ACI AGM online Tuesday 30 August 2022

The ACI Annual General Meeting for 2022 will be held via Zoom on Tuesday 30 August 2022 at 7pm AEST.

Our first guest speaker will be Sarah Prenger, who has just recently completed her term as president of the International YCW. Sarah is currently completing a master’s in Catholic Social Teaching in her home country, Germany.

Also joining us will be Sarah’s compatriot, Bernhard Bormann, another former IYCW leader, who is now a member of the leadership team of the International Cardijn Association, an alumni network for YCW members.

Registration link

And please also note the Zoom link:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85069648216?pwd=ZVJuOUt4akE2bGs4MEtQenlGRG0rUT09

Registration is required.

Nomination of directors

ACI Rules are attached or may be consulted online here:

https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/1V07oNBwhOvHXRx0-jeMV0S3C_3RFf9us

Please particularly note Rule 47, which sets out the procedures governing the election of directors.

In accordance with this, I advise that:

i) ACI currently has seven directors. No directors are retiring at or prior to this AGM.

ii) Nominations are open for further directors as the AGM may decide. All financial members are eligible to stand for election.

iii) Responsibilities and duties of directors are set out in the attached document. They may also be consulted at the following link:

https://www.consumer.vic.gov.au/licensing-and-registration/co-operatives/responsibilities-of-a-co-operative

iv) No remuneration is payable to directors.

v) Nominations must be made as follows:

A nomination must:

(i) be signed by 2 or more members; and

(ii) provide details of the qualifications and experience of the person nominated;

and

(iii) be accompanied by a notice in writing signed by the nominee consenting to

their nomination.

(d) The nomination and the notice of consent must be lodged with the secretary of the co-operative at least 30 days before the annual general meeting. (See Rule 47 (5) (c).

Nominations therefore need to be sent to me, the secretary, by 31 July 2022.

Financial membership

Please ensure that your membership is up to date prior to the AGM and/or become an ACI patron.

The annual membership fee is (a very modest) $12.

Bank details for payments:

Account name: Australian Cardijn Institute Cooperative
Bank: Great Southern Bank BSB: 814282 A/c No.: 51304905

Pay online here:

https://www.trybooking.com/CBKZV

Draft Agenda

The chairperson, Mr Brian Lawrence is to deem if we have a quorum and then open the meeting with a prayer.

1. To confirm the Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on Saturday 28 August 2021. See attached minutes.

2. Any matters arising from the Minutes of the 2021 Annual General Meeting.

3. To receive from the Board, Auditors, any officer of the ACI, any member of ACI, any reports upon the transactions, affairs of the Australian Cardijn Institute for the year end of 30/06/2021.

4. Income and Expenditure Statement and Balance Sheet for the year end 30/06/2022. Mr Michael Rice to present. See attached Report.

5. Election of Directors: Present Board Members are: Mr Brian Lawrence (President), Messrs Stefan Gigacz (Secretary), David Moloney, Michael Rice (Treasurer), Desmond Ryan and Katharine Massam. During the year, Mr Greg Lopez resigned as a member of the board.

None of their terms of office are expiring this year. No nominations have been received for further members of the board.

The Board is seeking to further improve its expertise and is looking for suitable candidates with special skills in marketing, religious, theological and other relevant disciplines and in order to increase gender and age diversity.

6. Guest speakers: Sarah Prenger, former president of the International YCW, currently completing a masters in Catholic Social Teaching in Germany, and Bernhard Bormann, member of the leadership of the International Cardijn Association, the alumni network of the IYCW.

7. National and International Reports: Mr S. Gigacz

Websites/Newsletter: Mr S. Gigacz

Other reports as required

8. Our “Notice of Meeting” is online here:

Members are encouraged to email the secretary Mr S.R. Gigacz by 23 August 2022 with any voting intentions, questions for the annual meeting or suggestions: aci@australiancardijninstitute.org 

9. ACI Plan for 2023-24

12. General Business

By ORDER OF THE BOARD

Secretary/Director: Mr S. Gigacz

Email: aci@australiancardijninstitute.org or

Phone: 0491 077 033.

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

Thanking you and looking forward to seeing you all on 30 August.

Stefan Gigacz

Secretary

Australian Cardijn Institute Cooperative Ltd
Incorporated in 2018
(Cooperatives National Law Application Act 2013)
ABN: 19211591334

Invitation: Cardijn Memorial Mass Sunday 24 July

The Cardijn Community Australia and ACI invite all members and friends to join us for a Cardijn Memorial Mass on the 55th anniversary of his death this Sunday 24 July at 7.30pm AEST.

Our celebrant will be former Australian YCW national chaplain, Fr Jim Monaghan, now vicar-general of Port Pirie Diocese and parish priest of Port Augusta.

REGISTER

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwpcOioqzMuE9Xq5QESbDNi6YcGdiucoyNj

LG31 Forum on Lay Apostolate: Next steps

On Saturday 2 July 2022 – two days before the opening of the 2nd Assembly of the Australian Plenary Council – ACI organised an “LG31 Forum on Lay Apostolate” with the aim of reflecting on how to promote the Vatican II vision of lay apostolate in light of the Plenary.

