Saturday, 30 July 2016

RIP Fr Jacques Hamel, a man of the masses

CCI has learned from the Christian Worker Movement (ACO) in Rouen France that assassinated priest, Fr Jacques Hamel, worked closely with the movements of the Mission Ouvrière, which include the Young Christian Workers (JOC-YCW) as well as the ACO.

"This Tuesday 26 July 2016, terrrorism struck at the heart of the Church of Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray," an ACO Rouen statement says.

"As members of the Christian Worker Movement (ACO), we express our communion with the family of Fr Hamel, who was odiously assassinated, and to the victims of this attack. We share the immense pain of all members of the parish.

"Fr Hamel was mindful of people's lives, welcoming, discreet, and we are particularly for his accompaniment of the movements of the Mission Ouvrière (Worker Mission)," the statement says.

The movement also appealed to the French community not to allow "hate and mistrust to take hold."

"As believers in Jesus Christ, we are convinced that living together is possible. This odious act must not destroy the dynamic of solidarity.

"We will continue to build fraternity and solidarity in our places of life with the Muslim community, as well as other religious communities and all people who share humanist and pacifist convictions.

"Multiculturalism is a wealth to be shared. Let us dare to look, to listen and to take care of others... Together we will get through this testing time," ACO Rouen say.

" All parts [of the Body] should have the same concern for one another," the statement says, citing Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians. "If [one] part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy.' Saint Paul - First Letter to the Corinthians (12,25-26)"

"We wish to remain upstanding and more than ever engaged in the struggle for the dignity of humanity, for justice and peace in our country and in the world," the statement concludes.

CCI International coordinator MJ Ruben also expressed condolences at the death of Fr Jacques.

"Cardijn Community International (CCI) is deeply saddened at the brutal killing of Father Jacques Hamel by the fundamentalist forces," Ruben said. 

"Fr Hamel was a man of the masses, according to all those who knew him and he worked for inter-faith union," Ruben added.

"CCI is taking up the cause of both lay and religious Cardijn martyrs to be recognised by the Church. 
"Fr Hamel is one such Cardijn martyr whose sacrificial blood is the seed sown for religious freedom and social harmony.

"CCI which aims to promote Cardinal Cardijn's spirituality, vision and methodology draws inspiration from the life and death of Fr Hamel.

"We shall continue to work towards restoring peace and harmony," Ruben concluded.

Friday, 13 May 2016

CCI Conference Responds to the Cry of the Poor and the Cry of the Earth

Challenges faced as seen by the conference and our response

CCI Conference on 'Cardijn Today: Inequality, Ecology, Diversity'

5 - 8 May 2016 - Joe Beach, Mamallapuram, India

Who we are

We the participants at the CCI International Conference held at Joe Beach, Mamallapuram, Kancheepuram District, India from 5th to 8th May 2016 are those who have been formed and are being formed in Cardijn founded and inspired movements.

We believe in the spirituality and vision based on SEE JUDGE ACT methodology and we practice this in our day to day lives in and out of the movement through the review of life process
We are both young people and adults wanting to promote Cardijn’s spirituality, vision and methodology.
By Cardijn spirituality we mean: we need to ceaselessly commit ourselves in the service of humanity thereby participating in the plan of God
By his vision we mean to build a world according to the will of God
By his methodology we mean SEE JUDGE ACT in the review of life and action process


The cry of the poor (owing to injustice) and the cry of the earth (due to mistreatment of nature) is the challenge before all of us today, given the theme of the conference 2016.

Our response to the theme would be in the line of getting involved in ecological education and peace promoters, young people, tribals, Dalits, women, child-workers, migrant workers, refugees, differently abled people and anti-nuclear power supporters and all other sections of the society.

1. Respecting the autonomy of the various Cardijn inspired movements, we see CCI as a network to render all possible help as and when requested, so that the above project is carried out with a collective vision but respecting the characteristics and independence of each movement.

2. Collaborating, networking and solidarity action with all people of good will, people of other faith, convictions, etc., towards transforming the society into a human and humane world for all to live in.

3. Lobbying and advocacy with people in authority at all levels and intellectuals for the bottom-up action of the masses towards integral liberation.

4. Committing to the kingdom values such as love, justice, equality, peace, sharing, sacrifice, empathy, etc., is the felt need of the hour against the decline of the authentic human culture to change ourselves and to challenge and destroy the unjust structures and system. For those who believe in Christ they believe it is the authentic Christian culture to be restored. The culture promoted by globalization is against this vision and thus we need to build an authentic culture as a counter to this dehumanising cultural mechanisms.

5. Identify the like-minded collaborators from among the laity, religious, clergy, bishops and other institutions so that we may work together in the common project to usher in God's reign on earth.

6. Basing ourselves on this deep rooted God experience like Jesus, we ceaselessly commit ourselves both in the church and in the society at large, which is specific to us laity, following the Cardijn methodology of See - Judge - Act.

