Blessed James Alberione

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It is the organization created in Italy by Pius X after the example of that which for many years flourished and bore very good fruits in Germany. It has a threefold function: instruction; to stimulate and establish the most convenient social works: to coordinate its action so that all of them may work harmoniously and effectively to achieve the purpose which is the defense of the Christian social order. The spread of such a work is easy, as it does not require for itself any local organization: by not arousing oppositions or parties: by forming instead a most easy means of leading the people into the area of Catholic action, through monthly newsletters. We cannot doubt the will of the Pope as regards this work: he desires and wants that it be supported and spread in the best manner possible by the clergy.
What matters is that these pamphlets are read and, better still, explained: the explanation can be held in special meetings: or else in conferences that must already be done to men, to the youth, to women: some of them, for example, those regarding cursing, on divorce, on holiday rest; one can also explain them in church.
For whatever clarification, refer to either the Ufficio Centrale (Padova), or else the diocesan in-charge. It is well explained in various booklets, among which I remember two for the educated class: TONIOLO, L'Unione popolare,2 L. 0.40. MARCHETTI, L'unione popolare e l'ora presente;3 L. 0.50. They are found in the aforementioned Ufficio Centrale.


Currently, this constitutes one of the major and more vital problems in Italy. With the faculties in theology driven out of the University, with all the rest of religion taken away from schools, now with laws, decrees, regulations, strange interpretations and sectarian decisions, there is the desire to drive it completely out also of the primary schools. It is a real persecution that is covered under specious but absurd reasonings: it is a systematic war where not only government moves, but also Freemasonry that guides and drags them. How many civil states have been reduced to similar slavery? So now, it is a must that the efforts of Italian Catholics should lead towards this area: like the Catholics of Belgium who won after fifty years of a very strong struggle. Well, different initiatives have already arisen for this purpose: principal is that of the Unione popolare which established within itself the Segretariato generale Pro Schola (Secretariat Pro Schola).4 It ought to establish a Provincial Commission Pro Schola in every province: which, in turn, through diocesan persons-in-charge, shall promote in each village the establishment of a league of parents that shall have the following purposes: a) to promote the local development
of the Unione Popolare, b) to assist the parish priest in the instruction, education of the young, c) to keep off bad publications and books and place the good ones, d) to watch over the right interpretation of the laws regarding catechism by the school authorities, denouncing their arbitrariness, e) to promote legitimate judiciary and administrative recourses for safeguarding the rights of parents and of the citizens in relation with public schools, f) to take initiatives for obtaining a greater religious liberty, g) to promote what aids catechism and religious schools.
With such an organization, the Unione Populare aims at obtaining: 1. That in each municipality, parents could let that remaining right regarding catechism in school that is still granted by the laws. 2. That meanwhile the best possible for catechism be provided through parish schools and oratories. 3. That a general action is promoted for obtaining the free school with the faculty of establishing confessional schools.
A zealous priest cannot doubt whether to support or not this initiative: it imposes itself on whomever loves the Church, the souls, the youth. (For further clarifications refer to the Ufficio Centrale dell'Unione popolare, Padova).
Books to consult are:
REZZARA, La scuola nella legislazione italiana (The school in the Italian legislation),5 2 vol.
PIOVANO, La libertà d'insegnamento in Italia nell'ora presente (The freedom of teaching in Italy at the present moment).6 (Available at the aforesaid Central Office).

