Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/384

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ALSACE 344 ALSACE the two institutions were respect iely closed, by Ober- Presicient MfiUer, on the 24th of Jane and the 17th of July. 1S74. They liave since been reopened (the one :it Zillisheira on the 20th of April, 1880; the one at Strasburg on the Sth of April, 1883), and are now known as "episcopal gymnasia." Both institutions follow the curriculum of the higher go^ernment schools under the super'ision of the highest educa- tional council of .l.>ace- Lorraine. The teachers are appointed by the bisliop, subject to the approval of the council of education, and must have passed an examination pro facilitate docendi before the State commission. Both have the right to grant tlie certificates required to be admitted to the .one-year military service as volunteers, to such of their students as have successfully completed their "lower second" class, that is to say, a six-years' high school course. In both seminaries the final examinations of the students of the graduating class are conducted by the class-instructors under the supervision of the State school commission. Tliey enjoy, there- fore, the same rights as the State gymnasia. The seminaries are maintained by the bishop from fees amoimting to ■S20 (80 marks) yearly from scholars in the preparatory class&s (without Latin); and S30 (120 marks) for those of the gymnasium classes, as also from alms received during Lent. The Bishop of Strasburg, in virtue of extraordinary powers, grants an individual dispensation from abstinence during Lent and on all the fast days during the year, except Good I<>iday, "on tlie express condition that all who avail themselves of it shall make a special offering on behalf of diocesan institutions." These alms amounted to S12,864 (,51,453 marks) for the year 1902-3; and $13,455 (53,818 marks) for the year 1903-4. During the school year 1904-5 thirty- nine teacliers lectured at the Episcopal Gymnasium in Strasburg, and twenty-one at Zillisheim, to 565 and 271 scliolars respectively. The Episcopal Gym- nasium in the Diocese of Metz, at Montigny, enjoys all the rights of a State gymnasium, which are not possessed by the higher episcopal school at Bitsch, or by the cathedral school of St. Arnulf at Metz. Collections amonq the Faithful. — Six church collections have been made obligatory by the Bishop of Strasburg; on the Sunday after the Epipliany, for the African missions; on Good Friday, for the Christians of the East; at Easter and Pentecost, for the Peter's Pence; on the feast of the consecration of a church, for the abolition of alternate, or common, use of church edifices by Catholics and non-Catholics; on the Sunday after the feast of St. Odilia, for the blind a.sylum at Still. In addition to these, collec- tions are made for the work of the Childhood of Jesus (the ransom of heathen children); for the spread of the Faith; for home missions (Society of St. Francis de Sales); and for the assistance of Catholic students. Moreover, since State pensions for retired priests are not sufficient, the priests of the Diocese of Strasburg have established a supple- mentary fund, which amounted in 1902 to .$4,096 (16,384 marks); in 1903, to $6,078 (24,315 marks); to SI, 667 (18,667 marks) in 1904, and to $5,271 (21,085 marks) in 1905. Elemkn'tary Education. — An ordinance, dated 18 April, 1871, and issued by Count von Bismarck- Bolilen, Governor-General of Alsace, obliges every child, on reaching the age of six, to attend either a public or a private school, unless equivalent provision shall 1» made in the family itself. School attend- an(;e continues to be ol)ligaton' until the final ex- amination, which, for boys, takes place at the age of fourteen, for girls at thirteen. The law of 12 Feb- ruary placed all lower and higher education under the supervision and control of the State authorities. "In all schools," so runs the ordinance of the Im- perial Statthalter (Governor), dated 16 November, 1887, "religion, morality, respect for the State and the laws sliall be inculcated by means of teach- ing and education." The normal curriculum of elementary schools comprises religion, German, arith- metic, geometry, drawing, history, geography, nat- ural history, natural science, singing, carpenti-y, and feminine handicrafts. The following are charged with the local supervision of each elementary school: the burgomaster, the Catholic priest, the Prot- estant pastor, the delegate of the Jewish religion, and, in parishes of more than 2,000 souls, one or more residents appointed thereto by the President of the district. The clergy are especially charged with the supervision of the religious instruction given by the teachers in the schools; they have, besides, the right of entering the schools at all times. The greater number of puljlic elementary schools are denomina- tional. Most of the masters are laymen; most of the mistresses, sisters of some teaching order. These communities, whose members teach in public, State, and municipal schools, also maintain private ele- mentary, intermediate, and higher girls' schools. Art Monuments. — Alsace-Lorraine is rich in im- portant art monuments, the two principal being the world-famous minster of Strasburg and the cathe- dral of Metz. The first was begun in 1015, and finished in July, 1439, and whereas the cathedral at Cologne presents an example of one style Gothic work, the minster at Strasburg bears traces of many styles. The crypt is early Romanesque, the choir and part of the transept late Romanesque, the nave and southern portion show the highest triumph of Gothic architecture. It is 110 metres (361 feet) long, and 47 metres (156 feet) wide; the tower is 142 metres (466 feet) high. The Gothic cathedral of Metz was begun under Bishop Conrad von Scharf- enberg (1212-20), but was not consecrated until 1546. In the eighteenth century an Italian porch was built at the west end, but was replaced at the beginning of the twentieth century by one correspond- ing to the style of the building itself. The cathedral is 122 metres (400 feet) long, 30 metres (98.4 feet) wide in the nave, and 47 metres (154 feet) at the transepts. The two towers are unfinished. The oldest church in Strasburg is the Romanesque church of St. Stephen, said to have been built in the twelfth century; the oldest in Alsace, St. Peter's collegiate churchatAvolsheim, which dates back to the eleventh. Institutions of Charity. — In October, 1899, a charity organization was founded at Strasburg, in connexion with the Charity Society for Catliolic Germany (headquarters at Freiburg ini Breisgau). It has central offices at Paris and Nancy, and is con- nected with the (Euvre Internationale de la protection de la jeune fille of Switzerland. This organization is the centre of all the Catholic benevolent societies and institutions of Alsace-Lorraine. Its object is to make inquiries into actual and prospective causes of destitution, and to take special steps for their amelioration; to impart information relating to the poor, and to charitable institutions and undertakings, and to disseminate the true principles of Cluistian charity by means of lectures and pamphlets. The sphere of tliese charitable societies includes: — • (1) Creches for infants, witli protection and care of scliool children of both sexes during play hours. Of these there are two at Colmar, two at Miilhausen, one at Rappoltsweiler, five at Strasburg, and one at Thann. — (2) Orphanages and training scliools for orphan, deserted, or unprotected cliildren; 22 estab- lishments with 3,000 cliildren.— (3) Institutions for the reform of fallen women or of those exposed to moral dangers; one at Miilhausen and two at Stras- burg. — (4) The sheltering of unprotected or orphan children; one society at Colmar, three at Strasburg. — (5) The providing of holiday colonies for delicate children, and the fitting out of poor children on special