We were joined by several Plenary members, including Sr Stancea Vichie of the Missionary Sisters of Service, Fr Jim Monaghan, vicar general of Port Pirie Diocese and parish priest of Port Augusta, Wendy Goonan from Parramatta Diocese, Jodi Steel from Wollongong Diocese, and Deborah Robertson from Bunbury.

Catholic Social Teaching expert, Fr Bruce Duncan CSsR, presented his reflections on the draft documents, expressing concern at the lack of attention paid to lay apostolate as understood in Lumen Gentium §31.

The forum concluded with a resolution to meet again on Thursday 28 July to reflect on the outcomes of the Plenary and more particularly to focus on how to move forward with the promotion of the lay apostolate.

REGISTER FOR THE NEXT LG31 FORUM

Date: Thursday 28 July 2022

Time: 7pm AEST

Registration: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwpdequrTssE9bwDut7c1Woqx0peD4mAO-t

WATCH THE VIDEO OF THE PREVIOUS FORUM

Congrats, Katharine Massam, professor at Uni of Divinity

Congratulations to ACI director, Katharine Massam, who was appointed a Professor of the University of Divinity by the University Council on 10 November 2021.

Katharine is currently the Coordinator of Studies in History and Research Coordinator at Pilgrim Theological College. She is noted for her outstanding contribution to Learning and Teaching, Research, and Leadership in the Academy.

“Professor Massam is an outstanding historian of religion known for her creativity and collaboration,” said University of Divinity Vice-Chancellor, Professor Peter Sherlock. “In her teaching and research, she has a rare ability to create community through history, drawing out the stories that make us who we are in new and surprising ways. It is a great delight to share in this recognition of her rich contribution to theology, spirituality and history at the University of Divinity and in many other spheres.”

Responding to the news, Katharine greeted her appointment as a “wonderful encouragement.”

“I’m grateful to colleagues at Pilgrim, across the university community, and in wider research networks (including family and friends who read things and debrief the odd occasion) as well as inspiring students from all sorts of contexts. I’m honoured and looking forward to the work we’ll continue to do together.”

The citation for the appointment reads:

Professor Katharine Massam is an outstanding teacher of Church History and Spirituality, known for her innovative methods and inclusive manner, and inviting students to engage in learning with spiritual depth as well as academic excellence. For more than twenty years she has been a deeply appreciated colleague and mentor at Pilgrim Theological College and across the University of Divinity, enriching the University community through her engagement with both historical scholarship and contemporary culture. She has contributed significantly to the work of the Academic Board in encouraging teaching excellence, and has played a leading role in the development and success of the Australian Collaborators in Feminist Theologies. She led the development of a graduate studies program within the New Norcia Institute for Benedictine Studies, in Western Australia. Professor Massam’s most recent book, A Bridge Between: Spanish Benedictine Missionary Women in Australia, has been received with wide scholarly acclaim and was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s History Awards Australian History Prize.”

Congratulations, Katharine, from all at ACI

SOURCE

Katharine Massam appointed Professor of the University (Vox)

ACI calls for ‘revitalisation’ of lay apostolate

In a new submission to the Plenary Council, the Australian Cardijn Institute has called for the establishment of an “Australian Catholic Council for the Lay Apostolate” to support the “revitalisation” of the lay apostolate as understood by the Second Vatican Council.

“The term ‘apostolate’ describes the way in which Christians are to live their faith,” the submission notes. “Each Christian has both a personal and a social apostolate in living out their mission as a follower of Christ.” This is to be distinguished from the work of “lay ministry,” which “requires authorisation from the competent authority,” the submission explains.

“We urge the Council to draw on the rich experience of the Jocist movements in Australia to revitalise understanding of the lay apostolate,” the submission says, referring to the movements that draw on the heritage of Joseph Cardijn, founder of the Young Christian Workers (YCW) or Jeunesse Ouvrière Chrétienne (JOC).

Cardijn was “a leading voice among those bishops who worked on the articulation of the role of the Church in the world and the apostolate of the laity as they appear in the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the World of Today (Gaudium et Spes) and the Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity (Apostolicam Actuositatem),” the submission states.

“The development of lay ministry has been a great positive in the Church but it is deeply paradoxical that this emphasis appears to have developed at the expense of the Vatican II conception of lay apostolate,” commented ACI secretary, Stefan Gigacz. “It’s time to rebalance priorities.”

The ACI submission proposes the establishment of an “Australian Catholic Council for the Lay Apostolate” specifically to promote the lay apostolate as described in the Vatican II Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity. It further calls for financial support for the provision of “direct funding to nationally organised movements that promote the lay apostolate” understood in this sense.

Finally, it calls for resources to be directed to “training in the theology and pedagogy of lay movements promoting faith formation and social transformation for priests, religious and lay people” as well as “research, publication and study to foster understanding of the lay apostolate and the application of Catholic Social Teaching.”*

ACI Submission: https://australiancardijninstitute.org/aci-calls-for-lay-apostolate-council/

Contact: aci@australiancardijninstitute.org

Joseph Cardijn Digital Library: Call for volunteers

It’s already more than a year since ACI launched the Joseph Cardijn Digital Library in its current form in August 2020.

