Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Belgian bishop backs Cardijn's canonisation

Bishop Jean-Pierre Delville with former IYCW chaplain Bishop Reginaldo Andrietta before the Mass
Cardinal Joseph Cardijn "is worthy of being officially recognised one day as one of the saints of the Church," according to Bishop Jean-Pierre Delville of Liège.

Bishop Delville, who was formerly a professor of Church history at the Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve, was delivering the homily at the opening mass of the International YCW World Council on Sunday 25 September in Aachen, Germany.

Cardijn was also a "justice fighter," who was "driven by a deep missionary spirit," Bishop Delville said.

"He was convinced that the Gospel message borne by the young workers should shine forth and have an impact on many people. He was himself a vibrant and powerful speaker.

"He sparked confidence with the strength of conviction that radiated from his personality. This strength was love, which is an infectious force. All those who knew him have testified to its strength.

"For the sake of young workers, he undertook more than twenty international voyages.

"He became a justice-fighter throughout the whole world. His international consciousness still needs to mobilize us today.

"This is, in fact, the reason why we are gathered here today, coming from various countries, cultures and continents.

"Our cause is worldwide and it should be endlessly developed for the sake of humanity.

"May I again repeat that Pope Francis is already ahead of us in this area? He is the first Pope coming from Latin America and he is well known for his stand in favour of the refugees and migrants of our world.

"He calls us to overcome our fears and doubts, to go out of our churches and venture out to the peripheries of the world.

"This missionary spirit is possibly Joseph Cardijn’s most visible message, and perhaps the reason that Pope Paul VI made him a cardinal in 1965 in order to promote it at the level of the universal Church. 

"Dear friends, let us be sure that Cardinal Joseph Cardijn has not lost his relevance. He surely still encourages us today, and still prays for us and all the victims of our world. 

"We believe that he lives in God’s grace where he intercedes on our behalf.  We are convinced that he is worthy of being officially recognised one day as one of the saints of our Church," Bishop Delville concluded.

Emeritus Bishop Heinrich Mussinger concelebrates the IYCW Opening Mass

IYCW Colloquy promotes inter-generational solidarity

Jean-Marie Dumortier, Fabrice Epis, Marlyse Strasser and Arlindo de Oliveira animate a session at the IYCW Colloquy
Current and former leaders of the YCW movement gathered in Herzogenrath, near Aachen, Germany, over the 24-26 September weekend for the IYCW International Colloquy, with the aim of developing cooperation between the various generations of leaders.

Participants shared their experience of developing networks of former YCW leaders in the various continents, notably in Latin America. CCI treasurer, Stefan Gigacz, also presented the Cardijn Community model.

IYCW president, Ludovicus Mardiyono, and treasurer, Andy Predicala, also shared their reflections on the needs and challenges faced by the movement today.

Marlyse Strasser, Fabrice Epis and Jacques Hanon presented the work of the International Cardijn Association (formerly known as the International Cardijn Foundation), particularly the gathering of more than 200 personal testimonies by former YCW leaders.

A series of presentations from current YCW leaders as well as several experts also highlighted a number of challenges facing the world today.

World Social Forum co-founder Chico Whitaker shared his experience and vision of building networks and developing new methodologies, while former Philippines YCW leader, Daisy Arago, and former Belgian KAJ leader, Luc Cortebeeck, both highlighted the challenges in the world of work.

A concluding session identified extension, training and financial support as several of the key areas in which collaboration between former and current YCW leaders could be developed.

Finally, all participants took part in an opening mass at St Jacob's Church, Aachen,

Former IYCW chaplain, Bishop Reginaldo Andrietta, Bishop Jean-Pierre Delville of Liège, Belgium, and Emeritus Bishop Heinrich Mussinghoff celebrated the opening mass with a number of YCW chaplains.

This was followed by a public demonstration and march that ended at Aachen railway station.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Pope Francis' special blessing for the IYCW World Council

Pope Francis has asked former IYCW chaplain, Dom Reginaldo Andrietta, who is now the bishop of Jales in Brazil, to communicate a special blessing to the IYCW World Council which will begin in Aachen, Germany this weekend.

