ACI secretary Stefan Gigacz will present our August webinar on Léon Ollé-Laprune, the French philosopher, who first articulated the method that we today know as the “see-judge-act.”
Born in 1839, Léon Ollé-Laprune studied philosophy at the Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS) in Paris. As a student, he read the works of Alphonse Gratry, who had been chaplain at the ENS. As a Christian, he modelled his life on that of Frédéric Ozanam, seeking to make himself a “lay apostle.” As a social activist, he followed in the footsteps of Frédéric Le Play, the pioneer sociologist whose method of social enquiry so influenced Cardijn.
As an academic, he influenced a whole generation of future French leaders, including Jean Jaurès, founder of the French Socialist Party, the sociologist Emile Durkheim, and the philosophers, Maurice Blondel and Henri Bergson.
Writing in 1896, he advised students to learn to “see clearly, judge and decide” in order to address the challenges of the time.
Léon Ollé-Laprune died in 1898, 125 years ago this year. The method he inspired would sweep the world with Cardijn’s Young Christian Workers and its sister movements before being adopted by Pope John XXIII in 1961 and by the Second Vatican Council in 1965.
Originally from Melbourne, Stefan worked for a short time as a personal injuries lawyer. While at university, he became involved in a local parish YCW group. In 1978, he became a fulltime worker for the movement, working in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney and later for the International YCW.
Later, he completed master’s degrees in canon law and legal theory. From 1997-2000, he coordinated an international project to document the history of the YCW before taking up a position as a project officer with the French Catholic development agency, CCFD-Terre Solidaire. From 2006-2008, he worked as a pastoral worker in a Melbourne Catholic parish. Since then, he has worked as an editor and journalist for a series of Catholic online publications.
From 2012-2018, he worked on his PhD thesis on the role of Joseph Cardijn at the Second Vatican Council, now published under the title “The Leaven in the Council: Joseph Cardijn and the Jocist Network at Vatican II.” He now resides in Perth, Western Australia, where he devotes his time to the development of the Australian Cardijn Institute.
Tuesday 8 August 2023, 7.30pm AEST