided the following figures on the
changed situation between time and distance in rural communities:
"Families that had lived on farms for the 25 years from 1905 to 1930 were
asked about the cost to them, in minutes of time, of going to school,
grange, church, bank, lodge, hardware, drug and grocery stores, and the
like. The replies showed that while it took 1,000 minutes in 1905 to reach
these institutions, in 1930 it took only 276 minutes. When measured in
miles instead of minutes, the bank, the Church, and the grange had changed
very little in their distance from the homes of the families who went to
them; the time required to go, however, had been cut about 70 percent.
While the average distance to the school had increased 70 percent during
the period studied, the time required to go and come had lessened by about
a half. Likewise, distance to shipping points and livestock markets as
measured in miles had increased about a half while the time was lessened
about 65 percent."--"Rural Communities: What Do They Need Most?" Discussion
Club Booklet, p. 3 (United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.
The rural parish can be an ideal community center for its members,
providing many other contacts besides those that are on a strictly
"Few social groups in our present civilization can compare in stability and
efficiency with a well organized rural parish. The latter stands today like
a rock of Gibraltar in the midst of the restless and shifting sea of modern
life. Its members are drawn together into harmonious unison through a
similarity of aspirations and hopes, ideals and ambitions, through sameness
of fundamental beliefs in faith and in morals. They are closely knit
together by the ties of many common interests. In spite of all our
disturbing spirit of modern social change, the rural parish remains a
thoroughly integrated and highly influential unit of society."--
Schmiedeler, Edgar, "Rural Catholic Action; The Rural Parish" (N.C.W.C.
publication), p. 19.
71. Cf. Sims, "Elements of Rural Sociology," Chaps. V and VI.
A volume that describes the village community of our day in many lands is
"Village and Open-Country Neighborhoods," W. Terpenning (New York: D.
Appleton-Century Company). After several introductory chapters, one of them
dealing with the "History of Neighborhoods," the following community groups
are described: The American Neighborhood, The Swiss Commune, The English
Parish, The German Dorf, The French Commune, the Italian Commune, the Irish
Neighborhood, the Danish Sogn, The Russian Mir. The part played by various
community leaders, such as the local clergymen, is given attention.
An interesting volume describing the modern American scene is "Small Towns:
An Estimate of Their Trade and Culture," W. Burr (New York: The Macmillan
72. Cf. O'Hara, Edwin V., "The Church and Country Community," Rural
Religious Leadership, Chap. VIII.
A small volume which points out the possibilities of leadership on the part
of local merchants, bankers, editors, etc., is James Boyle's "Rural
Problems in the United States" (Chicago: A. C. McClurg Co.).
What can be accomplished through sound rural leadership has been
demonstrated in Nova Scotia under the direction of St. Francis Xavier
University. (Cf. Fowler, Bertram B., "The Lord Helps Those.") It is futile
for the farmer to seek deliverance in some magic formula or solely in
political action. If the farmer is ever to get out of his difficulties, it
will be on his own power under the direction of wise and unselfish
77. "There cannot be a worse calamity to a Catholic people than to have its
medical attendants alien or hostile to Catholicity; there cannot be a
greater blessing than when they are intelligent Catholics who acknowledge
the claims of religious duty, and the subordination and limits of their own
functions.... He (the doctor) is the companion of religion, its most
valuable support or its most grievous embarrassment, according as he
professes or ignores its creed."--Cardinal Newman, "My Campaign in Ireland"
79. Cf. "The Rural Pastorate," Chap. VIII; also Plater, Charles, "The
Priest and Social Action."
81. Cf. O'Hara, Edwin V., "The Church and the Country Community," "The
Catholic Farm Woman," Chap. V.
82. Mixed marriages often result in a weakening of the faith on the part of
the children and not infrequently in the total loss of all religion. (Cf.
"Mixed Marriages and Their Remedies," TerHaar, Pustet, 1933.) The
statistics furnished by this writer represent conditions in Germany. There
are reasons for believing that a survey in the United States would reveal
There are arguments against mixed marriages which should appeal alike to
Catholics and non-Catholics. All will recognize that the having of many
things in common is essential for a happy and a successful marriage and
that differences in points of view on fundamental things are not a secure
foundation for a marriage. It is clearly evident that a marriage would be
tragic if each party to it were so convinced of his own religion that he
would be bound to have the children reared in it. In many instances,
however, non-Catholics take the somewhat indifferent attitude expressed by
the often repeated phrase, "One religion is as good as another." They
regard religious differences as relatively unimportant and are usually
sincere in stating their readiness to have their children reared in the
Catholic faith. Their own indifference on matters of religion prevents them
from understanding how fundamental religion is and how fundamental are the
differences between Catholic and non-Catholic on religion and on certain
moral questions. Failure to recognize the definiteness of Catholic
conviction and the rigidity of the Catholic conscience is likely to prove a
fruitful source of misunderstanding and conflict. The non-Catholic expects
compromise especially where his own mode of living is in question, but the
Catholic conscience cannot compromise.
The right sort of social, cultural, and recreational program, centered in
the parish hall, would be a valuable means for lessening the number of
mixed unions. In some parishes where such a program is in operation, mixed
marriages are practically unknown.
Parents can do much to prevent mixed marriages by implanting in their
children an understanding of the hazards to faith and happiness in such
unions. If they start sufficiently early, they can train their children to
seek Catholic associations.
In many dioceses a series of prenuptial instructions is required for both
the Catholic and the non-Catholic parties. These instructions are more
likely to end in conversion when the Catholic party makes the right
approach to the non-Catholic party. The Catholic party to such a proposed
marriage can exercise a greater influence than either parents or priest.
The non-Catholic sometimes regards the interference of parents or priest as
an unwarranted intrusion.
When the non-Catholic takes the instructions because the priest requires
him to do so, his approach may even be hostile. But if the Catholic were to
urge the instructions as prompted by her own conscience, explaining to the
non-Catholic at the same time why they should be one in religion or at
least why it is so necessary that he have an understanding of her faith,
the non-Catholic might come to study the claims of the Church with a desire
to accept them if possible. The desire to see the truth is of prime
importance in the prenuptial course of instruction.
Annotations on Chapter VIII
THE RURAL PASTORATE
84. Descriptions of several of the stronger Catholic rural areas of the
United States are given by Schmiedeler in "A Better Rural Life," Chap. IV.
86. "The importance of the little rural parish is sometimes underestimated.
In the small parish the priest represents the entire Catholic Church; with
him its influence rises or falls; and thus the best type of men should be
selected for the rural charges. The large city parish can to some extent
depend on its prestige; but the standing of a little country parish depends
on the personality of the pastor. In the open country judgment, diplomacy,
activity, progressiveness and leadership are the natural virtues required
in a priest.
"We must have complete conception of the country pastorate. The country
pastor must be a community leader. He must know the rural problems. He must
have sympathy with rural ideals and aspirations. He must love the country;
he must know the country life, the difficulties that the farmer has to face
in his business, some of the great scientific revelations made in behalf of
agriculture, the great industrial forces at work for the making or the
unmaking of the farmer, the fundamental social problems of the life of the
"The rural pastor in America, although confronted with difficulties that
are unknown in urban surroundings, has advantages and opportunities of
which his fellow-priest in the large city is deprived. Since he serves a
small number of people, he is enabled to enter into their lives and become
acquainted with their needs and difficulties. He has the opportunity to
become the spokesman of the community not only in religious matters but
also in social and economic affairs that affect the district in which he
lives. In most cases the people look to him for aid and advice. The
attitude of mind in rural people offers a problem for psychology. They
transfer the priest's authority in matters religious to matters social and
regard his word in many instances as final. Often, he is the only
individual in the community, with the exception of the village doctor, who
has received a college training and has an understanding of Sociology and
Economics. Many priests and ministers realize the amount of confidence that
rural people have in their pastors and respond to the situation, thereby
aiding the community not only in a religious but also in a social and
economic way."--Keaveny, T. L., "The Priest in the Rural Parish" in "St.
Isidore's Plow" (March, 1923).
87. "Our previous Encyclicals were directed to throwing the light of
Catholic doctrine upon the gravest of the problems peculiar to modern life.
Our present Encyclical finds a natural place among these others,
opportunely supplementing them. The priest is, indeed, both by vocation and
divine commission, the chief Apostle and tireless furtherer of the
Christian education of youth; in the name of God, the priest blesses
Christian marriage, and defends its sanctity and indissolubility against
the attacks and invasions suggested by cupidity and sensuality; the priest
contributes most effectively to the solution, or at least the mitigation,
of social conflicts, since he preaches Christian brotherhood, declares to
all their mutual obligations of justice and charity, brings peace to hearts
embittered by moral and economic hardship, and alike to rich and poor
points out the only true riches to which all men both can and should
aspire. Finally, the priest is the most valorous leader in that crusade of
expiation and penance to which We have invited all men of good will."--Pope
Pius XI, "The Catholic Priesthood," p. 5.
"I have been encouraged by statements made here recording the emergence of
theology into the fields of economics and the social sciences, from which I
am afraid it has for long been banished by many workers. I have been
encouraged, I say, to preach a little at the last. For any Christian
interpretation of the more abundant life must deal not alone with
improvement, changing and even disappearing values, but chiefly with those
values in this life here upon the earth which are absolutes, which will
continue unchanged eternally....
"The Christian interpretation of the more abundant life takes the
supernatural into account and, I am afraid, will continue to be a rock of
offense to all those who will not see the life of man upon the earth
against the background of the supernatural life, which is the more abundant
life of which Christ spoke."--Boyle, Hugh, "The More Abundant Life" in
"Catholic Rural Life Objectives" (Third Series, 1937), p. 14.
88. Rev. Charles Plater, S.J. in "The Priest and Social Action" (p. 255),
quotes the following from a letter of Leo XIII addressed to the Bishops of
Italy on December 8, 1892:
"It is evident, Venerable Brethren, that all our above recommendations so
far from prejudicing the social activity of the clergy, tend to promote it
in the highest degree. Such social action has frequently been commended by
Us as a need of our age. In exacting the faithful observance of the rules
which We have recalled, We are helping to protect that which ought to be
the life and soul of such action. Let it here be repeated once more and
with greater emphasis: the clergy must go to the Christian people who are
on all sides surrounded by snares and who are tempted by all sorts of
delusive promises, and especially by Socialism, to abandon the faith of
The Holy Father goes on to say that priests should promote among the laity
those associations which are recognized to be really efficacious in
promoting the moral and material amelioration of the people.
On pages 257-259 of the work just cited, Father Plater gives further
information which may be summarized as follows:
Msgr. Radini-Tedeschi was chosen by Leo XIII to organize the Catholic
movement in Central Italy. His address delivered at the Fourteenth Catholic
Congress of Italy (Fiesole, September, 1896) may be regarded as an
authoritative expression of the Pope's views regarding the social action of
the clergy, and it received the special approbation of His Holiness. In the
address the prelate pointed out that the viewpoint which sees the priest's
sphere of work bounded by the church and sacristy, and which would bar him
from all social action, is erroneous and pernicious. He went on to say
that, for the enemies of the Church to take this line is not surprising;
but it is astonishing and discouraging to find the view expressed by some
of the laity and even of the clergy themselves. The priest must take his
place in social life. He must make serious efforts to secure that place;
and having secured it he must keep it. This is his mission, his imperative
duty. Not to fulfill this duty, both as a citizen and as a priest, is to be
guilty of treason, to disobey orders, to wrong his country, the Church, and
Jesus Christ. Not every priest should occupy himself with all these matters
but there is no sphere of work in which the clergy should not "take an
In March, 1905, the Abbe Francois of the Diocese of Cambrai was received in
private audience by Pope Pius X. Upon his departure His Holiness said to
him: "Tell your venerable archbishop of the great satisfaction with which I
learned that he has appointed two priests to devote themselves particularly
to the farmers and their laborers. I wish that all the rural clergy know,
together with their theology, those matters which interest the peasantry.
They can never do too much to show how the Church loves the working
89. Our advantages are unique. The smallness of our numbers should not
frighten us; only our own apathy and lack of confidence are to be feared.
But a small body of men and women with sound principles and a firm policy
is capable of influencing profoundly the social currents of even a great
nation. Effort and study, however, are essential, and this effort and study
are demanded by our Faith. For social action, especially in these days, is
not a matter that Catholics can regard as optional.--Cf. Plater, Charles,
op. cit., pp. 252, 253.
The success of the clergy of the diocese of Antigonish in promoting through
social action the spiritual and material welfare of their people indicates
what might be done in other places.
In the development "of a carefully conceived and truly workable pattern for
finer farm family living . . . the rural pastor will most likely be called
upon to be a master artisan, a sociologist, a philosopher, an agronomist, a
horticulturist, an agricultural engineer, an economist, a specialist in
family relations, all in addition to being 'a dispenser of the mysteries of
God.'"--Reynolds, Pauline, "Lived Nobly and Well" in "Rural Life Bulletin"
(February, 1939), p. 8.
"As to the preparation required for this task, the priest should engage in
serious study to be afterwards translated into practical work. It is for
the Bishops to see whether and how the seminary students can be better
trained than at present for social work. The social conferences of the
clergy which are held in various countries are deserving of all praise. It
is to be hoped that such conferences will be introduced, under the
direction of the Bishops, among the priests of Italy, who might thus study
methods and needs and encourage one another in their good works. There is
need of much hard work, of plain speaking and bold action, of self-
sacrifice and enterprising zeal."--Plater, S.J., Charles, Op. cit., pp.
The annual meetings of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference, the
institutes for Diocesan Rural Life Bureau Directors sponsored by the Rural
Life Bureau of the National Catholic Welfare Conference, and the literature
published by both the Rural Life Conference and Rural Life Bureau, aim at
preparing both clergy and laity for intelligent and energetic rural
Cf. Schmiedeler, E., "Planning Regional Institutes" in "Rural Catholic
Action," Diocesan Directors Series I, pp. 49 ff.
Annotations on Chapter IX
RURAL CHURCH EXPANSION
92. "If you examine a missionary map of the United States you will perhaps
be shocked to learn that about one-third of the three thousand counties in
our nation are without resident priest. The disfranchised counties done in
black, it will be noted that the black area thickens down here in the
Southland from the Atlantic to the Mississippi and thence west to New
Mexico, northwest into Colorado, Utah, and Idaho with a sprinkling of black
also in every other State except New England, New York, New Jersey,
Delaware, Wisconsin, and Arizona. But don't get the idea that the entire
white area is efficiently covered. There are hundreds of counties with only
one priest, others where priests are to be found only in a town or city
within the county's borders, leaving many wide stretches of terrain where,
in the aggregate, millions of souls have no contact whatever with a
representative of the Church."--Bishop, W. Howard, "The Organization of
Catholic Resources for Missionary Effort in the Hinterlands" in "Catholic
Rural Life Objectives" (Third Series, 1937), p. 169.
Perhaps the nearest approach to a general survey of the rural church,
Protestant and Catholic, in the United States, is Morse and Brunner, "The
Town and Country Church." This volume, published by the Institute of Social
and Religious Research, is based on data from 300 counties selected from
nine different regions.
For brief description of the early development of the rural Catholic Church
in the United States, cf. Schmiedeler, Edgar, "A Better Rural Life," Chap.
A partial survey made by the Very Rev. Charles V. McCoy, Director of the
Rural Life Bureau, of the Diocese of Little Rock, indicates the hazards to
the faith at the present time arising out of migration to areas distant
from a church. (Cf. "Contacting New Parishioners in Rural Districts," Rural
Catholic Action: Diocesan Directors Series I, p. 31.) In a number of
dioceses an effort is being made to counteract this unfortunate tendency by
instituting on a diocesan scale a land location service that seeks to
direct migrating families to places where parish plants have been
established. Regarding this service, cf. Schuler, R. B., "The St. Louis
Archdiocesan Program," Rural Catholic Action: Diocesan Directors Series I,
93. "And very little of our missionary labors have been expended in the
rural sections where large families are plentiful and the birth rate is
supplying both rural and urban sections with whatever increase they enjoy
in native born population. If this situation is not corrected by vastly
expanding our missionary efforts in the rural field, the future will bring
a gradual decline of Catholic strength in the urban centers, which are the
strongholds of Catholicity in America, with no compensating gains in the
country where the Church is weakest. But if we throw a proportionately
strong and persevering missionary offensive into the country, particularly
into those backward sections where the birth rate is highest, we shall by
that single strategy strengthen the Church's stand both rurally and in the
cities."--Bishop, W. Howard, loc. cit., p. 170.
"The children are overwhelmingly in the country. We pointed out fifteen
years ago that while very much more than half of the population of the
United States lived in what was described as urban territory, far more than
half of the children of school age were attending rural schools. Since that
time, with the practical ceasing of immigration, the importance of the
American farm as a source of population has become still more striking. The
most careful students of the subject point out that owing to the drop in
the birth rate a stationary population for the United States will be
reached in the next few decades. The official statistics published at the
beginning of this year throw a startling light on the subject. Only one
city with a population of more than a hundred thousand has enough children
to maintain permanently even a stationary population without accessions
from the country districts. Most cities have only about three-fourths of
the number of children necessary to maintain their present size, not to
speak of further growth. With immigration practically stopped, our cities,
both large and small, and consequently our city parishes, will depend for
their increase mainly on the natural increase of the rural population.
After allowing the most generous estimate of the increase of Catholic
population by conversion, it will be recognized by all that the principal
source of the growth of the Church in this country is to be found in births
in Catholic families. From this will be evident the sound basis in Catholic
policy provided by the major aims of the Catholic Rural Life Conference.
Those aims have been stated in two principal formulas. First: the building
up in the United States of ten thousand strong country parishes; and
secondly: the anchoring on the land of a larger percentage of the strong,
vigorous, and intelligent boys and girls who were born there."--O'Hara,
Edwin V., "A Spiritual and Material Mission to Rural America" in "Catholic
Rural Life Objectitves" (First Series, 1935), p. 4.
94. Cf. Chap. IV, "Catholic Rural Education."
95. "Would you know the desolation of living in a country where Mass is
said only once a month by a visiting priest; would you know the hurt to
religion to dwell in a land where children grow up with only the barest
knowledge of their holy faith? Picture yourself traveling over miles and
miles of country, through one town after another and never finding a cross
lifted on high to mark the Tabernacle dwelling place of our Eucharistic
Jesus. Yet it is true that the South is the land of few crosses and
Tabernacles. Little wonder, then, that the roll calls and membership lists
of the numerous non-Catholic churches are rich in familiar Irish, French
and German Catholic names."--Mother Mary of the Incarnate Word,
"Evangelizing the Disfranchised" in "Catholic Rural Life Objectives" (Third
Series, 1937), p. 120.
98. "American rural life cries out for a modern Benedict of Nursia. There
is no substitute for the religious community as a vitalizing center for the
Catholic rural community."--O'Hara. Edwin V., "The Church and the Country
Community," p. 57.
In a statement read before the assembled Abbots of the American Cassinese
Congregation, on the occasion of their General Chapter, held at St. John's
Abbey, Collegeville, Minnesota, in August, 1938, by the Rt. Rev. Abbot
Martin Veth, O.S.B., Abbot of St. Benedict's Abbey, Atchison, Kansas,
attention was drawn to the phenomenal accomplishments of St. Benedict
through the rebuilding of the ruined world of his day on a stable and
Christian agricultural foundation and to the contrast between the disturbed
social conditions of St. Benedict's day and those of our own. The statement
then urged that Benedictines "lend their efforts, their resources, and
their prayers to the building in our day of a renewed and more vigorous, a
more enriched and more satisfying Christian rural culture." A resolution
that was drawn up on the basis of the abbots' statement read: "The Chapter
commends the efforts of every member of the congregation who in any way
promotes the reintegration of rural life."
Similarly, a resolution was called for regarding missionary endeavor among
the Negroes in the rural South. The recommendation was made that individual
abbeys interest themselves in the founding of an agricultural school for
Negroes, and the hope was expressed that such a school, when founded, would
gradually develop into a Benedictine community of colored priests and lay
brothers. "It is easy to see," it was remarked, "what a blessing such an
undertaking might prove to be for the much neglected colored race in
99. The early work of the Catholic Church Extension Society is described by
its founder, the Most Rev. Francis C. Kelley, in his volume, "The Story of
Extension," published by the Extension Press, Chicago. The kind and extent
of the Society's more recent activities are reflected in the following
facts from its thirty-third (1938) annual report: 75 mission chapels and
parish buildings costing from $3,000 to $5,000 were built or repaired with
the help of the Society and for this work, nearly $100,000 was disbursed to
39 dioceses. Nearly $50,000 was sent out for monthly subsidies to priests
in isolated districts. The subsidies to students for the missionary
priesthood totaled $75,000. The Society, the report added, forwarded nearly
$200,000 in Mass intentions to missionary Bishops for distribution among
needy clergy. The sum contributed toward these various home mission
projects amounted to approximately a half million dollars.
100. The North Caroline Apostolate, established by Father Frederick Price,
for the conversion of North Carolina, is the forerunner, if not the parent,
of most of the rural offensive missionary efforts in the United States
today. It is also in a sense the parent of our American foreign missionary
activities. Father Price, its founder, under the inspiration of his labors
in North Carolina, became co-founder with Father James Anthony Walsh of
Maryknoll. The work of spreading the Faith in non-Catholic sections of
North Carolina has continued under Bishop Hafey and his successor, Bishop
Outdoor preaching in small towns and villages was begun in Oklahoma by
Father Stephen A. Leven, who received his inspiration from the work of the
Catholic Evidence Guild in London. Assisted by a few seminarians, he
inaugurated the practice of driving out from his home parish in a motor car
to small centers where there were no Catholic churches and giving talks on
the Church, thus carrying the idea of street preaching into the rural areas
for the first time. He is perhaps the first priest in the United States to
pursue a motorized missionary program in rural places with a fixed parish
as a center.
Father L. J. Fallon, C.M., a professor at Kenrick Seminary, St. Louis, was
one of those who assisted Father Leven in his Oklahoma missions. He
afterwards inaugurated a similar work in the Ozark Mountain country of
Missouri, during the summer vacation months. He uses a public-address
system to amplify his message, and is assisted by seminarians from Kenrick
Seminary. The seminarians are given a six weeks' course of instruction and
are sent out during the vacation months in bands under the direction of
priests, to several different mission centers. A new development Father
Fallon has introduced is the correspondence course for prospective
converts. Listeners who become interested during the summer speaking tours
are given a regular course of instruction in Catholic faith and practice by
mail. For this purpose a certain portion of Kenrick Seminary is set apart
and a corps of seminarians assist in the office work. The whole motor
mission and follow-up program, as developed by the Vincentian Fathers, has
spread to other dioceses where their community is represented.
Work is carried on by the Vincentian Fathers of Kenrick Seminary in the
diocese of St. Joseph, under the direction of Father Frederick Coupal, C.M.
A similar work is being conducted from St. Thomas Seminary, in the Diocese
of Denver, by the Vincentian Fathers under the direction of Father Joseph
L. Lilly, C.M.
Fathers Thomas W. Green and Alex G. Stremmel inaugurated the work of street
preaching and the answering of questions about the Church in the Diocese of
Wichita, Kansas, in 1935. The work has had a rapid increase. Catholic
literature is sent by mail to those who become interested Seminarians
assist in the work.
Father Thomas Mindrup, who, like Father Fallon, also received his first
training under Father Leven in Oklahoma, is now engaged in motor mission
work in the Diocese of Indianapolis. He works from Greenfield, Indiana, as
headquarters. A large and interested class of prospective converts is
practical evidence of the thoroughness of Father Mindrup's work begun in
the autumn of 1938.
The Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity, a community of priests
established by Father Judge at Trinity, Alabama, perform various missionary
services for the preservation of the Faith among fallen-away Catholics and
for the spread of the Faith generally.
While the chapel car has fallen into disuse, the trailer chapel and other
mediums for conducting "motor missions" in religiously underprivileged
areas are rapidly coming to the fore.
David Goldstein, a layman and convert from the Jewish faith (formerly
assisted by Mrs. Martha Avery), has, for many years, been "campaigning for
Christ" in various parts of the United States, on city street corners and
in small towns and villages. Mr. Goldstein pursued his apostolate with the
aid of a motor car for many years before the present vogue of motor
Fathers Joseph Cunningham, C.S.P., and Thomas Halloran, C.S.P., entered the
motorized missionary field in September, 1937. With their motor chapel
trailer, "St. Lucy," they have since been giving outdoor missions to non-
Catholics in many rural places in the mountain country around Winchester,
Tennessee, where their headquarters is located.
The Paulist Fathers have also established a headquarters for motor mission
work at Vernal, Utah, from which they will pursue their apostolic labors in
the Mormon country with the aid of their new trailer chapel, "St. Paul the
Apostle." Fathers Maurice Fitzgerald, C.P., and Robert J. Murphy, C.P.,
have been detailed to this work.
The Rev. David L. Scully of the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois, assisted
by a group of secular priests, began motor missionary activities in 1937.
In 1938 they added to the string of towns they had visited in their own
diocese, a newly formed itinerary in the Diocese of Amarillo, Texas,
arranged for them by Rev. T. J. Drury.
A program of motorized missionary work is now under preparation in the
Diocese of Savannah-Atlanta. The work, very appropriately, will be pursued
from the building which was formerly the national headquarters of the Ku
Klux Klan in the city of Atlanta.
In the Diocese of Mobile, Alabama, Father Harold Purcell, formerly editor
of "The Sign," having relinquished his very successful editorial labors in
favor of the home mission field, began his cherished work of establishing
the "City of St. Jude" for families of the colored race, near Montgomery.
His ultimate object is the conversion and the successful settlement of
Negro families on the land, but a program of medical and sanitary aid, in
which he is assisted by trained nurses, is also being pursued. Two other
priests are engaged in the work with Father Purcell.
In the same Diocese of Mobile, Father Arthur Terminiello was the first
priest in the United States to use the trailer-chapel type of motorized
missionary work. He has been visiting a group of towns in the vicinity of
St. Teresa's Village, which he established a few years ago to provide small
homes and farming sites for share-cropper families. He, too, is assisted by
seminarians in his motor mission activities.
Since 1937, Father C. M. Carty, of the Archdiocese of St. Paul, has been
touring rural sections with a motor chapel, addressing audiences of non-
On diocesan mission bands composed of secular priests, cf. Rev. Edward L.
Stephens, "Rural Convert Making," Diocesan Directors Series II, Rural Life
101. "The Missionary Servants of the Most Blessed Trinity now approximate
three hundred members laboring for the preservation of the Faith in
congested industrial cities of the East, among black and white, in the
neglected outlying sections of the South, in scattered mining towns and far
off Puerto Rico, among black and white, native Americans and foreign born,
and wherever there is a leakage in the Church through the apathy and
indifference of careless Catholics, and through proselytizing activities."-
-Mother Mary of the incarnate Word, "Evangelizing the Disfranchised" in
"Catholic Rural Life Objectives" (Third Series, 1937), p. 111.
The Society of Missionary Catechists of Victory Noll, Huntington, Indiana,
have for the past fifteen years been devoting themselves to the rescue of
fallen-away Catholics of Mexican blood in the southwestern section of the
United States. Their work is in a large measure rural. The society was
founded in 1921 by Rev. John J. Sigstein.--Cf. Catechist Genevieve
Sullivan, "Catechetical Enterprise in the Southwest" in "Catholic Rural
Life Objectives" (Third Series, 1937), p. 157; also cf. Schmiedeler's "A
Better Rural Life," pp. 89-91.
The Catholic Evidence Bureau, N.C.C.M., 1312 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.,
Washington, D. C., was sponsored by the National Council of Catholic Men
and has the approval of the Administrative Council of the N.C.W.C. The
Bureau has gathered much valuable information and has published the only
complete history of American Catholic Evidence Guilds. its services are
available on request.
102. The Home Missioners of America, now in the initial stages of
formation, under the patronage of the Archbishop of Cincinnati and under
the direction of Rev. W. Howard Bishop, have as their object to labor for
conversions in the rural sections of America which are not at present
reached by priests. They have called these sections the "No-Priest Land of
America." They take the same attitudes toward the home mission field that
foreign mission societies like Maryknoll have taken toward the foreign
field; namely, to settle down and live among the people to be converted.
For this reason their program includes permanent canonical organization,
thorough preparation for the mission field, and a definite plan of
missionary action. Missionary preaching in small priestless towns near St.
Martin, Ohio, the cradle of the new Society, is now being carried on.
Cf. Bishop, W. Howard, "Plan for American Society of Catholic Home Missions
to Operate in the Rural Sections of the United States" in "Ecclesiastical
Review" (March, 1936).
"Through the years of its existence the Conference has held to its purpose
to serve the spiritual interests of rural America. its officers and
membership dream by habit the dreams of its illustrious founder, Bishop
O'Hara, that in God's own season and by God's own power to provide, ten
thousand new Catholic parishes may come to decorate the landscape in our
nation's remoter districts--ten thousand parishes manned by ten thousand
'quality' priests who recognize and respect the rural apostolate for what
it is. Commensurately with its meager resources, the Conference has been
privileged to initiate or foster the development of some projects of
unquestioned merit. Through the agency, for example, of the literature it
has produced, it has contributed to a better understanding of the economic,
social and spiritual importance of agrarianism. By its annual convention,
with the attendant nationwide publicity, it has drawn Catholic and non-
Catholic notice to the Church's ability and desire to assist in the
solution of rural problems of whatever nature. in the sphere of general
education, Conference effort to adjust the service of rural Catholic grade
and high schools to the specific needs of country boys and girls has met
with some success. On the side of religious education, the religious
vacation school movement has had its inception within the Conference. For
many years before it acquired autonomy, the organization 'mothered' the
Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, and it takes no small satisfaction for
having supplied some of the inspiration to one of its distinguished past-
presidents, the Reverend W. Howard Bishop, to proceed with the foundation
of the 'Home Missioners of America' for the evangelization of the rural
United States."--Byrnes, James A., Foreword, "Catholic Rural Life
Objectives" (Third Series, 1937), p. 8.
Annotations on Chapter X
106. J. H. Kolb and Edmund de S. Brunner, in their "A Study of Rural
Society" (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.), Chapter 12, present comparative
notes on rural and urban health conditions. The following is a summary of
their observations: "Rural leaders have boasted, and with justification, of
the natural advantages of living in the country--fresh air, sunshine and
access to a food supply. They have pointed to lower death rates in the
country than in the city, to a longer life expectancy, and to less
likelihood of contracting certain diseases, especially those spread by
personal contact. Recently, however, a reverse trend in death rates seems
to be under way. Dr. Lumsden, of the United States Public Health Service,
has pointed out that in the twenty-five years after the turn of the
century, the death rate in the entire registration area (states in which
vital statistics are kept) fell, but that the decline was greater for
cities than for the country. it was 4.7 per 1,000 population for places of
10,000 and over, and only 3.0 for rural areas" (pp. 540, 541). in 1929,
according to Kolb and Brunner, for the first time in 20 years, the
mortality among children under one year of age was greater in rural
sections than in urban areas. "Arguments can be advanced, of course, that
rural migrations worked in favor of the cities, but authorities seem to
agree that the reduction in general urban death rates as well as infant
mortality rates is traceable to organized efforts to improve sanitary
conditions and to the building up of public health services. Natural
advantages are no longer sufficient to keep rural society in the van of a
better health movement. in a period when life must be made secure in local
communities, a real task faces rural society."--Op. cit., pp. 541, 542.
These authorities present a table (Table 8, p. 543) from the Bureau of
Census for 1931 on "Births, Still Births, and infant Mortality." in this
table rural and urban areas are compared in respect to certain types of
diseases fatal to both children and adults. The table indicates that in
four of the specified types the mortality rates were higher for the rural
than for the urban group. According to health authorities, "These higher
rates reflect unsanitary conditions in many rural areas, and the failure to
observe quarantine and other health regulations."--Op. cit., p. 543.
In respect to the higher old-age rate which still prevails in the country,
these authors suggest that it is accounted for by the presence "of a
proportionately larger number of old people in rural population." The
allocation of deaths at the place where the deaths occur, which is the
usual method in most states, rather than at the place of residence, may
account for the lower mortality record of the country. On this Kolb and
Brunner state significantly: "The Wisconsin mortality tables for 1932 and
1933 show that while the recorded general urban death rates are higher than
the rural rates, the reverse is generally true when the deaths are
allocated according to residence."--Op. cit., p. 545.
Lack of adequate health organizations and lack of adequate hospital and
medical facilities characterize the countryside. Kolb and Brunner quote
studies made on the exodus of physicians from the rural sections. These
studies made for the period between 1906 and 1930 indicate "a steady
decline in the proportion of physicians to population in all rural
territory."--Op. cit., p. 550. An analysis made in the states of New York,
South Carolina, Iowa, and Washington reveals the following: in the areas
covered there was an increase in the rural population of 5.3 per cent and a
decline in the number of rural physicians of about 22 per cent.
A further significant part of the study reveals the fact that "not only
were there fewer doctors in rural areas in 1930 than in 1920, but the
doctors who remained were older than the city physicians, and older, on the
average, than in 1920" (p. 552). if the country is to secure the younger
and better trained doctors, hospital and laboratory facilities must be made
available and the problem of sufficient remuneration must be worked out.
Cf. L. L. Lumsden, "The Physical Status of Farm Youth" in "Rural America,"
March, 1927; "Births, Still Births, and infant Mortality" (U. S. Department
of Commerce, Bureau of Census, 1931); L. W. Hutchcroft, "The Truth About
Rural and Urban Birth Rates," Wisconsin State Board of Health Bulletin,
Vol. 5, No. 19, 1934; Sorokin, Zimmerman, and Galpin, "Systematic Source
Book in Rural Sociology," Vol. 3 (University of Minnesota Press);
"Municipal Doctor System in Saskatchewan" (University of Chicago Press,
Through the introduction of proper health programs in the rural areas, the
country could achieve a health record far superior to the health record of
107. "One of the main ends to be attained by an intensive educational
campaign for sanitation is the creation of adequate local health
organizations. The people of the average community need to be educated to
appreciate that money intelligently spent for the prevention of disease is
money saved from loss in diminished earnings and in the care and treatment
of the sick. They need to know that an efficient whole-time county health
officer is worth to the community many times over the amount of his salary.
At the present time many of our rural people are willing enough to expend
money liberally to secure the best treatment available for their sick but
will offer strenuous objections to a thoroughly reasonable expenditure of
public money for the employment of a health officer to prevent sickness.
Without an adequate local health organization to direct the work, it
appears that, in the average community, a reasonably good standard of
sanitation will not be attained and maintained.
"The need of advancement of rural sanitation is all too obvious even from
casual observation. in the cruder matters of sanitation, such as the
cleanly disposal of human excreta, the safeguarding of water supplies
against contamination with filth, and the protection of goods from invasion
by flies, most of our country homes are lacking. As a result of the
unsanitary conditions in our rural districts, thousands of our people every
year needlessly die."--"Public Health Bulletin," No. 94 on Rural
Sanitation, U. S. Public Health Service (Government Printing Office,
Washington, D. C.), p. 13.
108. On the occasion of the White House Conference on Child Care and
Protection the following recommendations regarding public rural health
administration were made: "Rural health department should be based upon the
county unit, and should be an integral part of the county government. For
counties where the population is too small, or the financial resources
inadequate to justify a separate organization, some plan of uniting with
other counties to form a larger health district must be devised.
"Each county health department should be under the general direction of a
board of health or health commission. The board or commission should
include not more than seven members, appointed for long terms which expire
in rotation. it should include representatives of the county government,
the medical profession, and the general public.
"The health officer should be charged with all executive and administrative
authority. He should be a physician trained and experienced in the
administration of health departments and appointed without reference to his
residence or political affiliations. He should not practice medicine or
engage in any other business, but should be required to give his whole time
to the duties of his office. He should receive a salary equivalent to the
net income of the better class of practitioners in the county. He should be
appointed for an indefinite term and should be removed only after charges
have been preferred and a hearing held before some impartial body.
"The personnel of the county health department should include nurses,
laboratory workers, clerks, inspectors, and in some cases sanitary
engineers, statisticians and veterinarians and other technical and lay
employees. The department should have the authority to employ on part time
practicing physicians needed for clinical service, and provision should be
made for their reasonable compensation. Subordinate employees should be
appointed without reference to their political qualifications or residence.
The salary scale should be adjusted to attract enough applicants so that
the selection of satisfactory persons is assured.
"Appointments to county health departments should be made from certified
civil service lists wherever a state or county civil service system exists.
Where there is no civil service system, legal provision should be made for
the examination and certification of health officers, nurses, laboratory
workers, statisticians, engineers, and all technical employees by the state
department of health, the state university, the state board of education or
some other body. Such examinations, if rigidly and impartially conducted,
offer the best guarantee of freedom from partisan political influences in
"The system of state and federal subsidies used to promote and maintain
county health departments had proved its utility and should be extended.
"It is usually desirable that the state department of health include an
organization to promote county health departments in unorganized areas, to
maintain standards of service, and to regulate the disbursements of funds
granted the units.
"Federal funds for the promotion of rural health service should be
disbursed through the state health authorities and should not be allocated
on the basis of population alone. Federal funds should be expended for the
promotion and maintenance of rural health organizations rather than for the
promotion of special forms of health activity.
"A division in the Bureau of United States Public Health Service should be
created equal in rank and importance to existing divisions, to assist the
states in promoting rural health service, to expend federal funds
appropriated for that purpose, and to assemble and publish information on
rural health organization and administration in the United States. This
might be accomplished by changing the title of the present Division of
Domestic Quarantine and making promotion of rural hygiene its major
function."--"Public Health Organization," White House Conference Series
(New York: D. Appleton-Century Company), pp. 22, 23.
The Catholic Charities Review (November, 1938, p. 271) presents the
following comments on the proposed National Health Program:
"In order to understand the proposed National Health Program it might be
well to recall that in August, 1935, the President appointed the
interdepartmental Committee. This committee set up a Technical Committee on
Medical Care. The interdepartmental Committee called a National Health
Conference in Washington last July 18, 19, and 20. At this Conference the
Technical Committee presented certain concrete proposals for discussion.
These proposals were substantially five in number, providing for the
expansion of public health services--including maternal and child health
services; Federal assistance for the expansion of hospital facilities;
Federal assistance for the care of the indigent sick; a program of medical
care for wage earners to be supported by general taxation; payroll taxes,
or a combination of both; compensation for wage losses due to ill health.
"The American Medical Association does not raise much question about the
need for expanded public health facilities, about the need for hospitals in
uncovered areas, and a more adequate program for the medically indigent. It
is even willing to go along on a program of compensation for the wage
losses due to ill health. The fundamental conflict centers around the
proposed program of medical care for self-supporting persons. The Medical
Association is unalterably opposed to a program of compulsory health
insurance as a means of providing medical care for wage earners. Apparently
organized medicine is in favor of a medical benefit as a part of a
workmen's compensation program. it may be, after all, that the differences
of opinion are not as wide as they seemed. Careful discussion may help us
to avoid the mistakes that we have made in unemployment compensation. if we
try to get a perfect and complete system in the beginning, the chances are
that we will get something which will never work."
109. The problem of providing an adequate health program for the neglected
rural areas, including hospital and medical facilities, as well as adequate
health organization, is too vast for private and cooperative endeavor.
Federal assistance even is required at least in a number of rural states.
The entrance of the State, however, should not destroy the programs of
private and cooperative groups or arrest their development. Best results
will be attained if the traditional American system of cooperation between
government and private groups is retained and expanded.
An example of a cooperative health association is that of Altura,
Minnesota. This association procures the services of a physician for all of
its members. The doctor cares for all sick calls and gives a twice-a-year
examination to all members, and in addition does some inspection and
educational work for the good of the association. The physician's salary is
$3,000 a year. Family memberships are $24.
"The Cooperative Method really begins when a group of 150 to 500 families
unite to employ a physician full time. The number of people necessary and
the costs depend upon their ability to pay. in the country, or in a small
town, 200 families, representing 800 people, may put in an average of $20
per family. That is at the rate of $5 per person. This gives $4,000 a year.
Physicians are entering into this arrangement for salaries varying from
$3,000 to $7,000. it is best that the annual costs per member be graded
according to family income. if a group is divided into three classes of
families, one group would pay $40 a year, one $20, and one $10--making an
average of $20. A plan which would be equitable would be to make the
average cost $10 for one individual, $15 for man and wife, and $2 for each
child or dependent. Thus, in a group of 200 married couples, of 380
children, and of 24 single adults, the income would be $4,000."--Warbasse,
J. P., "The Doctor and the Public" (New York: Paul B. Hoeber, inc. Medical
book dept. of Harper and Bros.), p. 498.
110. In an address given in 1938 on "Mobilization for Human Needs,"
President Franklin D. Roosevelt said:
"Private community effort is not contradictory in principle to government
effort, whether local, state or national. All of these are needed to make
up the partnership upon which our nation is founded. The scope of voluntary
action cannot be limited because the very desire to help the less fortunate
is a basis and spontaneous human urge that knows no boundary lines. it is
an urge that advances civilization. I like to think that it is a national
112. According to the American Medical Association, 1,779 counties in the
United States have one or more general hospitals and 1,296 counties are
entirely without hospitals within their boundaries.--"Important Hospital
Facts," Bulletin 30, American Medical Association, March, 1935, pp. 34, 35.
For descriptions of Catholic hospital facilities in several rural dioceses,
cf. Schmiedeler, Edgar, "A Better Rural Life," pp. 228--231.
Representatives of the American Hospital Association, The Protestant
American Hospital Association, and the Catholic Hospital Association
submitted a joint statement at the National Health Conference (July, 1938).
The following excerpts are from this statement:
"It is not our place at this moment to urge upon those who are to formulate
our legislation the motives which we believe should urge them to recommend
any particular pattern, but it is our place here to stress what we believe
to be the important, guiding and controlling principle in any future
development, namely, the principle that whatever programs and procedures
are drafted, they should be such that, in the words of a particularly
valuable and experienced member of our Committee, 'they may alter to the
least necessary extent the existing plan of cooperative understanding
between public and private agencies.' This principle does not imply that
the representatives of the Hospital Associations have blinded themselves to
shortcomings in our present system. We may well admit that on the part of
the voluntary agencies there should be developed greater coordination,
continuity and unity of effort; that on the part of the governmental
agencies there should be extension of function into hitherto unaffected
geographical, psychological and social areas; and with reference to the
mutual cooperation of the two that there should be more careful and
effective planning, more extensive mutual subsidy of effort. Wherever
possible the governmental agencies should place at the disposal of the
private agencies those resources which are required to accomplish the work
which the private agencies could perform more effectively than the
"All of this we frankly admit. There still remains, however, the
outstanding fact that consistent with American trends, the Government has
allowed the private agencies the fullest exercise of their initiative and
their prudent zeal in the promotion of ever so many of our national
responsibilities. Now that we welcome the increased interest of the Federal
Government as well as of the state and local governments inspired by the
Federal Government in the health problems of the Nation, we are convinced
that this increased and stimulated interest should manifest itself in
deeper insight into and a far-reaching influence toward the relationships
between the private and the public agencies. . . . With reference to the
increase in the number of hospitals, the representatives of our Three
Associations recommend a measure of prudent reserve no less than of
effective activity." Here the statement warns against the erection of
hospitals where the need does not exist thus "weakening the effective
operation of existing institutions." The statement continues: "But it
certainly seems to be the part of wisdom to authorize the expenditure of
public funds only when the need for which they are to be expended has been
frankly ascertained and when the multiplication of facilities does not
operate against the continued employment of facilities already created....
in the pronouncements of the interdepartmental Committee great stress is
laid upon the Government's responsibility for the care of the indigent.
With this again we are in accord but that responsibility surely cannot be
visualized as an exclusive responsibility nor as one which must absorb the
social resources that have been developed through our existing American
procedure. Here again we should like to emphasize the development of
cooperative plans by the public and private agencies. Here again if the
cooperative plan is to be intensified, there may be an opportunity for the
wise and profitable expenditure of public funds to remunerate in part the
private institutions for the public service which they are rendering and
thus to increase their effectiveness for the promotion of the public
welfare. The allocation of tax support for these public services would
stimulate the private institutions towards still greater efforts and would,
we hope, place at the disposal of the medically indigent and the indigent,
facilities which the Government would undoubtedly find it extremely
difficult to duplicate."
On the government and Catholic institutions of health, cf. "Bishop LeBlond
Loolis at the Hospital Situation" in "The Catholic Charities Review
"(November, 1938), p. 288.
113. Cf. Mother Mary of the incarnate Word, "Evangelizing the
Disfranchised" in "Rural Life Objectives" (Third Series, 1937), p. 113.
114. On Maternity Guilds, cf. Schagemann, J. J., "Maternity Guild Series,"
Central Bureau, St. Louis, Missouri; also cf. articles by Schmiedeler,
Edgar, "That's Something Practical" in the "Catholic Family Monthly "(June,
1935), and "The Maternity Guild" in "The Sign" (March, 1939).
A group composed of persons with average incomes are able, as a group, to
meet the cost of medical and hospital care, but as individuals they are
unable to meet the expense arising through the incidence of unexpected
illness. This is a fundamental reason for both health and hospital
insurance. A further reason for group protection is given on page 57,
"Proceedings" (1938), National Health Conference, as follows:
"Recent studies provide a basis for estimating the cost of adequate medical
care as defined by competent professional judgment. "if purchased on an
individual basis for minimum fees." such care (exclusive of the costs of
community services, dentistry, medicines, or appliances) would cost, on the
average, about $76 per person a year or about $310 for a family of average
size. Obviously, such expenditures for medical care would be possible for
the great majority of all families only with extraordinary adjustments in
the distribution of income, in budgets, and in standards of living.
"Alternatively, the cost of adequate care may be estimated
crudely on the assumption that care is purchased by groups rather than by
individuals. From the experience of various organized medical service and
insurance plans, about $17.50 per person a year appears to be a reasonable
minimum estimate of the cost of furnishing adequate care, exclusive of
dentistry. Adequate dental care would cost at least an additional $7.50 per
person a year. This gives $25 per person or $100 for a family of four as an
estimated minimum cost of adequate care purchased collectively by groups
rather than by individuals."
Systems of group hospital insurance are working out successfully in many
cities of the nation. The success in urban centers warrants experimentation
with group hospital insurance in rural sections.
On the recommendation made by the Technical Committee to the
Interdepartmental Committee of the National Health Conference in respect to
public medical care and compulsory health insurance, the statement
presented by the three hospital associations contains the following
"Concerning the prepayment of hospital care, our three Hospital
Associations are in accord that through non-profit plans, on a voluntary
basis, sound programs under professional leadership, and extension of these
plans to rural areas with a liberalization of the membership requirements
and the extension of benefits, should be strongly urged. The hospital
insurance plans which are so young, have, nevertheless already shown their
ability to face the national needs with a vigorous effectiveness. These
plans should be given the fullest encouragement. if effective, as they
undoubtedly will be, they will reach larger sections of our population.
