Dear Friends,

Welcome back!

This month we bring news of the launch of a new book on the late South African Dominican, Albert Nolan, architect of the seminal Kairos Document against apartheid signed by South African theologians in 1985.

We note Pope Francis' plan for an apostolic letter commemorating St Therese of Lisieux, patron of the YCW and Specialised Catholic Action.

On the action front, Cardijn Community Australia has launched a see-judge-act resource to enable groups to discuss the Voice to Parliament while Pat Branson has prepared a Gospel Enquiry on evangelical poverty.

Richard Pütz reflects on Dietrich Bonhoeffer's "religionless Christianity" in the light of Gaudium et Spes.

Bruce Duncan will join us for our July webinar with a webinar exploring the astonishing parallels between Paul John XXIII trying to defuse the Cold War and Pope Francis’s efforts to end the conflict over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Plus we now have the video of James Franklin's excellent June webinar on Catholic Social Justice and the Labor Party.

Speaking of history, we recall the 60th anniversary of the publication of Cardijn's Vatican II book, Laypeople into Action, and the battle he had to publish it with his own bishop, Cardinal Suenens.

Meanwhile, I have just launched a new mini-website on the extraordinary life and work of Belgian JOCF and International YCW pioneer, Marguerite Fiévez, who, at the age of nineteen in a move that echoed Cardijn, decided to dedicate her life "once and for all to the working class."

Finally, we share Cardijn's own reflections on the death of John XXIII, also 60 years ago this month.

Stefan Gigacz
Francis plans apostolic letter on St Therese
In his General Audience on 7 June, just before he left for successful surgery, Pope Francis announced that he is planning to issue an apostolic letter on St Therese of Lisieux, patron saint of the YCW and Catholic Action.

'"She is patroness of the missions, but she was never sent on mission," the pope said. "She was a Carmelite nun who lived her life according to the way of littleness and weakness: she defined herself as 'a small grain of sand.' Having poor health, she died at the age of only 24. But though her body was sickly, her heart was vibrant, missionary.

"She recounts in her 'diary' that her desire was that of being a missionary, and that she wanted to be one not just for a few years, but for the rest of her life, even until the end of the world.


Pope plans apostolic letter on St Therese (ACI)
Enquiry: The Voice to Parliament
Between October and December 2023 Australians will vote whether to enshrine a ‘voice’ to parliament that will give a group of indigenous people chosen specifically to have a say on laws, policies and programs that directly affect First Nations people.

The Cardijn Community Australia has drafted a short see-judge-act enquiry to enable groups to discuss the issue.


The Voice to Parliament Referendum: A short enquiry (Cardijn Community Australia)
Gospel Enquiry: Your heart will be where your treasure is
The story of St Paulinus of Nola is simple, writes Pat Branson. Born in Bordeaux, France in 353, he became a Roman consul and amassed great wealth. When he realised that his wealth was getting in the way of his relationship with Christ, he gave it all away and moved with his wife to Nola, a small town near Naples.

His life embodied Jesus' teaching to his disciples: “Don’t fear, little flock, because your Father wants to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Get for yourselves purses that will not wear out, the treasure in heaven that never runs out, where thieves can’t steal and moths can’t destroy. Your heart will be where your treasure is” (Luke 12:32-34 – New Century Version).


A Gospel Enquiry: Your heart will be where your treasure is (Cardijn Reflections)
Webinar: John XXIII and Pacem in Terris 1963 - 2023
Catholic Social Teaching specialist, Fr Bruce Duncan CSsR, will present the July ACI webinar on “John XXIII and Pacem in Terris 1963 – 2023” marking the 60th anniversary of the publication of the encyclical.

He will explore the astonishing parallels between Paul John XXIII trying to defuse the Cold War and Pope Francis’s efforts to end the conflict over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Webinar details

Tuesday 11 July 2023, 7.30pm AEST

Register here:

Book: Put right something that's wrong: Albert Nolan OP
"Put right something that's wrong" is a collection of articles by and interviews with South African Dominican Albert Nolan OP, who died in October 2022 at the age of 88.

From 1973-80, Nolan was Chaplain to the National Catholic Federation of Students (NCFS) and, until 1980, assisted the Catholic Students Association (CASA), which was formed in 1976 after black students began organising themselves into separate formations as Black Consciousness flourished.

In 1977, Nolan was instrumental in establishing Young Christian Students (YCS) in South Africa after he attended an International Movement of Catholic Students gathering in Lima, Peru, in 1975, where he was introduced to the See-Judge-Act method of social analysis and was inspired by Gustavo Gutiérrez, who later also became a Dominican and who is regarded as one of the pioneers of Liberation Theology.