Above, we took into consideration the manner of founding and directing them: now a couple of words over the manner with which the oratory can become the easiest means for launching a parish to get involved and interested to work in the social, moral, religious sphere, and how the parish priest can train the most valid cooperators to his zeal.
In order to obtain this, however, it is helpful to insist on the need or at least on the convenience of having a suitable place, which could be built little by little, as we saw above. Some will say: we are in a rural village: our young people have but enough time to go to Mass and catechism, then they have to go back home for many domestic chores or to tend the animals... How could an oratory be of help? Above all, it is beneficial to catechism because separate classes could be held with very great advantage to the young people, to the catechists, and to instruction. Then: Is it really true that young people have to pasture animals? And granted that they really have to, is it the whole day? And those who stop attending such an occupation because they are already somehow grown, how do they spend their Sundays?... If after reaching fifteen years old, or even less, by stopping to go to catechism, they also leave behind the priest, Mass, sermon, what fruits would there be to their advantage? Instead, here is how the Catholic Congress (1911)8 teaches perseverance to the young people along good principles, and also in training men that provide the valid help to the priest.
Among the young in the oratory singing could be taught indistinctly to all: this way few older persons would not be the only voice during ceremonies. Among the grown-ups classes of
special training in singing could be held and the parish priest shall have the desired solemnity during ceremonies and a help from the choir. In time a small music band could be organized in bigger places (but with much discretion, inasmuch as this activity carries along with it serious inconveniences); a drama group could be established; a circle could be set up where it is beneficial, with two sections: one for the workers, the other for students; and with this, the parish priest has within reach the rank for the future evening school for the first and a school of religion for the second group.
Then, inasmuch as one thing leads to another, in some cities sections for job placements of apprentices among honest, capable and Christian employers and for eventual assistance in controversies could be established. Almost everywhere it shall be possible to lead the young to the most elementary forms of social security through workers' funds, savings funds, depositories, house accounts...9 otherwise by suggesting subscription to the best insurance institutions and preferable to the Cassa nazionale di previdenza per l'invalidità e la vecchiaia degli operai (National Fund for the security against invalidity and old age of workers).10
And while the young people are growing older, through suitable conferences, conversations, publications, one could begin letting them get interested of the affairs of the municipality, of the province, of the state: sow on them the duty and the power of becoming voters, so that, turning matured men, they shall be a well organized electoral group, without irritants and pretensions... In whatever place it shall be easy to establish among the young a small library, an association of Luigini's11 and in the city and many villages, also after school activities.
Young people thus reared, wouldn't they be of help to us? Will they not be faithful? Not all, but a part, yes. For such a
work, arms are needed!... It is true: it is for this reason that perhaps a catechetical patronage ought to be organized among parents and well-to-do persons, perhaps the mayor, women and men teachers should be asked to help sometimes. But all these persons, with the pretext of caring for the young people, or of music, or of drama, will they come easily... And what about the result? It shall be this: that a priest amidst the children has on his side the whole parish: he shall have it and shall be warmhearted to him because he has known to establish the easiest and sweetest of bonds: love for young people. This is a most convenient manner for doing good.


A large part of what has been said regarding the oratory for boys might be repeated here: hence, I shall take note only a few things proper for girls. These are more inclined to reading: hence a small library in their midst would take root sooner. Among the older ones, this could be established: the association of the Daughters of Mary:12 a class for good housekeeping with home economics, which could be held by the sisters, or better, by the teachers: a school of sewing or embroidery: an employment office or protection of young workers; a work shop which could be furnished by employers. These are activities that shall be chosen according to needs and circumstances. Everywhere, however, one could inculcate the need for savings, for soliciting membership or the Cassa Nazionale di Previdenza13 (National Social Security Fund) and to establish similar activities, like the dowry funds and funs for the sick. In this manner, we shall have young ladies who are pious and honest and so also mothers truly capable of giving serious education to their children.

This is willed by the Pope, who expressed precisely his will in the encyclical on catechism.14
It is necessary for the students of secondary schools and of Universities as a complementary instruction and as antidote against the errors that often they have to listen.
It is necessary to some extent to workers, especially of big factories.
It is necessary to ladies and young women who at times possess but a sentimental and subjective religion.
For all these different categories of persons, different ways of attracting them and teaching them are needed. The young people will come if one insists on their relatives, perhaps they will come for the games and prizes, perhaps with the hope of eventually borrowing books from the library annexed to the school. The ladies and young ladies could come also out of religious principles or with the hope of passing for being learned and intellectuals: and this depends largely on the ability of the teacher.
A good class of religion has many difficulties and requires an intelligent and active direction and, above all, enlivened by the spirit of sacrifice.
I take note how it will be good, where it is possible, to establish among students of such classes a circle for morals: a small section to look for clean and honest lodgings for the young, especially when they have to move from one city to another: a drama section, sports, a library, etc., depending on the needs.
Anyone who might desire to have a very practical manual for the
oratories and classes of religion could acquire Gli oratori festivi e le scuole di religione (Holiday oratories and schools of religion) - Eco del V Congresso15 (Società Buona Stampa, corso Regina Margherita, 176 - Torino).


They could be established alongside with those of religion and the oratories for two reasons: for the good that could be done in them, inasmuch as under the pretext of arithmetic and of language, morals, the principles of religion could be taught; the seeds of electoral action could be established; matters about emigration, alcoholism, on the good and rational cultivation of farms could be taught; because they stir but minor dangers of contradiction and criticisms. In every village and city they could be established with due respect to the local needs.
As a textbook, this is much recommended: Manuale del maestro per le scuole serali (Manual of the teacher for evening classes), Prof. Losio16 (Brescia, at the office of the Scuola Italiana moderna).


