ACI Newsletter June 22

Lumen Gentium 31 Forum

Dear Friends,

The Second Assembly of the Australian Plenary Council will take place next week. We begin this issue with Bruce Duncan's critique of the recently published Framework for Motions. We continue with our own proposed amendments focusing on the "lay apostolate of lay people," to use Cardijn's famous phrase. And we invite you to join us next Saturday for an informal online forum to discuss how can take our proposals further. In particular, we will focus on our proposal for an Australian Catholic Council for the Lay Apostolate to promote the mission of lay people acting as a leaven to sanctify the world as presented by Vatican II in Lumen Gentium §31.

In this context, we feature Cardinal-elect Robert McElroy's article on the relevance of the see-judge-act method in a synodal Church. And we note that Rafael Luciani's team have put together a free international, online course to study synodality, also beginning next week.

Adelaide vicar-general and former diocesan YCW chaplain, Fr Dean Marin, writes a tribute to Hugh O'Sullivan and also notes the ongoing current relevance of Cardijn's Three Truths.

Kevin Vaughan reports that several people have contacted him regarding the re-founding of an Australian Christian Workers movement, an adult counterpart to the YCW.

Finally, we have the video of this month's webinar with Eric Mahieu on Yves Congar's Theology of the Laity. And we have another don't miss webinar in July with South African Dominican, Fr Joe Falkiner, who will share his experience of working with the YCW under South Africa's apartheid regime.

More again next month!

Stefan Gigacz
Plenary misses Pope Francis' wider vision of the lay mission
Pope Francis
Some 278 Catholic bishops, clergy, religious personnel and lay people will meet as members of an unprecedented Plenary Council during 4-9 July to finalise the resolutions of their first assembly last year, writes Fr Bruce Duncan CSsR in Eureka Street.

"However the May working document ‘Framework for Motions’, despite much worthy content, especially on Indigenous affairs, relies on a narrow notion of mission overly focused on inner-church issues at the expense of the wider social engagement that Francis emphasises.

"(It is) puzzling how the Framework for Motions overlooks the specifically secular mission of lay women and men in their daily work, occupations, communities and families. Merely a single paragraph calls for deepening the ‘lay apostolate in the world based on attentiveness to the “signs of the times”, scriptural reflection, prayerful communal discernment and a commitment to engagement with the broader Australian community through listening and dialogue’ (#80). But it does not explain why this secular involvement is so crucially significant, especially for Pope Francis."


Bruce Duncan, Plenary misses Pope Francis’ wider vision (Eureka Street)
ACI Forum: Lumen Gentium and the Lay Apostolate
The Holy Family at Work
The Australian Plenary Council has published its Framework for Motions to be discussed at its Second Assembly which will meet in Sydney from 4-9 July 2022.
Once again, ACI’s concern was the lack of emphasis on the lay vocation or apostolate of lay people as understood by Vatican II in Lumen Gentium §31.

Our latest submission therefore proposes amendments to §79-80, which fall under “Part 6. Formation and Leadership for Mission and Ministry" emphasising that formation needs to focus on promoting the “specifically lay apostolate of lay people acting as a leaven within the world.”

On Saturday 2 July, ACI will also hold an open forum to discuss further action to implement this and our other proposals. We invite all members and friends of ACI to join us for this event.


Forum: Lumen Gentium 31 and the lay apostolate (Australian Cardijn Institute)


ACI Open Forum Lumen Gentium 31 and the Lay Apostolate

Saturday 2 July, 2.00pm AEST

The Australian Christian Workers Movement: A beginning
Seasonal Workers
Kevin Vaughan has informed us that he has been in contact with several people with a view to launch an Australian Christian Workers movement.

"There are two Christian groups in Australia focused on work and worker issues, in the Catholic church, the Young Christian Worker movement, in the Uniting Church the Creative Ministries Network," Kevin wrote.

If this initiative succeeds, we will soon have a third Christian worker group in Australia. To take part, please contact Kevin at:


An Australian Christian Worker movement? (Australian Cardijn Institute)
See-judge-act 'characteristic of a synodal Church': McElroy
Robert McElroy
"Can synodality become a deeper element of Catholic life in the United States?" asks Cardinal-elect Robert McElroy of San Diego.