To date the site has received nearly 16,000 unique visitors, averaging 40 people per day over the course of this year. Those visitors have recorded nearly 106,000 document views.

What’s more, the JCDL ranks in second place in Google searches in many countries, ranking only after Wikipedia.

It has thus become the leading source on the web for reading Cardijn’s writings and learning about his life and work.

Yet, as Cardijn would no doubt have said himself: “We are still at the beginning!” There is much more to do.

In this article, I will trace the development of the JCDL from its origins and set out some of the challenges for the future, including particularly the establishment of a volunteer team to take the site to the next level.

Background

When I was working for the Australian YCW back during the 1980s, it was already difficult to find copies of Cardijn’s writings.

There were a few copies around of the book he had written for the Second Vatican Council, “Laypeople into Action” (Laïcs en premières lignes). But that was a more theological book, which was not very useful for animating YCW groups and forming leaders.

Luckily, we still had a few copies of “The Young Worker Faces Life,” an English translation of “Le jeune travailleur, la jeune travailleuse devant la vie” published by the Melbourne YCW in 1961, of a 1949 lecture series on the basics of YCW formation.

And we made roneoed copies of an old edition of Cardijn’s 1948 lectures entitled “The Hour of the Working Class,” which is a translation of “L’heure de la classe ouvrière.”

I also knew of a book of Cardijn’s writings, “Challenge to Action” that had been published in English during the 1950s. But copies of this were very hard to find.

Later, when I worked for the International YCW from 1988-93, I found that many countries were in a similar situation.

Outside of Europe especially, many YCW leaders had never seen Cardijn’s writings. Or they had never been translated into local languages. Or, if they were translated, the translations had been lost. 

For example, when I was working for IYCW Asia-Pacific, I was told that some of Cardijn’s articles had been translated into Chinese. But no-one knew where to find copies!

Beginnings

As a result of this, a few years later when I was working for the International Cardijn Foundation from 1997-2000, I started to slowly gather as many of Cardijn’s writings as I could find, scan them and publish them on the web.

Then, in 2011, I started to do my PhD research on Cardijn and I needed to compile a representative selection of Cardijn’s writings from over the course of his life in order to study the evolution of his thinking. I was able to locate many of these writings in Cardijn’s personal archives in Belgium’s Royal Archives, at the IYCW and in other libraries and archives.

During this research, I was also able to find translations into English of around 50 Cardijn articles in the archives of the English YCW in London.

All this took a huge amount of time and work. In fact, it took more than the first year of my research. Most researchers could never devote this amount of time on such a project.

Thus, not only were Cardijn’s writings inaccessible to YCW leaders, chaplains and others but also to researchers.

So in order to make these more widely available once again, I progressively scanned the articles and posted them on the website: www.josephcardijn.com, which was originally a simple Google Site.

Even more Cardijn documents!

Meanwhile, I have also learned that there are literally thousands more articles by Cardijn that are still “lost” in archives and libraries.

Many were published in small Belgian newspapers and magazines, which can now only be found in specialised historical libraries or in Cardijn’s personal archives, which are stored in the Belgian National Archives.

In addition to all this, every year from 1931-57, he delivered a series of lectures at a national JOC leaders training school held every year at Godinne, Belgium.

The Young Worker Faces Life and The Hour of the Working Class were just two of this series in 1948 and 1949. None of the others are available in print today – not even in French.

In addition, Cardijn corresponded with many people. He wrote and received literally thousands of letters to and from people around the world. Many were of no great significance except to the person concerned. But many also have a great historical value.

Some of Dom Helder Camara’s letters are extremely important, for example. On 17 September 1965 Camara wrote to Cardijn proposing that some Vatican II bishops should take a vow to consecrate themselves to the poor and the working class as Cardijn had done.

This was the origin of the “Pact of the Catacombs” signed by 40 Vatican II bishops, who committed themselves to the poor and to live a humble lifestyle.

The Joseph Cardijn Digital Library

Eventually, there were around 500 articles in French with another 100 in English and the original site outgrew a simple Google Site. A professional software solution became necessary.

Fortunately, my daughter, Kiara, is a computer science student. She was able to develop a new site using specialised repository software known as Omeka S (https://omeka.org/) for us as her university study project.

The Australian Cardijn Institute has taken on the job of financing the web hosting costs.

Much more work remains to be done to improve the graphic design, create a better index, update the software and many other things.

But finally we have the capacity to grow the site and to develop it into other languages. Moreover, we already know that many of Cardijn’s documents already exist in Flemish or Dutch. But they need to be located and scanned.

At least some of Cardijn’s articles have also been translated into various other languages. In fact, several people have already asked me when a Spanish site will be available.

A volunteer team

We are going to need a team of people with a variety of different skills in order to take this project further.

These include:

  • Website development (Omeka S)
  • Graphic design
  • Translation
  • Scanning
  • Editing and proofreading

If you have the time and would be interested to become part of such a team, please contact me at: aci@australiancardijninstitute.org.

