REV. WALTER, EIXIOTT, C. S.JP., J ON "THE; CONVERSION OF AMERICA." The Rev. "Walter Elliott, C. S. P., of Mew York addressed the Catholic Union of Boston on "The Conversion of America, Amer-ica, or Mission Work Among the Xon-Catholics," Xon-Catholics," in the Union hall on the evening of Friday, Dec. 2S. Previous to his lecture an informal reception was tendered Father Elliott in the parlors of the Catholic Union building by the members of the Catholic Cath-olic Truth Conference of the Union. The distinguished Paulist was then escorted to the platform by Mr. Peter A. Dowd, president. With them, also were the Revs. Henry A. Sullivan, rec- irr nf tho Mthflilral nnil snirifnnl di rector of the Catholic Union; Joseph V. Tracy of St. John's Ecclesiastical seminary-, Boston; D. C. Riordan, St. Joseph's Jo-seph's church, Roxbury; Mr. Edmund j Riordan, president Catholic Union of Cambridge, and other priests and prominent prom-inent layment. j A number of priests were also in the audience and some non-Catholics. I Mr. Dowd introduced Father Elliott with a graceful reference to the ser-i ser-i vices which all the Paulists, and es- pecially Father Elliott, are rendering I to the misisonary work of the church, in making it better known among our , separated brethren. In a brief introductory word, Father - Elliott expressed his pleasure at finding find-ing himself before this representative Boston Catholic audience. Father Heckcr, the founder of the congregation congrega-tion of St. Paul,o which it was his privilege to belong, was received into the church in Boston. The first convert con-vert whom he (Father Elliott) had the privilege of receiving was a sturdy Yankee from Lexington, who, when asked what had first turned his thoughts to the Catholic faith, answered an-swered that it was the Boston Pilot, which he was wont to borrow from a Catholic neighbor. Father Elliott, then addressing himself him-self to his subject, "The Conversion of America," spoke substantially as follows: fol-lows: "The chui-eh is necessarily a missionary mis-sionary body and non-Catholics are our brethren. We should give them their spiritual heritage in the church; we should make them Catholics. "The normal rondition of the Catho lic church is missionary. A purely de-! de-! fensive attitude can only be a tempo-I tempo-I rary state for an organization to which jits founder said: 'Go into all the j world and preach the gospel to every creature." The tactics of defense are different from those of advance. It is one spirit that holds the fort, and another an-other that sallies out to surround and j capture the enemy. Instead of digging j trenches to cover ourselves from dan- ger, let us force the enemy to do it for his own safety. Hiding in a ditch is proper for error and falsehood, and has never been the policy of truth except ex-cept when its exponents were recovering recover-ing from disaster "It has long been a reproach to the church of America that she has had no home missionaries for her separated children a reproach not quite just, nor yet wholly unjust. Various excuses have been offered. Why not attend exclusively ex-clusively to our' own people, it. is said, since we have not a surplus of clergy for their ordinary wants? But it may be answered, who are our own people? If the non-Catholic people are not 'our own,' those whose own are they? Are they the Devil's own, finally and for- i ever? But if they are God's own, then ! must they be looked after by God's j church? If they are the Devil's own, then they are his by living and fraud, and we must win them back to God by truth and virtue. Yet again, can we look properly after even 'our own people,' meaning Catholics, and totally ignore 'the others?' Was i ever a fortress fort-ress successfully defended without nf least an occasional sally by the garrison? garri-son? If only to keep up the courage of the faithful, we must make some systematic provision for the conversion of non-Catholics. If you owe money, your conscience upbraids you till your debt is paid. And if you owe what is above all money cr price, the true faith of Christ, will your conscience be less sensitive? ; Let us but realize that a!L non-Catholics are our brethren. They may be friendly of they may hate us; they are nevertheless bone of our bone. They are our brethren and therefore co-heirs with us lost heirs of the one kingdom of God on earth. When we go out to seek them and win them, we go out to our brethren; and when we offer them the Catholic faith it is- only offer ing them what is their heritage, theirs by a title as clear as our own. "One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God andi Father of all," afiirms God'a purpose with all men, and describes de-scribes a universal condition as yet far from being