"I told (Pope Francis) about my responsibility as a diocesan bishop as the reference bishop for pastoral work for the CNBB (Catholic Bishops Conference of Brazil), which includes support for the Young Christian Worker (YCW/JOC) movement, as well as the World Council of the IYCW, which will take place in Germany from 26 September until the 8 October 2016," Dom Reginaldo wrote in a Facebook post.

"The pope also communicated to me a special blessing for the IYCW Council where I will be present, and has also sent a letter via the Vatican Secretariat of State expressing its pleasure at this world meeting as well as its encouragement to all participants and their mission in the YCW."

US postage stamp honours Fr Theodore Hesburgh CSC

A new US postage stamp honours Fr Theodore Hesburgh CSC, long-time Notre Dame University president, who was a pioneer promoter of specialised Catholic Action.

He wrote his doctoral on the theology of the laity, which was published under the title "Theology of Catholic Action."

As Fr Robert Pelton CSC later wrote:

I was privileged to arrive at Notre Dame at a time when Father (later Archbishop) John O'Hara, CSC, Father Louis J. Putz, CSC, and a group of other priests and lay leaders at Notre Dame were vigorously questioning the adequacy of such a faith. By founding the Young Christian Students, the Christian Family Movement, Catholic Worker chapters, community outreach programs, and countless other Catholic Action groups, these visionary leaders both challenged and empowered faithful laypersons to infuse Christian values and Christian compassion throughout all areas of daily life. Their efforts were fostered by Father Theodore M. Hesburgh, CSC, who consistently initiated, strengthened, and defended Notre Dame's social mission throughout his 35-year presidency of the University, and by Father Edward A. Malloy, C.S.C., who continues to build upon and extend this vision.

Indeed, Fr Hesburgh was one of a whole generation of CSC priests who promoted the YCW and other specialised Catholic Action movements.

Also part of this generation was the Panamanian Archbishop Marcos McGrath CSC, one of the driving forces behind the adoption of the See Judge Act method in the Vatican II Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the World of Today, Gaudium et Spes.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

US social justice pioneer Msgr Marvin Mottet has died

American social justice campaigner, Msgr Marvin Mottet, who was an early member of the US YCS, has died at the age of 86 in Davenport, Iowa, the National Catholic Reporter and Catholic News Service report.

Msgr Mottet,a former executive director of the U.S. bishops' Catholic Campaign for Human Development, had just reached the 60th anniversary of his ordination.

In a 2012 interview, he noted that the Great Depression had made a great impact on him as had his experience in YCS.

"Well, of course, the Great Depression had a big impact on everybody, just to survive. During those days a lot of Ambrose priests came out of working class families, their dads probably worked in factories and were union organizers and they had that in mind," he said in an interview with his alma mater, St Ambrose University.

"At least in my experience, whatever class I went to I got social justice. If it was Father Urban 'Penny' Ruhl in English literature, you got social justice. If it was philosophy, history, it didn't matter, you got social justice, so it was always woven in there as a thread running through.

"Also, there was Young Christian Students that Father Bernard Kamerick led. It had weekly meetings and we would also go to Chicago for big YCS meetings.

"As students we got to meet all these priests in Chicago involved in race and justice and inner city issues. And my first year here, Ambrose hosted the National Catholic Social Action Conference. 

"They called off classes for a day or two and all the students were invited to go. We got to meet all these outstanding people and hear all their talks," he recalled.

Later he often to the Cardijn observe-judge-act methodology that he had learnt, as Katy Strzepek, director of St Ambrose's Women's Studies program noted.

"I think so, too. I loved it when I heard your talk at the civil rights event, Msgr. Mottet, about Father Joseph Cardijn's method of observe-judge-act, because that is so much of what I try to teach my students to do in my class," she told Msgr Mottet in her interview with him.

In another tribute, Bishop Martin Amos observed that in his 10 years as bishop of the Davenport diocese, "I've come to realize the tremendous impact Msgr. Mottet has had on people in general, the poor in particular and in the area of social justice."

A farm boy from Ottumwa, Iowa, who witnessed his parents' compassion toward anyone in need, young Marv Mottet honed his social justice skills as a student at St. Ambrose College, and later as a priest and teacher in the Davenport diocese and as executive director of the U.S. bishops' domestic anti-poverty program, now called the Catholic Campaign for Human Development in Washington, from 1978 to 1985, NCR reports.

