by John Gavin Nolan
To the extent that this was possible, Father Walsh had brilliantly consolidated his success. But what of his critics? What of the home missions and foreign missions, now forced to compete for the donors dollar with a highly organized and papal–supported Catholic Red Cross? What of Bishop Kelley, who had worked so hard to regularize national collections and to eliminate the practice of subscriptions? What of Cardinal Mundelein, who had boycotted the January appeal? What of Father von Galen and his supporters, who had challenged CNEWAs priorities and rationale? Part of the answer to these questions is found in a handwritten entry dated 9 August 1927 in a chronology of CNEWA correspondence in the archives of the Oriental Congregation in Rome. Without any elaboration it simply stated, Alarming news: 40 Bishops do not support CNEWA.73 Father Walsh was certainly aware of the opposition his success had not eliminated. He could count on the Holy Fathers continuing support, however, and it remained only to shore up that support among the bishops during their September meeting.
On 10 September 1927 he sent to Cardinal Hayes a copy of the report he had prepared for the board of directors, noting that because of its importance the proposed papal annual should be called to the attention of all the bishops. He also informed Cardinal Hayes that Cardinal OConnell had directed him to call a meeting of the CNEWA board of directors, on Tuesday the 13th, if possible, following the meeting of the trustees of the Catholic University of America.74 On 13 September Father Walsh, as CNEWA president, submitted his first annual report to the bishops at their ninth annual meeting75 and the next day, introduced this time as acting head of CNEWA, he addressed the bishops briefly. He thanked them for the January collection and announced that a papal annual would be issued in the United States each year specially for supporters of the CNEWA work. The chairman of the meeting, Cardinal OConnell, then announced as an example of CNEWAs work that the Holy Father would give $100,000 to be distributed through Father Walsh, to the dioceses of Louisiana which suffered so severely from the flood of the previous spring.