realized. All men are made in the Divine Image, all are saved only by Jesus Christ, and His salvation- is to be obtained only in the one, true, Catholic-, Roman Church. "All power is given to Me in Heaven and on earth; going, therefore, teach all nations, teaching them to, observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; j and behold I am with you all days. I even to the consummation of th world." How universal are these words-. J "All power, all truth, all men, all ages.'J, Where is there room here for racial or personal narrowness? Here in America the favorable conditions for making converts are multiplied. The whole nation is inclined to religion; the non-Catholic non-Catholic people, although held to par- I ticular modes of erroneous belief, are yet mainly concerned about real re-j re-j ligious truths-: Prejudice against the ! Church grows weaker and weaker. The ! love of liberty and the passion for ! knowledge open men's hearts to rea-; rea-; son and revelation. When these are ! proposed intelligently and in a kindly j spirit, converts are made. The true re-! re-! ligion could hardly desire a better field j for its apostolate than our great Re-i Re-i public. There are literally tens of thoti-! thoti-! sancis of villages and towns scattered i over this entire country and in English'-I English'-I speaking Canada, which will furnish our missionaries with audiences of re-i re-i ligious-minded, earnest non-Catholic, j j At ona of our missions the village mu-I mu-I sic teachtr said that if the meetings I were kept up for another week there I would be a hundred converts a dream, to be sure, and founded on the emotional emo-tional results of revival meetings. But it is actual truth that a regular and universal provision, of lectures, with renewals at intervals, change of topics and of missionary literature, would in course of years convert the majority of the honest people of the United States to the true religion. Even at missions where the attendance attend-ance of non-Catholics was comparatively compara-tively small, it generally embraced the leading men and women of the community. commu-nity. The more thoughtful, the more religious the more disputatious, the sceptics, the lawyers and doctors, the politicians, the school teachers, the journalists these classes never failed to be well represented. The whole American nation is anxious about re ligion. We have often known Protestant Protes-tant men and women of respectability to come to the hall an hour before the time of beginning so as to sefure good seats, and that in such bigoted regions as Northern Ohio, the old Western Reserve. Re-serve. That is a section in which antagonism an-tagonism to the Church survives in pristine vehemence. But so does religious re-ligious earnestnesis, even among those who are tending towards rationalism. For ' a missionary opening the main tiling to be desired is fondnessj for religious re-ligious discussion, because that is seldom sel-dom dissociated from sincerity of char-; char-; acter; and I am persuaded that Catholicity Cathol-icity will win its way into the disputatious disputa-tious mindia of the New England race, if we can manage to present it in accordance ac-cordance with their natural mental tendencies. ten-dencies. The country people of America have many noble traits, are religious, patriotic, patri-otic, frank, and intelligent. They are the truest Americans. Win them and all is won. They will listen to us furthermore. fur-thermore. An audience of farmers can be had without serious difficulty almost anywhere. And it is much to be regretted re-gretted that among the rural population the Catholic religion is so weak. Except Ex-cept a comparatively small number of Catholic parishes, the entire American, farming population is Protestant, led and misled, taught and deluded by the Protestant ministry, or just left to themselves. If it be asked' why systematic or general missionary work was not long since set on foot in this country, I answer an-swer that it was set on foot and kept population most spiritually necessitous, the Indian tribes and the Negroes. Better Bet-ter priests or Sisters are not to be found than those who now serve the poor remnants of tire original native population popula-tion of the United States, and such has always been the case since the discovery discov-ery of America. The Blacks have a thoroughly organized missionary establishment, es-tablishment, priests, seminaries, students". stu-dents". Sisters, all doing good work in many places in the south, and rapidly extending their influence and increasing increas-ing the number of their devoted missionaries, mis-sionaries, the main part of the work being done by the Josephites under the leadership of the "Very Rev. John R. Slattery of