What this statement means to us

As individuals who are committed to the continuity in the service of humanity based on our learning in the Cardijn movements we shall endeavour to face these challenges and to work towards responding to the cry of the poor and the cry of the earth.

We shall place our deliberations and conclusions before our own circle of friends, our groups and organisations and encourage others to engage in responding to the cry of the poor and the cry of the earth based on Cardijn’s spirituality, vision and methodology.

Expectation from CCI

To translate the prayer for canonization of Cardijn in different languages

Wherever possible and needed or sought for, CCI to facilitate a link between different Cardijn movements particularly in areas of history, Cardijn and Cardijn;s works, accumulation of lived experiences and testimonies and other specific needs of each organisation or movement

CCI as a resource group to help in the particular area of Review of Life

Expectation by CCI

1. CCI has been promoting ‘New Pentecost’ (Pentecost Sunday) every year to bring out specific themes relating to the problems faced by the people and nature. One possibility for coming together for all Cardijn movements is to think about promoting the ‘New Pentecost’

2. Another possibility for Cardijn movements and networks to come together at the local level is to commemorate the birth and death anniversaries of Cardijn and to use these occasions to rejuvenate our own actions and projects.

3. We have a desire to honour Cardijn on his 50th death anniversary in Belgium and Vatican city by organising a pilgrimage to Brussels and Rome in partnership with the ICYCW and IYCW.

4. We are endeavouring to encourage setting up Cardijn Centres for research and study and also CARDIJN MEDIA to bring out audio/video/print materials related to our task. This project would be a means to be of mutual help in promoting Cardijn.

(Adopted unanimously by the Conference on the 8th May 2016)

Inequality is here to stay

Call to Respond to the Cry of the Poor and Cry of the Nature

Around 50 former and current leaders from Cardijn movements representing the reality of Australia, Belgium, France, India, Italy, Ivory Coast, Mauritius, Malaysia, Singapore and Zambia met at the Conference organised by the Cardijn Community International (CCI) to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Vatican 2 at Mamallapuram, Kancheepuram district in India (near Chennai).

Most Rev. Dr. A. Neethinathan, Bishop of Chengalpattu Diocese who inaugurated the 3 day conference said that ‘inequality’ has become the order of the day and that ‘inequality’ has come to stay. Christ and caste cannot go together, he emphatically said recalling the caste discrimination that is prevalent in his own Diocese and elsewhere in India.

Bishop Neethinathan released the conference publication ‘Bringing the Good News to the Poor’ followed by Father Thomas Joseph who released the ‘Lapel Pin’ for Cardijn Community.

Dr. Rev. Fr. X. D. Selvaraj, Theologian in his key note address on ‘Cardijn Today: Inequality, Ecology and Diversity’ dealt elaborately on the increasing inequalities promoted by globalization and the ecological degradation. He called upon the conference participants to take a firm stand and to struggle with the people of good will to say a definite NO to
  • an economy of exclusion
  • to the inequality which spawns violence
  • to greed and narcissistic outlook
  • to environmental degradation and
  • a definite YES to all forms of life at all stages of life, whether small or great and to the enhancement of enrichment of life rooted in nature.
Father Thomas Joseph, 97 years old, worker chaplain since 1950 participated in the conference and was a source of inspiration to all the participants.

Noted among the participants were:
  • Ludovicus Mardiyano, International President of IYCW,
  • Ms. Amelie Peyrard, International President of ICYCW
  • Fr. Dr. Mathew Jacob Thiruvalil, Asian Chaplain of MIJARC
  • Monsignor Frank Marriott, former YCW Chaplain from Bendigo, Australia
  • Sinapan Samydorai, Convenor-Consultant, ASEAN Forum on Migrant Labour
The participants arrived at the perspectives after a deep study of the reality.

A session was exclusively dedicated to paying tribute to Cardijn martyrs and pioneers.


Cardijn Today: Inequality, ecology, diversity (Global Pulse Magazine)

Friday, 29 April 2016

RIP Msgr Stefaan Van Calster

Belgian theologian, Mgr Stefaan Van Calster, the president of the Cardijn Canonisation Tribunal, has died at the age of 79.

While attending an editorial meeting for the international theological journal, Communio, in Warsaw, Poland, he failed to appear at breakfast on the morning of Thursday 28 April 2016.

"This morning he did not appear at the meeting," a statement from the St Jinscentrum seminary in the Netherlands says. 

"When they went to look in his room, it was discovered that he was already deceased in the early morning. His death is probably due to a heart failure," the statement says.

"Mgr Van Calster was particularly dear to us and we want to remember him as a very warm and welcoming person, as a dedicated and faithful priest who has acted with unbridled zeal and devotion for the Church in the Low Countries.
"May the Lord grant to him after a life of great service to the community of the People of God, as the eternal rest," the statement concluded.

"We will truly miss Mgr Stefaan," Cardijn Cardijn Community International convenor Stefan Gigacz said.