Stefan Gigacz,

ACI Secretary

ACI AGM Online, Saturday 28 August 2021

AUSTRALIAN CARDIJN INSTITUTE COOPERATIVE LIMITED

NOTICE OF VIRTUAL ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (AGM)

Notice is hereby given that the THIRD ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING of the Australian Cardijn Institute Cooperative Limited will be held on Saturday 28 August 2020 at 2.00pm AEST.

The Registrar of Cooperatives has approved holding a virtual general meeting.

It will be accessible via the following link:

To join the video meeting, click this link:  https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIudu-hrDIjG9zfmrST_8vTUXkHulL58c99

AGENDA

The chairperson, Mr Brian Lawrence is to deem if we have a quorum and then open the meeting with a prayer.

1. To confirm the Minutes of the Second Annual General Meeting held on Saturday 29 August 2020. See attached minutes.

2. Any matters arising from the Minutes of the 2020 First Annual General Meeting.

3. To receive from the Board, Auditors, any officer of the ACI, any member of ACI, any reports upon the transactions, affairs of the Australian Cardijn Institute for the year end of 30/06/2021.

4. Income and Expenditure Statement and Balance Sheet for the year end 30/06/2021. Mr Michael Rice to present. See attached Report.

5. Election of Directors: Present Board Members are: Mr Brian Lawrence, Chairperson, Messrs Kevin Vaughan, Mark Ager, Stefan Gigacz, Secretary, Gregore Lopez, David Moloney, Michael Rice, Treasurer, Desmond Ryan and Damian Egan. During the year, Mr K.E. Vaughan resigned as a member of the board.

Messrs Ager, Gigacz, Moloney, Rice and Ryan complete their terms at the AGM and are available for re-election.

The Board is seeking to further improve its expertise and is looking for suitable candidates with special skills in marketing, religious, theological and other relevant disciplines and in order to increase gender and age diversity.

6. Guest speaker: Fr Bob Wilkinson, Adelaide priest and former YCW, YCS and Christian Life Movement chaplain.

7. National and International Reports: Mr S. Gigacz

Website: Mr S. Gigacz

Newsletter: Mr G. Lopez

Adelaide Report: Mr M. Ager

Brisbane Report: Mr M. Rice

Melbourne Report: Mr D. Moloney

Perth Report: Mr D. Egan

Sydney Report:

8. Our “Notice of Meeting” will be online from 14 August 2020 at the following link:

https://www.australiancardijninstitute.org/aci-agm-online-saturday-28-august-2021

Members are encouraged to email the secretary Mr S.R. Gigacz by 21 August 2020 with any voting intentions, questions for the annual meeting or suggestions: aci@australiancardijninstitute.org

9. ACI Plan for 2021-24

12. General Business

By ORDER OF THE BOARD

Secretary/Director: Mr S. Gigacz

Email: aci@australiancardijninstitute.org or

Phone: 0491 077 033.

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

Kevin Vaughan, ACI life member

Kevin Vaughan with Alex Ericx

ACI board members have made founding president, Kevin Vaughan, a life member of the institute following his resignation from the board at the beginning of December.

“Kevin committed himself to the YCW in 1958 and his faith in the movement and all that it stands for has shaped his life,” said ACI president, Brian Lawrence.  “From being inspired by Cardijn at a rally in 1958 to being the inaugural President of the Australian Cardijn Institute, Kevin has, in turn, been an inspiration to many,” said ACI president Brian Lawrence.”

“I would like to express my personal thanks to Kevin for all the encouragement he has given to me since we first met in Paris in 2006,” added secretary Stefan Gigacz.

In late 1958 Kevin was asked to help start the YCW in Highett, not long before Cardijn visited Melbourne, where he addressed a rally at the old Olympic Swimming Pool (now a training centre for Collingwood Football Club).

“The founder of the YCW Joseph Cardijn paid a visit to Melbourne later that year 1958, and we all went into the city to hear him speak,” Kevin wrote, “it was exciting to be amongst so many young people and to hear the great man speak and show so much faith and confidence in young people.

“Our leaders group was at the top row on the left in this photo (see below). We were really inspired and could not wait to start our branch of the movement early the next year, 1959.”

Indeed, over the next decade Highett YCW became a leading centre of the movement, forming a series of leaders and fulltime workers who went on to make major contributions in various fields.

Kevin himself went on to a career as a firefighter and trade unionist. After suffering a work-related injury, he became a passionate activist for the rights of injured workers.

It was while recovering that Kevin re-read Cardijn’s book Challenge to Action. He was struck by Cardijn’s insistence on the need for an adult Christian Worker movement.

“The fact that apostolic movements up to the present day are principally being put into action by young people, does not lessen the importance of, and the urgent need for an apostolate among adults,” Cardijn wrote, “unless such an apostolate exists, all the efforts of the young people will lead to a dead-end.”

For the next 30 years, Kevin made it his personal mission to create such a movement in Australia. He finally achieved success with a series of small meetings in 2007 that led to the foundation of the Cardijn Community Australia in 2008. Kevin also represented CCA at several meetings of the Cardijn Community International in Bangkok, Manila and Kuala Lumpur.

In 2018, Kevin took on the further challenge of the role of founding president for ACI, a role he continued in until health concerns caused him to resign.

The board also passed a resolution thanking Kevin for his contribution.