They will reach down more and more into the less privileged groups as
financial reserves are built up which will make them actuarially and
financially sound and will encompass, we honestly believe, a major part of
the needs towards the alleviation of which the National Health program is
devised. The suggestion has been made and is seriously entertained to
request the interdepartmental Committee that steps be taken to formulate
legislation enabling these Associations to secure Federal charters not only
as a stimulation to them in their endeavors but also to facilitate
administration and extension.
"With reference to compulsory health insurance, our three Associations have
not as yet reached a complete unanimity. To this much all three
Associations would subscribe, that if provisions for compulsory health
insurance are to be understood as a prescription for every citizen to
provide for some form of health and sickness security, all of us would be
in complete accord. in other words, if it were left to the individual
citizen to adopt this or that form, provided he adopts a form of economic
protection in sickness, all of us would subscribe to such a program.
Annotations on Chapter XI
RURAL SOCIAL CHARITY
116. "We are grateful to all those members of charitable associations, from
the conferences of St. Vincent de Paul to the recent great relief-
organizations, which are perseveringly practicing the spiritual and
corporal works of mercy. The more the workingmen and the poor realize what
the spirit of love animated by the virtue of Christ is doing for them, the
more readily will they abandon the false persuasion that Christianity has
lost its efficacy and that the Church stands on the side of the exploiters
of their labor."--Pius XI, "On Atheistic Communism," n. 46.
117. "Charity will never be true charity unless it takes justice into
constant account.... And let no one attempt with trifling charitable
donations to exempt himself from the great duties imposed by justice. Both
justice and charity often dictate obligations touching on the same subject-
matter, but under different aspects."--Pius XI, "On Atheistic Communism,"
"Justice is fundamental in the social order because it defines and defends
the individual at points where he is in danger from others or from social
conditions against which he is helpless. Charity is fundamental in the
social order because it corrects the selfish impulses of strength and
reinforces those who are weak with a view to a more perfect realization of
the cultural and spiritual ideals of life. Were there no sense of justice
individuals would be crushed by the community. Were there no sense of
charity the community would perish because self-seeking would disintegrate
it. Justice involves full respect for the rights of others no less than
insistence on one's personal rights. Charity includes all life and all
attitudes in life. it is not confined to the giving of relief. it engages
the solicitude of every form of strength and wisdom for every kind of
weakness and despair. The law of charity is universal in the Kingdom of
Christ. The qualities upon which our Divine Lord laid emphasis are the
offspring of charity which is the bond of union among men. Kindness,
forgiveness, humility, freedom from resentment, the discipline of ambition
are required for the corporate unity of life and they are insisted upon in
the teaching of Christ because of His desire to see social relations
express the Divine Will. Hatred, scorn, crass selfishness are forbidden
because they break the divine harmony of life."--Kerby, Dr. William J.,
"The Social Mission of Charity" (New York: The Macmillan Co., 1921), p. 83.
118. "Sympathy with the poor will never master poverty. Dealing with
isolated cases of it will never give us insight into its real nature.
Assumptions concerning its nature, gratuitous theories about it, self-
sufficient attitudes that excuse us from efforts to learn facts and their
meaning can only hinder progress, prolong suffering and delay the day of
social justice. Thinking, courage, industry, docile minds and impersonal
devotion to intelligent ideals, these and these alone will prepare the
modern good samaritan for the divine tasks of Christian Charity in the
modern world."--Kerby, William J., op. cit., p. 4.
Cf. also, Haas, F. J., "Man and Society," Chaps. IV, V (New York: D.
Appleton Century Company).
119. "The philosophy of the Catholic Charities stresses the importance of
the individual, of the human being, and of the dignity of the human
personality."--Duggan, R. P., "Catholic Charities in Rural America" in
"Catholic Rural Life Objectives" (Third Series, 1937), p. 182.
"The practical realization of the full and accurate meaning of charity (is)
not mere relief but neighborly personal service."--Fitzgerald, J., "The
Society of St. Vincent de Paul and Rural Life" in "Catholic Rural Life
Objectives" (Third Series, 1937), p. 175.
The impelling motive of charity stressed in the St. Vincent de Paul Society
is the sanctification of the one who dispenses charity." In Catholic
Charity the motive is static; the methods, dynamic."--Cf. Kerby, W. J.
The prevalent philosophy of social service differs fundamentally in its
objective and its approach from Christian social charity. The primary
objective of the prevalent philosophy of social service is the betterment
of society, through the eradication of crime, poverty, and other social
ills. The welfare of the individual is a secondary consideration. its aim
to better society often finds expression in such quack remedies as birth
control and sterilization. The social worker trained in this secular
philosophy of social service assumes an attitude of condescension toward
those to whom he ministers. His clients are looked upon as a distinct
class. He is taught, it is true, to make a kindly and sympathetic approach;
still his attitude is that of a being of finer clay ministering to
"socially inadequate personalities." Social work of this type lacks in its
objective and its approach the element of charity necessary to rehabilitate
the erring, the unfortunate, and the underprivileged.
121. The tendency toward State monopoly is recognizable. State monopoly was
advocated by certain groups of sociologists for at least two generations.
Many of these sociologists recognized no legitimate place for religion and
regarded private agencies as pioneers who were to prepare the way for
eventual state monopoly. The public welfare program in the United States is
not confined to the dispensing of relief; it seeks also to rehabilitate the
underprivileged; it tends to appropriate to itself the mission of the
Church in respect to the underprivileged and the delinquent. The tendency
is to make psychiatry and social work substitutes for religion. We do not
imply that the place for religion and the private agency is everywhere
ignored, but there are definite trends which should cause deep concern for
Unless we are prepared to surrender the field to the State, with its
bureaucratic social service and its secular approach to the problems of
child and family, organized charity must extend the field of its activities
to the countryside. Organized charity should enter the field, not as a
rival to public welfare but rather in the spirit of friendly cooperation.
The final form which the public welfare program will take will depend in no
small measure on the influences exerted by the private groups in shaping
it. The general welfare will be promoted through this type of cooperation.
122. In many States children under the care of private agencies are
supported in part out of tax money.
123. The not uncommon attitude is expressed thus: "Since the Government is
caring for the underprivileged, there is no longer any need for private
charities." But expansion of private charities is one of the best methods
of reducing government costs.
124. "We are growing accustomed to the belief that something should be done
to eradicate urban slum conditions, but relatively few people are aware of
the fact that we have rural slum conditions as well. Farm houses in many
parts of the country would have been condemned for occupancy long ago had
they been in urban areas and open to the scrutiny of public officials and
welfare workers. They are old, dangerous as fire hazards, devoid of
household facilities, badly in need of repair, and in many cases not even
adequate as shelter. Certainly they do not inspire any pride of ownership
or joy of occupancy. They are isolated, run-down, and unfit to house human
beings."--"Disadvantaged Classes in American Agriculture," Social Research
Report No. VIII, p. 109 (U.S.D.A.).
"The city slums are being cleaned up, but the rural slums are continuing to
exist without disturbance."--Bruce, Frank, "Is There a Rural Charity
Problem?" in "Rural Life Bulletin" August, 1938, p. 12.
"In 1930 almost 1,000,000 farm families--15 per cent of the total number--
received an income per family of less than $400. During the depression
approximately 1,400,000 rural families were on our relief rolls....
"Today approximately 50 per cent of our farms and farmlands are operated by
tenants. These developments (decreased farm ownership, increased share-
cropping, farm tenancy, and transiency of agricultural workers) have
produced the resultant social problems of economic insecurity, familial
instability, domestic disintegration, and the insecurity of rural
childhood."-Duggan, R. P., "Catholic Charities in Rural America" in
"Catholic Rural Life Objectives" (Third Series, 1937), p. 180.
"We must go to his aid (the country priest); not go to supplant him in
charity nor attempt to transplant our city methods upon the countryside. We
must go to our rural life leaders to learn from them and with their advice
and cooperation develop a new rural social service unfettered by urban
techniques many of which are not standing up any too well even in the
cities, a social service in which the country parish and mission are the
units and units as nearly as possible autonomous and not mere appendages of
a top heavy central metropolitan headquarters. We must ask the country
priests how we can help them and then as nearly as can be, help them that
way."--Fitzgerald, J., "The Society of St. Vincent de Paul and Rural Life"
in "Catholic Rural Life Objectives" (Third Series, 1937), pp. 175, 176.
"The objectives of Catholic social work in rural areas is to preserve
family life where it is threatened, to protect helpless childhood, to seek
the remedies for the basic causes of economic insecurity and conditions of
maladjustment, and to provide the care and proper social facilities which
are commensurate with the dignity of the human personality.... The
stability of our society and existing social order is only as strong as our
weakest families."--Duggan, R. P., "Catholic Charities in Rural America" in
"Catholic Rural Life Objectives" (Third Series, 1937), p. 180.
Cf. Albert, C., "A Rural Program for Vincentians" in "Ecclesiastical
Review," August, 1937, pp. 159-170.
125. The parish is the natural unit of Catholic charity. The care of the
underprivileged of the parish is an obligation of the parish. The
underprivileged of the parish offer to the priest and the people an
opportunity to exercise the virtue of charity. While the entire parish
should participate in the parish charity program, there is a need in each
parish and mission for a small group of volunteers to look after those who
need either spiritual or material assistance, namely, the dependent,
neglected, and delinquent child; the erring juvenile and adolescent; and
the needy or maladjusted individual or family. We cannot surrender total
responsibility for them to the state or county. Although it may be
necessary to accept assistance from the state or county, it should be
remembered that there are spiritual needs that the state and county cannot
"A plan for such volunteer service has been recently inaugurated in the
diocese of Fargo. The volunteers--all women--are carefully selected and
known as Parish Social Charity Workers. There are three in each parish and
three in each mission of the diocese. Parish workers are united into county
units with a chairman residing at the county seat and a priest director
living in or near the county seat. The parish unit constitutes a special
study club. The central diocesan bureau of Catholic Charities coordinates
and unifies the program and outlines the study and work.
"Parish and county chairmen keep the central bureau informed of conditions
in their locality and refer to the bureau matters that require assistance
and intervention on the part of the bureau. They help in locating suitable
Catholic homes for Catholic children placed either by the Catholic or the
public agency. Parish and county units are centers of influences for
molding modes of procedure. This, of course, necessitates a knowledge of
Catholic social principles. The united efforts of county units under the
central bureau provide a potent influence in the State.
"The interest of the pastor is essential for the success of this plan in
his parish. Parish social charity workers are concerned with all social and
charity problems of their community including child welfare."--Ryan,
Vincent J., "Religious Welfare of Children Under the Child Welfare Service
Section of the Social Security Act" in "Proceedings of the Twenty-third
National Conference of Catholic Charities," p. 373.
Cf. Ryan, Vincent J., "The Fargo Plan" in "Rural Life Objectives" (Third
Series, 1937), p. 133.
Cf. Emma O. Lundberg, U. S. Children's Bureau, "The Child in the Rural
Community," also Third Series of "Catholic Rural Life Objectives."
"The Federal Social Security Act makes special provision for the
development of social welfare programs in areas that are predominantly
"The Federal Act provides for financial participation by the States so as
to enable each State to extend and improve services for promoting the
health of mothers and children, especially in rural areas. A definite sum
is allotted for maternal and child welfare each year to each State,
together with an additional sum determined on the basis that the number of
live births in each State bears to the total number of live births in the
United States. Provisions are made for the extension and improvement of
local maternal and child-health services administered by local child-health
units, for the development of demonstration services in needy areas, and
for the cooperation with medical, nursing, and welfare groups and
organizations.--Duggan, R. P., "Catholic Charities in Rural America" in
"Catholic Rural Life Objectives" (Third Series, 1937), p. 181.
129. Our Catholic charities must decentralize and expand to meet the
conditions resulting from the decentralization and expansion of the public
welfare. We need in every county and community Catholic representation to
protect the Catholic interest and to supply what the public welfare cannot
give. The plan for coverage in rural dioceses varies with the conditions in
each diocese. The urban pattern is unsuitable for rural areas.
Cf. "Social Security Act," Public, No. 271, 74th Congress, H.R. 7260;
Schmiedeler, Edgar, "A Better Rural Life," Chap. XV.
"For every child a home and the love and security which a home provides;
and for that child who must receive foster care, the nearest substitute for
his own home." This statement from the "Children's Charter," White House
Conference on Child Health and Protection (1930), should be the objective
of both public and private agencies.
130. In many States there are specific statutes to protect to a certain
degree the religion of the child. Only an active interest on the part of
the Catholic group in each community will safeguard the religious welfare
of the child even where the statutes have protective provisions.
The needy aged not infrequently are subjected to exploitation. They require
the protective interest which charity can provide even where they are
recipients of assistance from the State. Material assistance does not meet
all of the needs of old age. Old age is not a useless time spent in
contemplation of death. Old age is a time for the contemplation of
eternity. Religion is the great solace of the aged. The parish worker can
brighten the declining years of the forgotten aged poor by frequent visits
and often by bringing to them the consolation of religion.
132. "A strong, understanding, Catholic lay interest is needed to make
effective Christian principles of morality and charity in the field of
public welfare and perhaps it is needed to safeguard our private agencies
from extinction. Unless we can secure such active lay interest, modern
secular notions on birth control, sterilization, child welfare, care of the
poor, and treatment of delinquency will prevail. Parish units of social
charity serve as centers of influence in formation of public opinion."--
Ryan, Vincent J., "The Fargo Plan" in "Catholic Rural Life Objectives"
(Third Series, 1937), p. 135.
Annotations on Chapter XII
THE FARM LABORER
134. "Rich men and masters should remember this--that to exercise pressure
for the sake of gain, upon the indigent and destitute, and to make one's
profit out of the need of another, is condemned by all laws, human and
divine. To defraud anyone of wages that are his due is a crime which cries
to the avenging anger of Heaven."--Leo XIII, "The Condition of Labor," p.
135. The status of the farm laborer is presented in Chapter II,
"Disadvantaged Classes in American Agriculture," Social Research Report No.
VIII, prepared by Carl C. Taylor, Helen W. Wheeler, and E. L. Kirkpatrick
(April, 1938). The following excerpts from this chapter are pertinent to
the points under consideration:
"The systematic, gradual path to land ownership, which has been virtually
synonymous with success in agriculture, is allegedly accomplished by way of
the so-called 'agricultural ladder.' The assumption is that the ambitious
beginner starts his climb as a hired hand, serves an indeterminate
apprenticeship in this capacity, then steps rung by rung from wage-worker
to sharecropper, tenant, and eventual owner. Whether this process works or
not, the farm laborer occupies the lowest rung on this agricultural ladder
and is today finding it increasingly difficult to move up even to the next
higher rung as sharecropper or tenant; the prospect of eventual land
ownership is scarcely within the realm of possibility for the great
"Not only is the farm laborer's status at the bottom of the scale, but his
living conditions, working conditions, annual income and degree of
insecurity in the pattern of American rural life are relatively unknown"
The report estimates that exclusive of sharecroppers and unpaid family
workers, there were over 2,700,000 paid farm laborers in the United States
during the peak season of 1930. "The farm laborers stand at the bottom of
the social as well as the economic ladder. During periods of low farm-
commodity prices they, together with other farm people, suffer a decline in
annual income. . . . During periods of high prices, the farm laborer's
wages and perquisites increase, but he is not in a position to gain by
rising land values, nor, because of competition for farms, does he find it
easier to become a renter or owner. . .
"At worst, these laborers are part of that great mass of migratory farm
workers whose paths weave a network over three-fourths of the States in
this country. The living conditions of this latter group are admittedly
deplorable and shocking, described by the Secretary of Labor as 'a threat
to the development of good citizens.' Their unfortunate situation is
accentuated by the prejudice of local communities against absorbing migrant
workers, both because of their undesirability and because it will probably
increase their relief burden and other community expenses...."
"Housing of seasonal farm laborers is inadequate in most sections. In the
mid-western farming areas, the worker is usually furnished at least a
decent place in which to live, but in the South, housing conditions of
permanent laborers are notoriously poor. As described by one writer, 'They
stay in shacks, thousands of which are unfit to house animals, much less
human beings.' Seasonal labor is found housed in the 'veriest makeshift--
improvised habitations made up of boxes, burlap, brush, or packing cases--
to groups of substantial farm or adobe cottages.' . . .
"Many farm laborers cannot, or do not, even send their children to school.
They do not know the stability and security of being a real, integral part
of a community, and therefore enjoy almost no social participation of any
kind. They are a socially isolated, sometimes shifting, sometimes stagnant
group, without anchor, without keel, and without direction. They do not
enjoy adequate legal protection by the State or Federal Governments, and
often do not have local standing sufficient to give them social or business
protection. Their lot is to eke out a mere existence now and apparently in
"Another factor that contributes considerably to their general condition of
instability, particularly among the migratory seasonal workers, is the lack
of direction and guidance available to them in their job-hunting. They are
ineffectual in locating new jobs, often incurring a serious expenditure of
time and meager resources, because the means of finding jobs are haphazard
and unorganized. These workers must rely for job information chiefly on
chance, rumor, gossip, radio, letters from previous employers, posters, and
"Although the annual income of the agricultural worker fluctuates
considerably, especially in the case of the migrant worker, it is almost
without exception far below the level required for a decent standard of
living. According to a survey in 10 counties in 8 States in different
sections of the country, the average annual earnings of farm laborers
ranged between $125 and $347 for the crop year 1935-36....
"According to a study made in 1936 of 11 counties in different parts of the
country, the average reported ranged from $62 among female Negro cotton
pickers and $178 among male Negro cotton pickers in Louisiana and $125
among white male workers in a Tennessee county, to $347 among the white
laborers in Pennsylvania, and $748 among the Orientals in Placer County,
California . . ." (pp. 20-25).
"In 1930, 70 percent of the children, aged 10 to 15 years, who were
gainfully employed in the United States were engaged in agricultural
pursuits and it is highly probable that many more than the 171,000 women
reported as working for wages on farms by the 1930 Census were actually
engaged in such work, especially during the summer or harvest period of
that year.... In California alone, in 1927, approximately 37,000 migratory
children were engaged in agricultural work....
"Local school boards and parents of resident children are often indifferent
or even opposed to having migratory children attend their schools....
"Little is known about migratory farm laborers except that many of them
move almost ceaselessly throughout the year in search of work, and that
this search takes them not only great distances, but in some cases into a
number of States. Many of them are small farmers or mill-hands, seeking to
supplement their income by seasonal farm labor. Many of them travel about
in second-hand cars with their whole families, all looking for
"His (the migratory agricultural worker's) income even during the short
working season is both low and insecure.... His working conditions are
unfavorable and his standard of living is extremely low. His period of
employment averages from only 40 to 60 percent of the year. His ascent up
the agricultural ladder is next to impossible....
"Another type of farm laborer is known in the Census as 'Croppers': in
other words, those tenants whose landlords furnish all the work animals and
pay them by means of part of the crops they produce....
"Many present-day sharecroppers have slipped back into cropper status
through loss of land ownership or capital investments, or because of
reversals or misfortune....
"The independence of the sharecropper is, by and large, only nominal, and
his cash income is generally too low to give him much chance of bettering
his economic status" (pp. 27-31).
136. "Every effort, therefore, must be made that at least in future a just
share only of the fruits of production be permitted to accumulate in the
hands of the wealthy, and that an ample sufficiency be supplied to the
workingmen. The purpose is not that these become slack at their work, for
man is born to labor as the bird to fly, but that by thrift they may
increase their possessions and by the prudent management of the same may be
enabled to bear the family burden with greater ease and security, being
freed from that hand-to-mouth uncertainty which is the lot of the
proletarian. Thus they will not only be in a position to support life's
changing fortunes, but will also have the reassuring confidence that when
their lives are ended, some little provision will remain for those whom
they leave behind them."--Pius XI, "Reconstruction of the Social Order," p.
By a family living wage is meant an income sufficient to support the wage
earner and his family at least in frugal comfort. The individual has a
right to marry and to rear a family. Insofar as the average wage earner is
concerned, the only means that he has at his disposal for supporting his
family is the wage he gets in return for his labor. That wage should be a
family living wage. The family living wage is rapidly coming to be
accepted, in theory at least. A few statements by those in high position
are given in the following paragraphs. Pope Pius XI, in the Encyclical,
"Reconstruction of the Social Order," p. 24, says:
"Every effort must therefore be made that fathers of families receive a
wage sufficient to meet adequately ordinary domestic needs. If in the
present state of society this is not always feasible, social justice
demands that reforms be introduced without delay which will guarantee every
adult working man just such a wage."
On this subject, the Pastoral Letter of the Archbishops and Bishops of the
United States (1919) states (p. 6):
"The right of labor to a living wage, authoritatively and eloquently
reasserted more than a quarter of a century ago by Pope Leo XIII, is
happily no longer denied by any considerable number of persons. What is
principally needed now is that its content be adequately defined, and that
it should be made universal in practice, through whatever means will be at
once legitimate and effective. In particular, it is to be kept in mind that
a living wage includes not merely a decent maintenance for the present, but
also reasonable provision for the future needs as sickness, invalidity and
The following words of William Green, President of the American Federation
of Labor are also to the point:
"American labor is definitely committed to the idea that the family is the
unit upon which society can build constructively with best opportunities
for all individuals to continue developing.... The man's productivity has
increased more than enough to supply things formerly made in the house. His
wage should increase in proportion. As a fundamental principle American
labor feels it is far wiser and of greater permanent value to strive to
keep the wages of the "head of the family" adequate to maintain standards
of living for the family than to sanction the practice of outside
employment of the mothers. In response to those who agree that this policy
is desirable but that there are conditions under which it is necessary for
both mother and children to secure gainful employment in order to bar
poverty from the family hearth, we affirm it is no permanent remedy for low
wages for the wife to seek employment in the factory when her husband works
elsewhere. The result is inevitably lower wages for additional individuals
and degradation of home standards. The only real remedy lies in an
insistent and intelligent drive for higher wages for the head of the
The theory is one thing, the practice is another in only too many cases.
This the following few selected facts should show: The "Yearbook" of the
United States Department of Agriculture, 1930, contains a table showing the
average yearly farm wage per month and per day, from the year 1866 on up to
1928, the eve of the depression. In 1866 the agricultural laborer in the
United States received on the average, without board, $15.50 per month, or
about 90c per day. In 1928 the wage, without board, stood at $48.65 a month
or $2.43 a day. The highest average wage ever to be reached was that of
1920, namely, $65.06 a month or $3.56 a work day.
It is a rarity of note that in European countries in which "family
allowances" have been current for some time, the practice of extending them
to agricultural workers has recently grown quite rapidly. (Cf.
"International Labor Office Yearbook," 1937--38.)
137. The individualism of the farmer has inclined many, even in prosperous
days, to treat hired labor as a chattel in the market to be bought at the
lowest possible figure. Labor agitation in the cities has awakened
industrialists to a realization of the just claims of labor to decent
living and working conditions.
"There should be reestablished the American tradition which is thoroughly
Catholic, viz., a partnership in a modified form between the operator and
the laborer. It might take a different form than dividends and profit-
sharing but it would be more valuable to the worker. A cow, some chickens,
some pigs, a good garden spot for the farm help, and the laborer could
eventually step up to tenancy and proprietorship. Such arrangements have
helped in the past; they have helped the community; they have social
advantages. That which helps one family helps the whole world and helps the
very ones who do the helping. We never lose or suffer by doing good to
others."--Ligutti, Luigi G., "The Catholic and the American Solution of the
Farm Labor Problem" in "Proceedings of the Twenty-Third Annual Meeting of
the National Conference of Catholic Charities," p. 305.