The avidity for reading grows each day and, if a healthy food is not served, many shall easily recourse to those that are poisonous. Besides, a good book is a trusted friend, rather a preacher that makes itself heard during the most opportune moments.
It is something not advisable to immediately start with large expenses, many books, own places, etc.: it is good to begin it with less, from few books, by few persons: for example, in the circle, among the young, etc. Gradually, little by little, everything will be set up.
On this very important topic, there exists a practical manual that is a real treasure: Guida del Bibliotecario (The Librarian's Guide) (Federazione italiana delle biblioteche circolanti cattoliche - Italian Federation of Catholic roving libraries) - V. Speronari 3 - Milano).18
Whoever reads it will immediately be convinced how a small library could also cost little expense and could easily be put up wherever. It gives as well precious lists of convenient books for different classes of persons. In the same office is published a monthly bulletin that gives right evaluation of books that daily are published: La Società Buona Stampa - Torino, corso Regina Margherita, 176, publishes as well Catholic reading materials and good and educational materials that are very convenient or rural centers.19
Note. - Novels, instead of extinguishing, excite the thirst for reading: hence where there already is the usage of reading them it is good to oppose the bad ones with the good: where instead they are not yet read, it is better to make the least possible use of them.


Sow good ideas so that they may bring forth good works: this is the work that matters. Religious ideas, social ideas, economic ideas, ideas of virtues, ideas of hygiene, etc... according to places and according to the circumstances: in public and in private.

Public propaganda - 1. By means of the pen, writing booklets, leaflets, bulletins, collaborating and becoming correspondents to newspapers: according to our capabilities. Inasmuch it is known that an idea can do good, that an event can make a newspaper interesting, it will be useful to communicate them: it is a talent that God gives: let us make it bear fruits.
2. Through classes, especially the private, winter, festive, evening classes.
3. Through the word in conferences, sermons, on occasional speeches.

Private propaganda - If public propaganda aims at a bigger audience, the private one impresses more because it is better suited to persons and to needs. In Germany and in England, every parish priest, and often one who stands for him, visits the homes of all the families of the parish many times during the year. How many good words could be said! How many precious advice could be given! How much evil could be removed! How much consolation could such visits bring!
There would be a publication to suggest: insistence would be made so that parents sent their children to catechism classes, there may be the need to enlist them in some organization: a booklet may be offered: the male teacher or the female teacher may be asked to attend to catechism classes: private recommendations are worth more than the public and general ones. At times a person may be known so that, approached with tactfulness, he or she may be disposed to give moral and material help to the priest; at other times it is known that in the parish there is an influential person who could do harm but some good as well; it may happen that a dance party has to be stopped, or that the mayor should promote the teaching of catechism in schools: well, in these cases, let the priest see to visiting such persons as well, let him spend longer time in such visits: it shall be very precious for a good cause. Hence, it would be a very good act of prudence that when a priest enters a parish, he should study who are the more influential persons whom he has to win over for the success of his ministry. With this done, let him establish relations with them through visits, through calling cards; given the occasion, perhaps with small demonstrations of esteem
even should it be through an exchange of invitations. Surely, he would not find in them resistance, rather, good help instead.
How much time did the venerable Trona of Mondovì spent in such visits! And yet through it he did so much good as it could be read in his biography.20
In a meeting held in Turin among persons engaged in Catholic action, this hope was expressed: that a priest should not be afraid to spend some time in visits to superiors of institutes of religious in order to persuade them little by little on the importance of social education. It would seem like throwing away time, so they said, but with such persons convinced, many others are won for the good cause.
Another very important application of such a principle could be had in the manner of teaching in the circles. Undoubtedly, conferences, speeches, classes would be needed: but not in every place and always are these things possible. Instead, familiar conversation is possible where one could teach without having to assume the posture of a teacher. How can this be done? With whatever pretext, let the conversation fall into the desired topic, then listen to the opinion of the other and, while conversing, correct the erroneous tendencies and the false principles: sow new ones: then by presenting other real or imaginary cases, make new applications of them. For example: does one want to teach the young people on the duty and the manner of preparing themselves for the elections, more so, to become conscientious voters? Well, one can bring in during the meeting a newspaper, or a book where the mistakes of a socialist administration are pointed out, or where the worthwhile initiatives of a municipality is reported... Let it be brought forward: let the one who reads naturally express his
impressions, ask explanations... Then it could be asked how come such councilors were voted on, how the votes were bought. In like manner the issue may be raised where a roving library should be established, or an evening class or a hospital should be established. And then add: this could be done also by inviting to dinner or to a meeting those whom one hopes would be the bases of our future works.
Rather: does one want a secret of success? Let him see to it that the people feel the need of certain good works, let him show his desire, then let him show that it is possible also in our town and that we do not do anything but second to the will, and are happy to help. Success will be guaranteed.