"Our current process may prove this to be so. Hundreds of thousands of Catholics have engaged with the church on their joys, their sorrows and their hopes for what the church can be today and tomorrow.

"Across the United States, dioceses, parishes and religious communities have undertaken intensive processes of consultation and dialogue in order to help prepare for the global synod on synodality that will take place in Rome in October 2023.

"Fortunately, the theology and practice of synodality that have already emerged from the Second Vatican Council and the writings and actions of Pope Francis provide an architecture for us to continue substantive synodal formation during the next two years.

"This architecture consists of three elements: the see-judge-act methodology that lies at the heart of the synodal process, the characteristics of a synodal church that Pope Francis has articulated, and the overwhelming imperative for constant and effective evangelization that has been a hallmark of the pontificates of St. John Paul II, Pope Benedict and Pope Francis," Cardinal McElroy writes.


Bishop McElroy: Pope Francis and Vatican II give us a road map for the synodal process (America Magazine)
Video: Eric Mahieu on Yves Congar's Theology of the Laity
French theologian, Fr Eric Mahieu, was our guest for the June ACI webinar focusing on the theology of the great French Dominican priest, Yves Congar, a major 20th century theologian and a key actor at the Second Vatican Council.

Hugh O'Sullivan: Empowering young workers as agents of change
Hugh O'Sullivan

A dinner and memorial Mass for Fr Hugh O’Sullivan took place at The Monastery in Adelaide on 29 May 29. In an article in the diocesan magazine, The Southern Cross, vicar-general, Fr Dean Marin reflecte on Fr Hugh’s work with the YCW, and the importance of the movement and the ministry of its founder, Cardinal Joseph Cardijn.

"Even before his ordination as a priest for the Archdiocese of Adelaide in 1964, Fr Hugh O’Sullivan, or Hughie as he was affectionately known to many throughout Adelaide and Australia, had come to know of Fr Joseph Cardijn the founder of the Young Christian Workers (YCW) movement.

"In all his parishes – Hectorville, Brighton, Mount Gambier, Salisbury, Para Hills and finally Hallett Cove – Fr Hugh formed small groups of young workers in the YCW, steeped in the formation method of ‘See, Judge and Act’. He became Adelaide chaplain to the YCW, then national chaplain and eventually chaplain to the Asia-Pacific Region.
Fr Hugh was committed to the faith and the Church and with a passion for young workers and empowering them to be agents of change in the world. His down-to-earth acceptance of everyone he encountered will be remembered by so many in the Archdiocese.

"Fr Hugh died on May 18 1997 and we are inspired by this great priest as we remember him," Fr Dean wrote.


See, judge and act in today’s world (Australian Cardijn Institute)
Webinar 12 July: A priest for workers - Fr Joe Falkiner
A priest for workers
Former South African YCW chaplain, Fr Joe Falkiner op, will be our speaker for our next ACI Webinar entitled “A Priest for Workers” on Tuesday 12 July 2022 at 7pm AEST.

Last year, Fr Joe published his memoirs in a book of the same name in which he recalled his many years of work as chaplain of the South African YCW movement under the apartheid regime during the 1970s and 180s.


A Priest for Workers: Fr Joe Falkiner op, Tue 12 July 2022, 7pm AEST
Study synodality online
Catholic institutions from several continents have joined together to launch a free online course in synodality that will be open to bishops, priests, religious and lay people around the world.

The project is coordinated by members of the Theological Commission of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops in collaboration with the Formación Continua of the Jesuit School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College.

Presenters include Rafael Luciani, Sr Nathalie Becquart and Bishop Shane MacKinlay, all of whom have previously spoken at ACI webinars.


Online synodality course aims for 100,000 participants (Australian Cardijn Institute)
More coming Events
Here is a list of coming ACI webinars with Zoom registration links:

12 July, 7pm AEST: Joe Falkiner OP: The South African YCW under apartheid

16 August, 7pm AEST: Mark Linkson, The Indigenous Science Network

13 September, 7pm AEST: Mathijs Lamberigts: Gerard Philips, Lay people in the Church

Save the dates!
The clock has stopped. - Pope Francis
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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