Dr. Lowry Nelson, Professor of Rural Sociology, University of Minnesota,
sees a need for extending to farm laborers provisions of the Social
138. Speaking before the A. F. of L. convention delegates at Tampa,
Florida, December, 1936, Secretary of Labor France Perkins, stated: "There
is a very solemn obligation in which I think you share, to whole groups of
wage earners, including the agricultural workers, and the sharecroppers and
tenants who are actually wage earners though not legally, who in the past
have not been too closely within the picture of the high standard of living
which we think belongs to America. I want to recommend to you at this time
that you look into the problems of the agricultural workers...."
Both the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial
Organizations are now giving some attention to the organization of
agricultural workers. At least some progress has been made. The Southern
Tenant Farmers' Union has existed for some time and, in spite of the great
odds against it due to conditions in the South, has, with at least some
measure of success, been able to protect the rights of the great number of
The provisions of the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act which it administers
refer to agricultural laborers and sharecroppers quite as well as to
140. "So long as there was government land to be had, the way was open from
the position of farm hand to that of farm owner, to anyone who cared to
take the trouble to go West and take a claim. Even in the older states
where there was no government land to be had, it was not difficult for a
farm hand to become a farm owner."--Kenkel, F. P., "The Economic
Disfranchisement of the Sharecroppers" in "Catholic Rural Life Objectives"
(Second Series, 1936), pp. 91, 92.
"Many countries are faced with grave social and economic problems arising
out of the existence of large numbers of poorly paid farm laborers with no
claims upon the soil they till. We in the United States will do well to
take steps to prevent a permanent landless class of farm workers."--
Christensen, Chris L., "The Place of Youth in Agriculture and Rural Life"
in "Catholic Rural Life Objectives" (Second Series, 1936), p. 20.
Annotations on Chapter XIII
141. "It might even be questioned whether the human will to cooperate, if
it can be estimated at all, has not successively decreased according as the
work of members of the community has become more and more specialized and
thereby given them less opportunity to form a correct opinion of the
connection between production and consumption.... It is one of the main
aims of social reformatory work to direct developments in such a way that
people's feeling of affinity with each other as well as the community shall
continuously be made stronger and stronger. The consumer cooperative
movement offers a splendid way of bringing about that social solidarity for
which our age is yearning. '--"Youth and Cooperation," a report prepared by
the Secretariat of the Swedish Women's Cooperative Guild and Groups.
"The economic formula contained in the cooperative movement may not be "The
Solution," but it seems to be "A Solution." It seeks no particular favors
but aspires to victory by reason of its inherent economic superiority over
both individualism and socialism. It is superior to them because it lays
the economic foundation for building up those social and ethical virtues
which are, after all, the purpose of life."--Basenach, F., "Cooperation,"
Free Leaflet, No. LXIX (St. Louis, Mo.: Central Bureau).
144. "The cooperative movement, the full significance of which the American
people have been rather slow to recognize, is undoubtedly one of the most
singular, and at the same time one of the most important of social
phenomena of the past hundred years. Like so many other great movements of
lasting value it has had a humble beginning, and a slow but steady growth.
It did not make its appearance, as some may think, like a meteor in the
sky, suddenly, at Rochdale in England go years ago. The Rochdale pioneers,
23 poor mill hands who pooled their meager resources in order to buy and
distribute within their group cooperatively the goods daily consumed in the
household, had precursors, among whom Robert Owen, the wealthy
manufacturer, was the most distinguished. But where this potent rationalist
and communist failed, the poor men of the mills succeeded--a significant
fact which has its counterpart in the experiences of communism and
monasticism in our country. Well financed New Harmony in Indiana, sponsored
by Owen, the master of New Lenark, failed quickly and completely between
1825 and 1827. By way of contrast, St. Vincent's in Pennsylvania, founded
by Archabbot Boniface Wimmer twenty years later, has continued to exist and
to flourish; it has, in fact, planted a considerable number of other abbeys
in all parts of the United States, among which St. John's Abbey in
Minnesota and St. Benedict's Abbey in Kansas are perhaps the most
distinguished. Robert Owen excluded religion from New Harmony; he was in
this respect the typical modern man of his age. He was a self-made man, of
the rising bourgeoisie who were unwilling, to quote Professor H. M.
Robertson, 'to be bound by what is considered to be antiquated rules.'"--
Kenkel, F. P., "Ethical and Religious Background of Cooperation" in "Rural
Life Objectives" (First Series, 1935), p. 43.
145. The statistics of the Cooperative Division of the Farm Credit
Administration, for marketing and purchasing associations, estimated
business, show the following picture for the 1935-36 marketing seasons:
10,500 associations; 3,660,000 members; $1,840,000,000 in business
transactions. Regarding the last item it is pointed out that some
associations engaged primarily in marketing also engage in purchasing, and
some associations engaged primarily in purchasing engage to some extent in
marketing. The purchasing business handled by the marketing associations
amounted to $68,000,000 and the marketing business done by the purchasing
associations amounted to $7,000,000. The final figures, after making proper
adjustments are: marketing, $1,525,000,000; purchasing, $315,000,000;
total, $1,840,000,000.--Cf. "Statistics of Farmers' Cooperative Business
Organizations," Bulletin No. 6, May, 1936 (Farm Credit Administration,
Washington, D. C.).
"Perhaps the most highly developed cooperatives in the United States are
the farmers' mutual life insurance companies.
"The older among the organizations that can properly be described as
farmers' mutual fire insurance companies have been in business well over a
century. About half of the 1,941 such companies now in operation began
business more than 50 years ago. The total volume of insurance carried by
these companies exceeds 11 billion dollars. This insurance is sufficient to
cover to three fourths of its value considerably more than half of all the
farm property in the United States that is subject to insurance against
"The insurance on the books of these companies, however, is not strictly
limited to farm insurance. The demarcation between farmers' mutual fire
insurance companies and urban mutuals, or general mutuals that write
essentially all kinds of insurable property, is rather indefinite in some
States--particularly in the East. Elsewhere in the country, and also in
some Eastern States, these farm mutuals have generally been treated in law
and in State supervision as a distinct class of fire insurance companies."-
-Valgren, V. N., "Problems and Trends in Farmers' Mutual Fire Insurance,"
Bulletin No. 23 (Farm Credit Administration, Washington, D. C.), p. 1.
The cooperative principles ascribed to the Rochdale pioneers have been
found essential for the success of consumer cooperatives. These principles
may be summarized briefly as follows: (1) Democratic control and management
with one vote to each member irrespective of the amount he may have
invested in the cooperative, (2) fixed and limited earnings on the
investment in capital stock, (3) sales at current rates and current prices
and the distribution of the profits to the patrons on the basis of
purchases made by cash.
146. "Much consumption at the point of production and the restoration of
extensive local marketing, such as the well-trained farmer could manage,
can easily bring to light the enormous economic damage that is being
wrought in natural and human resources by the virtual private food
monopolies--the exploiters of commercial farmers and the wasteful and
inefficient long distance processors and distributors of inferior foods for
the consumers."--Rawe, J. C., "Catholic Rural Social Planning" in "Catholic
Rural Life Objectives" (Third Series, 1937), p. 76.
"Farmers and industrial workers can defy the present unjust price-
production system only by taking matters into their own hands. It is highly
dangerous to wait for the government to do this, for as we have indicated
the price paid for this intervention is usually dictatorship or a crushing
bureaucracy." . . . "Cooperation is no simple matter. It is born of study,
of mutual trust, and of understanding. It cannot be sold to America on a
purely materialistic basis: saving money and cutting prices. That is too
shallow and does not do justice to the great spiritual content of socio-
economic cooperation. Cooperation can liberate the people, but only if it
is intelligently presented to them as a practical method of bearing one
another's burdens."--Deverall, Richard, "The Industrial and Rural
Proletariate" in "Rural Life Bulletin," February, 1939, pp. 18, 19.
"We must bear in mind, what is too often forgotten, that farmers are
manufacturers, and as such are entitled to buy the raw materials for their
industry at wholesale prices. Every other kind of manufacturer in the world
gets trade terms when he buys.... The farmer, who is as much a manufacturer
as the shipbuilder or the factory proprietor, is as much entitled to trade
terms when he buys the raw materials for his industry. His seeds,
fertilizers, ploughs, implements, cake, feeding stuffs are the raw
materials of his industry, which he uses to produce wheat, beef, mutton,
pork or whatever else.... Is it any wonder that agriculture decays in
countries where the farmers are expected to buy at retail prices and sell
at wholesale prices?"--Russell, G. W. (A. E.), "National Being" (New York:
The Macmillan Co.), p. 52.
148. Some of the cooperatives in the United States are established on the
wrong lines. They are organized from the top down with little preliminary
education on the spirit and technique of cooperation, while the actual
control is retained at the top. The successful cooperative is democratic.
It is essential that the organization start with the local unit and that
the control be retained by the local units. Unless the members be educated
in the spirit of cooperation, the cooperative will fail of its objective.
Selfish individualism is the chief barrier to overcome in establishing
successful cooperatives. The individualist who joins the cooperatives
solely or primarily to get something for himself will cooperate only so far
as he thinks it is in his own interest to cooperate. His desire will be to
get without giving. He lacks the loyalty especially essential in times of
stress, and unless there are immediate returns to him he deserts the cause.
Since cooperation is the democratic way, it is essential that the members
be schooled not only in the spirit of cooperation but also in the technique
of cooperatives. The success of a cooperative depends on the active,
sustained, and intelligent interest of the members. It often happens in the
United States that the members leave the thinking and the management to the
leaders. The success of a cooperative depends upon a group of healthy units
whose members have been schooled in the spirit of co-operation and in the
technique of cooperatives, and who retain an intelligent and active
interest. This principle is exemplified in the successful cooperative
system in some of the European countries and in Nova Scotia. The American
people could learn much from the study of these systems, especially the one
that has met with so much success in Nova Scotia.
"The study of cooperation is an important part of the adult education
program in Nova Scotia, since only through enlightened study will the
people be prepared to give loyal support to the cooperative enterprises
which are such a potent factor in the regeneration of our people."--Gillis,
M. M., "The Adult Education Movement in Nova Scotia" in "Catholic Rural
Life Objectives" (Second Series, 1936), p. 77.
The following excerpts from Bertram B. Fowler, "The Lord Helps Those,"
indicate the educational method followed in Nova Scotia: "Government
agencies and farm organizations tried to work out painless cures for the
ills of the farmers. Farmers were told, with fine oratorical fervor, to
vote for this or that self-appointed Moses in order to be led smoothly and
effortlessly out of the economic wilderness--the wilderness into which
their own ignorance of economic practices and organization had betrayed
"The men of St. Francis Xavier University therefore approached the job as
one primarily of education." . . . "Out of these studies came the credit
unions." . . . "Through their study clubs they began the marketing of their
lobsters." . . . "Thus, through education, we see the old system of
cooperatives marketing being given totally new outlooks and meanings." . .
. "The work of St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia proves by
contrast the difference between the old bureaucratic idea and the new and
vital ideal of progress through increased knowledge and sound self-help." .
. . "In Nova Scotia the store grows directly out of the little study clubs
which meet during the winter evenings in the kitchens of the community. The
store takes shape, is organized, and finally appears as a direct result of
an intellectual and philosophical rebirth of the people who are to be its
members. Such a membership is necessarily active and loyal." . . . "In too
many places in the United States when the store is once set up the
membership immediately ceases work and study and leaves everything to
directors and management." . . . "In the final analysis, the men of
Antigonish have given the consumer cooperative a new breadth. They have
accepted the technique as worked out by British and American groups and
handed this on to the people through the study clubs as a program of
economic reform. They have poured into the cold and formal system built by
the British a warm vitality of community understanding that is pure
brotherhood in action. That is why the Nova Scotian cooperators today are
looking forward to a new economic era that lies beyond the credit unions,
stores, and marketing organizations." . . . "This education, further, is
beginning to break down the barrier that the profit system erected between
producer and consumer. Since all men are naturally producers, just as all
are naturally consumers, the rights and duties of the two are co-incidental
and co-dependent. To insure justice to a man as producer he must also be
protected as a consumer."--Chaps. VI, VII "passim." (New York: The Vanguard
149. "The (cooperative) movement does not look upon the material goods of
this world as an end in itself to which human life and action must be
subordinated. It does not live for a maximum profit of the few at the
expense of others not even for the enrichment of the cooperators at the
expense of outsiders, since the cooperative movement is not a closed
system, being open to all to join. Instead the movement aims at common
cooperative work for all for the sake of a decent livelihood for all; it
aims at the maximum distribution of goods among all men. Its attitude
towards material goods is the true Christian attitude based on the
principles that the goods of this earth are there to serve as instruments
for the decent living of men as moral and intellectual personalities, and
for the decent living of all men without exception."--Michel, Virgil,
O.S.B., "The Cooperative Movement and the Liturgical Movement" in "Catholic
Rural Life Objectives" (Second Series, 1936), p. 16.
Organization from the bottom combined with active, sustained, and
understanding interest on the part of the members is essential in
preventing remote and absentee control. Under remote control a cooperative
may easily be drawn into partisan politics and may be used by individuals
to promote their own ends. The ideology of the true cooperative implies
that through united loyalty and united and persistent effort, combined with
an understanding of their problems, a group can become masters of their own
economic destiny. The true cooperative is committed to a belief that the
peaceful, democratic method is the way out. It attacks the problem with
reason and not with emotion.
152. "Christian life is the life of a supernatural fellowship in which all
the members pray and live in mutual spiritual cooperation. For a right
living of the supernatural life, all the members of the fellowship need a
sufficiency of material goods as instrumental means; and they need to
obtain these with relative ease in order to give time and effort to their
moral and spiritual development. For the acquiring of the necessary
material goods by all with relative mutual ease, the mutual cooperation of
the members of the fellowship is necessary. Hence the members of the
Christian fellowship must give one another mutual or cooperative aid also
in the economic field."--Michel, Virgil, O.S.B., "The Cooperative Movement
and the Liturgical Movement" in "Catholic Rural Life Objectives" (Second
Series, 1936), p. 18.
" . . . it is a question of showing youth that the cooperative societies
are not merely mechanical distributive apparatuses but also human organs
for cooperation with high social aims."--"Youth and Cooperation," A report
by the Swedish Women's Cooperative Guilds and Groups, p. 5.
154. "They did more than teach the fundamentals of cooperation, these men
of Antigonish. They encouraged the students to look outward and read and
study other movements that were going on in the world. They encouraged them
to look into the current history of Russia and Germany and Italy. They
encouraged them to study and decide whether the totalitarian methods and
forms were orders to be desired and worked for.... Directors and officers
of credit union and cooperative units were trained, not only as
distributors of credit and groceries, but also as distributors of culture
and reading habits. In most of these economic units there is a library
committee. They meet periodically to plan new methods of book distribution,
to outline campaigns whereby new members and students in the little clubs
may be introduced to the newest and best in the current publications."--
Fowler, Bertram B., "The Lord Helps Those," pp. 62, 149.
For a decade the American people have been struggling with a great
financial depression. Millions have sunk down to the proletarian level.
Millions are without opportunity to earn their daily bread. Moral and
cultural degradation has resulted from depressed economic conditions and
from relief. Billions have been spent on relief and to prime the economic
pump. The end is not yet in sight. During the same decade the proletarian
fisherman, the propertyless miner, and the depressed farmer of Nova Scotia,
through well-organized cooperative action, have made rapid and constant
strides in the improvement of their economic, social, and cultural status.
The following isolated case indicates the progress of the cooperatives
among the fishermen, miners, and farmers of Nova Scotia: "Of all the
fishing villages on the Nova Scotia coast, Dover was one of the most
destitute, most isolated and most illiterate. In less than five years Dr.
Thompkins had those fishermen studying and reading literature on economics
and cooperation, as well as religion and Christian doctrine. Today they
have a cooperative lobster factory, cooperative store, two fishing
schooners owned and managed cooperatively, a credit union, a two-department
school and going strong. The best description of the work here is found in
'The Catholic Church and Adult Education,' thesis of Dr. M. MacLellan for
his Ph.D. at the Catholic University."--Gillis, M. M., "The Adult Education
Movement in Nova Scotia" in "Catholic Rural Life Objectives" (Second
Series, 1936), p. 78.
It was mainly through cooperatives that the farmers of Belgium, Holland,
and Denmark recaptured the ownership of the land. During the period in
which cooperatives were the main factor in effecting the restoration of the
ownership in these countries, there was a progressive decline of ownership
among the American farming group. Less than 58 per cent of the American
farmers have an equity in the land they operate today. When mortgages are
considered, the equity of those who have a title in many instances is very
small. In Denmark, on the other hand, over go per cent own the land they
operate. Similar conditions would be found in Belgium and Holland.
"The members of the Boerenbond Belge are chiefly Flemish peasants--all
Catholics--who inhabit the northern half of Belgium. They are small land
holders. The average farm contains twenty-five acres or less. They are
noted for large families so there is little hired labor among them. Like
most of the European peasants, and unlike the farmers of America, they live
in villages and go out from the villages to till their farms. The village
is centered in the church and the country pastor becomes the economic and
social as well as the religious leader of his flock.... It was to further
the religious, social, and economic interests of the peasants that the
central organization was founded at Louvain in 1890 during an agricultural
crisis. This it has accomplished by organizing the parish units with the
cooperation of the pastor, and then by furnishing these groups with
valuable assistance. The most notable expansion of the Boerenbond has come
since the War, it having increased its membership from fifty-six thousand
to more than one hundred thousand families since the armistice. As a result
of its efforts, the Belgian peasant today enjoys a comparatively
satisfactory economic position, and he has been saved from the devastating
influences of anti-religious socialism which have engulfed his neighbors
where the Boerenbond is not established.... The motto of the Boerenbond
Belge is 'all for each and each for all.'"--O'Hara, Edwin V., "The Church
and the Country Community" (New York: The Macmillan Co.), pp. 96-98.
Cf. "Sweden, The Middle Way" by M. Childs for the story of the cooperative
movement in Scandinavian countries.
155. "Cooperation makes for trust in self-help and mutual-help, self-
reliance and independence. It is not a useful weapon in the class war. It
would lift up the lowly by inculcating thrift and other virtues necessary
to the husbanding of one's resources. It cultivates moral responsibility in
the consumer and educates him to an appreciation of quality. If the
cooperator is a producer, the cooperative demands of him standards as high
as those maintained by the guilds in the days of their glory. Cooperatives
both of consumers and producers relieve those dealing with them of the fear
that the buyer must beware. Cooperation could, should it succeed generally,
reintroduce the just price and abolish the usurious practices inseparable
from the capitalistic system.
"All in all, the cooperative system is well adapted to the great purpose to
which our Holy Father has dedicated the Encyclical, "Quadragesimo Anno,"
the reconstruction of society through the deproletarization of the masses.
It undoubtedly aids the moral renovation of which the nations stand in
need, while it promote.. at the same time their economic well-being."--
Kenkel, F. P. "The Ethical and Religious Background of Cooperation" in
"Catholic Rural Life Objectives"(First Series, 1935), p. 47.
Annotations on Chapter XIV
156. "The American farmer has had many credit needs. He has borrowed for
practically every conceivable purpose related to farm life. He has borrowed
to buy the farm, to equip and operate it, and finally to market the farm
products. The farmer often found it necessary to borrow food, clothing, and
general household supplies until he could produce a crop. It is difficult
to separate consumption loans from production loans on the farm, since the
farm provides both a home and the business plant for the farmer and his
family. The ability to borrow food for a season has often enabled the
farmer and his family to continue farm operations and to become substantial
citizens of the community. On the other hand, such loans, with many
farmers, have developed habits of indolence and inefficiency which have
been disastrous to effective production and to high standards of living on
the farm. Credit abuse must be studied as closely as the proper use of
credit."--Sparks, E. S., "History and Theory of Agricultural Credit in the
United States" (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Co., 1932), pp. 1, 2.
"The extensive use of credit by American farmers is a recent development.
It is explained largely by the phenomenal increase in the value of the
investment and operating capital used in farm production, and in the
commercialization of agriculture. The increase in investment capital is
due, in the first place, to the increase in the price of farm lands,
building materials, machinery, and livestock; and, secondly, to the
improved quality and increased quantity of machinery, livestock, and
improvements which are necessary in the more intensive stage of
agricultural development which we are entering.
"Likewise, the commercialization of agricultural production has had a great
influence upon the use of credit, particularly operating credit. From the
semi-self-sufficing stage of agriculture of the early nineteenth century we
have developed to a high degree of specialization. The practice of
specializing in the production of one or a very few crops and depending
upon buying in the market, rather than producing a great variety of
commodities and consuming them at home, has increased the farmer's credit
operations in two distinct ways.
"In the first place, the necessity of buying the goods he needs during the
year, rather than operating on his own stored-up products of the previous
year, has led to his dependence upon others, in greater or less degree, for
operating capital.... The primary cause of this practice is specialization
and the resulting dependence upon outside sources for most of the goods
needed by the farmer. Also, the farmer's income is in the form of money,
and cash is easily spent....
"In the second place, commercial or specialized farming has greatly
extended the time intervening between the maturity and consumption of
agricultural products. Time is required to locate markets and to transport
the commodities to all parts of the world. The modern process of
refrigeration alone has greatly extended the markets for meats and other
perishable products. In fact, one of the purposes of refrigeration is to
extend the time between the maturity and consumption of the product. While
this development has resulted in a great advantage to both the producer and
the consumer, it has, nevertheless, accentuated the importance of credit in
financing the marketing of farm products.... Frequently farmers themselves
have considered it desirable to hold the crop for better market conditions.
In such cases, the responsibility of having 'money tied up' is shifted to
the farmer, and he often finds it necessary to borrow from the bank.
"The recent growth of farmers' cooperative selling agencies which follow
the policy of marketing products gradually through the year, has greatly
increased the significance of market financing to the farmer. The
development of the cooperative marketing movement is, of course, a direct
outgrowth of the problems created by specialization in agriculture."--Lee,
Virgil P., "Principles of Agricultural Credit" (New York: McGraw-Hill,
1930), pp. 5-7.
The National Catholic Rural Life Conference is committed to the belief that
the self-subsistence, family-size farm provides the basis for security and
independence. The specialization to which Professor Lee refers may be
necessary under certain conditions of soil and climate.
157. In "Financing Agriculture" (1930), L. J. Norton gives a study of the
borrowing sources of 1,055 Illinois farmers in 1935. He submits the
following data in regard to long-term credit: 65.5 per cent was borrowed
from the Federal Land Bank and Land Bank Commissioner, 13.6 per cent from
insurance companies, 12.5 per cent from individuals, 6.9 per cent from
banks, 1.5 per cent from other sources. The data for short-term credit was
as follows: from individuals 49.9 per cent, from banks 34.8 per cent, from
production credit associations 5.5 per cent, from implement companies 4.5
per cent, from others 5.3 per cent. "One interesting point," observes the
author, "is the great importance of individuals in financing these farmers,
particularly for short-term loans."
158. "A striking phenomenon of American life is the tolerance displayed by
Americans in their treatment of the usurer. But it is not so much an
attitude of tolerance as it is one of resignation."--Crowley, Francis M.,
"Absentee Landlordism in a New Form" in "Rural Life Objectives" (Second
Series, 1936), p. 31.
Professor Virgil P. Lee in his "Principles of Agricultural Credit" (1930)
gives reasons why the farmers must pay higher rates of interest than the
businessman and the speculator. He speaks of conditions that obtained in
1930. Although the reasons cited do not explain the excessively high rate
the farmer has been called upon to pay, the points this author sets forth
in the following should be given consideration:
"What determines the commercial banker's policy with regard to interest
charges? Why are large merchants and speculators in the cities able to
obtain short-term loans at 4 or 5 per cent, while the farmers of Texas,
Georgia, and Montana commonly pay 8 to 10 per cent, or even more? Is the
difference due to the lack of competition among country bankers, the
greater risks involved in farm loans, or the inefficiency of country
bankers? . . .
