To the readers of The West Australian Catholic Record

06 Jul 2024

By The Record

The first publication of The West Australian Catholic Record Monday July 6 1874
The West Australian Catholic Record First Notice to its readers as printed in the Newspaper. Photo: The Record.

“Be indefatigable in your purpose, and with undaunted spirit resist iniquity and try to conquer evil with good, having before your eyes the reward prepared for those who combat for the name of Christ.”-Pius IX.

­­­Monday, July 6, 1874.

A few words with our readers. The West Australian Catholic Record is, as its name indicates, intended for the scattered Catholics of West Australia. Its object is to supply, them with information on subjects affecting their religion and of current interest.

With three well edited political and commercial papers published in the colony, there can be no dearth of secular news to those who are desirous of obtaining such. Information on all matters of interest to the various classes of the community is easily procurable in every district of the colony. The discussions of our Legislators, the resolutions of our Municipal Councils and Road Boards, and the doings of- our

School Managers are chronicled in their most minute particulars. The changes in the local markets, the prospects of the agricultural classes are matters of universal notoriety. Grievances are ventilated, abuses exposed, public actions criticised, improvements suggested, and to the acquaintance afforded us with public concerns we have added the judgment, concerning them, of those whom they most affect and who may be supposed to be best able to form a correct estimate of them.

Full and early intelligence is diffused, too, concerning the occurrences that occupy the public mind in the old countries. The leading events in the history of British and Continental legislation, commerce, and domestic life, are recorded with accuracy and with so much detail as the tastes of our reading population require. And the facts which deeply interest the British and Continental writers and speakers are discussed here with a zest that is usually felt only in matters that occur close at hand.

The supply of Catholic news is by no means what it should he. Our papers accord a fair amount of attention to local transactions in connection with our church, and, as a rule, are moderate in their comments upon us and upon our movements. But, considering that their character is political and commercial, and that their columns must be principally devoted to the advocacy of those interests they represent, it must be seen that the amount of space allotted us can be but small – as small indeed it is. And there will not be much difficulty in surmising that however eager the desire to be impartial and to do us full justice, their opinions on many points concerning us must he one-sided and unfair.

The writers are of religions convictions opposed to ours; the majority of the readers stand in the same relation towards us; and the matters under discussion are, oftentimes, the very questions which divide us. It is proverbially destructive of even-handed justice that one and the same party should he litigant and judge.

Some means for the diffusion of Catholic intelligence has long been a desideration. The West Australian Catholic Record will endeavour, in a limited way, to supply the want. It will be its work, in the first instance, to glean from the information afforded by European Catholic papers such facts as are of leading interest to our brethren in the old countries. The phases in the life of the Church, the progress it makes, the conflicts it sustains, the losses it suffers, the state of its august Head, and of those who share with him the burden of its government, are matters of deep concern to Catholics of countries even the most remote. Information on these topics will be furnished to West Australian Catholics through the columns of the Record.

Local Church matters will, in the second place, receive a share of its attention. Our Churches, our Schools, our Orphanages, are our own works; and being such, their well-being in a great measure affects us. There are but few who are not desirous of being made acquainted with the success which attends their management and working.

In the pages of the Record, Catholic readers will find the gratification of their wishes. In diffusing information, however, with regard to local institutions, the Record will not merely aim at serving to the laudable curiosity of its readers. It will, it is hoped, be productive of beneficial results to the institutions themselves. The urgency of their claims, the amount of good which they are doing, the still greater

amount which they leave undone but which they might do if the hand of charity were stretched out more freely and more frequently to them, will scarcely fail, when pointed out by the Record, to stimulate those who have to spare to further acts of liberality.

Lastly, our serial will occupy itself with the discussion of questions of general interest to all Catholics and of matters of standing importance: and it will devote a reasonable share of its space to subjects of less consideration in themselves, but which being brought prominently forward by the accidental circumstances of time and place may call for special notice.