ACI Newsletter Feb 21


Dear Friends,

Welcome to our first edition for 2021. Lots of news once again, beginning with a new book by Pope Francis that follows the jocist see-judge-act structure and an enquiry on that topic of current interest, Fake News.

We have a list of forthcoming Cardijn-related anniversaries for 2021 as well as an appeal from our Brussels colleagues in the International YCW and the International Cardijn Association (ICA).

And we also have details of a recent book "Goodna Girls" featuring the contribution of a former YCS chaplain well-known to many of us. Plus an update on Cardijn's work in the Preparatory Commission on Lay Apostolate in my Cardijn @ Vatican II blog.

Coming events include the "official launch" of the Joseph Cardijn Digital Library with Mgr Frank Marriott. And we are pre-announcing conference to mark the 130th anniversary of Pope Leo XIII's famous encyclical, Rerum Novarum, which will take place on Saturday 15 May weekend.

We also remember Columban Fr Frank Ferrie, who helped launch the YCW in Korea, and Mgr Thomas (Fr Tom) Kleissler, who founded RENEW International, a parish renewal program based on jocist principles.

Finally, could we also take this opportunity to ask our members to renew your subscription for this year? See details below. For those who require it, we are also sending out invoices.

Stefan Gigacz
Pope Francis: A time to see, to choose, to act
In a collaborative effort with British journalist Austen Ivereigh, Pope Francis has published a new book, Let Us Dream, The Path to a Better Future, in which the Argentinian pontiff offers his personal reflections on the challenges facing the world today.

Structured in three chapters based on the see-judge-act, the book opens with Francis' reflections on current problems and issues ranging from refugees to the Covid crisis and the #MeToo movement.

In Chapter Two, A Time to Choose, Francis draws not only on Biblical passages and Catholic Social Teaching but also on the writings of Mariana Mazzucato whose book, The Value of Everything, he credits with provoking "a lot of reflection in me."

In Chapter Three, A Time to Act, he emphasises the need to restore dignity to "the people," highlighting three particular areas for action: Land, Lodging and Labour.


D.W. Lafferty, Book Review: Let Us Dream – The Path to a Better Future (Catholic Outlook/Where Peter Is)
Fake News: An enquiry
Fake News
Fake news has been making the news recently, particularly in relation to last year's US presidential election.

With Western Australia already in election mode and a Federal election in the not too distant future, perhaps it's time to an enquiry into the issue.

ACI and CCA Board member, Mark Ager, has designed an enquiry for just this purpose. Also included is a video snippet from Patrick Carolan, former director of the Franciscan Action Network in Washington DC.


Fake News (Cardijn Community Australia)
2021 in anniversaries
As usual, 2021 is a year of significant jocist anniversaries.

First up is the centenary of a memorable 1921 speech by Cardijn welcoming Marc Sangnier to Brussels in which he acknowledged his indebtedness to the founder of the French movement Le Sillon. Then there's the 110th anniversary of Cardijn's decisive trip to England in 1911 when he met the trade union leader, Ben Tillett (above).

Also relevant in light of the first session of the Australian Plenary Council in October is Cardijn's keynote speech to the First World Congress on Lay Apostolate in Rome in 1951 - a speech that foreshadowed and indeed helped inspire the Vatican II Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the World of Today, Gaudium et Spes.

And of course it's also the 130th anniversary of Rerum Novarum and the social encyclicals which followed in its wake, including John XXIII's Mater et Magistra, which "canonised" the see-judge-act in Catholic Social Teaching.


Stefan Gigacz, 2021 in anniversaries (Cardijn Research)
A big shout out to ACI members, Heather Weedon and John Costa, who have been assisting us with proofreading and video-editing. You've no idea what a difference that makes, Heather and John.

But we have a lot of projects still in the pipeline for 2021 so we're still looking for more people to add to our volunteer list in all of the following areas:

a) Video editing and production
b) Graphic design and lay out for print and web publications
c) Website management
d) Mailing list management
d) Proofreading and editing

Please contact ACI secretary, Stefan Gigacz at
International Cardijn Association: Supporting the YCW today
Former International YCW leader, Marlyse Thommen, has written to Bill Armstrong, also a former IYCW leader who worked with Marlyse, to seek Australian assistance for the work of the International Cardijn Association (ICA).

The ICA itself was founded in 2014 to provide support for the current IYCW leadership.
And a program of cooperation between the ICA and IYCW was adopted at the XIV International YCW Council held in Herzogenrath, Germany in 2016.

The movement "needs more continuity from one generation to the next... while always preserving the autonomy of the present generation, which is one of the characteristics of the YCW as a self-organised youth movement," Marlyse explained in her letter.

"This is why ICA is in the hands of the International Team" and acts as "a supporting element within the IYCW structure." Former IYCW leaders assist as "advisors" because the "YCW must be led by today's generation," Marlyse noted. "Cardijn always stressed this."

Target: $1600 per year 2021-22

The ICA and IYCW currently share a half-time administrator/support staff person, Arlindo de Oliveira, former International Treasurer from Brazil. The aim now is to employ Arlindo full-time, particularly to assist in organising the next International Council.