There are those for workers, for students, for farmers. They aim at giving young people and also adults those ideas that are useful in making them more capable in their chosen profession. When the practically useful materials are sought, it shall not be difficult to execute them.
In them, however, things are better than in a full-fledged school; familiar conversation is more helpful.


This is a most felt need: either because the priest, for reasons of ministry or prudence, cannot do everything: either because the words of a lay person often mirror better the needs of the people and this is better accepted.
For this purpose, it would be good to observe well the men and
young men of the parish: who are the more intelligent, docile, and well-behaved. Then, by either aiming at them in the evening classes, in the circle, to gradually infuse in them the proper instructions. Then, to theory add practice: entrust to them some small tasks, for example, to balance the books of the circle; to let them read something during holidays; to induce them also, if this is seen fit, to deliver short talks, or at least write some them to read to the public. These little propagandists and cooperators shall be more attached to the activities.


Till here we dealt with particular works, but had principal the character of propagating good ideas and only secondarily those that of action: now let us move on to those that appear instead to be primarily of action and only secondarily that of propaganda.


From the different activities that may require his activity, this is the most suitable for the priest.
a) Emigration: this is one of the major plagues of our Italy, a plague due to the material damages and more for the religious-moral damages it causes. The priest can prevent them in part through his zeal. For al the useful ideas, it would be of help to consult the Guida dell'emigrante italiano21 (Guide for the Italian Emigrant) (Lecco - Tip. del Resegone, L. 0.25) or else La chiave della fortuna ossia manuale pratico dell'emigrante italiano in
America22 (The key to fortune or the practical manual for the Italian emigrant to America) (Tip. Buona Stampa, corso Reg. Margh., 176 - Torino - L. 0.70).
b) Workers' retreats:23 these are Spiritual Exercises conducted specifically to city workers, ordinarily lasting three full days. The trials made have given most consoling results: especially when these are held in suitable places where the workers have board and lodging
The booklet Ritiri per gli operai (Retreats for workers) (Bergamo - Tip. S. Alessandro, Casa del popolo, 20 - L. 0,10) could be of some help.
c) For those called to military service. Also with these young men, who often during the military service get shipwrecked as regards their moral life, the priest can exercise his zeal: by inducing them to attend Mass before the extraction of names and the medical checkup: by making them receive the Holy Sacraments before departure and after they have come back: speaking to them with few but lively words, full of affection, replete with fatherly admonitions. Much better yet is to get in touch with them through letters during the service itself: and there are also parish priests, having known the city of ordinary residence, sees to send by post to lead their parishioners to the association of servicemen, if there is, or to some zealous priests. In these places where it could succeed, the institution of one of these circles that could bear most consoling fruits would be of undoubted usefulness.
d) Cursing and obscene language. There are organizations against these vices that are gradually gathering roots in our villages, that are a dishonor to man and to Christianity.
In so many parishes, such an organization could be established. Ask for the statute from the central office of the Unione Popolare. Consult the book La
bestemmia in Italia (Cursing in Italy) by Prof. Franceschini24 (L. 0.60) for sale at the aforementioned office, which has as well published a very beautiful pamphlet with the title: Ma dove siamo? (But where are we); as well as stickers or cards containing sayings against cursing and obscene language.
Either the pamphlet or the posters are priced very modestly: the first could be distributed to houses, in circles, at the church doors: the stickers, since they have glue, could be pasted on letters, packages, on the walls of houses.
e) Gambling and alcoholism. Natural and supernatural motives call the attention of all and more that of the Priest to struggle against these two disorders. In some countries, there exist associations against them: associations made after the model of those against cursing and obscene language; rather, in some countries there is but one organization, directed to fight against these four vices. A very good book is that of Dr. Masi: Fa bene l'alcool? Conferenze per tutti25 (L. 2,25, Cav. Pietro Marietti, Torino).
f) Association of the Propagation of the Faith and of Holy Infancy.26 Should one read the book Operarii autem pauci27 (sold in Milan - Via Monterosa, 71 - Istituto delle Missioni Estere L. 150) or else read books on the Propagation of The Faith and of Holy Infancy sometimes, would not but feel stricken by the miserable conditions of so many infidels. He who possesses the wealth of faith, why does he not feel some obligation to share some of his wealth to those who are in absolute poverty? The means are many:
1. Prayer, done by the Priest alone or with the faithful
2. To gather and give, when it is possible, for this purpose.
3. At least once a year, preferably on the day of Epiphany, to hold a sermon on this topic either for the aforementioned purposes, or to encourage male and female vocations for the missions.
In France, every seminary regularly dedicates every a student for the missions.
g) Organization for used stamps. It aims at the redemption of slaves, the education of indigent catechists and priests, the founding of Christian villages, etc. Refer to the director general of the organization: Grand Seminary of Liege (Belgium), or else to the Director of the Belgian College, Via del Quirinale, Rome.