"In the first place, the typical bank of the farming community is a very
small scale business as compared to the city bank.... The process of making
and collecting a $100 loan is the same as that for a $10,000 loan....
Farmers are proverbially poor depositors and liberal borrowers. Their
deposit accounts are commonly small in proportion to their loan accounts.
Farmers as a class have never become as thoroughly convinced of the
advantages of maintaining a checking account as have merchants and other
classes of businessmen. Their purchases are less frequent and they often
prefer to make payments in cash. Moreover, the fact that most of the
farmer's income is commonly received during one season of the year often
results in the withdrawal of his deposits long before the harvest season.
This applies particularly to the so-called 'one crop' farmers.
"Likewise, the farmer borrower often withdraws the full amount of his loan
immediately, whereas it is common for the city borrower to maintain about
twenty percent of his loans on deposit with the bank.... The fact that
farm loans are concentrated in one season of the year tends to increase the
cost of banking. In the first place, the concentration of loans during the
producing season often compels the banker to rediscount paper or to obtain
direct loans from other banks. Second, the concentration on loan maturities
during the harvest season often leaves the bank with surplus funds which
must remain idle or which must be placed outside of the community at a
considerable sacrifice in interest rates....
"Farmers have often been accused of being unbusinesslike. While such an
accusation is not true to the extent that it was formerly, and while it
does not apply to all farmers, they are comparatively slow in meeting their
bank obligations. This is the case partly because they are not as
conveniently located as are merchants, but a far more important cause of
delay in paying notes is the uncertainty of timely income from which to pay
the loan. This does not mean that the risk in farm loans is greater--rather
the uncertainty of payment at a given time is greater.... Farmers' notes
are frequently renewed and extended.... The necessity for renewals often
places the bank in an embarrassing position in its relation to depositors.
"The great majority of small-town banks are not members of the Federal
reserve system and, therefore, do not have as ready access to the country's
loanable funds as do their city neighbor banks. This usually means that
such bankers suffer the disadvantages of paying a higher rate for borrowed
funds. They reach the great discount markets of the country by the indirect
route of a correspondent bank."--Op. cit., pp. 200-203.
"The farmer's chief credit need is for mortgage credit, with a subsidiary
need for intermediate credit. But the market for farm mortgages is a
notoriously poor one. The principle is very simple. Farm mortgages cannot
be standardized and sold on grade or brand. The first buyer of the mortgage
must inspect very closely, not only the property, which is mortgaged, but
the character of the mortgagers and even the administration of justice
where the property lies. In general, anything which has to sell on
inspection does not sell so readily as a standardized article which can be
sold on grade. The problem of improving the market for farm mortgages is,
therefore, that of enabling lenders to advance the money without having to
go through the expensive process of inspecting the security offered.
"The Federal Farm Loan system is an attempt to solve that problem. This
system, supplemented by the intermediate credit system, is the culmination
of a long series of experiments in trying to overcome the various
resistances, or to remove the various obstacles to the free flow of capital
to the farms."--Carver, T. N., From the Foreword to "History and Theory of
Agricultural Credit in the United States," by E. S. Sparks (New York:
Thomas Y. Crowell, Co.), p. xii.
Cf. "The Fifth Annual Report of the Farm Credit Administration" (1937) for
information concerning the "Emergency Crop and Feed Loans" in the United
"The year 1937 marked the twentieth anniversary of the establishment of the
12 Federal land banks, first of the units comprising the cooperative system
of agricultural financing now embraced by the Farm Credit
"Over a quarter of all mortgaged farms in the United States carry their
debt with the Federal land banks."--"Fifth Annual Report of the Farm Credit
Administration," 1937 (U. S. Government Printing Office), p. 1.
"The Farm Credit Act of 1937 established a provision for the making of
'conditional payments' on land bank loans. Under terms of this enactment a
borrower finding himself with a comfortable surplus at harvest time, or
other occasion, may make a conditional payment with the Federal land bank
holding his mortgage, out of which future maturing installments shall be
drawn. The unused balance may draw interest until such time as it has all
been applied to loan payments. So in a 'good year' a borrower has
opportunity to provide for future installments which--when they fell due--
might be hard to meet because of crop failure or other hazard of the
farming business. This new plan does not deny the established privilege of
making advance payments; rather it supplements."--Ibid., pp. 5, 6.
159. The problem of providing the farmer with needed credit is closely
related to other problems which afflict the farming group, as is indicated
in the following excerpt from "The Future of the Great Plains," a report of
the Great Plains Committee, December, 1936 (M 93-96):
"The primary purpose of any readjustment of the financial situation in the
Great Plains area should be progressive reduction, and elimination at the
earliest practicable moment, of the necessity for grants and subsidies;
substitution therefor of needed capital loans on a sound credit basis; and
establishment of a sound credit basis--which means one which is safe for
the borrower as well as for the lender--by bringing land use into
conformity with the requirements imposed by fundamental climatic and other
physical factors, and by market conditions....
"In the recent past, three major factors have affected the soundness of
loans and investments in the Great Plains area: (1) the decline of the
general price level of agricultural commodities; (2) the great variability
in crop yields; and (3) the fictitious values attributed to much of the
land during periods of intense speculation.
"Although increasing deposits and bank reserves indicate improvement in
conditions in the Plains, there is little likelihood that the Region by
itself will be able to contribute greatly to the capital requirements for a
general program of rehabilitation and development....
"All possible reliance should be placed on private sources of capital, and
lending by them should be encouraged; but . . . it is probable that a
considerable time will elapse before the Great Plains area will invite
renewed interest by private lenders to any consequential degree. Although
the proportion of these loans by life insurance companies, commercial
banks, and private investors has declined while that held by the Federal
land banks and the Land Bank Commissioner has increased so that these
public agencies hold a larger proportion than any other single lending
institution; nevertheless, the private lenders still are heavily loaded
with delinquent mortgages of the region and with real estate from
foreclosures and defaults.
"In one respect this hesitation of private lenders in the long run may be
beneficial. It may give time for the establishment of new lending
standards. It was outside capital which built up the economy of the Great
Plains Region, but also it was the lending without foresight of this
private capital that is in large part responsible for rapid and destructive
developments of land use."
Referring to the breakdown of the credit mechanism in the Great Plains, the
memorandum goes on to say:
"The problem falls into three parts: (1) the adjustment of existing debts;
(2) the meeting of the normal credit demand; and (3) the provision of
additional credit for new undertakings."
The report stresses throughout that no credit plan will suffice unless
through credit a new pattern of land use and of institutional
reorganization may be elected.
160. The recommendation for cooperative credit associations presupposes the
proper use of the soil and the family-size self subsistence farm. The
recommendation also presupposes the active, sustained, and understanding
interest essential for the success of every cooperative enterprise.
Cf. Bulletin No. 4, Farm Credit Administration, Cooperative Division,
Washington, D. C., May, 1936, entitled "Cooperation in Agriculture," a
selected and annotated bibliography with special reference to marketing,
purchasing, and credit, compiled by Chastina Gardner.
161. "Credit unions represent the type of strong and resolute cooperation
we need to preserve the independent ownership of the small farmer and to
give the propertyless tiller of the soil a stake in the land."--Crowley, F.
M., "Absentee Landlordism in a New Form" in "Catholic Rural Life
Objectives" (Second Series, 1936), p. 31.
In Nova Scotia the Credit Union is regarded as the first step on the ladder
that leads to economic security. The Nova Scotian cooperative movement
began with the Credit Union. The results obtained in Nova Scotia reveal the
possibilities inherent in the Credit Union which have not yet been
discovered in the United States.
In "The Lord Helps Those," Bertram B. Fowler contrasts its development in
Nova Scotia with its development in the United States:
"Today the American credit union is a monument built by the hands of the
common people. But it is, in the final analysis, little more than a small-
loan system, notable and constructive as it admittedly is. There has been
no widespread system of adult education to awaken its members to its real
significance. Except in isolated groups and sections, it is not tied up to
the great consumer movement of which it is inescapably a part. Because of
this the credit union in the United States has failed to play the emphatic
part it should now be playing in the building of a new and democratic
economic system" (p. 73). "In most of its operations in the United States
the credit union completes its job when it has wiped out uneconomic credit,
installment-buying, and the like among its members. In Nova Scotia, when
this point has been reached, the job has only begun. After that the credit
union begins to expand into the local banking institution" (p. 83). "A new
use of credit unions in the United States is necessary if the destroying
system of share-cropping and enervating tenancy is ever to be broken. The
credit unions must expand from their present position as mere lending
agencies in the industrial areas into the field of actual regeneration in
small communities and rural districts. To do this the same type of
practical education adopted by Nova Scotia is needed" (p. 87). "The credit
union that today does no more than take care of the necessary short-term
loans of the workers and curtail somewhat the spread of the pernicious
habit of installment-buying fostered by the commercial system is weak and
antiquated in comparison with the credit unions of Nova Scotia. For the
Nova Scotian people's bank today stands solidly behind cooperative
consumer, marketing, and producer action, housing, resettlement, and
regeneration. It has become the active tool of the people rather than a
medium that does little more than mitigate a few of the chronic and
oppressive ills that beset the wage earner" (p. 88).
Annotations on Chapter XV
AGRICULTURE IN THE ECONOMIC ORGANISM
162. "The essence of the Pope's program is a system of occupational groups.
In each industry the occupational group should include all interested
parties, labor as well as capital, employees as well as employers.
Employers and labor and other subdivisions of other occupations would keep
their rights of separate assemblage and vote inside the occupational groups
and their right of separate organization. These groups, says Pope Pius XI,
would 'bind men together not according to the position which they occupy in
the labor market but according to the diverse functions which they exercise
in society.' The occupational groups would seek to modify competition by
maintaining standards of fairness with regard to wages, hours, prices and
business practices; to avoid private industrial dictatorship by enabling
labor to share in all industrial policies and decisions, and to exclude
political or bureaucratic industrial dictatorship by keeping the immediate
and day-to-day control in the hands of the agents of production. They would
be prevented from injuring the consumer or the common good by governmental
action, 'directing, watching, stimulating, and restraining, as
circumstances suggest or necessity demands.' This form of government
control is very different from and very much less than that contemplated by
collectivism. Moreover, the consumers could protect themselves through some
form of representation in relation to the governing bodies of the
"In a word, the occupational group system would aim to bring into industry
sufficient self-government to reduce to a minimum the conflicting interests
of the various industrial classes, to place industrial direction in the
hands of those most competent to exercise it and to permit only that amount
of centralized political control which is necessary to safeguard the common
good."--"Organized Social Justice," Social Action Department publication,
National Catholic Welfare Conference, pp. 10, 11.
"We have indicated how a sound prosperity is to be restored according to
the true principles of a sane corporative system which respects the proper
hierarchic structure of society; and how all the occupational groups should
be fused into a harmonious unity inspired by the principle of the common
good. And the genuine and chief function of public and civil authority
consists precisely in the efficacious furthering of this harmony and
coordination of all social forces."--Pius XI, "Atheistic Communism," n. 32.
"Every department of agriculture should be organized cooperatively to
function harmoniously with similar organizations of industry, business and
the professions as vocational groups, with the Government standing by as
monitor or referee to prevent abuses and conflicts, but leaving the actual
work of managing the various occupations for their own best interests to
the autonomous action of the organized groups themselves."--Bishop, W.
Howard, "Agrarianism, the Basis of the New Order" in "Catholic Rural Life
Objectives" (First Series, 1935), p. 52.
At least one State, namely Portugal, is attempting to carry out the plan of
occupational grouping recommended by Pius XI for the reordering of society.
Article XXXIV of the new Portuguese Constitution reads: "The State shall
encourage the formation and the development of the national corporate
economy. It shall guard carefully lest the elements which comprise it tend
to establish among themselves an unrestricted competition such as is
contrary to the just ends of society and of themselves, but that they
rather are encouraged to collaborate with one another as members of the
The teachings set forth in the social Encyclicals on the family, ownership
of property as a natural right, the family living wage, just distribution,
etc., are embodied in the Portuguese Constitution.
For information concerning the practical application of these teachings in
Portugal, cf. Michael Derrick's "The Portugal of Salazar."
163. "Just as the unity of human society cannot be built upon class
warfare, so the proper ordering of economic affairs cannot be left to free
competition alone."--Pius XI, "Reconstruction of the Social Order," p. 28.
164. "There is then, in this country as well as in Europe, a mutual non-
rapprochement between the industrialist and the farmer. The industrialist
when he turns farmer, as he frequently has done in such places as Iowa and
Nebraska, reforms his land into a potential, mechanized factory. He
conflicts with the elemental interests of individual and State by
attempting to grow rich where others attempt to grow produce that is
sufficient unto the day. He pretends to be in sympathy with Napoleon's
axiom: 'Agriculture is the soul, the foundation of the State,' but carries
it on in such a fashion that it is no longer agriculture but industry.' "--
Fichter, J. H., "A Comparative View of Agriculture" in "Catholic Rural Life
Objectives" (Second Series, 1936), p. 112.
"Despite our recently developed huge cities, our rural society maintains a
position of transcending importance in any social planning. More capital is
invested in agriculture than in any other type of enterprise. Farming gives
employment to more persons than are employed in any single industry. When
rural people have an adequate purchasing power, their consumption demands
alone keep the wheels of industry turning for one third of the year or even
more of the time."--Rawe, J. C., "Catholic Rural Social Planning" in
"Catholic Rural Life Objectives" (Third Series, 1937), p. 71.
The farm problem is perhaps the crux of the nation's economic problems.
Distress in agriculture has its repercussions in industry.
"Fortunately, I believe, farmers, laborers, and corporation heads are
coming more and more to appreciate their mutual interdependence, and the
fact that there can not in the long run be prosperity for the United States
while there is depression on the farm. Our people recall the great
agricultural abundance of 1922 and how it turned out to be a waste because
it destroyed farm purchasing power and thus increased unemployment in the
cities. It is no secret that farm income, factory pay rolls and business
profits rise and fall together.
"Those persons who understand that the amount of farm income has profound
effects upon city jobs realize that we cannot afford to keep the
agricultural part of our population in economic bondage. The dollars that
find their way into the farmer's pockets not only determine the living
condition of the 25 percent of our people living on farms. Those dollars
affect very markedly the lives of another 20 percent of the people who live
in villages and towns in the rural areas. Finally, they affect, though less
directly, every last person in New York or Chicago and every other city
whose economic welfare is dependent in any way at all upon farm purchases.
"There is no doubt but that the decline of farm purchasing power between
1920 and 1929 accelerated and accentuated the 1929 depression. Neither is
there doubt but that the entire nation suffered when farm income fell by
more than 50 percent to a little over four billion dollars in 1932. It has
been estimated that 4 million workers walked the streets during the worst
of the depression because farmers lacked the purchasing power to buy urban
"If the purchasing power of the farmers in 1937 had been in the same
relation to the purchasing power of non-farmers that it was in 1909-1914,
their buying power would have been about 25 percent greater than it was.
The importance of raising and stabilizing farm income at this level, and
thereby providing steadier urban employment and a powerful force for
avoiding repetitions of 1929 can hardly be over-estimated."--Wallace Henry,
"The Farmer's Problem" in "The Acolyte," January, 1939, pp. 4, 5.
165. "A national congress to represent all economic life, organized around
similarly constituted occupational associations, could plan and order our
whole economic structure, which needs planning and fair distribution of
rewards as a whole and in its parts as much as does farming. Farmers in
such a national economic congress would see it to their interest in the
marketing of their crops to strengthen the hand of the propertyless wage
workers in the various occupations so that they would all have their own
self-governing unions and would come to share equably in the income of
their industries, in the administration of them, even in the ownership and
in the organization of the occupation--something the encyclical proposes.
Such a congress would soon become not simply an advisor of government, but
a true arm of government."--McGowan, R. A., "Property--Organization-
Government Action," pp. 11, 12. Catholic Conference on Industrial Problems,
Washington, D. C.
"I am certain that much progress could be accomplished toward developing a
long-time, stable, expanding industrial program with appropriate
inducements to capital, labor, farmers, and consumers for putting it into
effect, once we could bring together some of our broad-minded industrial
and labor leaders to consider production schedules, payrolls, numbers of
workers, fair profits, for our major basic industries as a group, and for
the country as a whole."--Wallace, Henry A., "Whose Constitution?" (New
York: Reynal and Hitchcock, Inc.), p. 293.
166. "One of the reasons why nations try so hard to export surplus products
is that the people within the country who have the income to buy at least
part of these-products are already supplied, while those who need them lack
the buying power. Surplus producing groups thus go to all lengths to open
up markets abroad, instead of devising ways of increasing consumption among
low-income groups at home. At the same time, other producing groups,
anxious to keep as much as possible of the limited domestic market to
themselves, seek to raise tariffs in order to keep out competing foreign
products which they themselves can produce, though at a higher cost. The
result, as we have noted before, is less of either foreign or domestically
produced goods to distribute within the country and at higher prices....
Farmers particularly should be wary of policies which might result in
further loss of mutual trade. While at first glance they might believe it a
good thing if all competitive farm exports were excluded, they should
realize that for every bushel or pound of foreign stuff that might be kept
off the domestic market by the exclusionist policy, there are some four or
five bushels or pounds of stuff produced on our own surplus export acres
which are waiting and ready to be dumped on the home markets."--Ibid., pp.
167. Following the World War the export market was closed. Through
scientific farming and application of machinery, there were vast increases
in the products the farmer had to sell. As a result the price fell below
the actual cost of production. Those conditions have obtained now for two
decades. The first decade was a period of advancing prices on the things
the farmer had to buy. Between 1929 and 1933 the price of one type of such
commodities, namely, farm machinery, dropped 6 per cent but in the same
period the price of farm products dropped 63 per cent. The farmer sells on
an open market, whereas the products of industry are sold on a controlled
market. How effect a parity between the prices of agricultural commodities
and manufactured products? Controlled production combined with a
"processing tax" is one suggestion. The "processing tax" has been ruled out
by a Supreme Court decision. Revision of tariff as a means of reopening
foreign markets has been suggested. It is self-evident that in order to
sell abroad we must also buy from abroad. It is further suggested that the
exchange of farm products for low priced "handcraft and semi-manufactured"
foreign products, made possible through proposed tariff revision, would
tend to raise the price of farm products to a point nearer a decent level.
The amount of manufactured products the farmer would buy with his increased
purchasing power would be much larger than the amount of goods imported.
The sponsors of tariff revision believe the consumer and the laborer as
well as the farmer would benefit from it. Incidentally, such a plan would
be a type of international cooperation, of benefit to trading nations and a
measure to promote international peace.
In the article referred to ("The Acolyte," 1939), Secretary Wallace sets
forth his plan for stabilizing farm products--his EverNormal Granary plan.
The plan aims at securing constant prices through crop insurance and
through loans to enable the farmer to store his products in years of
abundance. Mr. Wallace makes the following observation on his plan: "The
purpose of the EverNormal Granary, then, is to achieve stable, balanced
abundance and thus promote a harmonious relationship between farmers and
other economic and social groups. This is in line with the principle of
"Quadragesimo Anno" which holds that there must be a 'harmonious
proportion' between prices which will enable man's various economic
activities to 'combine and unite into one single organism and become
members of a common body, lending each other mutual help and service.' "--
The problem of parity of price between agricultural and industrial
commodities is the crux of the economic farm problem It is a difficult
problem and concerns the banker, the factory owner, and the laborer as well
as the farmer.
168. Considering the matter of future production of American farms, it is
essential that the question of prospective population be kept in mind. For
decades past our domestic markets grew rapidly because of a large annual
increase in our population. While there is still some increase each year,
the rate of growth has been decreasing since the World War. This check in
growth has been due to two causes, restrictive immigration legislation and
a striking decline in the birth rate.
An actually diminishing population for the United States in the not far
distant future is highly probable and even a rapid decline is altogether
conceivable. The effects of such an eventuality upon home markets would
seem self-apparent. The National Resources Committee of the Federal
Government has given much attention to the subject of our future population
prospects, as witnessed by its elaborate study, "The Problems of a Changing
Cf. Wallace, Henry A., "Whose Constitution?," Chap. IX; also Murray and
Flynn, "Social Problems," pp. 169-185.
Annotations on Chapter XVI
170. "While the maintenance of government is the primary object of
taxation, its ultimate end, the ultimate end of government itself, is the
welfare of the people. Now if the public welfare can be promoted by certain
social changes, and if these in turn can be effected through taxation, this
use of the taxing power will be quite as normal and legitimate as though it
were employed for the upkeep of government."--Ryan, John A., "Distributive
Justice" (New York: Macmillan, Rev. Ed., 1927), pp. 92, 93.
On limiting fortunes through taxation, cf. Ryan, op. cit., p. 263; cf.
Cahill, Edw., "Framework of the Christian State" (London: Gill & Son,
172. Through the operation of an unjust price schedule, which obtains
particularly between the rural and urban sections of the nation, the rural
sections are not compensated for the wealth they produce; and as a result
the wealth gravitates to the great financial and industrial centers. It
seems fair that a portion of this concentrated wealth should be returned to
the financially weaker States in the form of grants-in-aid. It would be
better, however, if price parity were effected so that the grants could be
The right use of funds for education always represents a wise expenditure
of tax money. The right use of funds for education will provide opportunity
for all underprivileged youths who have the capacity and the desire for
academic studies and will also provide special vocational training for
those who lack the ability or the desire for academic and professional
training. Public funds for education could be conserved if the State were
to encourage private schools through payment, at least in part, on a per-
capita basis for services rendered in the field of education.
Elaborate and costly public welfare services, patterned after the populous
urban East, are economically unsound in the sparsely settled midwestern
rural states. Tax money would be conserved if a wider use were made of the
private agencies and institutions especially for such services as they can
render more efficiently and at a lower cost. The State is paying for a lot
of service that ought to be donated.
173. "Even before the 1930's the National Industrial Conference Board of
New York City estimated that the farmer was paying one fifth of the tax
bill of the nation, in spite of the fact that his share of the national
income was only one tenth. About a score of the colleges of agriculture
have made taxation studies in the last ten years."--Kolb, John H., and
Brunner, E. de S., "A Study of Rural Society" (Boston: Houghton Mifflin
Co., 1935), p. 323.
For a summary of fifteen of the studies mentioned, cf. "Taxation of Farm
Property," by Whitney Coombs, U. S. Dept. of Agriculture, Bulletin 172,
"As compared with non-agricultural groups, the rural population contributes
more than its proportionate share of taxes, and receives far less than its
fair share of the total tax moneys collected. One of the principal reasons
for this inequality is the existing system of levying taxes, particularly,
the general property tax. This tax is the most important source of tax
revenue in the United States, as it provides three-fourths of the tax money
required for the maintenance of State and local units of government. The
general property tax, however, places a disproportionately heavy burden on
agriculture, because it rests almost exclusively on land, which, unlike
most personal property, cannot escape the assessor's eye.
"Furthermore, the general property tax fails to reach a considerable
portion of wealth owners who possess intangible personal property, such as
stocks, bonds, and bank deposits, the total volume of which probably
exceeds the total volume of real estate."--Haas, Francis J., "Man and
Society" (New York: D.
Appleton-Century Co., 1930), p. 426.
174. "First and foremost lies the fact that land prices and local taxes
have in general been too high for the revenue-producing capacity of the
land. Men have not been able to afford land ownership. This has meant a
growing land tenancy. In eight of the Great Plain States 15 percent of the
farmers were tenants in 1880; by 1910, 30 percent of them were tenants, and
by 1935, 40 percent."--Walster, H. L., "Backgrounds of Economic Distress in
the Great Plains" in "Catholic Rural Life Objectives" (Second Series,
1936), p. 105.
