Dear Friends,

We begin this issue with an important speech by Pope Francis highlighting the meaning and significance of the lay apostolate.

We are also pleased to present details of our March webinar with American Sr Maureen Sullivan O.P. who will speak on "The Women of Vatican II."

For those who joined us for John Médaille's wonderful webinar on Cardijn's The Hour of the Working Class as well as for those who missed it, the video is now available.

This month we remember Léon Ollé-Laprune, the French philosopher who was the first to articulate the see-judge-act in terms close to those of Cardijn.

And Greg Lopez helps us put the SJA into practice with a Lenten reflection on integral human development.

Pat Branson shares another experience of working to assist refugees arriving in Australia.

We also remember the anniversary of Cardijn's reception of a cardinal's red hat from Pope Paul VI with a video from the late John Maguire.

And we conclude with a beautiful quote on the significance of the YCW from another French philosopher, Simone Weil.

Stefan Gigacz
Lay apostolate primarily witness: Pope Francis
“The apostolate of the laity is primarily that of witness!” Pope Francis told participants at a meeting organised by the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life.

"The witness of one’s own experience and history, the witness of prayer, the witness of serving those in need, the witness of closeness to the poor and the forgotten, and the witness of welcome, above all on the part of families.

“That is the right training for mission: going out towards others, learning ‘on the ground’. And at the same time, an effective means of spiritual growth.”


Lay apostolate primarily witness: Pope Francis (ACI)
March Webinar: The women of Vatican II
For our March webinar, we are pleased to welcome Sr Maureen Sullivan OP who will speak on "The Women of Vatican II."

Sr Maureen graduated with a PhD in theology from Fordham University in New York with a dissertation on “The Christian Humanism of Pope Paul VI: An Inquiry into its Christological Foundations.”

Her books include 101 Questions and Answers About Vatican II, and The Road to Vatican II: Key Changes in Theology, both published by Paulist Press.


Webinar: The women of Vatican II: Sr Maureen Sullivan O.P. (ACI)


Saturday 11 March 2023, 1pm AEDT (Sydney-Melbourne), 10am Perth


Léon Ollé-Laprune: Philosopher of the see-judge-act
This month marks the 125th anniversary of the death of French philosopher, whose work inspired the French democratic movement, Le Sillon, founded by Marc Sangnier, as well as Cardijn himself.

"Each person must apply him or herself more than ever, better than ever, to courageously and faithfully looking at the principles and the facts in order to make him or herself more than ever, better than ever, capable of seeing clearly, judging and deciding," Ollé-Laprune wrote in the Preface to the Third Edition of his classic work "Le prix de la vie," which translates as "The price or prize of life."


See clearly, judge well and decide: Léon Ollé-Laprune (ACI)
Integral Human Development, Lenten Penance and the Synodal Journey
The see-judge-act process is ideal for Lenten reflection, writes Greg Lopez.

It is ideal for daily living as it integrates Christian values—Moral Virtues, Theological Virtues, Gifts of the Holy Spirit, and Fruits of the Holy Spirit with the Gospel and Catholic Social Teachings as the basis of our daily actions. It enables integral or holistic development of the person. It connects the interior and the exterior. It can be done individually or in a group.

This Lent, in particular, Pope Francis reminds us that our journey of change, while challenging, is not alone. We do it and achieve it collectively—with our brothers, sisters, and God.


Integral Human Development, Lenten Penance and the Synodal Journey (Cardijn Reflections)
The price of democracy
For the past ten years, asylum seekers who have come by boat have been treated unjustly, writes Pat Branson in a Cardijn Reflection on the price of democracy.

“You can stay, but you will have to sit in the corner and not say anything, or record anything that goes on. Understood?”

I nodded and sat on the chair in the corner of the room, like a naughty child. It was an interview room in the Department of Immigration and I was there to support two asylum seekers who had been ordered to attend a meeting.

What followed was harrowing. I felt powerless in the presence of two cold, efficient officials who accused the asylum seekers of attempting to conceal their true identities.


The price of democracy (Cardijn Reflections)


Operation Triton on 15 June 2015 NW of Tripoli (Libya) (Irish Defence Forces)
Cardijn receives his red hat
This month also marks the anniversary of Cardijn's appointment as a cardinal by Pope Paul VI.

In their biography of Cardijn, Marguerite Fiévez and Jacques Meert recorded his doubts and anguish over the appointment.

So did the late John Maguire, an Australian priest, who was present in Rome for the presentation of Cardijn's red hat, as he recorded in a video interview with Stefan Gigacz.

“You are not going to be a Cardinal to die, but to live,” Pope Paul told Cardijn in a bid ot assuage his anguish. “You will continue talking on the YCW all over the world and with a great deal more weight. ..”


Cardinal – not for yourself but for the YCW (Cardijn Reflections)
Video: John Médaille, Cardijn's The Hour of the Working Class
American Catholic Social Teaching specialist, John Médaille, shared his reflections on the issues and questions raised by Cardijn in his 1948 lecture series, The Hour of the Working Class, at our February 2023 ACI webinar.


Video: John Médaille on Cardijn’s Hour of the Working Classµ (ACI)


Joseph Cardijn, The hour of the working class (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)
Christian Workers Movement
The Australian Christian Workers movement continues to develop, Kevin Vaughan notes.

To join and/or to receive more information, please write to Kevin at: kedwardv@bigpond.com
French philosopher, Simone Weil, on YCW
Editorial Note: The purpose of the ACI Newsletter is to share information and promote discussion. Citing or linking to articles does not imply any endorsement by ACI of the authors' views.
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