A) Above we have seen the importance and the manner of a good Christian education of children: and also these, turned older and getting out of catechetical instruction, could be kept honest through an organization or something like it. Here let us add that a local organization is not enough: it is better to join a national organization of the Gioventù cattolica italiana (Italian Catholic Youth): either in order to have its directions more secure or in order to coordinate the entire action on a single final purpose. In order to receive secure information, for knowing regulations and statutes, refer to the Direzione Generale della Società della gioventù cattolica italiana - Roma (The General Directorate of the Society of the Italian Catholic Youth- Rome).


B) The most ordinary local organization is a circle that has for its end the keeping away of the young from every danger. Also here, however, one should not require the best, either as regards the
number or its goodness, or its frequency. The priest has already done much when he succeeds to block some sin. It can have three sections, according to places and personnel:
a) Training
b) Sports.
c) Music and songs.
If a young man succeeds to pass through the critical age of life without losing his faith and goodness, the age that goes from fifteen to 25 years, one could say his future is secure s regards religion and morality.


It promotes the founding, unites and directs the works that concern the protection of young women. As a whole these works are for a) employment, b) protection in travels, c) temporary hospitality, d) patronage during work, e) practical instruction courses, f) mutual help, g) struggle against white slavery, h) rehabilitation.
It has now local, regional, national, international activities, attached to every city of some importance.
For a priest, it could be of valid help in saving from moral and material ruin the young girls who go to look for work away from home. Where this need is much, it would be very good that the priest asked some good lady or sister to get in touch with general office of the Association and to commit one's work for the welfare of these creatures who are very much endangered.
For everything
get in touch with the Segretariato internazionale dell'associazione per la protezione della giovane (International Secretariat for the protection of young women) (Rue Saint-Pierre, 22 Friburgo - Svizzera) or with the Comitato Nazionale italiano della protezione della giovane (Italian National committee for the protection of young women) (via della Consolata, 1 - Torino).


With the right to vote extended also in Italy, the need to be involved in this area also grows. It is not enough that we work in church: what if tomorrow men of no faith, having risen to power, impose on us the law of divorce, drive away the sisters, grab church properties, take away catechism from schools? In this action, so full of numerous difficulties, supreme prudence is necessary.
1. As regards political elections, we know that Non expedit is imposed on us: we know that Pius X gave the disposition in his Encyclical Il fermo proposito31 that a dispensation is possible when in particular cases the good of souls and the supreme interests of the Church, and if the bishops so request it.
2. One thing it is to prepare oneself for the elections, another is practically to support one's own list. To prepare oneself for it is always taught by the pontifical directives: to enter the arena with a list or one's own candidates shall depend on the circumstances. It seems, however, that we can say as a general norm: never let it appear that one supports a name or a list for personal or a party's gains or for merely material goals, as the reason of a street, a square, etc. The priest must support a list or a name for much nobler motives, that is, when the good of souls
is involved: in other cases, it is good that he votes, but it is not prudent for him to support a party.
With due respect to these two rules of general direction, it is taught that every parish should have its group of organized voters, ready to enter the area only when the supernatural good requires it. For either the practical manner of executing this, or for statutes and clarifications, refer to the Central Office of the Popular Union (Padua).


The Pope also desires that women be organized, because they, too, could find help in the organization, either to better accomplish their mission, or to defend themselves from neutral or sectarian organizations.
They form one of the five great national unions with three goals, that are meant to be achieved through three sections:
Religious training.
Social training.
There can be a group of this in every parish, divided or not in sections, according to the number of adherents and according to the local needs.
Refer to the office of Popular Union or statutes and norms.