Cf. "The Farmer's Tax Problem." House Document No. 406, 73rd Congress, 2nd
Session. Transmitted June 16, 1934.
This document states facts on farm taxes and discusses tax revision with
special reference to farm property taxes. The appendix gives State tables
pertaining to tax delinquency. The Letter of Transmittal gives the
following summary of the main data:
"Taxes per acre of farm real estate in the United States as a whole reached
their peak in 1929, at 241 percent of the tax per acre in 1913. Since 1929,
however, these taxes have declined about one-third of the 1913 level, or to
163 percent of the pre-war year. Comparable figures are available in the
enclosed report, by years and for all States and geographic divisions, from
1913 to 1932, and for 23 States for 1933....
"The relation of property taxes to farm-land values is, we believe, a
significant indication of the burden of these taxes. Although taxes per
acre have declined substantially since 1929, land values declined even more
up to the past year, thus increasing the burden of the tax in relation to
the value of property. In 1932 taxes were nearly three times as high as in
1913, relative to land values. In the past year, however, estimated values
of farm real estate per acre increased 4 percent while taxes declined about
13 percent, thus reversing for the first time in a decade and a half, the
trend of taxes relative to land values. In 1932, farm real estate taxes
took on the average $1.50 per 5100 of full value of land and buildings, as
compared with $1.25 in 1933.
"The trend of farm property taxes relative to that of prices of farm
products and of income in agriculture shows even more strikingly the
increase in the farm tax burden. In 1932 gross income per acre from farm
production was $5.08 compared with $7.73 in 1913 and $12.24 in 1929; the
1932 figure being 34 percent below that of 1913, while taxes per acre were
89 percent above the pre-war level. In 1932 the gross income from 9 acres
was required to pay the taxes on 100 acres of land, whereas the gross
income from only 3 acres was sufficient in 1913. Improvement is noted in
1933, income having increased and taxes declined, with the result that the
number of average acres, the gross income from which was required for the
real estate taxes on 100 acres, was reduced from 9 to 6. Taxes must be paid
out of net income, unless paid out of saving or with borrowed money. Such
data as are available on this point show that taxes in recent years have
taken a very large part, in many cases all or more, of the net income in
"Out of all this tremendous pressure of taxes upon property values and
income in agriculture, has resulted an alarming growth of tax delinquency
in recent years, as shown by preliminary data compiled in a nation-wide
survey conducted by this Bureau in cooperation with the State agricultural
experiment stations and financed by Civil Works funds. In 1,040 counties in
18 states, the number of tax-delinquent farm properties in 1932 was more
than two and a half times as great, and the amount of tax delinquency about
two and a third times as great as in 1928. This increase in extent of farm
tax delinquency occurred despite the fact that the average tax per acre in
the United States declined a fifth from 1928 to 1932.
"Facts such as these indicate plainly that taxation presents one of the
most important problems confronting farmers, and that some practical means
to help meet this problem is urgently needed. This problem is due primarily
to increased expenditures for State and local purposes and continued
dependence on the general property tax as a means of raising nearly four-
fifths of the combined tax revenues of the latter. Under the pressure of
high rates and administrative difficulties the property tax has come to be
little more than a real-estate tax, as large amounts of personal property--
principally intangibles--escape taxation. The farmer's property consists of
real estate and tangible personalty, such as livestock, implements, etc.,
which cannot be hidden from the tax assessor or removed to another taxing
jurisdiction. Hence, his property does not escape taxation. The farmer's
dependence on these forms of property makes him especially subject to the
'general' property tax. His income from sources other than his farm
ordinarily is small, and his property taxes are high in relation to his
income. Even in years when crop failures, low prices, or both, deprive him
of net income, he must pay the property tax because, unlike income taxes,
it is levied even in years when the taxpayer has no income.
"In view of these facts, there are suggested in the enclosed report certain
considerations which in our judgment must be taken into account in any
attempt to meet the farmers' tax problems. These considerations relate
primarily to economy in local expenditures through possible reorganization
and consolidation of local government and reallocation of functions.
Consideration also must be given to fundamental questions of tax revision
aiming to reduce property levies by securing more of the necessary revenues
from other sources to replace a part of the property tax."--pp. iii, iv.
For three consecutive years, tax levies on farm real estate showed an
increase, with the index rising to 161 for 1937 as compared with 156 for
1936, and 155 for 1935. Farm taxes per $100 of value amounted to $1.15 in
1937 as compared with $1.13 in 1936 and $1.50 at the high point of 1932.--
Cf. "Facts for Farmers," Farm Research, Inc., Washington, D. C.
175. One of the gravest problems connected with property tax is this, that
assessors are inexpert in making assessments.--Cf. Kolb-Brunner, op. cit.,
"Over and above the matter of discovering taxable property there is the
further difficulty of properly assessing it. Equality of taxation demands
assessment of all taxable property on relatively the same basis. But
studies show that, as a matter of fact, pronounced inequalities in
assessment exist. Differences of over 100 percent per acre assessed
valuations in practically contiguous farms are not unknown. There also
seems to be a definite tendency, judging from studies made, for the
assessment on small properties to represent a higher proportion of full
value than on large ones. Furthermore, the great bulk of real estate
assessments in the United States are largely based upon the personal
opinions of assessors or reviewing bodies. Many assessors have no
particular training for their work. And there is not a little room for
favoritism."--Schmiedeler, Edgar, "The Farmer's Taxes," Unpublished
lectures (Washington, D. C.: The Catholic University of America).
176. "Inequalities in the apportionment of tax burdens can be corrected by
taxing the value of the products of the land, averaged over a period of
five or ten years, instead of taxing the land itself; by increasing the tax
rates on intangible wealth such as stocks, bonds, and other securities; and
by increasing the tax rates on income and inheritances. This plan would
obviate the need of curtailing necessary governmental expenditures, and at
the same time would remove the disproportionately high tax burden now
resting on agriculture."--Haas, op. cit., p. 427.
There is an increasing trend in the direction of the sales tax because it
is easily collectible. Luxury taxes are justifiable, but a sales tax on the
necessities of life places an inequitable burden on the poor and low-income
group and should be abolished. It is an unwise public policy to tax those
with incomes insufficient to procure the necessities and decencies of life,
whether the tax be direct, as for instance sales tax, or hidden consumer's
tax. Such taxes tend to depress further the low economic status of the
underprivileged with resultant injury to health, morale, and character,
thus creating new economic liabilities for society. Taxes which fall on
those with insufficient incomes tend to depress business inasmuch as they
limit their purchasing power. This group, of necessity, spend all they
receive. What is gained through the tax is lost to business as a whole
through decreased volume. A tax which falls on those who have surplus
incomes increases the volume of business. It does not limit consumption and
the tax money goes eventually into the channels of trade. Ability to pay
should be the usual basis for taxation. Since ability to pay is the fairest
basis of taxation, it would seem wise that the tax levied on homesteads be
as far as possible replaced with the graduated income tax (from whatever
source it may be derived) and the graduated inheritance tax.
The proposed tax on the value of farm products is in effect an income tax.
It is similar to the tree crop tax which has been enacted by some States,
for instance, Wisconsin, in order to encourage reforesting. Under the tree-
crop-tax law the land is taxed very little, in some instances only ten
cents an acre, in order to provide for administrative costs; taxes are
levied on the tree crop as it is transported to market. The farm-products
tax would require considerable administrative machinery, whether it would
be a tax of products as they are brought to market or whether a tax on the
value of the products of the land, averaged over a period of five or ten
years. Nevertheless, it is deserving of careful consideration. Its great
merit lies in this, that no money would be taken from the farmer by the
State for taxes when he has none or little. But in any case, it ought to be
a replacement tax. The farm-products tax should not be levied in addition
to the property tax; nor should it be in addition to the income tax. Income
on which products tax is paid should be exempt from income tax.
Cf. Messrs. C. W. Thompson and Verle McElroy, "Homestead Tax Reduction in
Iowa," Bulletin No. 17, Bureau of Business Research, College of Commerce,
Iowa University, Iowa.
"Leo XIII says . . . that ownership cannot be extended, and the benefits of
peace between labor and capital cannot be obtained, if the government
imposes unjust taxes. It would seem to be his thought that taxes should be
applied to farms on a progressive scale, so as to make it undesirable for
any individual to seek to own a very extensive tract of agricultural
land."--Kenkel, F. P., "The Economic Disfranchisement of the ShareCropper"
in "Catholic Rural Life Objectives" (Second Series, 1936), p. 53.
On the progressive land tax, cf. Henry C. Taylor, "Outlines of Agricultural
Economics," p. 284 (New York: The Macmillan Co., 1935).
177. A differential land tax providing for the exemption of homesteads
combined with the progressive land tax is recommended primarily because of
its social implications. It would shift the burden to the owners of large
tracts and absentee landowners.
It would discourage large holdings and thus promote the ownership of
family-size farms operated by owners.
A tax on the future increment in land values arising from other sources
than improvements is also a social measure. Such a tax would curb
speculation, stabilize prices, and promote stable ownership by farmers. A
tax on the future increment of land values was established in England in
1909 and throughout the German Empire in 1911.
Cf. Ryan, John A., "Distributive Justice," pp. 93-104, on the morality and
the social effects of increment taxes.
For the purpose of discouraging the concentration of large landholdings,
the Iowa Tenancy Committee recommends a system of differential taxation.
The committee also recommends a "capital gains," or increment tax, to be
collected when land is sold.--Cf. "Report of Recommendations of the Farm
Tenancy Committee," Iowa State Planning Board, October, 1938.
"We were convinced from the beginning as we are today that you cannot
modernize agriculture by taking the ownership to the profit-seeking hands
of absentee landlords, or the greedy hands of distant managers and
irresponsible stockholders. We know that such land tenure would finally
give us in the domain of agriculture the same big, exploiting, usurping,
private monopolies that claim the industrial world, and our rural families
would under such land tenure be broken up and exhausted, economically,
morally, spiritually, as so many industrial families are."--Rawe, J. C.,
"Catholic Rural Social Planning" in "Catholic Rural Life Objectives" (Third
Series, 1937), p. 73.
178. A tariff for protection against the dumping of foreign agricultural
products is necessary. A tariff for the maintenance of prices for
agricultural products, however, is useless. Despite tariffs, prices in 1938
were very low. Prices on farm products are determined by supply and demand,
and the greater the supply of wheat, cotton, corn, etc., the lower the
price. Home tariffs cannot effect or control prices made in the
Secretary Henry A. Wallace ("Whose Constitution, an Inquiry into the
General Welfare," pp. 76-79, New York, 1936) shows to what extent high
tariff walls, while preventing an inflow of goods from foreign nations,
also prevent the outflow of agricultural products. Tariff barriers have
been one of the main factors in reducing foreign markets for surplus
179. The gold dollar was devaluated by the Monetary Act of January 1, 1934,
by fixing the price of an ounce of gold at $35 as compared with its former
price of $20.67. As may be seen at a glance, it cut the value of a dollar
almost in half; to be exact, the value of the dollar was decreased by 41
per cent. To buy the imports from other lands required, therefore, almost
two dollars instead of one. The American consumer, consequently, had to use
almost two dollars to buy a dollar's worth of products from foreign lands;
in effect, it was the same as raising the tariff wall by 41 per cent. Since
these products are largely industrial and not agricultural, added
protection was given the American manufacturer. In order to offset the
advantages given American products, foreign nations retaliated either by
raising new tariff walls against American goods, or by inaugurating
economic self-sufficiency programs, as did Italy, or by allowing only
certain quotas of American goods to enter, as did France, or by subsidizing
their own exports, as did Germany. Under such conditions the American
farmer found it difficult to dispose of his wheat and cotton. International
retaliation is one, even though not the sole, reason why there is a
carryover of between 200 and 300 millions of bushels of wheat and a surplus
of 11,000,000 bales of cotton (1939). Whether devaluation was responsible
in a marked degree for the subsequent behavior of internal prices, cannot
be demonstrated with accuracy because many factors enter into the price
Cf. Spahr, et al., "Economic Principles and Problems," Vol. I (New York:
Farrar and Rinehart, 1936), pp. 599-605.
The woes of the farmer are not to be cured by manipulating the money
system; so much has been demonstrated in American history. "Farmers who are
caught in the trap think they benefit from land speculation, 'soft money,'
and debt repudiation. Actually the whole thing is a nightmare to everyone
concerned."--Wallace, op. cit., p. 37. Coming from an ardent champion of
the farmer's cause, this is a most significant statement.
IMPORTANCE OF THE RURAL QUESTION
The National Catholic Rural Life Conference is committed to the belief that
the well-being of the nation rests to a large measure on a healthy
agrarianism. The conference regards the betterment of rural conditions as
the starting point in the regeneration of society. Its objectives are the
improvement of the spiritual, religious, social, cultural, and economic
status of the rural group. These objectives are so closely related that one
is dependent on the others. Right living conditions are essential for
spiritual and cultural development. Reconquest of the soil, which has been
depleted through improper use and exploitation, is a fundamental
consideration, for human erosion is closely related to soil erosion.
Reconquest of ownership is another fundamental consideration, inasmuch as
ownership is essential for independent, successful, and self-satisfying
farm life. The multiplying of family-size, owner-operated farms is an
important safeguard against the exploitation of our greatest natural
resource, namely, the land.
An intensive educational program is needed in order that rural youth might
learn to appreciate the singular blessedness of life on the land and in
order that the farming group might be enabled to retain its economic
independence and develop a spiritual and self-satisfying rural culture.
This education should be adapted to the special needs of the farming group
and should be grounded on the Christian philosophy of life.
The rural problem is complex and varies in type and in intensity with
geographical areas. Wrong attitudes toward agriculture and wrong appraisals
of what constitutes fundamental values, deeply rooted in the thinking of
both rural and urban groups, are barriers that must be surmounted. Although
the rural problem presents great difficulties, we cannot admit that it is
insoluble, for the fate of human society rests on the solution. The rural
problem is so important that it should engage the greatest minds of the
Chap. I: The Rural Catholic Family
Bruehl, Charles, "Birth Control and Eugenics" (New York: Joseph F. Wagner,
Dublin, L. I., "Population Problems in the United States and Canada"
(Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1926).
Gessner, A., "Cost of Living," etc. Thesis, University of Wisconsin,
Haas, Francis J., "Man and Society," Chaps. VI, VII, VIII (New York:
Century Co., 1930).
Kolb, J. H., and Brunner, E. de S., "A Study of Rural Society," Chap. II
(Houghton Mifflin, 1935).
Leo XIII, "Christian Marriage." An Encyclical Letter, 1880.
"Le Probleme rural au regard de la doctrine social de l'Eglise;" joint
pastoral letter of the bishops of the civil province of Quebec, 1938 (noted
in General References under its English title).
Matt, Alphonse J., "The Family and Social Security" in "The Catholic Rural
Life Bulletin," May, 1939.
McGowan, R. A., "Women and Industry" (N.C.W.C. Publication, 1925).
Muench, Aloisius J., "The Christian Home." A Lenten pastoral available in
pamphlet form, and in the April, June, and September issues of "The
Christian Family," 1937.
Murray, Raymond W., and Flynn, Frank T., "Social Problems," Part III,
"Population Growth and Decline" (New York: F. S. Crofts and Co., 1938).
O'Hara, Edwin V., "The Church and the Country Community," Chaps. I and III
(New York: The Macmillan Co., 1927).
Pius XI, "Christian Marriage." An Encyclical Letter, 1930.
Schmiedeler, Edgar, "Christian Marriage." An Analysis of and Commentary on
Marriage Encyclical, N.C.W.C.; also "A Better Rural Life," Chap. I (Joseph
F. Wagner, Inc., 1938).
Smith, Geo. D., "The Pope and Christian Marriage" (New York: Benziger
Wallace, Henry A., "Whose Constitution?," Chap. IX, on Population (New
York: Reynal and Hitchcock, 1936).
Catholic Rural Life Objectives:
Baker, O. E., "Will More or Fewer People Live on the Land?" (Second Series,
Bishop, W. Howard, "Agrarianism, the Basis of the New Order" (First Series,
Boyle, Hugh C., "The More Abundant Life" (Third Series, 1937).
LaFarge, John, "The Church and Rural Welfare" (First Series, 1935); "The
Agrarian Crisis and the Catholic Church" (Third Series, 1937).
Muench, Aloisius J., "The Catholic Church and Rural Welfare" (Third Series,
Mulloy, William T., "Presidential Address" (Third Series, 1937).
O'Hara, Edwin V., "The Spiritual and Material Mission to Rural America"
(First Series, 1935).
"Housing Requirements of Farm Families in Different Regions of the United
States," Miscellaneous Publication 322 (U.S.D.A.); "Modernizing
Farmhouses," Farmers' Bulletin No. 1513 (U.S.D.A.); "Methods and Equipment
for Home Laundering," Farmers' Bulletin No. 1497; Farmhouse Plans (40
plans), Farmers' Bulletin No. 1738 (U.S.D.A.).
Bell, M. C., "The ABC of Kitchen Arrangement," N. J. State Agr. Col. Exp.
Sta. Bul. 65.
Hale, W. M., "Taking the Drab Out of Washday," Wis. Col. of Agr. Home
Management Series, Ext. Ser. 1934.
Muse, M., "Kitchen Equipment and Arrangement," Vr. Exp. Sta. Bul. 375, 59
pp., May, 1934.
Pennock, G. L., "Well Planned Kitchens," Delineator Home Institute (New
York: Butterick Pub. Co., 1930), 36 pp., illus.
Redfield, Gail, "Selection, Operation and Care of Electrical Household
Equipment," 1937. Ext. Bull. 215, Purdue Univ., Lafayette, Ind.
"Selections of Electrical Equipment for the Home," by Ella M. Cushman and
Delpha E. Wiesendanger, Extension Bulletin 358, October, 1936. Cornell
University, Ithaca, New York.
Chap. II: Farm Ownership and Land Tenancy
Agar, H., "Land of the Free" (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1935). "Pursuit of
Happiness" (Houghton Mifflin, 1938).
Belloc, Hilaire, "Restoration of Property" (New York: Sheed and Ward,
Black and Allen, "The Growth of Farm Tenancy in the U. S." in "Quarterly
Journal of Economics," May, 1937.
Black, J. D., "Division of Incomes Between Landlord and Tenant" in
"Proceedings of American Association for Agricultural Legislation," 1919.
Canley, T. J., "Agrarianism" (Chapel Hill: Univ. of N. C. Press).
Cathrein, V., "Property" in "Catholic Encyclopedia."
Haas, Francis J., "Man and Society" (The Century Co., 1930). Chap. XIII,
Property--Historical Development; and Chap. XIV, The Social Foundations of
Hayes, Brooks, "Farm Tenancy--Its Extent and Remedies" in "Proceedings of
the Twenty-third National Conference of Catholic Charities," 1937.
Johnson, C., Embree E., and Alexander W., "The Collapse of Cotton Tenancy
"(Chapel Hill: Univ. of N. C. Press).
Leo XIII, "The Condition of Labor." An Encyclical Letter, 1891.
Michel, Virgil, "Farm Tenancy--Its Causes and Remedies as Suggested in the
Papal Encyclicals" in "Proceedings of the Twenty-third National Conference
of Catholic Charities," 1937.
O'Hara, Edwin V., "The Church and the Country Community," Chap. IX
(Macmillan Co., 1927).
Pius XI, "Reconstruction of the Social Order." An Encyclical Letter, 1931.
Rawe, John C., "The Home on the Land" in "The Catholic Rural Life
Bulletin," February, 1939.
"Report and Recommendations of the Farm Tenancy Committee," Iowa State
Planning Board, 1938.
Ryan, John A., "Distributive Justice," Chaps. III, VIII and XXI (Macmillan
Co., Revised, 1927); "The Christian Doctrine of Property" (Paulist Press
Social Research Report, No. VIII, "Disadvantaged Classes in American
Agriculture." April, 1938. Carl Taylor, Helen W. Wheeler, and E. L.
Kirkpatrick, U. S. Dept. of Agriculture. (The Farm Security Administration
and Bureau of Agricultural Economics cooperated in this report.)
Turner, H. A., "Graphic Summary of Farm Tenure." Bureau of Agricultural
U.S.D.A., "Miscellaneous Publications No. 261." December, 1936. Statistics
on Tenancy in the United States.
Ward, Leo R., "The Land and Human Values" in "The Catholic Rural Life
Bulletin," August, 1938.
Catholic Rural Life Objectives:
Baker, O. E., "The Church and the Rural Youth" (First Series, 1935).
Cram, Ralph Adams, "What Is a Free Man?" (Third Series, 1937.)
Kenkel, Frederick P., "The Economic Disfranchisement of the Share-Cropper"
(Second Series, 1936).
Matt, Alphonse J., "Economic and Social Justice for the Negro" (Third
Miller, Raymond J., "The 'Quadragesimo Anno' and the Reconstruction of
Agriculture" (Second Series, 1936).
Schmiedeler, Edgar, "A Review of Rural Insecurity" (Third Series, 1937).
Walster, H. L., "Backgrounds of Economic Distress in the Great Plains"
(Second Series, 1936).
Chap. III: Rural Settlement
Borsodi, Ralph, "Flight From the City; This Ugly Civilization; Prosperity
and Security" (New York: Harper & Bros., 1933).
Cram, R. A., "Cities of Refuge: A Plea for a Catholic Back-to-the- Land
Movement" in "The Commonweal," August 16, 1935.
"Le Probleme rural au regard de la doctrine social de l'Eglise;" joint
pastoral letter of the bishops of the civil province of Quebec, 1938.
Melvin, B., "Stake in the Land: Part-time Farming for Industrial Workers"
in "Review of Reviews," July, 1936.
Wallace, Henry A., "Whose Constitution?," Chap. VI (On machinery and the
general welfare) (Reynal and Hitchcock, 1936).
Weller, G., "Decentralized City Homesteads" in "The Commonweal, "July 22,
The following literature of the Farm Security Administration is also
available: "Homesteads:" a discussion of rural communities, scattered
farmsteads, subsistence homesteads and Greenbelt communities of the Farm
Security Administration (14 pp.); "Community Farms," Wilson, M. L.:
Information on farming communities of the Farm Security Administration (5
pp. mimeographed); "Low-Cost Rural Housing Program of the Farm Security
Administration" (2 pp. mimeographed); "Houses of Rammed Earth Construction"
(4 pp. folder); "Thirty-three Families Join in Two Co-operative Farms,"
Collins, J. (Reprinted from the "Weekly Kansas City Star"); "100 Missouri
Sharecroppers Move Into a Land of Promise," Collins, J. (Reprinted from the
"Weekly Kansas City Star").
"Free America, "a monthly publication advocating decentralization. 112 East
19th Street, New York.
Catholic Rural Life Objectives:
Baker, O. E., "The Church and the Rural Youth" (First Series, 1935); "Will
More or Fewer People Live on the Land?" (Second Series, 1936.)
Briefs, Goetz, "The Back to the Land Idea" (Third Series, 1937).
Fichter, Joseph H., "A Comparative View of Agrarianism" (Second Series,
Rawe, John C., "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness in Agriculture"
(Second Series, 1936).
Chap. IV: Catholic Rural Education
Campbell, M., "Rural Life at the Crossroads" (New York: Ginn & CO., 1937).
"Educational Policies for Rural America," Educational Policies Commission,
N.E.A. (Washington, D. C., 1939).
