ACI Newsletter Nov 22


Dear Friends,

As I've just returned to Perth after an excellent two month long research to Europe and the US, this will be a shorter edition than usual.

Nevertheless, we have several items, beginning with the video from Cardinal Michael Czerny's Cardijn Lecture on 14 November.

Sadly, we also report the death of Fr Peter Maher, well known Sydney priest and Cardijn disciple.

We also have a report from the Jocist Women Leaders Seminar in Leuven, Belgium, which I attended with Prof. Katharine Massam. It was an inspiring event, illustrating the interest of a new generation of academics - including several young researchers - on the work of the YCW and its sister movements.

From Thailand, we bring news of the Young People for Development (YPD) and their fundraising efforts - by selling See-Judge-Act branded sacks of rice!

And finally news of our December webinar featuring Bill Armstrong and the new biography devoted his life and work "Everything and Nothing," written by Peter Britton.

And we conclude with our own Coffees for Cardijn appeal asking for your REGULAR SUPPORT to enable us to continue to promote Cardijn's legacy through the Joseph Cardijn Digital Library.

Stefan Gigacz
Young People for Development sell See-Judge-Act rice!
See Judge Act rice
Congratulations to the Young People for Development (YPD) movement in Karenland in the border area between Thailand and Myanmar on their latest fundraising initiative -YPD See-Judge-Act rice.

Founded in 2003 following an international exchange and training session in Chiang Mai, Thailand, the YPD movement has blossomed among the Karen ethnic community, bringing together young people - both Christian and Buddhist - to act together to promote personal and collective development among their peoples.

In the lead up to their 19th annual SJA training program from 2-5 December 2022, the movement is selling sacks of rice branded with the YPD logo and see-judge-act.


YPD Karenland (Facebook)

YPD University
Video: Cardijn Lecture 2022 - Cardinal Michael Czerny SJ - Sign of the Times, Siblings All, The Social Teaching of Pope Francis
Cardinal Michael Czerny SJ
“Pope Francis teaches us to interpret, embrace and implement the most important sign of the times and that is the urgent vocation to behave like the siblings that we really are… to develop the social friendship necessary to care for one another and to care for our common home,” said Cardinal Czerny in his Cardijn Lecture on 14 November.

The ‘sign of the times’ was key to understanding the Council including its “rediscovery of the synodal nature of the Church” and “probably the most memorable expression that came to us from Vatican II” but added that the phrase was also misunderstood. Rather than a purely secular understanding of the ‘sign of the times’ as precursors of future social, economic and cultural realities, the Church is called to a different view, he said.

“The Council doesn’t see the sign of the times sociologically but in relationship to our life as followers of Jesus, as the Church, as the living people of God.

Responding to the lecture, Susan Pascoe, chair of Catholic Emergency Relief Australia and one of the drafters of the Document for the Continental Stage of the Synod on Synodality said that part of the “genius” of Pope Francis’s communication is his constant invitation to all of the people of God, not only the hierarchy.

Parramatta Bishop Vincent Long concluded the event.


Cardinal delivers Cardijn Lecture to Aussies (Catholic Weekly)


Siblings All, Sign of the Times – The Social Teaching of Pope Francis (ACI/YouTube)


Cardinal Michael Czerny, undersecretary for the Vatican’s Migrants and Refugees Section, stands on the terrace of the Jesuit residence in Rome April 22, 2020, where he lives and, during the coronavirus lockdown, works. (CNS photo/courtesy Cardinal Czerny) See VATICAN-LETTER-RESOLUTIONS April 22, 2020.
RIP Fr Peter Maher
Fr Peter Maher
This month we remember Sydney priest, Fr Peter Maher, a true Cardijn priest, who died of cancer on 8 November 2022.

“The Cardijn method of see judge and act is essential to a deep listening, a competent dialogue and a compassionate and just course of action,” he once said. “This means all involved need to carefully listen to the experience of those normally excluded or silenced. Just as the Syrophoenician woman became Jesus’ teacher, the outsider and excluded stories inform the process of dialogue, reflection and action.”

Together with Minh Nguyen and others, he rebuilt ACMICA, the Australian affiliate of the Pax Romana International Catholic Movement for Intellectual and Cultural Affairs (ICMICA) during the early 2000s.

As parish priest of St Joseph's, Newtown, he developed profound ministries with the LGBTQI+ community as well as with Rachel’s Vineyard for women who had suffered from abortion.


RIP Peter (ACI)

Jocist Women Leaders Seminar, Leuven, Belgium
Jocist Women Leaders Seminar
Featuring speakers from Belgium, France, the UK, Uruguay, Australia and the US and hosted by the Catholic Documentation Centre (KADOC) and the Catholic University of Leuven (KU Leuven), the Jocist Women Leaders Seminar took place at Leuven, Belgium on 27-28 October 2022.

Reflecting the range of papers presented, the theme of the workshop was “To make daily life vast and beautiful: Jocist Women Leaders."

Women leaders highlighted included Marguerite Fiévez, a key figure in the development of the International YCW and a close collaborator of Cardijn, trade union pioneer, Victoire Cappe, and Malaysian YCW leader, Irene Fernandez.

The workshop understood the term "jocist" in its broad sense, including not just those from a JOC (YCW) background but from the various lay apostolate/Specialised Catholic Action movements, including the YCS (JEC), JIC (Young professionals), JAC (young farmers) and others.


Jocist Women Leaders Seminar, Leuven (ACI)


Seminar Papers (Jocist Women Leaders Project)
Webinar and book: Bill Armstrong: "Everything and Nothing: Life and development work"
Bill Armstrong
Former YCW leader, Bill Armstrong, will speak about his experience with the movement and in the international development field in our next ACI webinar on Tuesday 13 December.

He will also introduce a new book on his life, "Everything and Nothing: Life and Development Work" by Peter Britton.

“Peter Britton’s telling of the story of Bill Armstrong and his passionate belief in ‘not about us without us’ is a central part of his personal philosophy, a phrase, which, paradoxically, does not appear in the book,” writes Patrick Kilby in a review of the biography in Development in Practice magazine.

“It certainly comes through, though, as well as it being about good development practice.


Bill Armstrong: “Everything and Nothing: Life and Development Work”
Tuesday 13 December, 7pm AEDT



The Life and Development Work of Bill Armstrong by Peter Britton
Can you spare the price of a cup of coffee per week?
Coffees for Cardijn
ACI continues to work to promote Cardijn's message and methodology.

We do so in particular through the Joseph Cardijn Digital Library, which seeks to make Cardijn's writings known to young people, adults, youth ministers - everyone involved with promoting the growth in faith and action of young people.

Currently, we are in the midst of our 2022 Coffees for Cardijn campaign with a target of $5000 to maintain and develop the site for the coming year.

We are asking our supporters to sign up for the price of a cup of coffee per week!

Full sign up details available here:

And while you're at it, please consider joining ACI!
Christian Workers Movement
The Australian Christian Workers movement continues to develop, Kevin Vaughan notes.

To join and/or to receive more information, please write to Kevin at:
Coming events
Up next

Bill Armstrong: Everything and Nothing: Life and work in development

Tuesday 13 December 2022, 7pm AEDT

Register here:

Register now and save the date!
Fundraising stamp for the YCW International Congress 1935
1935 World Congress YCW
Editorial Note: The purpose of the ACI Newsletter is to share information and promote discussion. Citing or linking to articles does not imply any endorsement by ACI of the authors' views.
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