Inasmuch as charity requires it, and in the manner that charity requires it, the priest, following the Pope's directives, shall have to take care as well of this part of Catholic Action.
By nourishing the body, the soul is won.
The priest, however, may get involved in it after giving due consideration to these norms:
1. To impose on himself a certain moderation, either by thinking that this is not the area of his ministry, if not inasmuch as the good of souls may require it, or by thinking that he must not push others to financial delusions or disasters.
2. Balance the means with the end that one wants to achieve: and hence, do not improvise works or when they are not required by real needs, or for which one does not have personnel capable of managing and administering them. This is true much more after the prohibition of the Holy See to priests to get engaged in financial operations that distract them too much from the ministry or that they impose economic responsibilities.
Now I will refer to the different economic activities: while warning that there are almost an infinity of other activities: as many as the needs that have to be met.34
a) Funds for loans based on honor. These are loans made by a small fund for most needy persons, under the form of promissory notes, payable by installment.
b) Consumers' cooperatives. There are those concerning foodstuff, fertilizers, sulfur, etc.
c) Rural bank for deposits and loans. It is a means advantageous to small savers and in order to prevent the small property owners from falling into the hands of usurers.
d) People's funds. They are most suitable to encourage savings among the young farmers and more so for workers.
e) Winemakers' cooperatives.
f) Fruit exportation.
g) Union of professionals, of farmers, People's Secretariats,
h) Insurance organizations: there are different kinds:
against hailstorm damages,
against fires,
against deaths of farm animals,
against accidents,
for invalidity and old age.
Those regarding deaths of farm animals and fires, they can be more useful if local.
The others ordinarily must be extensive; there is the Verona,35 the Reale,36 the Adriatica.37 Refer to the directorates of the individual insurance houses for necessary information.
For invalidity and old age of workers, there is the Cassa Nazionale di Previdenza38 (National Social Security Fund) which is not only one of the more secure institutions but also most generous. A priest shall do a holy work by widely diffusing it.


1 For all these works, it shall be very good to read: Compiti del clero nell'azione cattolica39 (Duties of the clergy in Catholic Action) (Bergamo - Stabilimento tip. S. Alessandro - L. 1). La Settimana sociale (The Social Weekly)40 (Padova - one-year subscription L. 2).
2. For whatever factual information as regards action, it is enough to refer either to the diocesan directorates, or else at the Central Office of the Popular Union.
3. For every work to establish, aside from reading what wise writers have written about them, it would be always good to visit first the same works that are already flourishing somewhere else; by getting information from the founders and the operators
of everything that concerns the foundation, the operation and the usefulness. Books teach many good things, but there are many things that only experience can teaches.

1 The Unione Popolare Italiana (Italian People's Union), called more briefly as Unione Popolare, was established in 1906. It gathered the directives of the Encyclical Il fermo proposito of Pius X dated 11 January 1906. The activity of the Unione Popolare began with the foundation in Florence of the Central Office presided over by Giuseppe Toniolo. An important initiative of the Unione Popolare was that of launching the Social Weeks. The Unione Popolare's organ was the weekly publication La Settimana Sociale (The Social Week), flanked by the monthly pamphlet L'Allarme. Cf. S. TRAMONTIN, Unione Popolare, DSMCI, pp. 394-395.

2 G. TONIOLO, L'Unione popolare fra i cattolici d'Italia (The Popular Union among Catholics in Italy). Reasons, purposes, encouragements. Meeting of the delegates in Florence 24.02.1906, Tip. San Giuseppe, Firenze 1908.

3 S. MARCHETTI, L'ora presente e l'unione popolare fra i cattolici d'Italia (The present hour and the popular union among Catholics in Italy), Marietti, Torino 1910.

4 The Unione Popolare through La Settimana Sociale (The Social Weekly), its official organ, promoted campaigns against divorce and cursing, in favor of the teaching of religion and freedom in schools. On this last theme, in 1908 in Genoa was held a related congress and eventually was established the Segretariato pro schola (Secretariat Pro Schola). Cf. S. TRAMONTIN, Unione..., op. cit., p. 394.

5 N. REZZARA, La scuola nella legislazione italiana (The school in the Italian legislation), Tip. San Alessandro, Bergamo 1910.

6 G. PIOVANO, La libertà d'insegnamento in Italia nell'ora volgente (Freedom of instruction in Italy at its turning point), Tip. Artigianelli, Monza 1909.

7 Cf. ATP, no. 302, note 24.

8 Cf. ATP, no. 306, note 25.

9 The first Cassa di Risparmio (Savings Bank) was founded in Alba 1855 by Msgr. Rinaldi C. S., Capitular Vicar General. On 24.06.1855 through a circular letter addressed to parish priests, Canon Rinaldi asked that the benefits of this institution be explained to the people through the reading and commentary of its statute. “The very name of this institution which we recommend indicates that it marvelously aims to achieve this purpose, by proposing itself to encourage the people to save with the development of the spirit of order, economy, social security, and that which matters more, of work and with the practice of those virtues that the achievement of these goods lead to.” (p. 10). Cf. C. S. RINALDI, Circolare al clero e al popolo, 24 giugno 1855, in the historical Archives of the Diocese of Alba.

