Dear Friends,

September is rushing by but here finally is this month's newsletter. We begin with Pope Francis praising the "atomic" work of US community organisers and an article in America magazine recalling the US Church's historical links with the labour movement.

We present our forthcoming webinar to introduce Pope Francis' new apostolic exhortation Laudate Deum, which follows up his 2015 encyclical Laudato Si'."

Pat Branson presents another excellent Gospel enquiry while Richard Putz reflects on what's known as the "Fr Cyprian pledge" to read new books.

We have two videos from our webinar with Fr Filip Fanchette and his collaborators from the Training for Transformation network and a Pax Romana webinar on Synodality in Asia, including a talk by me.

In another item, Sydney Auxiliary Bishop Danny Meagher speaks of the see-judge-act in the context of Catholic Social Teaching.

We remember a good friend from Malta, Fr Joe Inguanez, sociologist and YCW chaplain.

I have an article which tells the story of Cardijn's collaborator Marguerite Fiévez's experience in striving for the recognition of lay people and movements in the Church.

We recall a blockbuster 1944 book that had a worldwide impact, France, pays de mission? or in English "Is France a mission country?" by two YCW chaplains Henri Godin and Yvan Daniel.

And we finish with a quote from the famous Pact of the Catacombs inspired by Cardijn's own consecration to the working class and signed by 500 Vatican II bishops.

Stefan Gigacz
Pope Francis hails US community organisers’ ‘atomic’ work
When Pope Francis told a group of U.S. community organisers that their work was “atomic,” Jorge Montiel said, “I thought, ‘Oh, you mean we blow things up?'”

But instead, the pope spoke about how the groups associated with the West/Southwest Industrial Areas Foundation in the United States take issues patiently, “atom by atom,” and end up building something that “penetrates” and changes entire communities, said Montiel, an IAF organizer in Colorado and New Mexico, the USCCB reports.

Pope Francis’ hourlong meeting on 14 September with 15 delegates from the group was a follow-up to a similar meeting a year ago.

The Industrial Areas Foundation was founded by Saul Alinsky in Chicago in 1940. Alinsky worked closely with a number of YCW leaders and chaplains, including Msgr Jack Egan, who was also chaplain to the Christian Family Movement


Pope Francis hails US community organisers’ ‘atomic’ work (ACI)
What happened to the US Church’s labor links?
While summertime may be over in the US, the spirit of this “Hot Labor Summer” continued into autumn, when the United Auto Workers declared a strike against America’s “Big Three” automakers.

While the nation will watch to see both the economic and political effects of the strike, the presence of the Catholic Church has played a hand in the mission of the United Auto Workers long before this most recent strike, O’Brien says

But what happened to those links?


What happened to the US Church’s labor links? (America)
Webinar: Laudato Deum: Pope Francis' new apostolic exhortation
Our next ACI webinar on Tuesday 10 October 2023 will focus on Pope Francis’ newly announced apostolic exhortation, Laudato Deum, which is due to be published on 4 October.

Special guest for our webinar will be Jacqui Remond, former director of Catholic Earthcare, currently a lecturer at Australian Catholic University and a member of the Vatican Ecology Taskforce.


Tuesday 10 September, 7.30pm AEDT (NB 6.30pm Qld, 4.30pm WA)

Gospel Enquiry: Nicodemus meets Jesus
The Church celebrates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on 14 September. The Gospel reading for the feast day comes from the meeting Nicodemus has with Jesus.

Jesus said to Nicodemus, “The only one who has ever gone up to heaven is the One who came down from heaven—the Son of Man.


God's love, our faith (Cardijn Reflections)

Remembering Fr Joe Inguanez, priest, YCW chaplain and sociologist
Maltese YCW chaplain and sociologist, Fr Joe Inguanez, 80, died recently while swimming at a beach in Gozo.

Fr Inguanez, who was born in 1943 and ordained a priest in 1970, “was an intellectual whose gentle yet uncompromising views of society and Catholicism in modern-day Malta won him plaudits from those whose attention he commanded,” writes Matthew Vella at Malta Today.

“Having headed Discern, a Catholic think-tank that used applied research to keep guiding the Maltese Church, Inguanez, who lectured at the University of Malta’s Department of Sociology and had also been its head of department, became a prominent cleric in Maltese society,” he continues.

“Apart from his towering persona in his field of academia, Inguanez stood apart from many of his fellow clerics for promoting an intellectual criticism of the Maltese Catholic Church."


RIP Fr Joe, sociologist and YCW chaplain (ACI)
Sydney bishop explains the see-judge-act
In a podcast from the Sydney Archdiocese Re Search program, Andy Martin talks to Auxiliary Bishop Danny Meagher about Catholic Social Teaching including the See Judge Act.

Originally from West Wyalong, Bishop Danny practised as a solicitor for three years before entering St Patrick’s Seminary in Sydney.

Later he became the rector of the Good Shepherd Seminary at Homebush in the Sydney Archdiocese.

He was also director of Catechesis for World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney.


Sydney bishop explains the see-judge-act (ACI)
Video: Training for transformation with Filip Fanchette
Mauritian priest and social activist, Fr Filip Fanchette, together with Nyothi Nyambi and Ginoca Neto from Training for Transformation in Africa, were our presenters for the September ACI webinar on Tuesday 12 September.

Video: Synod Asia - Together gathering the People of God
The Pax Romana movements held a webinar on the theme "Synod Asia: Together gathiering the People of God" with speakers, Fr Clarence Devadass of the Catholic Research Centre, Kuala Lumpur, and Stefan Gigacz, on Sunday 17 September.


International lay movements in a synodal Church (Synodal Reflections)

Decline and fall of the International Catholic Organisations Conference
In this month's readings, Stefan Gigacz traces the issues and problems that finally led to the dissolution of the Conference of International Catholic Organisations in 2008.

He also presents a series of reflections from Cardijn's collaborator, Marguerite Fiévez (above), who, as early as 1967, foresaw the difficulties that eventually emerged with the Pontifical Council for the Laity.


Stefan Gigacz, Fears for the ICO Conference... in 1967 (Synodal Reflections)

Stefan Gigacz, Dissolution or destruction of the ICO Conference (Synodal Reflections)
Reflection: The Cyprian pledge and the Cardijn method
"Kimberly Baker, PhD, coined the idea called 'The Fr. Cyprian Pledge'," writes Richard Pütz.

"I have been practicing the pledge and ask you to begin by choosing something to read this Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer, one book each season, by an author not of your own ethnic origins and pertaining to racism, history, religion, culture, and privilege. Look for concrete ways to incorporate into your life the lessons learned."


Richard Pütz, The Cyprian pledge, the Cardijn method and learning circles (Synodal Reflections)


Fr Cyprian Davis (St Meinrad Abbey)
Book: France, a mission country?
Last month marked the centenary of the birth of martyred Argentinian jocist chaplain, bishop, Vatican II Council father, signatory of the Pact of the Catacombs and the Pietralata Message, pioneer of Argentina’s Theology of the People, and martyr, Enrique Angelelli.

"Born on 18 July 1923, he was one of the greatest jocist chaplains," writes Stefan Gigacz. "But in the present context of preparing for the Synod on Synodality, who could be a better model for the development of a synodal Church?"


Stefan Gigacz, Enrique Angelelli, a model for a synodal Church (Synodal Reflections)
500 Vatican II bishops commit themselves to review their lives

The Pact of the Catacombs
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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