Kolb, J. H., and Brunner, E. de S., "A Study of Rural Society," Chaps. XVI,
XVII, and XVIII (Houghton Mifflin Co., 1935).
Lowth, F. J., "Everyday Problems of the Country Teacher" (Macmillan Co.,
McNeill, Leon A., "Rural Courses of Study" in "Catholic Rural Life," March,
April, and May, 1928.
Michel, Virgil, "Christian Education for Rural Living" in "The Catholic
Rural Life Bulletin," August, 1938.
O'Hara, Edwin V., "The Church and the Country Community," Chaps. VII and IX
(Macmillan Co., 1927).
Ostdiek, Joseph, "The Rural Parish School Program" in "The Catholic Rural
Life Bulletin," May, 1938.
Schlitz, M. B., "Country Schools and Country Life" in "Catholic Rural
Life," May, 1928.
Wolfe, J. M., "Adapting the Curriculum to Rural Needs" in "Catholic Rural
Life," October and November, 1928.
Proceedings of National Catholic Educational Association:
Conroy, P. E., "The Church and the Rural School," 1926. Describes Baltimore
plan of using funds from city parishes to establish and maintain rural
Keaveny, T. Leo, "The Rural School Curriculum," 1921. Proposes
reorganization of rural-school program. "The Curriculum of the Catholic
Rural School," 1925. Discussion of a suitable program of studies.
McNeill, L. A., "The Diocesan Superintendent and Religious Instruction of
Public School Pupils," 1932.
O'Hara, Edwin V., "The Rural Problem in Its Bearing on Catholic Education,"
1920. The first important article on rural parish education presenting
figures on rural population, the enrollment in rural schools, and need of
more and better Catholic instruction. "Catholic Rural Extension Education,"
1921. Describes pioneer experiment with religious vacation school and
religious correspondence courses. "Religious Vacation Schools and the
Diocesan Superintendent," 1930. A review of what diocesan superintendents
had done up to 1930 to organize and promote religious vacation schools.
Ostdiek, J. H., "How Can We Improve the Efficiency of Our Rural School?"
1935; "The Rural Parish School Program," 1938.
Pitt, F. X., "The Superintendent and the Rural School," 1928. Discusses
problems on organization, administration, and curriculum in relation to the
needs and conditions of the rural school.
Proceedings of the National Catechetical Congress of the Confraternity of
Christian Doctrine, Hartford, Conn., 1938, contains valuable articles
pertaining to rural religious instruction.
Proceedings of Catholic Rural Life Conference:
Coady, M. M., "Adult Education and Economic Cooperation," 1934. Deals with
adult education in Antigonish.
McNeill, L. A., "Rural Religious Education," 1933.
National Society for the Study of Education, "The Status of Rural
Education." 1931 yearbook, Part I (Public School Publishing Co.).
Ostdiek, J. H., "Basic Importance of Education to Catholic Rural Life"
(1933); "Facts and Fictions in Rural Education" (1933).
Catholic Rural Life Objectives:
Byrne, Francis J., "Problems and Policies in Catholic Rural School Work in
the South" (Third Series, 1937).
Christensen, Chris L., "The Place of Youth in Agriculture and Rural Life"
(Second Series, 1936).
Crowley, Francis M., "Absentee Landlordism in a New Form" (Second Series,
Johnson, George, "The Professional Preparation of Teachers for Catholic
Rural Schools" (First Series, 1935); "The Federal Government and Education
for Rural Life" (Third Series, 1937.).
Mulloy; William T., "Presidential Address" (Third Series, 1937).
Rawe, John C., "Catholic Rural Social Planning" (Third Series, 1937.).
Strittmaier, Denis, "Vocational Training for Colored Youth" (Third Series,
Chap. V: Rural Catholic Youth
Chambers, M. M., "Our American Youth Problem" (Washington, D. C.: American
Council on Education, American Youth Commission, 1937), 327 pp. An
introductory survey and a directory of 330 national non-governmental
organizations having programs for serving youth.
Cicognani, A. Q., "Addresses and Sermons" (New York: Benziger Bros., 1937).
Colvin, Esther, and Lacey, Mary G., "Farm Youth in the United States." A
selected list of references to literature issued during the decade, 1926-
36. Agricultural Economics Bibliography No. 65. Supplements No. 17. June,
1936. U. S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D. C.
"Educational Policies for Rural America, Educational Policies Commission,
N.E.A. (Washington, D. C., 1939).
Fowler, Bertram B., "The Lord Helps Those," Chap. IV (New York: Vanguard
Furfey, Rev. Paul H., "The Parish and Play" (Philadelphia: The Dolphin
La Farge, John, "The Jacistes and 4-H" in "The Catholic Rural Life
Bulletin," May, 1939.
Montgomery, Edw. A., "Urbanization of Rural Recreation," Dissertation,
Univ. of Chicago.
O'Hara, Edwin V., "The Church and the Country Community," Chap. VI
(Macmillan Co., 1927).
O'Hara, John F., "The Catholic Church and Youth." Series of five addresses
delivered in the Catholic Hour. N.C.C.M., Washington, D. C.
Pius XI, "Christian Education of Youth; Motion Pictures," 1936.
Treacy, John P., "Ruralizing Rural Education" in "The Catholic Rural Life
Bulletin," August, 1938.
4-H Club Literature:
"4-H Clubs in the Diocese of La Crosse," Baer, Urban; Rural Catholic
Action: Diocesan Directors Series No. III; Schmiedeler, E., "A Better Rural
Life," Ch. VII, The 4-H Club (Joseph F. Wagner, Inc., 1938).
"4"4-H Club Work in the Life of Rural Youth," Duthrie, Mary E., Doctor's
Dissertation. An evaluation of 4-H Club Work. Univ. of Wis. Distributed by
the National Committee on Boys' and Girls' Club Work. 56 E. Congress St.,
"Organization of 4-H Club work," Warren, Gertrude, S., Misc. Pub. No. 320.
U. S. Dept. of Agriculture, Washington, D. C. A helpful guide for local
"Catholicizing the 4-H Clubs," a Guide for Rural Pastors (St. Louis, Mo.:
The Queen's Work).
There are other helpful publications issued by the Extension Division, U.
S. Dept. of Agriculture, and also some issued by Extension Divisions of
State Agricultural colleges.
Harding, Agnes Burkley, "Culture for Young People" (Washington, D. C.).
Mooney, Rev. Vincent, "The N.C.W.C. Catholic Youth Bureau," Catholic
Action, October, 1938.
"Youth Series." I, Youth Today and Tomorrow; II, Youth Leadership and
Catholic Action; III, The Call to Youth; IV, The Call to Youth. Series of
Radio Talks Arranged for Leadership Study. National Council of Catholic
Women, Washington, D. C.
Catholic Rural Life Objectives:
Christensen, Chris L., "The Place of Youth in Agriculture and Rural Life"
(Second Series, 1936).
Gillis, Michael, "The Adult Education Movement in Nova Scotia" (Second
Pitt, F. Newton, "Youth Problems in Rural Areas" (Third Series, 1937).
Treacy, John P., "Will Youth Be Served?" (Third Series, 1937.)
Chap. VI: Catholic Culture in Rural Society
Agar, Herbert, "Land of the Free," Introduction, Chapter I and passim
(Houghton Mifflin, 1935).
"Pursuit of Happiness"(Houghton Mifflin, 1938).
Baker, O. E., "To Rescue for Human Society the Native Values of Rural
Life," "The Catholic Rural Life Bulletin," Aug., 1938,
Clendenin, Angela, "Singing Hymns in the Home" in "The Catholic Family
Monthly," July, 1934.
Cram, Ralph Adams, "The Status of Church Art and Architecture" in "The
Catholic Rural Life Bulletin," May, 1938.
Eaton, Allen H., "Handicrafts in the Southern Highlands" (New York: Russell
Sage Foundation). With an account of the Rural Handicraft Movement in the
United States and suggestions for the wider use of handicrafts in adult
education and in recreation.
Fowler, Bertram B., "The Lord Helps Those" (Vanguard Press, 1938), Chaps.
IV, V, VI.
Gill, Eric, "Art and Industrialism" in "American Review," January, 1936, p.
Hull, Earnest R., "Civilization and Culture."
Krzesinski, A., "Is Modern Culture Doomed?" Series of articles beginning in
January, 1930, "The Catholic Educational Review."
Kolb, J. H., and Brunner, E. de S., "A Study of Rural Society," Chap. XV
(Houghton Mifflin Co., 1935).
Lavery, Emmet, "I Am Not a Farmer, But--" in "The Catholic Rural Life
Bulletin," February, 1939.
Mumford, Lewis, "The Culture of Cities" (New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co.,
Nutting, Willis, "The Catholic College and the Land" in "The Catholic Rural
Life Bulletin," November, 1938; "Foundations of a Rural Christian Culture,"
loc. cit., February, 1939.
Patten, Marjorie, "The Arts Workshop of Rural America" (Columbia University
Press). A study of the rural arts program of the Agricultural Extension
Reynolds, Pauline M., "Lived Nobly and Well" in "The Catholic Rural Life
Bulletin," February, 1939.
Schmiedeler, E., "Art in the Countryside" in "The Catholic Rural Life
Bulletin," November, 1938. "For the Improvement of Rural Life," pp. 6-9,
Summary of Report of the Fifth International Commission on Rural Life,
Brussels, 1935, N.C.W.C.
Sharp, Cecil, et al., "Culture in the South" (Chapel Hill: Univ. of N. C.).
Chap. VII: Rural Community
Brunner, E., and Lorge, F., "Rural Trends in Depression Years: A Survey of
Village-centered Agricultural Communities," 1930-1936 (New York: Columbia
Galpin, Charles Josiah, "Rural Social Problems," Chap. V (Century Co.,
Gillette, J. M., "Rural Sociology," Chaps. III, IV, and V (Macmillan Co.,
Guilday, P., "The Writing of Parish Histories" in "Ecclesiastical Review,"
Koch, H. Vechta, "Die Bauerhofe im Amte Vechta" (Oldenburg).
Kolb, J. H., and Brunner, E. de S., "A Study of Rural Society," Chaps. III,
IV, V, VII, XXIII (Houghton Mifflin Co., 1935).
Melvin, B., "The Sociology of the Village and the Surrounding Territory"
(Agricultural Experiment Station, Ithaca, New York.)
O'Hara, Edwin V., "The Church and the Country Community," Chaps. V and VIII
(Macmillan Co., 1927).
Sims, N. L., "The Rural Community--Ancient and Modern" (New York: Charles
"Elements of Rural Sociology," Chaps. XIII-XVI (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell
Sorokin and Zimmerman, "Principles of Rural-Urban Sociology," Part I (New
York: Henry Holt & Co., 1929).
Wilson, W. H., "The Evolution of a Country Community" (Boston: The Pilgrim
Young, Cecilia M., "Catalogue and Review of Plays for Amateurs" (Chicago:
Loyola University Press). A large variety of plays, American and foreign.
"Catholic Theatre," Organ of the Catholic Theatre Conference.
Catholic Rural Life Objectives:
Baker, O. E., "The Church and the Rural Youth" (First Series, 1935).
Fichter, Joseph H., "A Comparative View of Agrarianism" (Second Series,
Taylor, Carl C., "The Restoration of Rural Culture" (Third Series, 1937).
Willman, Dorothy J., "Reading in the Rural Home" (Third Series, 1937).
Chap. VIII: The Rural Pastorate
"Le Probleme rural au regard de la doctrine social de l'Eglise;" joint
pastoral of the bishops of the civil province of Quebec, 1938.
O'Hara, E. V., The Church and the Country Community, Chaps. XIV, XV
(Macmillan Co., 1927).
Plater, C., "The Priest and Social Action" (London: Longmans, Green &
Ryan, John A., "The Church and the Workingman," Chap. VI, The Church and
Socialism (Washington, D. C.: The Catholic University Press).
Schmiedeler, Edgar, "Social Studies," The Educational Handbook (1938); "A
Better Rural Life" (Joseph F. Wagner, Inc., 1938).
Wolters, G., "A Socio-Economic Analysis of Four Rural Parishes," Thesis
(Washington, D. C.: The Catholic University of America).
Proceedings of National Catholic Educational Association:
Haas, F. J., "Training the Priest for Leadership in the Social and Economic
Ryan, John A., "The Study of Social Questions in the Seminary," 1908.
Schrembs, J., "The Seminary from the View-point of a Parish Priest," 1908.
Shee, J. A., "The Seminary from the View-point of a Parish Priest," 1908.
"I Am a Country Pastor," Current Issues of "The Catholic Rural Life
"Annual Report, Boerenbond Belge "(Louvain, Rue des Recollets, 24).
"The American Catholic Village," Study Project VI (St. Louis, Mo.: The
Chap. IX: Rural Church Expansion
Bishop, W. Howard, "Plan for an American Society of Catholic Home Missions
to Operate in the Rural Sections of the United States" in "Ecclesiastical
Review," March, 1936.
Bronson, Joachim V., "The Judgments of Father Judge" (The Preservation of
the Faith, Silver Spring, Maryland).
Heffron, Edward J., "The Catholic Evidence Guild," N.C.C.M. publication.
Washington, D. C.
"The Monks of the West," a classic work by Montalembert, which includes the
story of the Benedictines (London, 1896).
Schmiedeler, E., "The Benedictines and Rural Life" in "Catholic Rural
Life," March, 1928.
Halloran, Rev. Thos. M., "Paulist Activity in the Rural Mission Field."
Rural Catholic Action: Diocesan Directors Series II. Rural Life Bureau,
Leven, Stephen A., "That There Be One Fold and One Shepherd" in "The
Catholic Rural Life Bulletin," November 20, 1937, pp. 10 ff.
Schmiedeler, E., "A Better Rural Life," pp. 80-89; "The Homiletic and
Pastoral Review," March, 1938; "The Ecclesiastical Review," February, 1939.
"Extension Magazine," official organ of the Home Missions, published by the
Catholic Extension Society of the United States of America.
Catholic Rural Life Objectives:
Bishop, W. Howard, "The Organization of Catholic Resources for Missionary
Effort in the Hinterlands" (Third Series, 1937).
Mother Mary of the Incarnate Word, "Evangelizing the Disfranchised" (Third
Sullivan, Genevieve, "Catechetical Enterprise in the Southwest" (Third
Chap. X: Rural Health
Galpin, Charles Josiah, "Rural Social Problems," Chap. VIII Century Co.,
Kolb, J. H., and Brunner, E. de S., a "Study of Rural Society," Chap. XXII
(Houghton Mifflin Co., 1935).
Lumsden, L. L., "Physical Status of Farm Youth" in "Rural America," March,
Nason, Wayne C., "Rural Hospitals." Department of Agriculture, Washington,
D. C., 1926.
O'Hara, E. V., "The Church and the Rural Community," Chap. VI (Macmillan
Pusey, William Allen, "Medical Education and Medical Service," Chicago
American Medical Association, 1926. Contains a study of the distribution of
Rorem, Rufus, "The Municipal Doctor System in Rural Saskatchewan"
(University of Chicago Press, 1931).
Sims, Newell Leroy, "Elements of Rural Sociology," Chap. XVI (Thomas Y.
Crowell Co., 1934).
Sorokin and Zimmerman, "Principles of Rural-Urban Sociology," Part III
(Henry Holt and Co., 1929). A comparison of rural and urban health
"Proceedings" of the National Health Conference, July 18, 19, and 20, 1938,
Washington, D. C.
Current issues, "Hospital Progress," the official journal of the Catholic
Hospital Association, St. Louis, Missouri (Publishers, The Bruce Publishing
Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin).
Every year a Special Directory Number of "Hospital Progress" is issued.
This lists all the Catholic hospitals and schools of nursing in the United
States, Canada, and Newfoundland.
In the field of public health, much helpful literature can be secured from
state departments of health and from the United States Public Health
Chap. XI: Rural Social Charity
Brown, Josephine C., "The Rural Community and the Social Case Work" (New
York: Family Welfare Association of America, 1933).
Bruce, Frank, "Is There a Rural Charity Problem?" in "Catholic Rural Life
Bulletin," August, 1938.
Davis, Stanley P., "Social Control of the Mentally Deficient" Thomas Y.
Crowell Co., 1937).
Haas, Francis J., "Man and Society," Chap. V (Century Company, 1930).
Kerby, W. J., "The Social Mission of Charity" (Macmillan, 1924).
O'Grady, John, "Introduction to Social work" (Century Co., 1928).
Ryan, Vincent J., "Religious Welfare of Children Under the Child Welfare
Services Section of the Social Security Act," "Proceedings of the Twenty-
third National Conference of Catholic Charities," 1937.
Current issues, "The Catholic Charities Review," and the annual proceedings
of the National Conference of Catholic Charities, Washington, D. C.
"White House Conference on Child Health and Protection," (Century Company,
"Social Security Act" (Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.).
Helpful popular literature on the various sections of the Social Security
Act is issued by the governmental units that administer them.
Catholic Rural Life Objectives:
Duggan, Raymond P., "Catholic Charities in Rural America" (Third Series,
Fitzgerald, James, "The Society of St. Vincent de Paul and Rural Life"
(Third Series, 1937).
Lundberg, Emma O., "The Child in the Rural Community" (Third Series, 1937).
Meegan, William H., "Rural Social Work in an Eastern Diocese" (Third
Mitchell, Thomas E., "A Rural Charities Program for a Southern Diocese"
(Third Series, 1937).
Ryan, Vincent J., "The Fargo Plan" (Third Series, 1937).
Chap. XII: The Farm Laborer
Black, J. D., "Agricultural Wage Relationships," "Review of Economic
Statistics," February and May, 1936.
Kester, H., "Revolt Among the Sharecroppers" (New York: Covici-Friede,
Leo XIII, "The Condition of Labor," 1891.
Ligutti, Luigi G., "The Catholic and American Solution of the Farm Laborer
Problem," Proceedings of the Twenty-third National Conference of Catholic
McGowan, R. A., "The Family Living Wage" in "The Catholic Family Monthly,"
Pius XI, "Reconstruction of the Social Order," 1931.
Schmiedeler, E., "Our Rural Proletariat," Pamphlet No. II, Social Action
Series (Paulist Press).
Stanley, Louise E., "Labor in Agriculture; and International Survey," Royal
Institute of International Affairs (London: Oxford University Press).
Tolles, N. A., "The Problem of the Migrant Worker in Agriculture,"
"Proceedings of the Twenty-third National Conference of Catholic
Current "Yearbooks of Agriculture," United States Department of
The International Labor Office "Yearbooks."
"International Labor Review." Occasional articles on agricultural laborers
(International Labor Office, Geneva).
"The Monthly Labor Review." Occasional articles on agricultural laborers.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States Department of Labor, Washington,
"Le Travail Agricole." An excellent foreign quarterly carrying articles in
French, German, Italian, English, and occasionally in other languages
(Rome: Via Regina Elena, 86).
Catholic Rural Life Objectives:
Matt, Alphonse J., "Economic and Social Justice for the Negro" (Third
Schmiedeler, Edgar, "The Status of the Laborer in Agriculture" (Second
Chap. XIII: Farmer Cooperatives
Childs, M., "Sweden, The Middle Way" (Yale University Press, 1936).
Daniels, J., "Cooperation, An American Way" (Covici-Friede, 1938).
Derrick, Michael, "The Portugal of Salazar," Chap. III (New York: Campion
Fetrow, W., "Cooperative Marketing of Agricultural Products" (Farm Credit
Administration, Washington, D. C.).
Fowler, Bertram B., "The Lord Helps Those" (Vanguard Press, 1938).
Hall, F., and Watkins, W., "Cooperation" (Cooperative Union, Ltd., Holyoke
House, Manchester, England).
Howe, F., "Denmark, The Cooperative Way" (New York: Putnam and Sons, 1938).
Knapp, Jos., and Lister, John, "Cooperative Purchasing of Farm Supplies"
(Farm Credit Administration).
Kolb, J. H., and Brunner, E. de S., "A Study of Rural Society," Chap. XIV
(Houghton Mifflin Co., 1935).
"Le Probleme rural au regard de la doctrine social de l'Eglise;" joint
pastoral of the bishops of the civil province of Quebec, 1938.
Muench, A. J., "Agrarianism in the Christian Social Order" in "The Catholic
Rural Life Bulletin," May, 1938.
O'Hara, Edwin V., "The Church and the Country Community," Chaps. XII, XIII,
and XIV (Macmillan Co., 1927).
"Report of the Inquiry on Cooperative Enterprise in Europe" (United States
Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C., 1937).
"Report of the Inquiry on Cooperative Enterprise in Europe," 1937
(Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C.).
"Sources of Information Regarding Cooperatives" (Consumers' Counsel,
Agricultural Adjustment Administration, United States Department of
Agriculture, Washington, D. C.).
"Organization and Management of Consumers' Cooperative Associations and
Clubs (with Model Bylaws)" (United States Department of Labor, Bureau of
Labor Statistics, Publication No. 598, Washington, D. C.).
"A Silent Revolution" in "The Catholic World," June, 1936.
Current Issues, "Central-Blatt and Social Justice," Central Bureau,
Catholic Central Verein of America, St. Louis, Missouri.
"Cooperation and Cooperative Associations," Study Project III (The Queen's
Catholic Rural Life Objectives:
Gillis, Michael, "The Adult Movement in Nova Scotia" (Second Series, 1936).
Kenkel, Frederick P., "The Ethical and Religious Background of Cooperation"
(First Series, 1935).
Michel, Virgil, "The Cooperative Movement and the Liturgical Movement"
(Second Series, 1936).
Miller, Raymond J., "The 'Quadragesimo Anno' and the Re construction of
Agriculture" (Second Series, 1936).
Chap. XIV: Rural Credit
Fowler, Bertram B., "The Lord Helps Those," Chap. V (Vanguard Press, 1938).
Kolb, J. H., and Brunner, E. de S., "A Study of Rural Society," Chap. XIV
(Houghton Mifflin Co., 1935).
Lee, Virgil T., "Principles of Agricultural Credit" (New York: McGraw-Hill,
Wall, N. J., and Engquist, "A Graphic Summary of Agricultural"
Sparks, E. S., "History and Theory of Agricultural Credit in the United
States"(Thomas Y. Crowell Co., 1932).
"Credit" (Misc. Publ. No. 268, United States Department of Agriculture,
Washington, D. C.).
"Fifth Annual Report of the Farm Credit Administration," 1937.
"Appraising Farms for Mortgage Loans," Pamphlet (Farm Credit
Administration, Washington, D. C.).
"Agricultural Financing Through the Farm Credit Administration" (Farm
Credit Administration, Washington, D. C.).
"Farm Finance: What Is a Sound System?"(United States Department of
Agriculture, Extension Division, Washington, D. C.)
"The Nature of Agricultural Credit" in "Social Science Encyclopedia."
Schmiedeler, Edgar, "Beating the Loan Shark" in "The Sign," September,
1938; "Cooperative Credit" in the "Commonweal," July 24, 1936.
Springob, A., "The Parish Credit Union," Credit Union Leaflet No. 5
(Central Bureau, St. Louis, Missouri).
Federal Credit Unions: Cooperative Thrift and Loan Associations, Circular
10 (Farm Credit Administration, Washington, D. C.).
Catholic Rural Life Objectives:
Crowley, Francis M., "Absentee Landlordism in a New Form" (Second Series,
Chap. XV: Agriculture in the Economic Organism
Bronson, R., "The Economic Organization of Society and the Encyclical"
(Catholic Conference on Industrial Problems, Washington, D. C.).
Derrick, Michael, "The Portugal of Salazar," Chap. III (New York: Campion
Deverall, Richard L. G., "The Industrial and Rural Proletariate" in "The
Catholic Rural Life Bulletin," February, 1939.