TOP PHOTO

Kevin Vaughan with Alex Ericx, extension worker in Africa for the International YCW and collaborator with Cardijn.

ACI AGM Online 29 August 2020

The Australian Cardijn Cooperative will hold its Annual General Meeting for this year online on Saturday 29 August at 2.00pm.

Meeting link: https://meet.google.com/zhj-cwwq-uzr

Below is the formal Notice of Meeting.

 

AUSTRALIAN CARDIJN INSTITUTE COOPERATIVE LIMITED

NOTICE OF VIRTUAL ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (AGM)

Notice is hereby given that the SECOND ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING of the Australian Cardijn Institute Cooperative Limited will be held on Saturday 29 August 2020 at 2.00pm AEST.

The Registrar of Cooperatives has approved holding a virtual general meeting.

Please contact the secretary for the link.

AGENDA

The chairperson, Mr Brian Lawrence is to deem if we have a quorum and then open the meeting with a prayer.

1. To confirm the Minutes of the First Annual General Meeting held on Saturday 24 August 2019.

2. Any matters arising from the Minutes of the 2019 First Annual General Meeting.

3. To receive from the Board, Auditors, any officer of the ACI, any member of ACI, any reports upon the transactions, affairs of the Australian Cardijn Institute for the year end of 30/06/2020.

4. Income and Expenditure Statement and Balance Sheet for the year end 30/06/2020. Mr Michael Rice to present.

5. Election of Directors: Present Board Members are: Mr Brian Lawrence, Chairperson, Messrs Kevin Vaughan, Mark Ager, Stefan Gigacz, Secretary, Gregore Lopez, David Moloney, Michael Rice, Treasurer, Desmond Ryan and Damian Egan. During the year, Mr K.E. Vaughan resigned as chairperson. On 3. March 2020, Mr Brian Lawrence was elected to the board and also elected as chairperson. Mr Damian Egan was also elected to the board on 3 March 2020.

5 A. Members to vote confirming the appointments of Messrs B. Lawrence and Mr D. Egan.

5 B. The Board is seeking to further improve its expertise and is looking for suitable candidates with special skills in marketing, religious, theological and other relevant disciplines and in order to increase gender and age diversity.

6. Guest speaker: Ms Sarah Moffatt, Member of the Executive Committee, Australian Plenary Council, Acting Chancellor, Archdiocese of Adelaide, former national president Australian YCW.

7. National and International Reports: Mr S. Gigacz

Website: Mr S. Gigacz

Newsletter: Mr G. Lopez

Adelaide Report: Mr M. Ager

Brisbane Report: Mr M. Rice

Melbourne Report: Mr D. Moloney

Perth Report: Mr D. Egan

Sydney Report:

8. Our “Notice of Meeting” will be online from 15 August 2020 at the following link: https://www.australiancardijninstitute.org/aci-agm-online-29-august-2020/

Members are encouraged to email the secretary Mr S.R. Gigacz by 22 August 2020 with any voting intentions, questions for the annual meeting or suggestions: aci@australiancardijninstitute.org

9. Capital raising: Refer Mr D.J. Ryan.

10. Promoting ACI membership:

11. Promoting awareness to the general public of the policy and aims of ACI

12. General Business

Development of Strategic Plan

Promoting the ACI submission to the Plenary Council and to the wider community. Attached. Refer K.E. Vaughan.

By ORDER OF THE BOARD

Secretary/Director: Mr S. Gigacz

Email: aci@australiancardijninstitute.org or

Phone: 0491 077 033.

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

ACI asks PM to ensure no-one left behind in Covid crisis

ACI chairman, Brian Lawrence, has joined a historic group of Australian Catholics including a number of bishops; Catholic Religious Australia (CRA) and the CEOs of several major Catholic health and social services providers in writing to Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, raising serious concerns for two groups of people that remain on the margins of our community and vulnerable to both the predations of the COVID-19 virus and the despair that comes with it.

All 44 signatories have decided that it is time for the letter to be made public, and for Catholics around the country to join in the movement to ensure nobody is left behind, Catholic Outlook adds.

“Right now Australia is home to more than 1.5 million temporary visa holders,” said Fr Peter Smith, Promotor of Justice and Peace, Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney. “These women and men are members of our communities and congregations: they pray in our pews, work in our restaurants, farms, factories, aged care homes, supermarkets, and NGOs, study in our schools and universities, and live in our neighbourhoods. And we have abandoned them to their fate.”

“We need to look to Singapore to see what can happen when a wealthy, sophisticated nation cares only for their own citizens and tries to ignore all those in their country,” continued Fr Smith. “This virus doesn’t recognise passport status; it devastates everyone equally.”

Director of Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Australia, Carolina Gottardo, said, “Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Australia has delivered emergency food packages to more than 500 refugees, people seeking asylum and migrants in vulnerable situations who have lost jobs, have no safety net and cannot go home in the last two weeks alone. The demand for JRS’s services including emergency relief has also increased twofold. The situation is desperate.”

“Many of the women, children, and men we support were already living in severely overcrowded dwellings. Now, as rental arrears build up and some landlords continue to threaten eviction, we are likely to see a surge of temporary visa holders in clusters of Western Sydney who are unable to self-isolate or practice social distancing,” Ms Gottardo continued.

