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rather than to stir up the emotions. The religion lessons should be interesting is a truism; open discussions are stimulating and thought provoking but, during each lecture the students should be taught something they must know, something for which they are accountable and for which they will be responsi
Religion must be practiced every day. Religious activity is & mark of a healthy soul. The students in a Catholic college should be given many opportunities to participate in such activities. At Manhattan College our students are recommended to hear Mass daily in the college chapel; every first Friday the entire student body attends Benediction services in honor of the Sacred Heart; all of our students are members of the League of the Sacred Heart; prayers are said at the beginning of every class; three times daily the Angelus Bell can be heard throughout the campus at which times the entire college pauses to honor the Mother of God; student members of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul collected thousands of articles of clothing for the poor during the past year; during the same period the students' Mission Society collected several hundred dollars for the Missions; student members of the Catechist Society teach the Catechism to poor children several times a week in different parts of the city. These and other religious activities are continually going on during the collegiate year. This, in our opinion, is the mark of a healthy Catholic college. This, too, is a reason why we insist that when our students attend their religion classes they be taught something definite every single lesson. The religion period should be at least just as well and just as seriously taught as any other one. Regular suitable reading and study assignments should be made. Examinations should be held regularly.
It is our unanimous opinion that the term examination in religion should be given before the semester examinations in the other college subjects. The
reason is that the papers should be returned and any serious errors made by the students should be pointed out and corrected. Religion is too important to let any student.end a course making a serious mistake in a matter of faith without having it rectified.
One of the most valuable portions of this text is the Life of Christ according to the Gospels as outlined in the Appendix. We have found among our students a surprising lack of knowledge of the life of Christ and an alarming ignorance of the Scriptures. The only contact most of them have had with the Bible was made at Church on Sundays when the priest has read the Gospel to them. To remedy this deplorable state of things the life of Christ has become a vital part of the course. We have tried many methods of teaching it while covering the regular matter in our text. The following plan has worked satisfactorily during the past two years.
The student is required to purchase a copy of the New Testament if he has not got one already. It may be obtained for as little as twenty-five cents. Weekly readings are assigned (beginning a week or two before Christmas) for which they are responsible. Once a week they are given a ten-minute test on the assignment. If they have any questions or difficulties they are answered by the instructor after the test and the difficulties are explained away where they exist. This procedure makes the student read the Gospels; it puts the responsibility for knowing incidents of our Lord's life on him and it has been suprisingly successful. Many of our students have expressed surprise and delight at finding the New Testament so easy to read and so filled with unsus pected treasures. No matter what procedure you profer, we think & study of the life of Christ is very important and can be made in connection with this course.
One of the happy features of writing a book is the opportunity given the author to put in permanent form an expression of his gratitude to those
who aided him in bringing it to a successful finish. It is my pleasure to acknowledge, with words that can never fully express my gratitude, the splendid cooperation given in preparing this text by the three Christian Brothers whose names appear on the title page. Burdened with a full teaching schedule, leading a life regulated according to a religious rule approved by the Church, doing scientific research, and teaching several nights a week in Defense Training Courses sponsored by the United States Department of Education, they still found time, or made time, to so help in producing this text that I feel it is a duty, as well as a pleasure, to place their names the title page as co-authors. Their uns tinted cooperation and sacrifice has made it possible to complete this work at this time even though it has taken four years to put it in its present form.
There is nothing more that I can say to express my gratitude except, perhaps, to voice a hope and a prayer that the purpose for which we worked may be fully realized; viz., for the glory of God, our own salvation and that of our students.
At Manhattan College there are more than sixty Christian Brothers. Amongst them are specialists in every field of scholarly endeavor. I dare say that hardly & one of them has not contributed a part to this text. As you probably know, we live a community life. This community life has afforded me an opportunity to consult experts in whatever field this text touched: language, ancient and modern, science, mathematics, philosophy, history and even English grammar. Never once did I fail to get what I wanted. These men set aside their work and devoted their precious time to answer, patiently and with the clarity of expression only expert teachers acquire, my questions, which must have often appeared to them trivial and, on occasions, even silly. I cannot name them. They are too numerous. They must continue their work, a silent, thankless task, unknown to all but their pupils who revere them and
God and His Blessed Mother who love them.
"Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity" (Ps. cxxxii, 1).
Brother Bernard Alfred, F.S.C.