75th Anniversary


Common Sense

February 8th, 2011

Common Sense

February 1937, page 1

Photo from Photos.com


Many Catholics seem to think that liturgical renewal was an idea that the Second Vatican Council came up with all by itself. Actually, Vatican II’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy was just one important step in a liturgical movement that grew, with papal approval, in the nineteenth and the first half of the twentieth centuries, and continues even today. Catholic Digest’s editors strongly supported this movement from the very beginning, as this lovely, personal reflection on the Mass, from our February 1937 issue, shows. The general themes expressed here would be expressed again in the Council’s liturgy constitution 26 years later, and the article is still well worth our reflection today.



The author of this article, Ade Bethune, was born in Belgium in 1914, emigrated to the U.S. in 1928, and died in 2002. She was a liturgical artist and a close friend of Dorothy Day, and she shared Day’s vision of love and concern for the poor. Her artwork was part of the Catholic Worker movement for many years. Dorothy Day said this about Ade in her autobiography The Long Loneliness: “Whenever I visited Ade I came away with a renewed zest for life. She has such a sense of the sacramentality of life, the goodness of things, a sense that is translated in all her works whether it was illustrating a missal, making stained-glass windows or sewing, cooking or gardening.”


Dan Connors



Click here to download the PDF of this classic article