“Our Federal Government’s exclusion of temporary visa holders from a basic temporary net is creating a situation in which people cannot protect themselves or the wider community from COVID-19,” concluded Ms. Gottardo.

Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv of Parramatta, the Chairman of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council, pointed to an even more vulnerable group saying, “People who have been trafficked, victims of modern slavery, people seeking asylum, and women on temporary visas experiencing domestic violence are all excluded from support and access to Medicare and safe homes. This is not who we want to be as a nation.”

“We are really heartened to see the Tasmanian government give $3 million to support migrant workers in their state. This is not just welcome financial support it is an act of compassion and solidarity that recognises the vulnerability of these workers and the need to protect all people affected by COVID-19 for public health reasons,” Bishop Long said.

The letter also highlights imminent danger posed by the virus for the most distraught group of people – those who came seeking Australia’s protection and who are currently being held in hotels and detention centres across Australia.

Given the circumstances in which they live, this group cannot meet required physical distancing measures and are vulnerable to guards and service providers entering and leaving the facility at will, and potentially carrying COVID-19.

The signatories to the letter ask the Federal Government to remember its responsibility for ensuring safety and human rights of everyone residing within its jurisdiction, even temporarily.

Everyone in Australian community who is in hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, including people seeking protection, must be given temporary access to a financial safety net, Medicare, and adequate shelter if they are homeless.

Nobody should be left behind in this time of extraordinary need.

Read the public letter to Prime Minister Scott Morrison below:

Australian Catholics ask the Prime Minister to ensure that we really are all in this together

On the 7th of April, 2020, an historic group of Australian Catholics service providers, Religious Orders and Bishops wrote to Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, and applauded he and his government for showing leadership and agency in the face of this global pandemic. The Prime Minister was congratulated for deploying the vast resources of our wealthy nation in an effort to protect all Australians, including the vulnerable and ensure no one is left to deal with this pandemic on their own.

However, the letter raised two groups of people that remain on the margins of our community and vulnerable to both the predations of the COVID-19 virus and the despair that comes with such vulnerability.

In the first group there are more than 1.5 million temporary visa holders in the Australian community. Many thousands are members of our congregations: they pray in our pews, work in our restaurants, farms, factories, aged care homes, supermarkets, and NGOs, study in our schools and universities, and live in our neighbourhoods.

They are losing their jobs but have no access to any form of financial safety net, to Medicare, to temporary shelter, and to fundamental support services such as free legal advice. Support from overseas family members may also be affected. Most cannot return home at this time.

Within this population, some are in an even more precarious situation: trafficked people and victims of modern slavery, people seeking asylum, and women on temporary visas experiencing domestic violence. For them, the impacts of COVID-19 and the exclusions from government support sit atop an already dangerous and exclusionary reality.

There are also people seeking asylum and refugees living in the community supported by volunteers who provide meal assistance through food banks and vouchers. At present, the number of volunteers has significantly dropped due to social distancing requirements and yet there remains an urgent need for stocking food banks. We are already seeing all kinds of public health and economic impacts: a surge in homelessness, and destitution, including people without food on their tables; a concomitant growth in people who find they cannot meet social distancing and self-isolation requirements; and an increase of already sick individuals without Medicare who are unable to seek timely health care.

The second group includes the people who came seeking Australia’s protection and who are currently being held in hotels and detention centres across Australia. This group have no choice about whether they take the vitally needed steps in maintaining physical distance and hand and coughing hygiene. Despite having committed no crime, they are being held in detention where social distancing is impossible and they are vulnerable with guards and service providers coming and going. We join with the Australian Society for Infection Disease and the Australian College of Infection Prevention to urge the Morrison-government to release asylum seekers and refugees from detention.

To this end, we ask that everyone in the Australian community who is in hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, including people seeking protection, be given temporary access to a financial safety net, Medicare, and adequate shelter if they are homeless.

Christians across Australia, including Catholics, have consistently shown concern for the welfare and lives of people who are on the margins. As Catholic leaders, we do the same.

We ask the Federal Government to remember its responsibility for ensuring safety and human rights of everyone residing within its jurisdiction, even temporarily. In the same way, we hope that foreign governments will be mindful of the needs of Australians stranded abroad at this time.

Australia cannot afford to leave some of the most vulnerable people in our community behind. COVID-19 makes us all as vulnerable as the most vulnerable person in Australia. Our support and generosity should extend to everyone in Australia who is in need of it at this critical moment.

None of us have ever experienced what we are going through today. It is a health crisis and becoming an economic crisis, but we must not let it become a crisis for our shared humanity. We must widen the circle of protection and care to include every person in Australia. Our health demands that as does our humanity.

