To draw the attention of Catholics to the critical issues which conditions, during the last decade or so, have created in our great West, and to offer solutions which will be beneficial to the Church, are the noble motives that have prompted your important work and guided you on to its completion.
Even though some may not fully share your views, or see eye to eye with you on the means of action you suggest, you will have nevertheless attained your object. You will have, I am confident, awakened interest in our Western problems which, I repeat, are unfortunately not known, or at least, are not fully appreciated by too many of our own.
There is a saying that the heart has reasons which the mind does not fully grasp. I feel sure that the many hours you have spent in the composition of your book, coupled with the strenuous work of the missions, to which you have consecrated yourself with unrelenting zeal since your departure from our midst, have been calculated to weaken your health. But your heart, unmindful of self, did not consider time and fatigue so long as your fellow-man was being benefited. Your love for God and His Church induced you to undertake this work and carry it through to completion. Your book, I am sure, is destined to produce happy results. This will be your consolation and your reward. Asking God to bless your work and wishing you to accept this expression of my constant gratitude and sincere friendship, I remain as ever,
Olivier ELZEAR Mathieu,
Archbishop of Regina.
Regina, November 21st, 1920.
Praesentia tangens. . . . . Futura prospiciens.
Problems characterize every age, sum up the complex life of nations and give them their distinctive features. They form that moral atmosphere which makes one period of history responsible and tributary to another. And indeed, in every human problem there is an ethical element. This imponderable factor, which often baffles our calculations, always remains the true, permanent driving force. For in the last analysis of human things, morality is what reachest furthest and matters most.
Problems may vary with the times and the countries, and yet, the moral issues involved never change; for, right is eternal. To detect this ethical element amid the ever restless waves of human activities has ever been the noble and constant effort of true leaders. Like the pilot they are ever watching for the lighted buoy on the tossing waves.
This moral element underlying all our national problems is what affects Catholics as such, or rather the medium through which Catholics are called to affect them. No period should prove more interesting to Catholics than our own, for the very principles of Christian Ethics are now being questioned and vindicated in the lives of nations, either by the benefits accruing from their application, or by the evils consequent upon their neglect.