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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/854

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NEWCASTLE


7S2


NEWFOUNDLAND


Tho PthnoIoK.v of I lie native.';, wlioso miinbcr is prailually (Iccrrasini;, is sonunvliat uiircrtain, but they priihalilv sprinp from a mixcil Mchiiu'sian and Wostcrn I'olviu-sian stock. Thoir heipht is above that of the avcniKO South Sea Islander; they are as a rule well iniilt and quite ereet ; their colour varies from a very dark brown to a light complexion, and their hair is coarse and woolly. Cannibalism, which was generally practised on the island in former times, has disap- peared in consequence of the strict measures taken by the administration. .Mthough the men of the same tribe live together in the greatest harmony (such being in fact a leading dictate of their religious belief) intertribal wars have been always fnvjuent, and have been in the past almost the .sole occasion of cannibal- ism, as the flesh of a fellow tribesman is one of the most intelligible of their numerous and in very many cases peculiar taboos. The native religion is so closely intertwined with superstitions that distinction is rather difficult. The natives undoubtedly have a firm belief in a future life; the dead are supposed to live under the great mountain .\[ii, where the good are welcomed aft er deat h and where t he general condit ions bear some striking analogies to the Harmonic Hades. Ancestral worsliip is universally practised among the pagan natives, and there is a special class whose office it is to feed the deceased kinsmen, partly by consum- ing the food as their jjroxies and partly by exposing it for them in a taboo hut. The natives live together according to their tribes under chiefs, who exercise an extensive authority in purely native affairs. The food of the natives consists of yams, taros, sugar-cane, dried fish, and shell-fish. At various places on the island are held markets, at which the natives of the coa.st and of the mountains meet to exchange produce, dancing forming a regular feature of the transaction. Though excellent farmers, ^he natives are lazy.

New Caledonia was separated from Central Oceania and erected into a distinct vicariate Apostolic by de- cree of 2 July and Brief of 13 July, 1847. Besides the main island, the vicariate includes the I.sle of Pines and the Belep and Loyalty Islands. The mission is en- trusted to the Mari-st Fathers, who, besides minister- ing to the French settlers and convicts, have devoted themselves sedulously and with the greatest success to the conversion of the natives. According to the latest statistics the vicariate includes: 35,000 Catho- lics (11, .500 natives); 48 missionary priests and 40 brothers of the Marist Congregation; 126 sisters; 61 catechists; 68 churches and several chapels; 45 schools with 1881 pupils; 1 orphanage with 50 inmates. The present vicar Apostolic, who is the fourth to fill the office, is Mgr. Chaurion, titular Bishop of Cariopolis.

Stalesman^a Year Book (London, 1910); Mi^siones AposloUciE (Rome, 1907); Guillesund, Australasia, II (London, 1804), 455- 63, in Compendium of Geography ami Travel; Atkinson, The Natitet of New Caledonia in Folk-Lore. XIV (London, 1903), 243-59.

Thomas Kennedy.

Newcastle. See Hexham and Newcastle, Dio- cese OF.

Newfoundland, a British colonj' of North America (area 42,734 square miles), bounded on the north by the Strait of Belle Isle, which separates it from its de- pendency Labrador (area 120,000 square miles), on the east and south by the Atlantic Ocean, and on the west by the Gulf of St. Lawrence, lies between 46° 35' and 51° 40' lat. N., and .52° 35' and .59° 25' long. W. It was the first portion of North America discovered by European voyagers. The Cabots sailed from Bristol in 1497, and on 24 June of that year, the festival of St. John the Baptist, they landed in the harbour to which they gave the name of St. John'.s, which it bears to the present day. The Cabots, like all the early naviga- tors, had in view not only the discovery of new lands, and the increase of the power and wealth and territory of the mother country, but also the spread of the Gos- pel and the conversion of the heathens to the Chris-


tian Faith. Hence they brought with them priests and missionaries. Those who accompanied Cabot w'ere .\ugustinians or "Black Friars". We may be sure that Mjiss was celebrated on these shores in 1497.

In the year 1500 the Portuguese under Caspar de Cortereal took pos.sessiiin of the country and founded the .settlement and Church of Placentia. In 1.534 the French voyager, Jacques Cartier, visited the country, and explored the Gulf of St. Lawrence. He also had chapkiins with him who celebrate<l Mass at Catalina in NewfoundUuiil. and Brest, nr Old Fort, on Labra- dor. In 1622 Lord Baltimore founded his colony of Ferryland. He brought out t hree Jesuit Fat hers with him, and had Mass celebrated regularly, "and all other ceremonies of the Church of Rome were used in ample manner as 'tis used in Spain." Such was the complaint made against him to the Board of Trade by the Protestant clergyman, Mr. Stourton. In 1650 the French founded a church at Placentia on the site of the one abandoned by the Portuguese. But none of those attempts succeeded. The real foundation of the Catholic Church in Newfoundland is due to priests from Ireland, who came out towards the close of the eighteenth century.

The population of the country by the last census, taken in 1901, was 217,037. Of these the Catholics number 75,657, members of the Church of England 71.470, Methodists 60,700. The remainder belong to different denominations, viz. Presbyterians, Congre- gationalists, etc.

All denominations are equally recognized by the law, and there is no Established Church. In the early history of the country the Catholics were looked on as a proscribed class by the governors of the time, who were generally commanders of British war-ships. Priests were hunted and persecuted, people who har- boured them, or permitted Mass to be celebrated in their houses were fined, imprisoned, and flogged, and their houses either burned or pulled down. In one unique case a house where Mass had been celebrated was towed into the sea and sunk. These acts were undoubtedly illegal, as there was no law in the statutes of the country penalizing the exercise of the Catholic Religion, but the penal laws of Ireland were supposed to be applicable to Newfoundland. However, the principle would not work both ways, and when Catho- lic Emancipation was granted to Ireland these same interpreters of the law held that the privileges of Emancipation did not apply to Newfoundland. Dur- ing the whole course of his episcopate Bishop Fleming fought against these injustices and finally succeeded in obtaining full freedom for the Catholics.

In educational matters Catholics also enjoy every freedom. The denominational system is established by law. A sum is granted by Government amounting to about .$1.13 per caput of the population, or S5.25 per pupil actually attending school. It is true this amount is small as compared with some of the Cana- dian Provinces, or States of the Union, but a large amount is paid by private individuals to Catholic col- leges and convents which is not included in the above figures. The results compare most favorably with those of other countries. About thirty years ago a branch of the Irish Christian Brothers was introduced, an immediate impulse was given to education through- out the island, and it is now at a very high standard. The Brothers have charge of tw-o very large schools in St. John's — St. Patrick's and Holy Cross schools. There are ten class-rooms, containing about a thou- sand boys. The Brothers also have charge of the col- lege in which some three hundred boys are educated, sixty being boarders. Here are trained the i)uiiil- teachers who will have charge of the i)nblie .schools throughout the island. The college is atlili:i1ed to the Oxford Examining Board and the London University Board. A local council of higher education (non- denominational) looks after the local Examinations.