This year marks the 150th anniversary of the death of French priest, Alphonse Gratry (1805-1872), philosopher and theologian, whose work inspired Cardijn and many other social activists of the late 19th century.
In our next ACI webinar at 11.30am AEDT on Friday 18 March 2022 (Thursday evening 17 March US time 5.30pm West, 8.30pm East), American philosopher, Madonna Clare Adams, and ACI secretary, Stefan Gigacz, reflect on Gratry’s life and work.
As principal of Stanislas College in Paris, in 1840, he hired the young Frédéric Ozanam, founder of the Society of St Vincent de Paul. During the Revolutions of 1848, he wrote a pioneering manual of social action.
From the 1850s, he began publishing his major works in the fields of philosophy and theology. His theory of induction helped provide the foundation for Cardijn’s see-judge-act method.
During the First Vatican Council in 1870, he led the battle against the very broad definition of papal infallibility that many Council Fathers had sought.
He died of cancer on 7 February 1872, aged only 66.
MADONNA CLARE ADAMS
Madonna Clare Adams holds an STM from Yale Divinity School and a doctorate in Philosophy from Catholic University of America in Ancient and History of Philosophy. She directed a NY State Liberty Partnership Program for at-risk high school students, and was Director for the Center for Applied Ethics at Pace University, NY.
She has articles in the Dictionary on Catholic Spirituality, and has written on Plato’s political thought and modern democratic theory; the philosophy of Dr. Maria Montessori in relation to Plato’s education for citizenship, Aristotle’s philosophy of nature, and Marx’s concept of work; and Medieval Philosophers and the Environment.
A student of Dr. Mary L. O’Hara, CSJ, she assisted in the publication of her translation of Gratry’s Philosophy: A Translation of Julián Marías’ La Filosofia del Padre Gratry (Adelaide: ATF Press Publishing, 2020) the first major work on Gratry in English. Retired from Caldwell University and living in Whittier, CA.
Originally from Melbourne, Stefan Gigacz 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 a 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.
Alphonse Gratry (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)
Signs of the Times: From Alphonse Gratry to Vatican II, Friday 18 March 2022, 11.30am AEDT
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