Baltimore. So that the two claslsea of our separated brethren most in need of spiritual help have, as waa right, received it first. Meantime very many converts have been received among the millions of our white non-Catholics, as many as 700,000 during the past two generations, according ac-cording to a very moderate computation. computa-tion. It is true that only in recent years our prelates and missionaries have organized the work and made it systematic. It was time to do so, and yet it was not easy to do it sooner. How can you ask a guest, even a beloved be-loved one, to visrit you when j-our home is but half built, the furniture hardly got in and arranged, the family absorbed ab-sorbed in getting things in order? So it was with our era of church building build-ing or sichool building and debt paying, now passing into an era of better established es-tablished conditions. Our Lord's house and home, His beloved Church, is ready for his guests; let us go out and invite them to His heavenly banquet of truth and love, and let us go out even into the byways- and hedges. It is a vast undertaking to convert America. But we are equal to it. We have the true faith and we can prove it. We have the Holy Spirit to guide us. We have a. splendid clergy, led by noble Bishops and enrolled in many glorious religious orders. The Church of Christ was made to do great things, and chiefly to save the nations- of the world. And now we have begun to organize or-ganize our home missions. The Catholic Cath-olic Missionary Union, whose president is the Archbishop of New York, is a corporation of prelates - and priests whose purpose is to raise funds and support priests and distribute literature for the conversion of non-Catholics. Out-main Out-main efforts! are directed towards these parts of the country when, Catholic are fewest and Protestants have everything every-thing their own 'way the south. Though but a few years in existence I our corporation now supports priests in Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas, zealous and sue-' cesaful missionaries, whose sole occupation occu-pation is making converts. Besides this, 1 a very large amount of missionary lit- erary, books, pamphlets, leaflets, are ' either given away or sold for a nomi- nal price, and these are distributed almost al-most everywhere in, America. Easidee this part of the work, several sev-eral Bishops have in recent ' yeara organized diocesan bands of missionaries. mission-aries. These are composed of diocesan priest, and although they give Catholic : missions, yet their first duty is to noil-Catholics, noil-Catholics, whom they convert in considerable con-siderable numbers., mainly by giving non-Catholic missions. These mission" aries are now permanently established and at work in the dioceses of New York, Hartford, Cleveland, and several diocenes in the west, and are beginning in the diocese of Providence. This form of apostolic enterprise will no doubt extend ex-tend to all or nearly all the dioceses of the country, and it will, in my opinion, opin-ion, be the most efficacious means of converting America. It will enlist in this work that part of the Catholic clergy which is the most universal, the most numerous, and the most intimately inti-mately acquainted with non-Catholics, namely the' diocesan clergy. The laity, too, have a part' to play and a great one. For if the Bishops rr -fkiid priests. .are the main arteries of ttfuth and love flowing from the Heart ohJesua, the laity are the smaller ones arid thdy are the innumerable veins bringing' tlre whole world back again to that -ountain, of life- for renewal. - ."leantime all the religious orders are doing good work: in making converts. Besides the Paulists, whose primary vot'eationi is non-Catholic missions., the pAssiorJpts have -entered heartily' into ihli American Apostolate, having lately gi-en tor it two of their abl est priests. I wiiiose labors are wholly gratuitous, and nafve resulted in many conversions. 'i."hat God wills that this great work should bf begun at once is also evident. WhAat bt?t the divine Spirit of Truth mofveg our separated brethren to give us a hearing? What else impels eo maliy fervent Catholics to pray for conjyersions? What but God's- love has inspired our zealous missionaries to the cola-red people and the Indians? What elsif instils missionary zeal into the hea'rts o Bishops, priests and leading spirits among the laity, and what else butjGod'P Spirit has brought in so toarfy converts? What has stirred the soulVof Leo XIII.. the shepherd of all ChrLc-tendom, to lift his voice to the wW wrctrld in so many earnest appeal ap-peal for -the return of the straying sheer? ofAChrist? This, lecture is a faint acho of tihat voice, at once so majestic, loving, tender, entreating.