ACI Newsletter – March 2020

Moving forward

Dear Friends,

Greetings again and welcome this issue to our new ACI chairman, Brian Lawrence.

This month we also present a series of new resources, including former Australian YCW chaplain, Hugh O’Sullivan’s iconic Notes for Leaders, a new website devoted to the speeches and writings of Canadian lay apostolate pioneer and labour leader, Romeo Maione.

And Msgr Bob Vitillo explains the thought behind the Vatican-endorsed Future of Work – Labour after Laudato Si’ project.

Finally, we invite you once again to renew your membership of ACI – or to join and support us in our work!

Stefan Gigacz


Welcome Brian Lawrence

Welcome to Brian Lawrence, former chairman of the Australian Catholic Commission on Employment Relations (ACCER) as well as a former YCW and YCS leader, who has accepted appointment as our new ACI chairman, and to new board member, Damian Egan from Perth.

Thanks also to our founding chair, Kevin Vaughan, who has resigned for health reasons.


Brian Lawrence new ACI chairman (Australian Cardijn Institute)


Brian Lawrence, Promoting Catholic Social Ministry and the Lay Apostolate: Proposals for the Plenary Council 

Vietnam War Study Day postponed

Sadly, the current COVID-19 outbreak has meant we need to postpone our planned study day on the theme “Cardijn, YCW, YCS and the Vietnam War.” Once community life has returned to normal, we hope to be able to reschedule the event.

The good news is that we have already assembled a wide range of background material, including historical documents and several newly translated articles by Cardijn on the peace issue, which are now available on the conference website:

Cardijn, YCW, YCS and the Vietnam War (Australian Cardijn Institute)


Making peace Moral or armed peace Coexistence of communism and capitalism 

Speeches and writings of Romeo Maione

Romeo Maione (1925-2015) was a Canadian labour leader and expert in world development as well as the president of the International YCW from 1957-61.

He was a powerful public speaker who shared his experience at the Cardijn Centenary Conference in Melbourne in 1982.

Many of his writings and speeches are now available on our new mini-website:


Cardijn the man Cardijn the teacher Doctor Cardijn 

Missionaries and martyrs in the time of Nazism

“We will need martyrs! You shall be martyrs,” Cardijn told an 80,000 strong crowd gathered in Paris to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the French YCW on 18 July 1937.

Jesuit Paul Beschet recalls these prophetic words in his 1946 book “Mission in Thuringia in the time of Nazism,” which recounts the story of the French Scout and JOC leaders who did indeed lose their lives only a few years later in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany.

Translated into English by Theodore P. Fraser, Beschet’s memoir tells the remarkable story of how those leaders – sent to Germany as compulsory labour to keep the war machine functioning – transformed their experience into a mission among their comrades.

It is one of the most remarkable, indeed heroic episodes in the history of the jocist movements.


Joseph Cardijn, Mission in Thuringia (


Paul Beschet, Mission in Thuringia in the time of Nazism, Marquette University Press, Milwaukee, 2012.



Vincent A. Lapomarda S.J., Mission in Thuringia in the Time of Nazism by Paul Beschet, S.J. 

Hugh O’Sullivan’s Notes for Leaders

Fr Hugh O’Sullivan became national chaplain of the Australian YCW in 1977.

One of Hugh’s first tasks was to write a series of resources for YCW leaders and groups, later published as “Notes for Leaders.”

Long out of print, we are once again making them available online. Although written for the YCW, many of the principles and methods that Hugh outlines are applicable in every milieu and every age of life.


Hugh O’Sullivan’s Notes for Leaders 

Future of Work Project

Msgr Bob Vitillo, secretary-general of the International Catholic Migration Commission, explains the Future of Work, Labour after Laudato Si’ project launched by several Catholic-inspired international organisations:

The Future of Work, Labour after Laudato Si’

Sustainable Development and the Future of Work in the Context of the Jubilee of Mercy: Statement of Commitment and Action (Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, International Labour Organisation and Caritas International)

Future of Work (Australia Institute)

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