Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/390

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labor in this country, he would certainly approve of them. In this connection might be considered,' he said, 'the great question of colonization, whereby our people might be, to a great extent, diverted from cities and thickly populated centers, to seek homes for themselves and their families in agricultural districts.

"'Aiding and directing emigrants, especially emigrant girls—strangers in a strange land—is another matter,' he said, 'which appealed to our race and humanity to consider and amend present conditions. The encouragement of temperance, a careful analysis of the labor problem, and such like practical questions, would offer abundant matter and range for profitable discussion.'

"The Cardinal expressed great interest in hearing Mr. O'Reilly's views and his hearty sympathy with them. The position taken by Archbishop Ireland, Archbishop Riordan, Bishop Spalding, and other bishops, besides the majority of the laymen present the next day at the meeting, were equally forcible in their approval of Mr. O'Reilly's views. In fact, it is fair to assume, that from the favor with which his suggestions were received by the committee they will have much weight in determining the scope and plan of work of the next Catholic Congress, should such be held."

The following letter to the same gentleman fully expresses the writer's views on the subject of Catholic congresses:

July 14, 1890.

Dear Mr. Fitz:

As you will see by the inclosed letter, the committee on holding another National Convention of Catholics will hold their meeting in Boston on the 25th inst. The members, should they attend, are a distinguished body of men, and I wish you would appoint a day when we might, with a few others, meet and talk over the manner of their reception—whether to give them a public notice or not.

I am a member of the committee, but I have almost decided to resign after giving my reasons to the committee. I am convinced that National Conventions of citizens called as Catholics, or as Baptists, Methodists, etc., are uncalled for, and in the case of the Catholics particularly are apt to be injurious rather than beneficial. The last