Ezekiel, M., "Statistical Analysis and the Law of Price" in "Quarterly
Journal of Economics," February, 1928.
McGowan, R. A., "Toward Social Justice: A Discussion and Application of
Pius XI's 'Reconstructing the Social Order'" (Social Action Department,
National Catholic Welfare Conference, Washington, D. C.).
Miller, R. J., "The 'Quadragesimo Anno' and the Reconstruction of
Agriculture" in "Catholic Rural Life Objectives," Series II, 1936, pp. 47
Ogburn, C., "Farmers Need Labor's Cooperation" in "American Federationist,"
January, 1939, Washington, D. C.
Pius XI, "Reconstruction of the Social Order," pp. 26 ff.
Schmiedeler, E., "Agriculture and International Life" (The Catholic
Association for International Peace, Washington, D. C.).
Wallace, Henry A., "Paths to Plenty" (National Home Library Foundation,
Washington, D. C.); "Whose Constitution?," Chap. X (On foreign trade)
(Reynal and Hitchcock, 1936).
"What Should Be the Farmers' Share in the National Income?" Discussion club
booklet (United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, D. C.)
Chap. XVI: Rural Taxation
Coombs, Whitney, "Taxation of Farm Property." United States Department of
Agriculture, Technical Bulletin 172, February, 1930.
Hibbard and Allin, "Tax Burden Compared." A comparison between tax burden
of farm, village, and city. University of Wisconsin, Bulletin 393, 1927.
Jackson, Donald, a "Graphic Summary of Farm Taxation." Misc. Publ. No. 262,
United States Department of Agriculture, 1937. Certain of the more
important facts about farm taxes shown in charts.
Kolb, J. H., and Brunner, E. de S., a "Study of Rural Society," pp. 322 ff.
(Houghton Mifflin Co., 1935).
Ryan, John A., "Distributive Justice," Chaps. VIII, pp. 102-133, and XX
(Macmillan Co., Revised, 1927).
Walker, W. P., and DeVault, B. H., "Taxation in Maryland with Special
Reference to Agriculture" (Agricultural Experiment Station, University of
Maryland, College Park, Maryland, 1932).
Wallace, Henry A., "Whose Constitution?," Chap. X (Reynal and Hitchcock,
"The Agricultural Problem in the United States," pp. 111-120. Importance of
farm tax burden. Statement of facts. Causes of rise in farm taxes (National
Industrial Conference Board Inc., 1926).
A very useful bibliography on all phases of rural life will be found in "A
Guide to the Literature of Rural Life" (14th rev. ed., 1939), compiled by
Benson Y. Landis, and published by the Department of Research and Education
of the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America (297 Fourth
Ave., New York). The joint pastoral of the bishops of the civil province of
Quebec, issued in 1938, and translated under the title "The Rural Problem
in the Light of the Social Doctrine of the Church," should be consulted.
Absentee owners, J. C. Rawe on Absentee ownership, effect of
Agrarian problem, Pius XI on,
Agrarianism, spiritual importance of,
Agricultural schools for Negroes,
Agriculture, crippled by inequitable taxation; crux of nation's economic
problem; depressed economic condition of farmer; distressed status of;
favors higher birth rate; Henry Wallace on relation of, to industry; in the
economic organism; interest of Church in; J. C. Rawe on relation of, to
industry; mechanized, factor in overproduction; provides favorable
conditions for family; relation of industry to,
Alabama, missionary activities of Father Judge; rural mission activities,
Altura, Minnesota, experiment in cooperative health association,
American Board of Catholic Missions
American Federation of Labor, on organizing agricultural workers,
American Library Association
American Medical Association, on hospitals; on national health program,
Apprenticeship, and farm home,
Art, E. Schmiedeler on revival of rural,
Arts; and crafts, home,
Assessments, inequitable on farm properties,
Baker, O. E., on part-time farming; on the family; on transfer of wealth
from country to city; rural and urban birth rates contrasted,
Bankers; organizations of, and agriculture,
Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act; on agricultural laborers and sharecroppers,
Basenach, F., on advantages of cooperatives,
Benedict XV, on the priest and economics,
Benedictine Order; rural work and; work of, among rural people,
Birth rate; agriculture favors higher; cause of decline of; country, the
source of the nation's population; effect of decline on farm commodities;
effect of decline on markets; prospects of further decline; rural and urban
compared; rural living favors high; significance of decline of,
Bishop, Howard, on the importance of rural missionary work; on the
spiritually neglected rural areas; on vocational groups,
Boyle, Hugh, on theology and social science,
Briefs, Goetz, on landward movement,
Byrnes, James A., on rural Church expansion,
Campaigners for Christ,
Cardinal de Lugo, on ownership,
Carver, T. N., on farm credit,
Catholic Action, Catholic youth can become vital force in,
Catholic agricultural school, need of,
"Catholic Charities Review," on National Health program,
Catholic Church, growth of, in U. S. depends on progress of rural church;
largely urban in the United States,
Catholic Church Extension Society; work of, in rural areas,
Catholic colleges, rural leadership and,
Catholic Evidence Bureau
Catholic Evidence Guild
Catholic Rural Life Conference, its objectives,
Catholic Rural Life Movement, reason for,
C.Y.O.; "Manual," Ft. Wayne Diocese,
Catholic Youth Organizations, need for,
Charity; correct notion of; R. P. Duggan on the philosophy of; government
aid no substitute for; William J. Kerby on; objective of, organized;
organized, State monopoly and; organized, volunteer service; parish,
natural unit of; Pius XI on; rural social; social service and,
Children; economic assets in country; economic assets on farm; dependent
and neglected; large proportion in rural areas; of farm laborers; rural
environment and training of; rural environment favorable to; rural living
provides favorable conditions for; safeguarding religion of dependent,
Christensen, Chris, on farm folk school; on the problem of the farm laborer
Church, Catholic Youth Organizations and; education and; interest of, in
youth; preeminence in field of education; priority of right in education;
right of, in education; social action and,
Church architecture, rural,
Cicognani, A. G., on youth training,
City birth rate, effects of declining,
Clinics. need of, in rural areas,
Colonization, Father McGoey's experiment; see also Settlement
Commercialized farming; a factor in agricultural overproduction; and
Communism, industrial centers hotbeds of,
Community social center
Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; work of,
Consumer Cooperative Movement
Cooperation, Richard Deverall on,
Cooperative Movement, F. P. Kenkel on; in Holland, Belgium, Denmark, and
Cooperatives, and rural merchant; basis of Christian; conditions requisite
for success of; education and sustained interest necessary; facts of;
farmer; F. Basenach on advantages of; health and; in Nova Scotia; in Nova
Scotia, Bertram B. Fowler on; F. P. Kenkel on; local autonomy and; Virgil
Michel on; necessity of; need for; right and wrong of; Rochdale principles
of; social justice foundation of: social value of; State should foster;
statistics in respect to number and business volume; types of,
Correspondence courses, as a missionary activity; in Religion, Country
Cram, Ralph Adams, on Church architecture,
Credit, cooperative, advantages of; needs of farmer for; rural; source of
farm; various types of,
Credit Unions; in Nova Scotia,
Crowley, Francis M., on usury,
Culture; and cooperatives, Edwin V, O'Hara on; Catholic in rural society;
Catholic rural leadership and; cooperatives and; creative aspects of;
isolation of farmstead and; lack of appreciation of; meaning of; meaning of
Catholic; mediums of; modern convenience and; necessary to keep youth on
land; need of, on countryside; Pius XI on; reason for lack of; relation of
cooperatives to; rural, Carl C. Taylor on; rural, Carl C. Taylor on
decadence of; status of rural; Tolstoi on,
Denmark, leader in rural civilization,
Deverall, Richard, on cooperation,
Diocesan Bureau of Charity, need of,
Diocesan Charities, decentralization of,
Diocesan mission bands, work of,
Diocesan Youth Councils
"Disadvantaged Classes in American Agriculture,"; on rural slum conditions;
on the plight of the farm laborer,
Discussion Clubs; medium of culture,
Divorce; rural and urban contrasted; rural versus urban,
Doctors, exodus of rural,
Dramatics, rural, E. Schmiedeler on,
Duggan, R. P., on disadvantaged rural family; on objectives of Catholic
social work; on philosophy of Catholic charity,
Earth, heritage of all mankind,
Education; American system of; basis of Nova Scotia cooperative movement;
Catholic rural; Church and; concern of Church, State, and family;
contribution of Church to; family and; folly of secular; function of school
in; health and; indifference to school education in farm areas; lack of
appreciation of; lack of, in rural areas; Leo XIII on; Pius XI on; Pius XI
on purpose and character of; place of home in; primary and secondary rural
Catholic schools; purpose of; reason for Catholic school; right of Church
in; right of parent and; rural, defects in; rural, needed improvements in;
secularized, a recent experiment; State and; the function of three
societies; the need of the farm family,
Employers, benefit to, in helping employees own land; responsibility of;
social responsibility of,
Episcopal Committee on Youth
Ever-Normal Granary Plan
Extension service; benefits of college,
Family, agricultural occupation favors unity of; city hostile to; education
and; effects of ownership on; farm, native habitat of; industrial society
and; more stable in country; ownership and; Pius XI on; rights of, in
education; rural,; rural and urban conditions contrasted; rural living
provides favorable conditions for,
Family-size farm; resettlement and,
Farm, disadvantages of,
Farm Credit Act
Farm Credit Administration; report of,
Farm family, isolation of; lack of social and cultural contacts in;
traditional attitudes, a handicap to,
Farm folk schools
Farm home, eliminating drudgery of,
Farm laborer; annual income of; deplorable status of; improving condition
of; income of; plight of; treatment of,
Farm laborers; and social charity; number of; organization of,
Farm ownership, F. P. Kenkel on,
Farmer, individualism of farmer in respect to wages,
Farmers, effects of traditional habits on,
Farming, commercial, J. H. Fichter on,
Farmyard, improvement of,
Federal Farm Loan System
Federal Land Bank
Fichter, J. H., on commercial farming; on landward movement,
Fitzgerald, James, on rural mission of the Vincentians; on the Vincent de
4-H Club; keeps youth in home; organized on parochial basis; to be
Fowler, Bertram B., on cooperative movement in Nova Scotia; on credit
unions in Nova Scotia; on cultural value of cooperatives; on culture value
of economic education; on homesteads for industrial workers,
Future farmers of America
Georgia, rural mission activities in,
Gillis, M. M., on adult education in Nova Scotia; on cooperative movement
in Nova Scotia,
Goldstein, David, missionary activities of,
Government, aid to the underprivileged and; duplication of; health and;
relief and; resettlement projects; should promote resettlements,
Granger Homestead Project
Great Plains, credit problem of; problem of,
Great Plains Committee, report of,
Green, Wm., on the right of labor to a living wage,
Haas, Francis J., on correcting tax injustices; on married women wage
earners in industry; on the farmer's unjust tax burden,
Health, a social achievement in cities; city and rural contrasted; content
of diocesan program; cost of; county and state organization for; diocesan
program for promoting; Federal subsidies for; maternal and child, services;
motor health clinics; natural advantages in country for; need of Federal
assistance; promoted through government and private groups; rural; rural,
advantages for; rural and urban contrasted; state and Federal subsidies
for; State intervention necessary; J. P. Warbasse on cooperative
Health insurance; compulsory,
Health program, need for Catholic rural; see also Health
Holy Office, on youth training,
Home, importance of, to rural youth; place of, in education.
Home arts and crafts; need for training in,
"Home Missioners of America,"
Home Missions; fields of activity for,
Homesteads, for industrial workers,
Hospital Associations, on national health program,
Hospitals; need of, in rural areas,
Housing; cooperative, in Nova Scotia; for low-income groups; for the
underprivileged; of farm laborers; resettlement and,
Illinois, rural mission activities in,
Indiana, rural mission work of Father Mindrup in,
Individual, welfare of, direct object of charity
Individualism; unhealthy development of,
Industry, effect of distress in agriculture on; dependent on agriculture
married women in,
Interest, rate of; rate of, affected by taxation,
Iowa Tenancy Committee, on homestead exemptions and increment tax,
Junior Holy Name Society,
Kansas, missionary activities of Fathers Green and Stremmel,
Keaveny, T. L., on the importance of the rural pastor,
Kendrick Seminary, center of missionary activities,
Kenkel, F. P., on cooperatives; on farm ownership; on progressive taxation;
on settlements; on the cooperative movement,
Kerby, Wm. J., on charity and justice,
Kolb-Brunner, on rural and urban divorce; on rural and urban health
contrasted; on the farmer's unjust tax burden,
Labor, problems of, could be settled by ownership,
Laborer, see Farm Laborer
Ladies of Charity
Land, amount of arable, in U. S.; location service, need for,
Lay apostolate; possibilities in, for mission work in rural areas,
Leadership, country pastor a community leader; rural, and Catholic college
graduates; rural, and women; rural, and attorney; rural, and community
editor; rural, and country doctor; rural, and the priest, rural, and the
Lee, Virgil P., on credit needs of farmers; farmers' interest rate.
Legion of Mary
Leisure time; activities; planned program for; revival of art, and,
Leo XIII, on charity and ownership; on education; on ownership; on
ownership and the family; on priest and social work; on taxation; on
temporal benefits conferred by the Church; on the workingman; on value of
ownership; on wages; on widespread ownership,
Leven, Father Stephen A., mission work of,
Libraries; extent of use of, by rural people; medium of culture,
Ligutti, Luigi, on farm laborer,
Little Country Theater
Living wage, Pius XI on right of labor to,
Longevity, rural and urban contrasted,
Marriage; agricultural occupation favors unity of; urban living and,
McGoey, Rev. F., settlement project McGowan, R. A., on need of national
Michel, Virgil, on cooperatives,
Mission work, need for, in rural areas,
Missionary Catechists of Victory Noll,
Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity,
Money, devaluation militates against farmer; effect of devaluation;
transfer of wealth from country to city,
Monopolies, harm of private food,
Mooney, Vincent, on youth,
Mother Mary of the Incarnate Word, on the mission of the Trinitarians; on
the spiritually disfranchised areas,
Motor missions; work of,
Muench, A. J., on family; on value of private ownership,
Mulloy, Wm. T., on adjustments in rural education,
Mutual Fire Insurance Companies
National Catholic Rural Life Conference, on objectives of; on family-size
National Catholic Welfare Conference
National Catholic Youth Council
National Health Conference; on health insurance,
National Health Program
National Resources Committee of the Federal Government, on declining birth
Negroes, agricultural school for,
Newman, J. H. Card., on the doctor,
Non-Catholics, relations of Catholics to, in rural community,
North Carolina Apostolate
North Dakota Agriculture College, Little Country Theater,
Norton, L. J., on source of farm credit,
Nova Scotia, clergy and social action, in; cooperative movement in; credit
union movement in; housing projects in,
Occupational groups; Pius XI on,
O'Hara, Edwin V., on conveniences in farm home; on folk schools; on
importance of the rural Church; on rural missionary work; on social value
of cooperatives; on the Boerenbond Belge; on vacation schools,
Oklahoma missionary activities of Father Stephen Leven
Old Age Assistance
Oregon school case
Organization, farm laborer and,
Organizations, farm, medium of culture; parish, medium of
Organized charity; need of, in rural areas,
Ostdiek. Joseph, on needs of the rural school; on rural teacher,
Overproduction; cause of,
Ownership; a natural right; a necessity for freedom; advantages of; basis
of; Cardinal de Lugo on; court decisions; founded on natural law;
individual and social character of; Leo XIII on value of; limitations of;
limits of; loss of; Pius XI on; Pius XI on social aspect of; right to
bequeath; sacred and inviolable right; St. Thomas Aquinas on; social limits
of; social value of; stability of society requires widespread ownership;
state may not abolish right of,
Parents, rights of, in education,
Parish, natural unit of charity; place of, in cultural life of rural
community; social center; social charity workers,
Pastoral Letter of Archbishops and Bishops of the United States, on living
Perkins, Frances, on agricultural workers,
Pitt, F. N., on community social centers; on essentials of the rural school
curriculum; on hazards to youth; on leisure time; on training teacher for
rural school; on youth,
Pius X, on the priest and social action,
Pius XI, on charity; on cooperation; on corporate system; on culture; on
distributive justice and religious schools; on education; on family; on
occupational groups; on office of priest; on ownership; on ownership as a
human need; on place of family, State, and Church in education; on right of
Church, State, and family in education; on social aspect of ownership; on
social justice and the workingman; on social work of priest; on State and
control of property; on taxation; on the Agrarian problem; on the priest
and social action; on the priesthood; on the right to a family living wage;
on the workingman; on training seminarians for social action; on unjust
distribution; on vocational grouping; on youth,
Plater, Charles, on priest and social action,
Population, effect on, of declining birth rate; effect of declining, on
markets; equilibrium between rural and urban, necessity of; family, source
of; farm, declining; farm, source of nation's; rural areas, source of; U.
S. Government report; urban, tends to extinction,
Portugal, vocational grouping in,
Priest, and economies, Benedict XV on; and social action, Pius XI on; and
social work; Pius XI on office of; Pius XI on social work of,
Priesthood, Pius XI on,
Private agencies, tax funds and,
Private agencies of charity; cooperation with public agencies,
Private institutions, State support of,
Private property, see Ownership, Property
Private schools, public funds for,
Progressive land tax
Property, control of, and the public good; distinction between use and
ownership; division of; private, St. Thomas on; St. Gregory the Great on
right use of; St. Thomas on right use of; State should control use of; use
distinct from ownership,
Public Health Organization
Queen's Work, on 4-H Clubs,
Radicalism, remedy for,
Rawe, J. C., on absentee owners; on Catholic agricultural school; on farm
family; on private food monopolies; on relation of agriculture and
Reading, in rural homes, D. J. Willmann on,
Recreation; commercialization of; value of,
Relief, land settlement a substitute for; resettlement, substitute for;
rural settlement projects, a substitute for; substitute for,
Religion, place of, in education; spiritually neglected rural areas,
Religious communities, a need for rural work by,
Religious faith, importance of common, in resettlement project,
Resettlement, see Settlement,
Resettlement projects, criticism of,
Reynolds, Pauline, on the work of the rural pastor,
Roosevelt, President, on partnership of State and private agency,
Ryan, John A., on purpose of taxation,
Ryan, Vincent J., on the Fargo Plan,
Rural church, neglect of,
Rural church expansion
Rural credit, see Credit
Rural exodus, stock depletion and,
Rural health, see also Health,
Rural life, reasons of Church's interest in,
Rural parish, as a center of social life, E. Schmiedeler on,
Rural parishes, establishment of,
Rural pastor; a community leader, T. L. Keaveny on; living conditions of,
Rural settlement, time opportune for; see also Settlement
Rural social charity
Rural taxation, see Taxation,
Rural towns, growth of,
Russell, G. W., on the right of the farmer to wholesale prices,
St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia,
St. Gregory the Great on right use of property,
St. Thomas Aquinas, on ownership; on right use of property; ownership
Sanitation; lack of, in country,
Schmiedeler, E., on 4-H Clubs; on inequities in taxation; on part-time
farming; on revival of rural art; on rural dramatics; on the rural parish,
School, function of; place of, in educating farmer to need of better living
conditions; rural, Joseph Ostdiek on needs of,
Self-help, need of thrift,
Seminarians, in work of rural missions,; to be given love for countryside;
work of, on rural missions,
Settlement, causes of failure of; homogeneous grouping necessary for;
rural; rural. for industrial workers; rural, most promising material for;
substitute for relief.
Settlements, educational program necessary for success of; employers should
promote; promoted by cooperative groups; racial homogeneity necessary for
Sims. N. L., on modern conveniences and farmer; on stock depletion,
Sisters of Senice
Social Action, the priest and,
Social centers, community, F. N. Pitt on,
Social charity, and laborers,
Social charity workers
Social justice,; cooperatives and; farm laborer and; Pius XI on,
Social science, Hugh Boyle, on theology and,
Social Security Act
Social Security Legislation; farm laborers and,
Social service, charity and,
Social welfare; waste of public funds and,
Social work, objectives of Catholic; priest and; priest and, Leo XIII on;
priest and, Pius X on; success of clergy in, in Nova Scotia; volunteers,
Society, welfare of, indirect object of charity,
Society of St. Vincent de Paul; its motives; its rural mission,
Soil mining, a result of tenancy,
Sparks, E. S., on credit needs of farmer,
Speculation; a cause of tenancy; and taxation; cause of ruin,
State, and charity; cooperative credit association and; cooperatives and;
duty of, to protect rights of family and Church in education; education
and; farm laborer and; may control but not abolish ownership; obligation
of, to farm laborers; public assistance and; should assist health program,
State Teachers' Colleges, should form rural teachers,
Study Clubs, as a basis of cooperatives; for parish social charity workers;
for social charity workers,
Tariff, Henry Wallace on,
Tariff legislation; effect of, on farmer; often favors industry,
Tax, differential land; farm products; homestead exemption; income;
increment; inheritance; processing; property; sales; Wisconsin tree,
Taxation, abuse of; as a social measure; differential; Francis J. Haas on
correcting injustices in; homestead exemptions; inequalities of; Leo XIII
on; Pius XI on; property tax on farm land too high; prudent use of; purpose
of; rural; rural; E. Schmiedeler on inequities in; statistics on farm;
wasteful forms of,
Taxes, unjust burden of, on farmers,
Taylor, Carl C., on decadence of rural culture; on rural culture,
Teacher, rural, Joseph Ostdiek on,; rural, to be trained particularly for
Tenancy; Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act; effect on community organizations;
evils of; foreclosure and, due to usury; government intervention necessary
in; growth of; need of government intervention; need of new farm tenure
policy; relationship of high taxes to; report and recommendations on, of
the Iowa Farm Tenancy Committee; some causes of; taxation as a cause of;
tenant contracts; trends toward; wrong use of soil a cause of,
Tennessee, rural mission activities,
Terminiello, Father Arthur, mission work among sharecroppers,
Textbooks, need for changes in rural; rural,
Thrift, important for farmer; lack of, a cause of tenancy,
Tolstoi, on culture,
Trade-unions, relation to rural problems,
Transportation; of school children,
Treacy, J. P., on content of rural Catholic youth program; on youth,
Unemployment, distress in agriculture as a cause of; rural settlement a
Urban influences, unfavorable for rural culture,
Urban trends, effect of,
Usury; and cooperatives,
Utah, rural mission activities,
Veth, Abbot Martin, on Benedictine rural program,
Vincentian Fathers, rural missions and,
Vocational groups; Pius XI on; see also Occupational groups.
Vocational guidance, place of, in rural education,
Vocational training, necessary in rural school,
Wages; effect of landward movement on low wages in the city; Leo XIII on;
of farm labor; of farm laborers; right of labor to a living wage,
Wallace, Henry A., on tariff; on the Ever-Normal Granary Plan; on the
relation between agriculture and industry,
Walster, H. L., on excessive land tax,
Warbasse, J. P., on cooperative health association,
Wealth, responsibility of; social responsibility of,
Willmann, D. J., on reading in rural homes,
Wisconsin, mortality tables,
Women, married, in industry,
Workingman, Leo XIII and; Pius XI on,
Youth; autocratic rulers and; Cicognani, A. G., on training of; Holy Office
on training of; Jocist Movement, needs of; opportunity in the United States
to organize; organizations detrimental to Catholic; Pius XI on; F. N. Pitt
on hazards to; present-day interest in; rural Catholic; St. Gregory of
Nazianzen on training of; vocational guidance and rural,
Youth Organizations, Catholic; C.Y.O.; rural,
Youth program, content of; contrast between rural and urban; rural must fit
needs of farm groups,
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