Welcome to 2024!

Dear Friends,

Welcome to 2024! On behalf of the Board of the Australian Cardijn Institute, I take this opportunity to wish you a Happy New Year! May you experience in this year “peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinner reconciled.”

Recently Pope Francis addressed representatives of the Toniolo Young Professional Association.

He began by warning against the use of the ‘short thought’, which he described as “made up of a few characters, and burns quickly; a thought that does not look upwards and ahead, but at the here and now ... a thought that does not look back at history.”

Our January edition of the Australian Cardijn Institute’s newsletter is certainly not a ‘short thought.’

If anything, it is thought-provoking and challenging. So we invite you to come with us on a journey around the world and help us bring the past into the present to better inform the future. May the memories of your participation in the apostolate, stirred by reading and listening to the varied accounts of the apostolic work undertaken by people inspired by Cardijn, lead you to seek ways of continuing your apostolic endeavours.

Pat Branson
Centenary of the "JOC" and other anniversaries in 2024
Happy new year 2024, a year that’s going to be particularly rich in jocist anniversaries, beginning with the centenary of the name "Jeunesse Ouvrière Chrétienne."

There are so many anniversaries this year in fact that Stefan Gigacz has written two articles to list them.


1924-2024: From the Jeunesse Syndicaliste to the JOC (Cardijn Research)

Jocist people anniversaries 2024 (Cardijn Research)
Request to Pope Francis for YCW centenary
This year marks the centenary of the adoption of the name “Jeunesse Ouvrière Chrétiene” or JOC by the precursor movement, la “Jeunesse Syndicaliste” or “Trade Union Youth" in 1924.

Pope Francis has also announced that he will visit Belgium later this year to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Catholic University of Louvan.

So former YCW leaders from Belgium have written to Archbishop Luc Terlinden (photo) of Brussels asking him to invite Pope Francis to visit Cardijn's parish and tomb at Notre Dame church, Laeken.

Stefan Gigacz has also written to Archbishop Luc in support of this.


Request to Pope Francis to visit Laeken (Cardijn Research)
Building a fraternal and caring economy
In Sicily, Paola Gurrieri, together with her brothers, heads La Mediterranea, a leader in the cultivation of chrysanthemums, Cecilia Seppia from Vatican News reports.

The company is the first in Italy to adopt water vapor soil sterilisation and to have adopted environmental and social sustainability strategies such as free preventative health screenings for employees and providing housing for foreign workers who, like Italians, are hired on an equal-opportunity basis.

Paola accepted the challenge, rolled up her sleeves, studied new things, and became passionate about the idea of a company that as Adriano Olivetti said, “cannot look only at the profit index, it must distribute wealth, culture, services, democracy.” In other words, a company built for man, and not a man made for the company, a company that takes care of its employees and the environment.


The applied philosophy of caring (Vatican News)


Jacques Delors: YCW leader and architect of the European Union
Sad news of the death on 27 December 2023 of former European Commission president and architect of economic and monetary union of the European Union, Jacques Delors.

Born on 20 July 1925, Jacques Delors joined the French JOC as a teenager and always regarded his experience of the movement as vital.

“I was in the JOC mainly from 1936 to 1940 and then after 1944. At that time, the major problems were those of the working class, its role, the absence of Christians or the lack of a Christian presence in that world."


Stefan Gigacz, Au revoir, Jacques Delors: From the JOC to the European Union (Cardijn Research)
New YCW bishop for India
Pope Francis has appointed Mumbai priest, Fr Bernard Lancy Pinto, former chaplain to the Mumbai YCW and to the Christian Workers movement, as coadjutor bishop of Aurangabad in the Indian state of Maharashtra.

Fr Lancy, 60, was also previously vice-director of the Joseph Cardijn Technical School, also located in Mumbai, from 1996-2007.

According to a statement released by the Archbishop of Bombay, Fr Lancy has held various positions and served on numerous commissions within the Archdiocese of Bombay, including the Employment Reconciliation Board which he also served as Chairperson of the Board.

“His deep engagement with Christian workers is evident through his role as the ecclesial adviser to the Christian Workers Movement and the Young Christian Worker Movement,” the archdiocesan statement adds. “Fr Lancy Pinto’s passion for the marginalised is further reflected in his service to the Federation for Centres for Community Organization and the Justice and Peace Commission.”


New YCW bishop for India (ACI)
Join the Joseph Cardijn Library
At ACI, our mission is to preserve and advance the legacy of Joseph Cardijn, the visionary founder of the Young Christian Workers (YCW) movement.

Our most important initiative to achieve this is the Joseph Cardijn Digital Library (JCDL), an online research and resource library, which already houses over 1500 original Cardijn documents in French plus over 500 in English.

It’s already a vital research tool for university and PhD students, movement leaders and others around the world.

To move forward, we need to raise $7500 this year for maintenance and development costs.

You can help us achieve this target by clicking the link:


Thank you for your enduring support and commitment to our cause.


Join the Joseph Cardijn Library (ACI)
Webinar: Lay People: Mission and Vocation with Bishop Eugene Hurley
Bishop Eugene Hurley
For our first ACI webinar of 2024 on Wednesday 7 February, ACI has invited Bishop Eugene Hurley, emeritus bishop of Darwin as well as a longstanding YCW chaplain in his home diocese of Port Pirie, to address the theme: “Lay People: Their Vocation and Mission.”


Webinar: Bishop Eugene Hurley on the vocation and mission of lay people (ACI)


Presenter: Bishop Eugene Hurley
Topic: Lay People: Their Mission and Vocation
Date: Wednesday 7 February 2024, 7.30pm AEDT


Gospel: When the Messiah greets you...
If you want to know what it is like to encounter Jesus, just ask his mother, Mary, writes Pat Branson. She was about twelve years old when she became pregnant with him by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The story of the Annunciation is recounted in Luke’s Gospel (1:26-38) and it is followed by the account of Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth, soon to be the mother of John the Baptist (1:39-56). We meet him in the Gospel story below.

Mary’s encounter with Jesus in her womb is recognised in her prayer of praise, which is often referred to as the Magnificat. May the actions that are undertaken as a result of this Enquiry also reflect the confidence of Mary in God’s power and mercy made visible in her Son.


Pat Branson, When the Messiah greets you … (Cardijn Reflections)
Reflection: As the new year begins...
As the new year begins, let's spend some time reflecting on the incarnation of God, separate from our gifts and celebrations, and reflect on using the See-Judge-Act methods to grasp the meaning of the incarnation in our work and lives.

According to some, for example, St Francis of Assisi believed that God's incarnation is permanent and committed to human history, our history as being one with the Universal Christ, and individual lives. Francis believed that the incarnation expressed God's humility and affirmed the holiness of all reality, the world we live in.


Richard Pütz, When Christmas is over... (Cardijn Reflections)


Anna-Louise / Pexels
History: The story of Vietnamese YCW pioneer Nguyen Manh Ha
In contrast to most cities or countries outside of Europe where the YCW was launched by missionary priests, it was a layman, Nguyễn Mạnh Hà, who founded the movement in the Vietnamese port city of Hai Phong in 1938.

Manh Hà, as he was known to his friends, was born 110 years ago in 1913 - exact date unknown - to a Catholic family in the town of Hung Yen in the French protectorate of Tonkin in the north of the then colony of Indochina.


Stefan Gigacz, Nguyen Manh Hà, founder of the YCW in Hai Phong (Cardijn Research)
Front page of the first issue of "La Jeunesse Ouvrière" in April 1924
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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