ACI Newsletter Sep 22

Worker Mission & Worker Movement

Dear Friends,

We have a big week coming up with our webinar on the French Worker Mission this Thursday. Already, over 100 people have registered. We are very hopeful that action will emerge from this special event.

In this edition we also have a report from the US Archdiocese of Newark emphasising the "priesthood of the laity" in its submission to next year's Synod on Synodality.

And in another big move, the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development has re-structured its organisation into three sections based on the see-judge-act.

Meanwhile, it's now only five weeks until our Jocist Women Leaders Seminar in Leuven, Belgium - with online participation possible for people in other countries and continents.

Also in this edition are the videos from our excellent recent webinars. At our AGM, outgoing International YCW president, Sarah Prenger, shared her experience of promoting the movement in a multifaith context.

With the 60th anniversary of Vatican II almost upon us, Emeritus Professor Mathijs Lamberigts presented our September webinar on Gerard Philips, promoter of the laity, collaborator of Cardijn and architect of Lumen Gentium. In this context, we also reproduce an unpublished note by Cardijn that sets out his strategic plan for influencing the Council.

We have more detail on the Mondragon Worker Cooperatives, which limit executive salaries to a maximum of six times the minimum salary!

We also have a piece on Toowoomba priest, Fr Hal Ranger, who recalls Cardijn's influence on his own life as a priest.

Lastly, Brian Lawrence recalls an early initiative to launch a National Christian Worker Movement here in Australia during the 1940s.

Hoping to see you online soon!

Stefan Gigacz

PS Please scroll right to the bottom for news of a special event to launch a biographical interview with legendary jocist chaplain, Fr Bob Wilkinson.
Dicastery for Integral Human Development restructures on SJA basis
In a significant move, the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development has re-organised into three sections following Cardijn’s “see-judge-act” approach, Crux reports.

Adapting the “see, judge, act” approach common to the application of Catholic social teaching, the dicastery’s new structure is as follows:

  • “listening and dialogue,” which will promote two-way contact with bishops and Catholic groups engaged in justice and peace work;
  • “research and reflection,” which will study the issues and concerns raised by the bishops, bishops’ conferences and groups; and
  • “communication and restitution,” which will share the results of the research with them and beyond.

Vatican dicastery restructures on see-judge-act line (ACI)
Webinar: Jocist Women Leaders Seminar, 27-28 October 2022
Jocist Women Leaders
Only five weeks to go until our Jocist Women Leaders Seminar on 27-28 October. Researchers will present 11 papers at the conference which will held in person at Leuven, Belgium, as well as online for participants from around the world.

The seminar will be sponsored by the American Academy of Religion; University of Divinity, Melbourne; King’s College, London; KADOC – KU Leuven; Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies; Dondeynefonds, KU Leuven; LACIIR (Latin American and the Caribbean Interdisciplinary Initiative on Religion), Florida International University, Miami, Fl, USA, and the Australian Cardijn Institute.

Professor Katharine Massam from the University of Divinity and Stefan Gigacz from Yarra Theological Union will both present papers at the session.

Other papers will focus on YCW and YCS leaders from Belgium, France, Africa and Latin America.


Jocist Women Leaders Seminar, Leuven, Belgium, 27-28 October 2022

Mondragon limits maximum salary to 6x lowest salary
Writing in The New Yorker magazine, Nick Romeo investigates the secrets of success of the Mondragon worker coops – now the world’s largest worker coop group.

"If JPMorgan adopted Mondragon’s six-to-one pay ratio," Romeo notes, the salary of its CEO "would be capped at six times that of his lowest-paid employee.

"While it’s hard to estimate his hypothetical salary too narrowly, he would almost certainly make less than a million dollars instead of the more than eighty-four million dollars he earned in 2021, and his decisions would be subject to approval by workers."


Mondragon limits maximum salaries to 6x (ACI)
Newark synod synthesis highlights “priesthood of the laity”
In its diocesan synthesis for the Synod on Synodality in 2023, the US Archdiocese of Newark has called for “significant formation” on the “priesthood of the laity” and in “lay leadership.”

The recommendations include:

Provide significant formation regarding “the priesthood of the laity” and how each person is called to be a disciple of Christ through baptism for members of the laity and Church leaders.

