ACI Newsletter Mar 21

The Leaven in the Council

Dear Friends,

Welcome to our March issue which leads off with the launch of my book, "The Leaven in the Council: Joseph Cardijn and the Jocist Network at Vatican II." Listen to the presentations of former YCW, Greg Crafter, and my PhD supervisor, Fr Bruce Duncan CSsR, at the launch earlier this month.

Also, please watch the video of Mgr Frank Marriott's launch of the Joseph Cardijn Digital Library.

Please also note our forthcoming webinar on the theme of Combating People Trafficking with Brigidine Sr Claire Griffin on 20 April.

We feature an enquiry into biodiversity on Catholic-owned lands proposed by the St Kateri Center in the USA.

And we present a new website detailing the history and progress of the Cardijn canonisation process.

We remember former YCW chaplain, Fr Chris Warnock of Port Pirie, who died on 3 March.

Finally, another reminder to ACI members to renew your subscription for this year. See details below. For those who require it, we are also sending out invoices.

Stefan Gigacz

PS And before you go, please check out the historic Belgian JOC postcard designed by cartoonist and author, Hergé, the creator of the iconic Tin Tin comic books.
The Leaven in the Council: Joseph Cardijn and the Jocist Network at Vatican II
Greg Crafter and Fr Bruce Duncan launched Stefan Gigacz's book, The Leaven in the Council: Joseph Cardijn and the Jocist Network at Vatican II" on Friday 19 March.

Part I of the book explains the sources and origins of Cardijn's thinking and methods. Part II recounts Cardijn's work in the preparation of Vatican II, including proposing an encylical to Pope John XXIII (Mater et Magistra) and his papers for the Pontifical Preparatory Commission on Lay Apostolate.

Part III tells the story of Cardijn and his colleagues - over 200 bishops, priests and lay people - who had worked with the YCW and other Specialised Catholic Action movements over the decades prior to the Council. And finally Part IV concludes with a proposal for a "Cardijn hermeneutic" or key for interpretation of the Second Vatican Council

The book is now available for free download in e-book format or for reading online (link below).


Greg Crafter, Bruce Duncan and Stefan Gigacz Book Launch (YouTube)

Webinar: Combating people trafficking: Tuesday 20 April 2021
Sr Claire Griffin CSB
Brigidine Sister Claire Griffin will join us on Tuesday 20 April for an online webinar where she will present the work of ACRATH (Australian Catholic Religious Against to combat people trafficking.

Sr Claire grew up and was educated in Sandhurst Diocese. She is a former teacher and pastoral worker with 20 years experience in parishes of Melbourne Archdiocese.
She also served for an extended time on Brigidine International Congregational Leadership team.

She is currently volunteer Co-ordinator of the ACRATH Regional Group in Victoria and is a member of ACRATH National Committee.

Please join us for this event.


ACI Webinar, Combating People Trafficking with Sr Claire Griffin CSB of ACRATH

Catholic lands and biodiversity: An enquiry
The Catholic Church owns nearly 70 million hectares of land around the world, and there are over one billion Catholics. In fact, the Church is the largest non governmental landowner in the world.

The Saint Kateri Conservation Center is therefore seeking to mobilise Catholic parishes, schools and universities for their INaturalist project to track biodiversity.

"Imagine how much scientific information we could obtain that could be used for conservation purposes, if even 1% of these people used INaturalist on these lands?" the Center says.

"We are posting here to start a movement. If you’re interested in participating, here are some ways that you could help us:

1) Please spread the word!
2) Record observations at your local parish, Catholic school or university.
3) Recruit more iNaturalist users.
4) Help organize a Bio blitz on a Catholic owned property you are associated with.
5) Join our Saint Kateri project (the first project in the umbrella) as a member.
6) If you don’t see your Catholic owned property on our list, let us know, and we will be happy to add it!


To learn more, visit 5, and please feel free to contact the centre at
Celebrating the Eucharist at our workbenches with St Oscar Romero
St Oscar Romero
"How beautiful will be the day when all the baptised understand that their work, their job, is a priestly work, that just as I celebrate Mass at this altar, so each carpenter celebrates Mass at his workbench, and each metalworker, each professional, each doctor with the scalpel, the market woman at her stand, is performing a priestly office!" preached Saint Oscar Romero in a 1977 homily three years before his death.

It is difficult to overlook the similarity of Romero's words with those of Joseph Cardijn, who often said:

"Their (i.e. the young workers’) working life and the whole of their daily life must become a prayer, a Mass, a prolonged Communion, so that they become priests and hosts with the one Priest and the One Host, offering 'through Him, with Him and in Him,' the homage of their whole life to the glorification of the Most Holy Trinity.

"Thus their bench, their shift, their profession, their work bench becomes an altar on which they offer their sacrifice united to that of their Redeemer, thus participating truly in the Royal Priesthood of which they are aware."

What were the links between St Oscar and Cardijn?


Stefan Gigacz, Celebrating Mass at our workbenches (Cardijn Research)
Mgr Frank Marriott's experience with Cardijn and the YCW
Mgr Frank Marriott
Thanks to Mgr Frank Marriott from Sandhurst Diocese who launched the Joseph Cardijn Digital Library on 4 March with a reflection on his own experience with YCW, formation of lay people and the influence of Cardijn.

The library 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.


Mgr Frank Marriott launches the Joseph Cardijn Digital Library (YouTube)


Joseph Cardijn Digital Library
Remembering Chris Warnock
Chris Warnock
This month we farewell Fr Chris Warnock, a former YCW chaplain from the Port Pirie Diocese in South Australia, who died on 3 March 2021 after a long battle with Parkinson's Disease.

All our condolences to Chris's sister, Anne Jennings, brother Matt, both former YCW leaders, and all their family and relatives.

Watch the beautiful eulogy by Chris's sister, Claire, (start 15:00) and homily, by Fr Jim Monaghan (32:30) in the video of his funeral mass below.

And read the wonderful eulogy by Locky, another former YCW leader from Port Pirie.


Remembering Chris Warnock (Australian Cardijn Institute)


Funeral of Fr Chris Warnock (Meschke Funerals/Vimeo)
Cardijn canonisation process
Cardijn stained glass window
We present a new updated website that traces the history and progress of the Cardijn canonisation process.

It begins with former International YCW president Romeo Maione's proposal to have Cardijn declared a Doctor of the Church. It presents the testimony of Belgian priest, Fr Felix Vanmeerbergen, who received his vocation directly from Cardijn himself.

And it traces the work of the Canonisation Tribunal created by former Mechelen-Brussels Archbishop André-Joseph Léonard.

Jociste prie
"Avant le travail le Jociste prie - Before starting work, a Jocist prays," reads an early postcard of the Belgian JOC designed by Hergé, author of the famous Tin Tin comic book series.
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
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