ACI Newsletter – December 2019

Dear Friends,

Christmas and New Year greetings from the ACI team!

In this our first ACI Newsletter you will find news of our activities this year, several new resources plus information on our plans for 2020. Click on the links below for further information. We look forward to your feedback and proposals for the future.

With the new year just around the corner, we’d also like to invite existing members to renew your membership of the ACI Cooperative. Or if you have not yet joined, now is the moment. More about ACI here. Payment details at the foot of this newsletter.

Looking forward to working with all again next year!

Stefan Gigacz


Book project

Greeting members and friends,

Our secretary Stefan Gigacz has written a thesis on the role of Joseph Cardijn at Vatican II and now wishes to have a book published based on that thesis. Please click here to download and read the thesis.

The board has decided to crowd fund the costs of publishing and promoting the book, which has an estimated cost of $8-10,000.

You are invited to contribute to this funding proposal to ensure the book is published prior to the coming Australian Plenary Council.

Should you wish to contribute, you will find our ACI bank account details at the end of this newsletter.

I wish all a happy peaceful and holy celebration of the birth of Christ 2019 years ago.

In Christ
Kevin Vaughan
ACI chair.

ACI Annual General Meeting

ACI held its first Annual General Meeting at Catholic Theological College, Melbourne on Saturday 24 August 2019. Click here for a full report.

Future plans include a focus on the future of work, including an enquiry into the world of work, further submissions to the Australian Plenary Council on Cardijn’s vision of lay apostolate, and the development of a Cardijn library.

Board changes

We would like to thank Vicky Burrows and Jacques Boulet who were members of the first ACI Board of Directors but who have both now resigned owing to other commitments.

Greg Lopez
Greg Lopez

We are also pleased to welcome Dr Gregore Lopez, a lecturer at the Murdoch University Executive Education Centre in Perth, as a new member of the Board. Greg was involved in the YCS in Malaysia as well as in the Cardijn Community International and Young People for Development network.

Cardijn Mass

Over 50 people attended a Cardijn Commemorative Mass at Mary MacKillop Church, Ballajura on Wednesday 13 November. Former YCW chaplain, Fr John Jegerow, was the main celebrant accompanied by Fr Geoff Aldous. More photos here.

Cardijn Mass
Cardijn Mass

Bishop Angelelli beatified

A former JOC chaplain, Bishop Enrique Angelelli, and three companions, Franciscan Fr Carlos Murias, French priest Fr Gabriel Longueville, and lay catechist Wenceslao Pedernera, who were all martyred by the military during Argentina’s military dictatorship, were beatified in April this year.

Bishop Angelelli co-founded the JOC in the Diocese of Cordoba in the late 1940 with Jose Serapio “Pepe” Palacio, later the first lay collaborator for the IYCW. In fact, Pepe Palacio was also martyred six months before Bishop Angelelli, when he “disappeared” in December 1975 as part of Operation Condor, the CIA program to eliminate activists and trade unionists in Latin America.

Bishop Angelelli marches
Bishop Angelelli marches

Read more:

Angelelli, first martyr of Vatican II (La Croix International)

Enrique Angelelli (Cardijn Priests)

Pepe Palacio (Cardijn Pioneers)

Cardijn Community expands

Wayne McGough, president of the Cardijn Community Australia (CCA), reports that a new team has launched in Bendigo, Victoria. Congratulations to Wayne for his work and welcome to the new group.

Incidentally, the institute began as a project developed by CCA members and CCA has become our first group shareholder. Thanks for your support, Wayne and team!

French YCW founder remembered

Georges Guérin with Cardijn

In October, Stefan Gigacz visited France where he took part in a conference to remember Fr Georges Guérin, the founder-chaplain of the French JOC (YCW), whose beatification process is now under way.

The conference which was attended by over 100 particpants took place in Fr Guérin’s home town of Toul, near Nancy in eastern France on 5-6 October 2019. Stefan presented a paper on “Cardijn, Guérin and the Jocist Network at Vatican II.” Click here to read (French only at this stage).

The Pact of the Catacombs and a forgotten Vatican II message

Bishops meet in Catacombs
Bishops meet in Catacombs

Participants in the recent Synod on Amazonia held in Rome met together in the Domitilla Catacombs for a special Mass celebration where they adopted a new Pact committing themselves to defend the Amazon jungle and its people. It was inspired by and modelled on the original Pact of the Catacombs at Vatican II.

In a new series of blog posts, Stefan Gigacz explains the role of Cardijn and the Jocist bishops in the development of the original Pact and another document, the Pietralata Message promoting the lay apostolate.

Cardijn, Camara and the Pact of the Catacombs

The jocist bishops who signed the Pact of the Catacombs

Pietralata: The forgotten Mass and Message

Latest Cardijn documents

The Joseph Cardijn website continues to be updated with new material. The most recent additions include several recently translated autobiographical articles by Cardijn in which he describes the challenges and difficulties he faced.

Although it is often overlooked, in parallel with his efforts to start the YCW, Cardijn also launched a movement for university students, known as the Catholic Social Youth.

In the final article, Cardijn explains the origins and importance of the YCW Retreat Service, the first ever YCW service.


The difficulties

Catholic Social Youth

The JOC Retreat Services

See, Judge, Act in New Zealand

See Judge Act
See Judge Act

Rod Orange, See, Judge, Act, Training Catholic Activists in New Zealand, 1938-1983, Steele Roberts, Wellington, New Zealand, 2019.

This is a new book tracing the history of the jocist movements in New Zealand. It is available for purchase online from Steele Roberts.

Los Angeles Cardijn Conference

Building Bridges of Faith and Action Conference, Mount St Mary’s University, Los Angeles, 16-19 July 2020.

This will be the second Cardijn conference in the US after the first one at Mount St Joseph’s University, Cincinnati in 2018. Congratulations to Ana Grande and Bob Pennington for their initiative.

Proposals for papers and workshops are now being sought. Full details here.

Fernand Tonnet and Paul Garcet 75th Anniversary: 1945 – 2020

Paul Garcet and Fernand Tonnet
Paul Garcet and Fernand Tonnet

Along with Jacques Meert, Fernand Tonnet and Paul Garcet made up the “founder trio” of the Belgian French-speaking YCW in 1925.

Arrested by the Gestapo during World War II, they both died with days of each other at the Dachau Concentration Camp in January-February 1945.

Read more: Fernand Tonnet

Australian Cardijn Institute Cooperative Ltd

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Registered Address: 56 Austin Rd, Seaford, Vic, 3198


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