He embraced diversity, working side by side with African-Americans and with Hispanics to end discriminatory practices in housing, employment and immigration. Ordained to the priesthood at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport in 1956, he helped form the Catholic Interracial Council to address racial discrimination and segregation in the city a year later.

At age 78, he marched in a rally in Postville, Iowa, on behalf of immigrants in the country without legal permission who were devastated by a massive immigration raid on the town's meatpacking plant. He later brought Martin Luther King Jr and Mother Teresa to Davenport to receive the Pacem in Terris Peace and Freedom Award. Years later, he himself received the same award.

In 1969, he launched the Social Action Department for the Diocese of Davenport.

"A Pacem in Terris Coalition member likened (Msgr Mottet's influence) to the role of yeast in bread-making. It has an invisible but undeniable effect," NCR says.

Organizations such as Legal Aid, Center for Active Seniors Inc., Quad-Cities Interfaith, Interfaith Housing, Project Renewal, Cafe on Vine and other programs began or benefited from the leavening efforts of Mottet and his collaborators.

Bishop Remi De Roo recalls Vatican II

Young Bishop Remi De Roo
Canadian Bishop Remi De Roo, a friend and collaborator of Cardijn at Vatican II, says that the Council can be summarised in three words: "ressourcement," a French word meaning to return to the roots of something; "aggiornamento," an Italian word meaning to update something; and "development."

One of the last survivors of the Council, Bishop De Roo made the comments during a public lecture about Vatican II at St. Mark's College at the University of British Columbia Sept. 15, the Catholic Register reports.

He also said Vatican II was the first time the church asked itself "Who am I?" but he believed the council could have gone further with a more rigorous academic look at the early church.

Collegiality and synodality were themes at the forefront of the council for participants but, according to Bishop De Roo, subsidiarity – the idea that matters ought to be handled by the smallest, lowest or least-centralized competent authority – was an even bigger theme at the council.

"Subsidiarity brought to the forefront that the church is not a pyramid but a circle," he said. Asked about the legacies of the council, the bishop said he had found it painful to see collegiality watered down over the years and not understood as something that applied to all members of the church.

"There are too many of us who are too ready to depend on other people to do something" he said, adding all Catholics "are equally responsible for bringing about the reign of God."

Bishop De Roo recalled that at the first session of the council, the wives of ecumenical observers were included along with their husbands and therefore able to follow council proceedings. However, Catholic women were not directly involved in the work of the council.

By the third and fourth sessions, however, Catholic women began to be included in the council in various ways. However, he said only one woman, British economist Barbara Ward, addressed the council.

"Her talk had to be rewritten into Latin and read by a priest" he said, adding "the issue of the role of women did not get treatment and it should have."

Young Fr De Roo was present at the IYCW International Congress in Montreal 1947.

Start video at 55:00 minutes


Vatican II was first time church asked 'Who am I?' says Canadian bishop (Catholic Register)

Bishop Remi De Roo, Testimonies

Bishop Rémi De Roo, L'apostolat des laïcs (Vatican II)

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Ethiopian president for ICYCW

The International Coordination of the YCW (ICYCW) has elected Ethiopian teacher, Berhanu Sinamo, 29, as its new president.

He was elected at the 9th ICYCW Congress held in Seoul, South Korea from 19 August – 1 September 2016.

Berhanu told Vatican Radio that he is honoured that members of ICYCW entrusted him with the important task of serving young Christian workers in different parts of the world. He called on all young Christian workers to answer God’s call by being faithful to their work.

“As Christians, one of the ways young people can contribute to spreading the Good News is by dedicating themselves to the work they are involved in and honestly serve the people, this by itself is a testimony to the Gospel.

In the meantime when we are committed to our work we witness God’s Love as he will fill us with His Grace that will make us successful,” he said.

He added that the Ethiopian YCW is also involved in preparations for the 19th AMECEA Plenary to be held in Addis Ababa in 2018.

The YCW hopes to mobilise as many youths as possible throughout the country to pray for the canonisation of Blessed Gebremichael, the first Ethiopian Catholic Martyr, Berhanu Sinamo told Vatican Radio.

“I would like to ask all young Christian workers to pray for me so that God may bless me with the wisdom to handle all my responsibilities as per his will and to the best interests of all members,” Berhanu concluded.