The ICA is therefore approaching former IYCW leaders in various countries, including Bill Armstrong, to raise 1000 Euros (Approx $A1600) per year for two years.

If you are able to assist, please send your contribution to ACI (Reference: ICA/IYCW). See ACI bank details below.


International Cardijn Association
Cardijn @ Vatican II: Richard Buchhorn writes for Cardijn
As documented by Stefan Gigacz on his Cardijn @ Vatican II blog, Cardijn was particularly busy during the first three months of work by the Preparatory Commission on Lay Apostolate from November 1960 until February 1961.

On top of two trips to Rome and a long, exhausting trip to West Africa, Cardijn, who was already 78, drafted four documents for the Commission totalling 13,000 words.

And in an Australian twist, while Cardijn was in Rome in February 1961, young seminarian, Richard Buchhorn, later a YCW chaplain in New South Wales, helped him prepare his speech to students and professors at the Gregorian University.


Talking to students at the Gregorian (Cardijn @ Vatican II)

Cardijn @ Vatican II
Joseph Cardijn Digital Library Launch: 4 March 2021
The Joseph Cardijn Digital Library has already been on line for six months, accumulating over 6000 visits. And it now hosts over 1000 items ranging from early photos of the YCW, a complete range of Cardijn's writings from 1907 until the Second Vatican Council, not to mention biographies of many YCW leaders and chaplains.

So the time has come for an official launch via Zoom to take place on Thursday 4 March 2021 at 7.00pm AEDT. Former YCW and Teams of Our Lady chaplain, Mgr Frank Marriott from Sandhurst Diocese, will join us for the event.


Email: to receive the link.

Joseph Cardijn Digital Library Launch, 7pm, 4 March 2021
Goodna Girls: A Catholic Priest's Story
ANU researcher, Dr Adele Chynoweth has recently published a compilation of oral histories telling the stories of "former female child patients who were sent to Goodna Asylum, later known as Wolston Park, an adult psychiatric facility in Queensland."

"Within the wider history of institutionalised ‘care’ in Australia, I knew that the history of children in Wolston Park was marginalised and deserving of further attention," Dr Chynoweth writes. "These oral histories are a mere sample of a cohort of former
Goodna child patients who had been waiting for recognition of their childhood experiences and a just resolution."

Of particular interest to ACI readers is Chapter 6 entitled "Brewing Truth: The Priest," which tells the story of an unnamed Brisbane priest and YCS chaplain (albeit well-known to many of us!) who worked for many years with some of those "Goodna Girls" as they became known.

In their effort to implement the teachings of Vatican II and "bring the church our of its ghetto," he and other YCS leaders established a community at a church-owned building known as The Lodge. Also influenced by the liberation theology of Gustavo Gutierrez, they opened The Lodge up as a youth refuge and accommodation centre for young people.


Adele Chynoweth (Ed.), Goodna Girls, A history of children in a Queensland mental asylum (ANU Press)
Vale Frank Ferrie
Fr Frank Ferrie
This month we farewell Fr Frank Ferrie, an Australian Columban who worked in Korea for over 60 years and founded what was possibly the first YCW group in the country.

Born in St Arnaud, Victoria, he entered the Columban Seminary at Essendon, Victoria, in 1949 and was ordained by Archbishop Justin Simonds in 1955.

He arrived in Seoul the following year and after language studies was posted to an east coast parish, where he launched the YCW.

For the last 35 years of his life, he worked in the Diocese of Jeju. He died on 9 November 2020 at the age of 90 and his funeral was held at Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Jeju City.


In memory of Fr Frank Ferrie (Australian Columbans)
Fr Thomas Kleissler and the RENEW movement
Thomas Kleissler
We also remember the work and legacy of Monsignor (Fr Tom) Thomas Kleissler), a New Jersey priest strongly influenced by Cardijn, who also founded RENEW, a renewal program for parishes based on jocist principles and methods.

"Father Tom dreamed of greater involvement by laypersons in the Church, especially through the development of small Christian communities," his obituary reads. While at Seton Hall Prep, he learned of the YCW and its "Observe, Judge, Act methodology."

"It captured his imagination, helped to form his vision for the Church, and strengthened his determination to empower the laity to assume their rightful place in the Church and in the world.

As a priest, "he actively promoted the development of parish pastoral councils and implemented and promoted Young Christian Students and the Christian Family Movement, both outgrowths of Cardijn's ministry."

He eventually incorporated his experience and insights into the RENEW movement which continues today.


Monsignor Thomas A. Kleissler (Star-Ledger)

Msgr. Kleissler, Renew International founder, dies at 89 (National Catholic Reporter)

RENEW International
Racism is false 01
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.
Australian Cardijn Institute Cooperative Ltd
Incorporated in 2018
(Cooperatives National Law Application Act 2013)
ABN: 19211591334
Registered Address: 56 Austin Rd, Seaford, Vic, 3198
Current members: Please transfer $12 to our account to renew for 2020-21.
New members: $25 including joining fee, 3 shares and membership for the first year. Download form here.
Account name: Australian Cardijn Institute Cooperative
Bank: Unibank BSB: 806036 A/c No.: 100893220
facebook twitter instagram