List of Signatories

Fr. Peter Smith, Justice and Peace Promoter, Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney

Most Reverend Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv DD STL, Chair of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) Commission for Social Justice – Mission and Service, Bishop of Parramatta

Most Reverend Bishop Greg O’Kelly SJ, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Adelaide and Bishop of Port Pirie

Most Reverend Bishop Charles Gauci DD, Bishop of Darwin

Most Reverend Bishop Terence John Gerard Brady, Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney

Brother Peter Carroll FMS, President of Catholic Religious Australia (CRA); Provincial, Marist Brothers Province of Australia; Leader, Association of St. Marcellin Champagnat

Very Reverend Fr. Brian McCoy SJ, Provincial, Jesuit Province of Australia

Very Reverend Peter Jones OSA, Prior Provincial, Order of St. Augustine, Province of Australasia

Sr. Alice Foley OCD, Congregational Leader, Carmelite Nuns of Australia

Sr. Clare Nolan RSC, Congregational Leader, Sisters of Charity, Australia

Sr. Eveline Crotty, Institute Leader, Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and PNG

Sr. Jan Barnett rsj, Josephite Justice Coordinator, Josephite Justice Network of Australia

Sr. Louise McKeogh FMA, Provincial, Salesian Sisters, South Pacific Region

Sr. Mary-Louise Petro, Congregational Leader, Sisters of Mercy Parramatta

Sr. Monica Cavanagh rsj, Congregational Leader, Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart

Sr. Monica Walsh, Province Leader, Sisters of the Good Sheperd, Australia-Aotearoa/New Zealand

Sr. Patty Fawkner SGS, Provincial Leader, Sisters of the Good Samaritan, Australia

Sr. Stancea Vichie mss, Congregational Leader, Missionary Sisters of Service, Australia

Fr. Tom McDonough CP, Provincial Superior, Passionist Brothers of Australia

Fr. Brian Lucas, National Director, Catholic Mission

John Ferguson, Director, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference Office for Social Justice

Dr. Cristina Lledo Gomez, Chair, Australian Catholic Social Justice Council (ACSJC)

Kirsty Robertson, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Caritas Australia

Toby Hall, Group Chief Executive Officer, St. Vincent’s Health Australia

Carolina Gottardo, Director, Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Australia; Co-Chair, Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum (CAPSA)

Julie Edwards, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Jesuit Social Services; Co-Chair, Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum (CAPSA)

Claire Victory, National President, St. Vincent De Paul Society National Council of Australia

Louise Miller Frost, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), St. Vincent De Paul Society (SA)

Jack de Groot, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), St. Vincent De Paul Society (NSW)

Joshua Lourensz, Executive Director, Catholic Social Services Victoria (CSSV)

Maurizio Vespa, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), St. Francis Social Services and the House of Welcome

Sr. Brigid Arthur csb, Founder and Coordinator, Brigidine Asylum Seeker Project (BASP)

Patrice Moriarty, Social Justice Coordinator, Catholic Diocese of Parramatta

Brian Lawrence, Chairperson, Australian Cardijn Institute

Helen Forde, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Jesuit Mission

Phil Glendenning, Director, Edmund Rice Centre (ERC)

Richard Haddock, Chair, Mary Aikenhead Ministries

Fergus Fitzsimons, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Centacare New England NorthWest, The Social Services Agency of the Catholic Diocese of Armidale

Rebecca Bromhead, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Marist Solidarity Australia

Dr. Frank Malloy, National Director, Marist Schools Australia

Peter Loughnane, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Catholic Care – Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains

Mark Phillips, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Catholic Care – Sydney

John Lochowiak, Chairperson, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSICC)

Sr Louise Cleary csb, President, Australian Catholic Religious against Trafficking in Humans (ACRATH)

Sr Brigitte Sipa, Regional Leader, Sisters of St Joseph Centre West Region

Sr Mary Clare Holland OP, Prioress, Dominican Sisters of Eastern Australia and the Solomon Islands

Cath Garner, Group Director, Cabrini Outreach

Sue Williams, Chief Executive Officer, Cabrini Health

Wendy Hildebrand ibvm, Province Leader, Loreto Sisters Australia & S.E. Asia Province

Libby Rogerson ibvm, Member, Loreto Justice Network

Brian Lawrence new ACI Chair

Brian Lawrence

The former Chairman of the Australian Catholic Council for Employment Relations, Brian Lawrence, has accepted a new appointment as Chair of the Australian Cardijn Institute Cooperative Ltd (ACI).

Mr Lawrence has said that he accepted the appointment because the “Australian Cardijn Institute is a strong supporter of the Church’s social ministry and the principles of lay formation adopted by the Second Vatican Council”.  He added “A necessary step in shaping the future of Church in Australia is understanding what the universal Church said five decades ago about the role of lay people within society and within the Church.”

On a personal level, Mr Lawrence recalled that he joined the Young Christian Workers, which was co-founded by Father Joseph Cardijn, in 1960 and was inspired by the then Cardinal Joseph Cardijn during his visit to Melbourne in 1966.  “Cardijn and the Vatican Council shaped my view of Catholicism in the 1960s and I am convinced of the relevance and importance of both in 2020”.

In his recently published paper reviewing the Catholic Social Ministry Conference held at Catholic Theological College, Melbourne, in November 2019, Mr Lawrence argued that the Church needs to rediscover the mission of social engagement and lay formation promulgated by Vatican II.  His paper, which is now on the ACI website, argues that the Church’s social ministry and the development of lay formation are inextricably linked.