10 The first legislations on real and true safeguard of work date back to 1893 and they concerned the mining sector. It was only in 1898 that the law of 17 March, no. 8, followed by the regulation of 25 September, no. 411 on the obligatory insurance of workers against work accidents was promulgated. In the same year would then appear, quite shyly, in our legislations the National Social Security System for invalidity and old age (Cassa Nazionale di Previdenza per l'invalidità e la vecchiaia), established on optional bases, but subsidized by the state (Legge 17 luglio, no. 350). In 1919, the insurance for invalidity and old age was made obligatory by the legislative decree of 21 April, no. 603. Cf. L. LEVI SANDRI, Istituti di legislazione sociale, Ed. A. Giuffrè, Milano 1963, pp. 1-9.

11 Cf. ATP, no. 94, note 3.

12 Cf. ATP, no. 94, note 2.

13 Cf. ATP, no. 336, notes 9 e 10. The new socio-political ideas inspired after socialism, and the entire Catholic movement inspired after the principles of Rerum Novarum, saw to it that at the start of the 20th century, the legislation concerning social problems became even more perfect. With the law of 18 June 1907 no. 242, eventually integrated by that of 7 July 1907 no. 8181 provided for safeguards regarding work of women and of children. To the legislative production, however, the observance of the concrete actuation of the social security institutions were not provided for. It was only in 1919 that a group of inspectors of industries and of work was formed depending on the Ministry of Agriculture-Industry-Commerce (law of 22 December, no. 1361). Cf. L. LEVI SANDRI, Istituti di legislazione..., op. cit., pp. 1-9.

14 Cf. PIUS X, Acerbo Nimis, op. cit., pp. 264-273.

15 M. A. ANZINI, Gli oratori festivi..., op. cit.

16 G. LOSIO, Manuale pel maestro delle scuole popolari, serali e festive, La Scuola, Brescia 1908.

17 Cf. ATP, no. 278, note 62.

18 Cf. ATP, no. 278, note 62.

19 Cf. ATP, no. 278, note 61.

20 G. GIACCONE, Vita del Ven. Servo di Dio Giovanni Battista Trona, prete della Congregazione dell'Oratorio di Mondovì (Life of Ven. Servant of God Giovanni Battista Trona, priest of the Oratorian Congregation of Mondovì), Tip. Vescovile, Mondovì 1902.

21 The book could be identified with Guida dell'emigrante italiano oltr'Alpe, Pongetti, Bologna 1905 whose author is unknown.

22 Probably the author of the book is G. CURTI, La chiave della fortuna, ossia manuale pratico dell'emigrante e dell'emigrato italiano in America, Tip. Salesiana, Torino 1908.

23 The Opera dei Ritiri Operai (Association for Workers' Retreats) originated in France through the initiative of the Jesuit Fathers and soon spread in Belgium and in Spain. In Italy, it started in 1907 with the course of Spiritual Exercises to workers in Villa di San Luigi di Chieri (Turin) by Father A. Stradella. The association was warmly and sympathetically welcomed by Pius X. Crowned by success, during the following years it was spread throughout Italy. Cf. A. GUIDETTI, Le missioni popolari, I grandi Gesuiti italiani, (The Popular missions, the great ones by the Italian Jesuits) Rusconi, Milano 1988, pp. 319-323. On the nature and aim of the Association, cf. Resoconto dei risultati delle riunioni sull'Opera dei Ritiri Operai in Italia, Roma 16-17-18 aprile 1912, A.M.D.G. (edited by), Tip. Artigianelli San Giuseppe, Roma 1912.

24 G. FRANCESCHINI, La bestemmia in Italia: pagine di psicopatologia sociale (Cursing in Italy: pages of social psychology), Tip. Sorteni e Vidotti, Venezia 1909.

25 G. MASI, Fa bene l'alcool? Conferenze per tutti (Is alcohol good for all? Conferences for all), Marietti, Torino 1913.

26 Cf. ATP, no. 72, notes 6 and 7.

27 P. MANNA, Operarii autem pauci (But the laborers are few): reflections on the foreign missions, P.I.M.E., Milano 1909.

