Religion: Obviam Christo

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Eleven years ago, Rev. Paul Schulte, a strapping, blond German priest of the Roman Catholic order of Oblates of Mary Immaculate, founded the Missionary Communications Association, to keep missionary outposts of the Church in touch with the world. Its motto : Obviam Christo terra marique et in aera ("Toward Christ by land and sea and in the air"). Lately, Father Schulte, a crack pilot who wears his Roman collar under his flying togs, has been in northern Canada planning an aerial transport service for missionaries in the Arctic. In Churchill, Manitoba last week he learned that Bishop Armand Clabaut had received a radiogram from the Hudson's Bay Co., 1,200 miles north in Baffin Land: FATHER COCHARD SINCE NINE DAYS VERY SICK; TEMPERATURE 105; PAINS ON LEFT SIDE. FATHER REFUSING FOOD. PLEASE HELP.

For a flying priest, this was almost a routine appeal. But it was not so routine that Father Schulte, as he flew north with his mechanic, Brother Beaudoin, omitted to inform the New York Times about his activities. Father Schulte dashed 360 miles to Chesterfield Inlet, found the only doctor ill, pushed on, was forced down by fog at Igloolik, reached Baffin Land to find Father Cochard still living, bundled him into the plane. Reported Father Schulte to the Times, after he got his colleague safely to a hospital in Chesterfield Inlet: "Father Cochard was not troubled with airsickness and was very happy when I gave him oranges, a fruit he had not eaten in many years."