ACI Newsletter Feb 22

A Lenten see, judge, act

Dear Friends,

With Lent 2022 approaching, we are pleased to present the first ACI Gospel Enquiry entitled, "If today you hear his voice," compiled by ACI director and educator, Pat Branson. We invite you to accompany us on this meaningful five-week program.

Former YCW fulltimer, Martin Delaney, tells us of his recently approved PhD research project on the impact of child labour on education and invites our collaboration.

We report on Pope Francis' promulgation of the heroic virtues of the late Cardinal Eduardo Pironio, once a co-editor of the Argentine jocist chaplains' magazine, before eventually becoming president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity. As a bishop, he also played a key role at the famous Medellin conference of Latin American bishops, which first defined the "new evangelisation" in jocist terms.

Also featured is a recent report on US worker cooperatives that are attempting to implement the "Economy of Francesco" by following the Mondragon co-op model.

We note the recent deaths of two YCW pioneers, who also took part in Vatican II, namely Canadian Bishop Remi De Roo, and Brazilian Bartolo Perez, president of the IYCW from 1961-65.

Finally, the video of our successful webinar with Colin Jory and Richard Doig on the Campion Society is now online. And in coming events we present our March webinar with American philosopher, Clare Adams, and myself, on the French priest and philosopher, Alphonse Gratry, a precursor of the Vatican II "signs of the times" approach and a major influence on Cardijn.

Stefan Gigacz
If today you hear his voice: An ACI Lenten Gospel Enquiry
If today you hear his voice
ACI is proud to present its first Lenten see-judge-act Gospel enquiry program designed by Dr Pat Branson for use in parishes and other settings.

“Christians around the world celebrate Lent, which is forty days of fasting and prayer and doing good deeds. They do this in the name of Jesus,” Pat writes. “He fasted and prayed for forty days before beginning his mission. And he commissioned his followers to carry on his mission to the world.

“Every year, Christians spend the season of Lent as a time of preparation for the mission they will carry out in the year ahead and for the rest of their time on earth. Therefore, it seems only right and appropriate that we reflect on our mission by means of the gospel.


If today you hear his voice (Australian Cardijn Institute)
Eduardo Pironio, precursor of Pope Francis
Eduardo Pironio
Pope Francis has promulgated a decree recognising the heroic virtues of the Argentinian Cardinal (Venerable) Eduardo Francesco Pironio.

As a young priest in Argentina, he wrote many articles for the chaplains' magazine, Notas de Pastoral Jocista, for which he was also a member of the editorial team.

As a bishop, he played a key role in the Medellin conference of the Latin American bishops in 1968, which adopted the see-judge-act for all 16 documents and first defined the "new evangelisation" (see below).

Later still, Cardinal Pironio took on the role of president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity. He died in 1998. Today, he is regarded as a precursor of Pope Francis.


Venerable Eduardo Pironio, precursor of Pope Francis (Australian Cardijn Institute)
Worker co-ops in the US
Arizmendi Bakery
On 1 May 2019, the Feast of St Joseph the Worker, Pope Francis issued an invitation to young people – particularly to “young economists and entrepreneurs” – to join him in Assisi in March the following year to brainstorm a new economy, writes Renée Darline Roden in The Tablet.

The Economy of Francesco organisers in the United States are trying to find ways to add a distinctly American flavour to the global solidarity economy. Witchger and fellow ­organiser Elias Crim started a newsletter, “Ownership Matters”, to highlight various incarnations of the solidarity economy.

The American models draw on a variety of global initiatives: the Quebecois cooperative credit unions; the Economy of Communion, personified in the town of Loppiano, Italy, run by the Focolare lay ecclesial movement; and the corporation founded by late Fr José María Arizmendiarrieta Madariaga, Mondragón.


The people versus Mammon: worker-owners cooperatives in the US (The Tablet)


Bjorn / Flickr / CC BY SA 2.0
Child labour’s impact on education
Child labour
"I am a PhD student at Charles Darwin University, researching child labour and its impact on children’s basic education in the Philippines," writes former Ireland and Adelaide YCW fulltime worker, Martin Delaney.

"In 2023, I plan to travel to the Philippines to speak with working children and their families about the hardships they face, particularly in getting to school. I am interested to know what is it they want to do? What are their aspirations? What are their strengths, their skills? What gets in the way?

"I am looking to collaborate widely on this project – including with the YCW and the Cardijn Institute – to share information, experiences, and ideas. Let’s talk!"


Child labour's impact on education (Australian Cardijn Institute)


ILO Asia-Pacific / Flickr / CC BY NC ND
The original meaning of the "new evangelisation"?
Latin American bishops at Medellin 1968
"The term "new evangelisation" has gained much currency in the Australian Church and indeed the world since Pope Saint John Paul II adopted it on his return from the Latin American Bishops Conference at Puebla, Mexico in 1979," writes Stefan Gigacz. "But what does it mean?"

