Synod submissions

Dear Friends,

About the Synod on Synodality in my neck of the woods, the silence is deafening. For Canon Joseph Cardijn, synodality was the reality he forged with the young workers he accompanied.

Listening and accompaniment lie at the heart of synodality. Our newsletter for the month of May provides us with some insights into how to be a synodal Church.

Priests, religious and lay people gathered in January to listen to Bishop emeritus Eugene Hurley speak about learning from the lay people he served; and in March many gathered again online to share their experiences of being formed in faith in the Church and in the world. Out of these experiences came the ACI submission to the General Secretariat of the Synod on Synodality, which is published in this newsletter for you to read and, hopefully, to act upon.

The ACI submission calls for the See, Judge, Act method to be employed as an integral part of the discernment process used in the Synod and what follows on from the gatherings in Rome. We are pleased to be able to share with you the submission to the Synod from the Centre International Cardijn (CIC), which also highlights the importance of See, Judge, Act in the integral formation of every person.

Cardijn’s Review of Life method is celebrated in the newsletter through two enquiries, through an account of the life and work of Fr Carlos Mugica, an Argentinian YCS chaplain, who was martyred in 1974, and a tribute to Irene Fernandez, Malaysian activist and former YCW leader on the tenth anniversary of her death.

We report on ACI’s webinar series with the video of the presentation by Innocent Odongo, the International YCS secretary-general and a notification about our June webinar, which will be presented by Fr Louis Cameli, from the Archdiocese of Chicago.

We conclude with an article about the centenary of the name of the Young Christian Workers (La Jeunesse Ouvrière Chrétienne).

Pat Branson
ACI Synod Submission: Lay people are the 99%
ACI has published its submission to the Second Assembly of the Synod on Synodality focusing on the mission and vocation of lay people. It calls on the Synod to recognise that the Church is comprised, more than 99%, of lay people, and that the mission and vocation of lay people is lived out, more than 99%, in the secular world.

Secondly, it requests that the formation of lay people for their mission and vocation in the world is appropriately prioritised in Synod discussions.

Thirdly, it calls upon Synod participants to ensure that a systematic and well-resourced approach to formation for the lay apostolate is adopted, emphasising the importance of the role of the various lay apostolic movements that work on the formation of lay people to "be like a leaven in the world."


ACI submission to the Synod on Synodality
Synodality and the See Judge Act
Debate and discussion continues over the use of the Synodal Conversation in the Spirit method or the classical See Judge Act.

Some commentators claim that the former can replace the latter while others criticise the See Judge Act method itself.

In their submission to the Synod, our partners at the Centre International Cardijn in Europe affirm the ongoing importance of the See Judge Act, while Stefan Gigacz responds to various critiques of the method.


Centre International Cardijn, Submission to the Synod

Stefan Gigacz, Drop the ‘judge’ in the see judge act? Or not! (Cardijn Research)
Enquiry: The challenge of drought
Fr Filippo Perin, 52, is a missionary in Ethiopia’s Gambella region on the border with South Sudan, Vatican News reports. A beautiful land where, however, there is no water; the people are starving and the climate is unbearable.

His project, supported by the Salesians and the non-profit organization Cuore Amico, opens as many wells as possible to ensure the population’s survival in a country where the average life expectancy is below 50 years of age.


The challenge of drought
Pope remembers Carlos Mugica, 'martyr of the poor' and YCS chaplain
This month, on the 50th anniversary of his martyrdom on 11 May 1974, we remember the Argentinian priest and JEC/YCS chaplain, Fr Carlos Mugica.

By all accounts, he was an incredibly dynamic priest. Born on 7 October 1930 into an upper class family, he began law studies in 1949. A year later he travelled to Rome for the Holy Year, which led him to join the seminary in 1951.

As a seminarian, he worked closely with a local JOC chaplain, and after ordination, he became chaplain to a leading YCS team at the National College in Buenos Aires.

Later he belonged to the pioneering team of Priests for the Slums of Buenos Aires and was also associated with the Movement of Priests for the Third World.

He was shot after celebrating mass by a gunman from an extreme right wing group.


Pope remembers Carlos Mugica, martyr of the poor

Remembering martyred YCS chaplain, Carlos Mugica (Cardijn Research)
Video: Innocent Odongo, The International Young Christian Students today
International YCS secretary-general, Innocent Odongo, will be ACI’s guest speaker for our May webinar at 7pm AEST on Wednesday 8 May 2024.

Webinar: Fr Louis Cameli: Rediscovering co-responsibility in mission
For our next ACI webinar, we have a very special guest from the USA, Fr Louis Cameli, Cardinal Cupich’s delegate for formation and mission in the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Citing the significant historical role played by the Cardijn movements in the USA, he recently called for the Church to retrieve its "history of co-responsibility in mission.”

Chicago has long been a centre in the USA for the Cardijn movements and is still the centre for the Cardijn-inspired Christian Family Movement.


Australian time: Saturday 8 June, 10am
US Eastern time: Friday 7 June, 8pm

Gospel Enquiry: Remain in my love
When I was a child I memorised a statement from the small Catechism my teacher gave to me, about the purpose of my existence: God made me to know Him, love Him and serve Him on earth and to be happy with Him forever in Heaven.

Here I am more than seventy years later, still trying to live according that statement of faith. I have come to realise that the statement is really about holiness. I was conceived and born to become holy.


Remain in my love (Gospel Enquiries)
Reflection: Aristotle, Cardijn, and Aquinas
Getting to the root cause was a big deal for Joseph Cardijn; getting to the root was a big deal for Aristotle. The concept of Occam's razor you might remember from your philosophy or science classes—the idea that the simplest explanation is the most likely one. Well, Occam enhanced and promoted the Aristotelian root cause analysis and called it "Occam's Razor. "

We find Thomas Aquinas enhancing and using the root cause analysis method, and we see Joseph Cardijn utilizing the method as he incorporated it into the See-Judge-Act model.


Richard Pütz, Aristotle,Cardijn and Aquinas (Cardijn Reflections)
Podcast: Irene Fernandez, Malaysian worker champion
This year is the tenth anniversary of the death of Malaysian activist and former YCW leader, Irene Fernandez.

After working for the Malaysian YCW and becoming a member of the International YCW International Team during the 1970s, she became involved in trade union and human rights work, working particularly with exploited migrant women. During the 1980s together with her sister Aegile, she co-founded the Malaysia NGO, Tenaganita.

After she criticised the Malaysian government over the deaths of detained migrant workers, she was tried on charges of “maliciously publishing false news.” After the longest trial in Malaysian history, she was convicted and sentenced to one year in prison, but freed on appeal.

The iHeard podcast series remembers her in this week’s broadcast. Click on the link below to listen:

Workers: Irene Fernandez (iHeart)
Centenary: The YCW gets its name
In April 1924, the Jeunesse Syndicaliste (Young Trade Unionist) movement changed the name of its magazine from Jeunesse Syndicaliste to Jeunesse Ouvrière (Working Youth).

It was the first step towards the adoption of a new name for the movement: “La Jeunesse Ouvrière Chrétienne" or "Young Christian Workers."

While it's not yet the centenary of the "official" founding of the movement in Belgium in 1925, it's definitely an anniversary worth remembering.


Stefan Gigacz, From La Jeunesse Syndicaliste to La Jeunesse Ouvrière (Cardijn Research=
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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