• U.S.

Religion: Campaigns

3 minute read

¶For sweet charity’s sake, Manhattan business firms have been used to periodic touches by money-raisers of all kinds, from Protestant uplifters to Catholic mendicant sisters. Organized last week was the Greater New York Fund, Inc. which, so far as business is concerned, will represent a community chest for 56 Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and nonsectarian eleemosynary bodies. Supplementing private donations, which will be expected as usual, the business touch will come but once a year, in May. Goal this year: $10,000,000.

¶Largest Catholic welfare agency in the U. S. is the Catholic Charities of New York, which coordinates and supplements the work of 214 Catholic bodies maintaining hospitals, homes, nurseries,settlements, miscellaneous health, vocational and recreational services. The pride of Patrick Cardinal Hayes, New York’s “Cardinal of Charities,” since its founding 18 years ago, the Catholic Charities has donated $21,000,000 to its constituent bodies, whose expenditures now total $10,000,000 a year. Its 1938 drive, announced last week to begin late this month, will aim at $1,300,000.

¶Though in the past 46 years some $20,000,000 has been spent on Manhattan’s great Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine, world’s largest cathedral (in cubic capacity), neither its exterior nor interior has been completed. Astute Bishop William Thomas Manning, not loath to identify the cathedral with New York’s forthcoming World’s Fair, has launched a campaign to raise $1,000,000 to finish the interior so that Fairgoers may worship there. At present, services are held not in the finished Gothic nave but in the crossing, at the intersection of the two transepts. Bishop Manning proposes to give the Romanesque choir and sanctuary Gothic vaults, to match the 124-foot vaults of the nave, and to open the nave so as to provide a vista from portal to altar, a distance, in the bishop’s proud words, of “a tenth of a mile.”

Last month Bishop Manning enlisted as a potent ally New York City’s Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia, who assumed the chairmanship of the campaign and announced that during the Fair he wishes to promote a “great series of Sacred Concerts in the Cathedral.” Beamed the bishop: “People elsewhere speak of [New York] sometimes as a place wholly given up to material and worldly interests. But where, I ask, is there any other city in our land whose mayor has come forward with such a proposal as this?” Last week, at a meeting of Mayor LaGuardia’s fund-raising committee, Bishop Manning announced that $52,000 was in hand, part of it a contribution from the head of a church which is in communion with the Episcopal—Archbishop Athenagoras, primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in North & South America.*

*Bearded Archbishop Athenagoras, who arrived in the U. S. from Greece seven years ago, last week became a U. S. citizen, exclaimed: “I have waited and prayed for this day.”

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