Mr Lawrence called on the Australian Catholic Plenary Council to focus more deeply on “the Church’s social mission and the reforms that are needed to promote the lay apostolate and the Church’s social ministry”.

Mr Lawrence has proposed three practical steps to promote the Church’s social ministry and lay formation.  First, he recommended that every deanery in Australia should establish a Catholic Social Ministry Council which would support the Church’s social ministry, provide education in Catholic Social Teaching, develop the resources needed for lay formation and encourage and support parish-based initiatives.

Second, in order for the Church’s social mission, he proposed that a Catholic Conference be established in each State to provide public advocacy in support of the Church’s social mission and provide support and resources for local Catholic Social Ministry Councils.

Third, he proposed that a National Council of the Laity be established to promote  lay formation in accordance with the objectives and principles of the Second Vatican Council.

Mr Lawrence added that an immediate task of the ACI will continue to be agitating for these kinds of reforms within the Church, but that its longer term task is to fulfil its objective when established in 2018: undertaking research and developing training resources for the promotion of the lay apostolate and the Church’s social ministry.

Outgoing ACI Chair, Kevin Vaughan welcomed Mr Lawrence’s appointment. He noted that YCW founder, Joseph Cardijn had long insisted on the need for an adult lay apostolic movement.  “ACI is well placed to contribute to this task,” he said.

READ MORE

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

Catholic Social Ministry Conference 2019

 

Board changes

Greg Lopez

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.

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 Anniversary Mass

Cardijn Mass

Over 50 people gathered at Mary MacKillop Church, Ballajura in the northern suburbs of Perth on Wednesday 13 November to celebrate the 137th birth anniversary of YCW founder, Joseph Cardijn.

Hosted by ACI together with the Perth YCW and Cardijn Community, Fr John Jegorow and Fr Geoff Aldous, both longtime YCW and YCS chaplains, concelebrated the mass.

Former YCW and YCS leaders

L to R: Marya Stewart, Fr Geoff Aldous and Sophie Stewart
L to R: Kashia, Travis D’Souza and Jermaine Beins (Perth YCW)

First AGM

Catholic Theological College

ACI held its first Annual General Meeting at Catholic Theological College, Melbourne on Saturday 24 August 2019.

Secretary Stefan Gigacz reported on the activities for the first year of ACI’s operation, including two study circle sessions, the Cardijn Online project to publish Cardijn’s speeches and writings on the web.

He noted that ACI had made a submission to the Australian Plenary Council of the Catholic Church on the need to focus on developing the lay apostolate.

He reported that a Perth ACI committe has also been created and a local centre opened at The Platform in the Perth CBD for one day per week.

Treasurer Michael Rice reported an operating surplus for the first year of $828.

David Moloney reported that Race Mathews had donated a collection of books related to Cardijn and the YCW to the ACI library project. The meeting formally thanked Race for the gift.

Other board members and meeting participants reported on Cardijn-related activities in the various states, including review of life activities in Perth and Adelaide, the sale of the YCW house in Brisbane and the social services and economic participation activities of the O’Sullivan Centre.

Des Ryan highlighted the need for developing a major fundraising program for ACI. The meeting appointed Des and Michael Rice to develop a business plan to achieve this.

Brian Lawrence pointed to the need to address changes in the world of work. Kevin Vaughan suggested that an enquiry on work in the modern world could be developed. The meeting resolved to take up the issue of “the future of work” as a focus of ACI activity.

Race Mathews suggested that ACI could look at inviting a researcher from the Cardijn-inspired Mondragon cooperatives in Spain to visit Australia to promote the development of worker coops here. This proposal was also adopted.

Stefan Gigacz reported that his PhD thesis “The Leaven in the Council” was being readied for publication. The meeting resolved to develop a crowdfunding project to finance the publication.

ACI Perth centre opens

Purpose Studio
2019-07-24

ACI has now opened its first physical centre leasing space initially for one day per week at Purpose Studio, 3rd Floor, 256 Adelaide Terrace, Perth.

ACI secretary, Stefan Gigacz, will develop a weekly presence there.

Stay tuned for news of our first events.

2019-07-24-2 2019-07-24-1-1

ACI official foundation

Foundation meeting
Launch

The official incorporation meeting for the Australian Cardijn Institute Cooperative Ltd took place at All Saints Hall, Fitzroy on Sunday 19 August 2018.

In his keynote address, Greg Crafter AO, a former YCW fulltime worker and later Minister for Education in the South Australian government, emphasised the need for lay formation based on Cardijn’s  vision and methods, which has also exercised great influence on Pope Francis, he said.

YCW worker, Marilyn Bellett, explained her work to rebuild the YCW in Melbourne this year while former YCW leader Fred Pase spoke of the importance of YCW formation in his own life.

Chaired by Kevin Vaughan with Stefan Gigacz as secretary, the meeting then adopted a formal resolution to incorporate the Australian Cardijn Institute Cooperative Ltd.

A new Board of Directors was also elected, including representatives from five states:

President: Kevin Vaughan

Secretary: Stefan Gigacz

Treasurer: Michael Rice

Members: Des Ryan, Jacques Boulet, David Moloney, Vicky Burrows, Mark Ager.