28 In 1867 Count M. Fani and Count G. Acquaderni promoted in Bologna the foundation of the Società della Gioventù Cattolica Italiana (Society of the Italian Catholic Youth). With the loss of the temporal power of the Pope the urgency of incrementing Catholic associations and the need to give to it a coordination national in character. The Società della Gioventù Cattolica Italiana thus made itself the promoter of a congress of Italian Catholics, that was held in Venice in 1874 and was repeated the succeeding year in Florence, where the Opera dei Congressi (Associations for Congresses) and the Opera dei Comitati Cattolici in Italia (Association of the Catholic Committees in Italy). The particular situation created by the Non expedit led to the final crisis of the association and of its dissolution by the Holy See. With the encyclical Il fermo proposito of 1905. Pius X gave the indications for a general reorganization of the Catholic movement, which gave life to four great organizations, entirely independent from one another: the Unione Popolare, the Unione Economico-Sociale, the Unione Elettorale, the Società della Gioventù Cattolica Italiana. Cf. R. MORO, Azione Cattolica Italiana, DSMCI, pp. 180-182.

29 The International Catholic Association for the Protection of Young Women arose in Freeburg in 1897. Representatives of the principal European countries, including Italy, gathered in a congress in order to coordinate a league of resistance that should combat in a particular organization the so called “white slavery,” while also setting up a vast program of assistance to young women. In Italy the International Catholic Organization for the Protection of Young Women had its first section in Turin, where it was organized on 30.01.1902. Very soon, the Association spread to many Italian cities. Cf. R. LANZAVECCHIA, “L'opera per la protezione della giovane” (The association for the protection of young women), in Bollettino dell'Archivio per la storia del Movimento Cattolico in Italia, 20 (1985).

30 Born out of the Catholic Movement, the Unione Elettorale (Electoral Union) lasted until the rise of the Partito Popolare Italiano (Italian Popular Party), founded in January 1919 by Fr. Luigi Sturzo. A few months later, on 12.11.1919, a little before the elections, the Holy See declared officially the end of the Non expedit and thus left open for Catholics the field of political activity. Cf. R. MORO, Azione Cattolica Italiana..., op. cit., pp. 180-183.

31 Cf. PIUS X, Il fermo proposito, op. cit., p. 13.

32 Between 1900 and 1904, the preparatory foundations of the Catholic Women's Organization were established. In Milan, a magazine, Azione muliebre (Women's Action) was born. It wanted to be, during those years, a support to women in the difficult discovery of themselves. Alongside labor union structures for women and due to a comparison of experiences and sensibilities regard the problems of religious education and of education as a whole, a true and proper women's movement matured. It had its most significant moments in the assumption of a position and on the commitment for women's suffrage during its convention in 1907. In 1908, with the favor of the Holy See, the Catholic Women's Organization participated in the Catholic Movement, thus forming the V Independent Organization: The Union of Catholic Women. Cf. P. GAIOTTI DE BIASE, Movimenti cattolici e questione femminile (Catholic movements and the issue of women), DSMCI, pp. 102-105; cf. C. NOVELLI DAU, Società, Chiesa e associazionismo femminile (Society, Church and association movements for women), A.V.E., Roma 1988.

33 In the reorganization of the Catholic association movement, the Unione economico-sociale (Socio-Economic Union) is one of the great “independent organization” of the Italian Catholic Action: cf. ATP, no. 347, note 28.

34 Cf. ATP, no. 329, note 11 and no. 336, note 9. On the state of the agricultural workers and their need in the Alba territory, cf. G. MAGGI, “Temi politici e sociali nell'azione dei cattolici albesi del primo novecento” (Political and social issues in the Alba Catholic Action during the early 1900's), in Alba Pompeia, New series, year IV, l (1983), pp. 5-18. For further information, cf. M. RISTORTO, “L'azione sociale dei cattolici cuneesi nell'ultimo trentennio del secolo XIX” (The social action of the Cuneo Catholics during the last thirty years of the 19th century), in Bollettino dell'Archivio per la storia del Movimento Sociale Cattolico in Italia, anno VII, 2 (1972), pp. 147-159.

35 Cf. ATP, no. 75, note 17.

36 The Reale Mutua Assicurazione (The Royal Insurance Fund) was founded in Turin in 1928. It is the first insurance organization of the Kingdom of Sardinia. Its primary purpose was to offer insurance against fires. It was already present in Alba in 1834.

37 The Assicurazione Adriatica or Riunione Adriatica di Sicurtà (RAS) was founded in Trieste in 1838 under the Austro-Hungary Empire. Its primary purpose was to cover the transportation sector, especially marine traffic.

38 Cf. ATP, no. 336, note 10.

39 N. REZZARA, Compiti del Clero nell'Azione Cattolica (Tasks of the Clergy in the Catholic Action), Tip. San Alessandro, Bergamo 1907.

40 Cf. ATP, no. 332, note 1.