Up to three years ago daily Mass was obligatory for the boys. It was the opinion of the Chaplains that this excellent practice was proving too much for the boys. It was decided that the boys’ attendance at Mass be voluntary, as the early rising for 7 o’clock Mass was unreasonable. The result of this decision was that only a handful of boys attended Mass regularly. Last year the Superior decided to go back on this decision and oblige the boys to attend Mass on two mornings each week. It seems to me a great spiritual loss that attendance at daily Mass should be relegated to the voluntary whims of adolescent minds. The obvious solution would be to put forward the hour of the Mass by one hour, but at this suggestion the Superior was unwilling to change the programme.
The Rosary is recited daily in Chapel. Many of the boys complain to me of the weariness they have in attending the Rosary. This is quite natural, but I would like to see a change in the practice to give the boys an opportunity of appreciating the value of praying in small groups or even alone. Too often the Christian Doctrine classes are without enthusiasm, and lacking incentive. I altogether repudiate the use of physical punishment for failure at these lessons. At times it is excessive.
CHAPEL : The Chapel at Artane does not inspire devotion, or indeed little reverence. It is stone-flagged and untidy, the furnishings are rough, uncomfortable and unattractive. It is greatly in need of decoration. The brass ware is inferior, stained and damaged; the sacred linen is carelessly handled and arranged. Some time ago mice were discovered in the Sacristy and on opening the Corporal before Mass I noticed it to be soiled by animal excretion. A few days later the Chasuble was in a similar condition. These isolated incidences merely indicate the general tone of the Chapel. The care of the Sacristy should be entrusted to females, preferably nuns.