"The term first emerged at the Second General Conference of the Latin American Bishops at Medellin, Colombia in 1968, a conference devoted to the implementation of Vatican II... In the Message to the Latin American peoples issued by this conference, the bishops propose a set of commitments to 'the entire People of God,' one of which was encouraging 'a new evangelisation.'

"What was this conception? The answer is found in the 16 Medellin documents, each of which is organised as a see-judge-act."

It was based on a clear vision of the mission of lay people in building the world, "specifically carry(ing) out this mission in the realm of the temporal, in order to construct history, managing temporal affairs and ordering them according to God."


Stefan Gigacz, What is the "new evangelisation"? (Cardijn Research)


Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM)
Bishop Remi De Roo, apostle of Vatican II
Bishop Remi De Roo
Aged only 38, Remi De Roo was appointed by Pope John XXIII as bishop of Victoria, British Columbia in October 1962. This enabled him to attend all four sessions of Vatican II, where he worked closely with Cardijn, whom he had known since 1947, delivering a significant intervention on the role of the laity.

In his memoirs, he recalled Cardijn's battles at the Council. “At Vatican II, Cardinal Cardijn confided to me that he never fully succeeded in getting 'those Romans' to grasp the true nature of specialized (meaning the apostolate of like to like) Catholic Action," he wrote. "They failed to grasp how it was directed primarily towards the transformation of society through Gospel values."

After the Council, he became a strong proponent of social action and liberation theology and a critic of capitalism. He was the main force behind the 1983 Canadian bishops’ statement “Ethical Reflections on the Economic Crisis,” which stated that the “goal of serving the human needs of all people in our society must take precedence over the maximization of profits and growth.”

One of the last surviving Vatican II bishops, he died on 1 February 2022.


Bishop Remi De Roo, apostle of Vatican II (Australian Cardijn Institute)
Bartolo Perez, IYCW president and Vatican II lay auditor
Bartolo Perez with Cardijn
Brazilian Bartolo Perez, president of the IYCW from 1961-65 and a lay auditor at Vatican II, died on 21 January 2022 at the age of 96.

Born on 20 November 1925, Bartolo began work as an apprentice turner in a small auto parts factory at the age of fourteen. Here, he met young Emídio, a YCW leader, who introduced him to the YCW in the Mooca neighbourhood of Sao Paulo. Soon, he became involved in union action to defend the dignity and improve the working conditions of young workers in his factory.

In 1961, he was elected president of the International YCW, where he worked side by side with Cardijn, helping contact and lobby many bishops, particularly in Latin America, on issues related to Vatican II.

In 1964, Pope Paul VI appointed him as a lay auditor to the Council in which capacity he continued to assist in the drafting of the Decree on Lay Apostolate, Apostolicam Actuositatem, and the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the World of Today, Gaudium et Spes.


RIP Bartolo Perez, IYCW president and Vatican II lay auditor (Australian Cardijn Institute)
The Campion Society and the development of the lay apostolate in Australia
The Campion Society
Thanks to Colin Jory and Richard Doig for an excellent webinar on “The Campion Society and the development of the lay apostolate in Australia” on Tuesday 15 February 2022.

Also taking part were eight direct descendants of the original Campions, Karl Schmude, son of Alf, Anne Kelly and Barbara Kelly Cooper, daughters of Kevin T. Kelly, Jacinta Heffey and Marilyn Puglisi, daughters of Gerard Heffey, Tom Knowles son of Bill Knowles as well as Paul Santamaria and Anne McIlroy, son and daughter of BA Santamaria. Also present was David Moloney, nephew of Des O'Connell.

We thank them all for joining us.

READ MORE AND WATCH THE VIDEO (Australian Cardijn Institute/YouTube)

Campion Society webinar (Australian Cardijn Institute)

Campion Society website (Australian Cardijn Institute)
Signs of the Times: From Alphonse Gratry to Vatican II
Alphonse Gratry
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the death of French priest, Alphonse Gratry (1805-1972), philosopher and theologian, whose work inspired Cardijn and many other social activists of the late 19th century.

Gratry's theory of the induction also laid the basis for the jocist see-judge-act later adopted by Vatican II.

In our next ACI webinar at 11.30am AEDT on Friday 18 March 2022 (Thursday evening 17 March US time), American philosopher, Clare Adams, and ACI secretary, Stefan Gigacz, reflect on Gratry’s life and work.



Signs of the Times: From Alphonse Gratry to Vatican II (Australian Cardijn Institute)
De Roo - Lay apostolate
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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