As part of a secret underground network, Nolan also played a brave role in the ‘underground work’ of the liberation movements, notably the African National Congress (ANC), offering his support to activists, especially those who became victims of the apartheid regime’s violent and repressive security police.


Put right something that's wrong, The Call to Action, Education, Justice,
Kairos, and Leadership, Albert Nolan OP (Cardijn Studies Vol. 4, No. 2, 2023)

Kairos Document
Video: Catholic Social Justice & the Labor Party with James Franklin
We are pleased to present the video of our June ACI Webinar with Emeritus Professor James Franklin on “Catholic social justice and the Labor Party 1900-1940."


Website: Marguerite Fiévez, YCW pioneer
"In deciding, at the age of 19, to bind my life once and for all to that of the working class, I wanted to embrace the circumstances and way of life imposed on workers by society," wrote Marguerite Fiévez, pioneer of the Belgian Girls YCW, founding secretary of the International YCW and later Cardijn's secretary and biographer.

"In particular, I chose to accept their situation of insecurity, while seeking to give it a Gospel meaning of sharing and positive detachment: "No one can serve two masters…'."

In this new ACI website, we begin to tell the story of her extraordinary life and work as well as to share some of her writings. Much more to come in the future!


Laypeople into Action: Suenens vs Cardijn
This month marks the 60th anniversary of the publication of Cardijn's first and only book, Laïcs en premières lignes, later translated into English as Laymen/Laypeople into Action and other languages.

Cardijn's book appeared in between the First and Second Sessions of Vatican II and just days after the death of John XXIII and prior to the election of Paul VI.

Stefan Gigacz tells the dramatic story of the conflict that emerged between Cardijn and his own archbishop, Cardinal Léon-Joseph Suenens, who delayed the imprimatur for Cardijn's book and tried to get him to change certain passages.


Stefan Gigacz, Laypeople in the frontlines: Suenens vs Cardijn (The Leaven in the Council)

Cardijn@Vatican2 Blog (The day by day story of Cardijn's involvement at Vatican II with original documents)
Dietrich Bonhoeffer's 'religionless Christianity'
Many evangelicals say Bonhoeffer’s ideas on religionless Christianity are controversial, but so are Jesus’ ideas, especially when you read them in the historical context of the situation in time he was speaking, writes Richard Pütz.

Like Gaudium et Spes, Bonhoeffer’s Outline for Book/Religionless Christianity has been used to argue for a more engaged and socially active form of Christianity, and they have also been used to assert a more inclusive and welcoming state of Christianity in the modern world.

In the modern world, Bonhoeffer’s ideas on religionless Christianity are more relevant than ever. As we employ the methods of See-Judge-Act to understand our world today and apply the teachings of Gaudium et Spes and Bonhoeffer, we discover new ways to make Christianity relevant to people who feel separated from the Gospel. Gaudium et Spes and Bonhoeffer’s ideas on religionless Christianity provide a way to do this.


Richard Pütz, Bonhoeffer, Cardijn and Gaudium et Spes (Cardijn Reflections)
Cardijn: John XXIII's New Pentecost
"In five years John XXIII, the 'transition Pope' has renewed the Church and the world! 'Et renovabis faciem terrae…'," wrote Cardijn upon hearing the news of John's death.

"He spoke so freely of a new Pentecost! I will never forget our first meeting."

"John XXIII opened the Vatican to all, friends and adversaries. Or rather, he did not have adversaries, only misunderstanding and obscurities. And whatever the cost these needed to disappear. He did not know obstacles, he left the Vatican, visited sick friends, hospitals, handicapped asylums, poor parishes and prisons. He wanted to see, to understand, to be present."


Joseph Cardijn, John XXIII’s New Pentecost (Cardijn Reflections)
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
1930s JOC peace sticker
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.
Australian Cardijn Institute Cooperative Ltd
Incorporated in 2018
(Cooperatives National Law Application Act 2013)
ABN: 19211591334
A charity registered with the ACNC
Corresponding member of Pax Romana-ICMICA
(Please consider making a bequest to ACI in your will)
Registered Address: 56 Austin Rd, Seaford, Vic, 3198
Current members: Please transfer $12 to our account to renew for 2021-22.
New members: $25 including joining fee, 3 shares and membership for the first year. Join online here:
Account name: Australian Cardijn Institute Cooperative
Bank: Great Southern Bank BSB: 814282 A/c No.: 51304905
Email: aci@australiancardijninstitute.org
Web: www.australiancardijninstitute.org
facebook twitter instagram