The Newark Synod Synthesis also argued for the development of "small Christian communities" and for more training for lay people.


Newark synod synthesis highlights “priesthood of the laity” (ACI)
LG31 Forum: Reaching the peripheries: France's Worker Mission: 22 September
Worker mission
For our next Lumen Gentium 31 Forum on 22 September, ACI has invited Jackie Hocquet, Bernard Schricke and Stéphane Haar, botall former YCW leaders, to speak to us about the French Catholic Church’s Mission Ouvrière, the worker mission established 70 years ago to reach out to working people.

The Worker Mission provides a framework within the Church to support the YCW, the Christian Workers Movement, a children’s movement, workers priests and a whole range of apostolic groups.

Could it offer a model for Australia today as the Church seeks to implement the decisions of the recent Plenary Council?


Reaching the peripheries: France’s Worker Mission (ACI)


Thursday 22 September 2022, 7pm AEST

Video: Gerard Philips, promoter of the laity & architect of Lumen Gentium
Gerard Philips
Emeritus Professor Mathijs Lamberigts, former director of the Vatican II Centre at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, presented our September webinar commemorating the life and work of Belgian theologian, Cardijn collaborator and promoter of the laity, Gerard Philips.

Philips, who died 50 years ago in 1972, was also the main drafter of the Vatican II Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, which re-envisioned the Church as the People of God and included a groundbreaking chapter on the role of lay people.



Gerard Philips (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)
Video: ACI Annual General Meeting: Guest speaker, Sarah Prenger
The guest speaker for the Fourth ACI Annual General Meeting was Sarah Prenger, outgoing president of the International YCW, now preparing a Master's in Catholic Social Teaching in her home country of Germany.

Vatican II: Cardijn's strategic plan
In an undated 1962 document that appears to be from just before the opening of the First Session of Vatican II, Cardijn sets out a strategic plan for influencing its work.

The YCW will offer up prayers and make sacrifices for the success of the Council, he writes.

YCW leaders and chaplains will also emphasise the problems faced by the young workers and the way the movement responds.

They will aim to prepare for the Council with their own bishops in every country and continent. They will organise meetings with other Specialised Catholic Aciton movements, e.g. the YCW, young farmers movement, etc. And they will hold special meetings to make their work known.


A strategic plan for the Council (Cardijn@Vatican2)
History: National Christian Workers Movement
There's nothing new under the Sun, as history proves!

As Kevin Vaughan and his colleague work to establish a new Christian Workers Movement in Australia, Brian Lawrence has re-discovered the story of an earlier National Christian Workers Movement that began in Melbourne in 1942.

Here are three articles dating from the 1940s that illustrate the dynamism of that earlier movement, now posted on our historical website "The Cardijn Movements in Australia."

The National Christian Workers Movement

Archbishop to Bless and Open New Enterprise by Christian Workers’ Movement

Christian Workers Conference Frankston 1946

People: Fr Hal Ranger, reluctant to retire
Fr Hal Ranger
Senior Toowoomba priest, Fr Hal Ranger acknowledges Cardijn's influence on his life as a priest, ABC News reports.

At St Patrick’s Cathedral, where he is Associate Pastor, Father Hal, 87, leads mass, or “meetings of the team” as he calls it.

“The game is out there in the world,” he said.

“You get the team together to kind of re-align yourself with the spirit of the team, listen to the word of God and talk about it a bit.

“Then you go out the door to live that out in the nitty-gritty of the real world.”

Father Hal puts his reluctance to retire down to a meeting many years ago with Belgian Cardinal Joseph Cardijn, who was 84 when he said to him, “If you’ve got the health and the energy and a bit of adrenaline, then why not?”.


Fr Hal Ranger, reluctant to retire at 87 (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
Here is a list of coming events and webinars with Zoom registration links:

Thursday 22 September, 7pm AEST: LG31 Forum: The Worker Mission with Jackie Hocquet and Bernard Schricke of the French Mission Ouvrière

Thursday 29 September, 6pm AEST: New visions of priesting: An interview with Bob Wilkinson (new edition of Cardijn Studies)

Save the dates!
Early French Girls YCS (JECF) prayer cards
Text: The YCS leader belongs to Christ, not herself; The YCS leader believes in friendship;
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.
Early French Girls YCS (JECF) prayer card
The YCS leader believes in friendship
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