"He worked very hard to gather testimonies and to compile the evidence for the dossier for the Cardijn canonisation process.

"It was thanks to his expertise and experience that we have been able to achieve so much in so short a time.

"The best way to honour his work will be to continue it," Stefan Gigacz said.

Biographical information

Born on 3 February 1937, Stefaan Van Calster studied mathematics and sciences and was for several years a teacher at the St Rombouts College in Mechelen (Belgium).

After his military service he attended studies at the major seminary of the Archdiocese of Mechelen-Brussels. After his ordination in 1966, he studied in Munich (D) and obtained the degree from the Institut für Katechetik und Homiletik . He then continued his studies in Nijmegen and obtained the MA in theology, pastoral section. He obtained his doctorate at the former bishop of Liege, Mgr. A. Houssiau, at the Catholic University of Louvain-La-Neuve with a thesis entitled: Bible and Sermon.

He was president of the seminary John XXIII in Leuven from 1970 to 1988. He was also a professor at the Center for Religious Studies in Leuven and the major seminaries of Antwerp and Ghent. He was co-founder and professor at the Center for Priestly Training for Mature Age in Antwerp. He was Ordinary for Pastoral Theology at the"MEDO" - the International Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family . 

Since 1977 he was a lecturer at theMajor Seminary Rolduc Kerkrade and from 1988 to the St. John's Centre in 's-Hertogenbosch, where he notably the subjects taught homiletics and pastoral theology. He was founder and first director of (then) Radio Maria Netherlands and Flanders ' s-Hertogenbosch. He was a Roman Postulator for the process of beatification of the Latvian bishop Mgr. Boleslavs Sloskans, who died in exile in Leuven. He was also delegatus episcopalis for the beatification and canonization processes include Zr. Maria Tauscher (Sittard), Father Charles of Mount Argus (Munstergeleen) and Dorothea Visser (Utrecht). He was also pastor since 2005 to Mariadorp-Eijsden. He was also editor for Belgium of the international Catholic journal Communio .

Because of his great services to the Church in the Low Countries appointed Pope Benedict XVI Dr. Stefaan Van Calster until erekapelaan the Pope 'in 2010. Since then, as "Professor Van Calster," as he was known by everyone, is "Monseigneur Van Calster' call, and if he his cassock wearing the purple regalia, peculiar this honorary office.

In the pictures we see Mgr. Van Calster with Pope Benedict XVI, with Msgr. Léonard during a canonization, in his parsonage to Maria Village, as a teacher and as a preacher.


Sunday, 7 February 2016

Gustavo Gutierrez, liberation theology and the see-judge-act

"My primary preoccupation as a Christian and as a priest is to do theology, and that is not the Gospel," Peruvian Dominican and liberation theology pioneer, Gustavo Gutierrez, has said in a recent interview in Periodista Digital.

"Theology is a second act, that reflects precisely on the life of Christians in the light of the Gospel message," he explained. "That is my main preoccupation. During my whole life, I have been a priest in a parish, a chaplain to movements so, certainly, I love theology and doing theology.

"I think it is very important to stay close to pastoral work. However, in the case of my country, the pastoral is very circumscribed.

"I never taught in a Faculty of Theology, but, now, at more than 70 years of age, I started to teach in a faculty. A bit late. Earlier, I was developing pastoral work and reflection, writing a great deal.

"I love theology and I see it as an expression of hope. In my view, it is a hermeneutic of hope and will continue to be so.

"This involves the question of the signs of the times since all theology must be looked at in the context of life in the present moment. Naturally, the foundation, the basis, is the Christian message but how it should be lived today depends on the conditions," Fr Gutierrez said.

Asked to explain the see-judge-act method, he replied that it means "looking at history".

"See means seeing reality, not speculating that 'this would be good'. It is linked to the expression 'signs of the times'.

"One must discern the facts, the causes, why certain effects occur. Then comes the time to judge," he continued.

"And the final thing - in other words, the reason for seeing and judging - is to act.

"It doesn't mean writing a book about the issues. It means the fact of committing myself in the face of that fact.

"It's very simple, created as a method in Belgium and France during the 1920s. It started with the Belgian priest [Joseph] Cardijn, who years later became a cardinal.

"Judging is read the facts, based on the demands of the Gospel. Acting has a more modest tone, it asks 'what can we do?' Some people can do this, while others may do something else.  So a variety of actions are possible. That is also reality.

The Latin American Bishops Conferences (CELAM) also used the see-judge-act at their conferences in Medellín, Puebla, Santo Domingo and Aparecida. It is a methodology," he concluded.




Periodista Digital

Monday, 28 December 2015

Dom Reginaldo ordained

Former IYCW chaplain, Reginaldo Andrietta, was ordained as bishop of Jales in Brazil.

The ordination took place on 27 December 2015 at St Anthony of Padua Basilica in Americana.

Dom Reginaldo has been parish priest of St Jude's in Americana.

Emeritus Bishop of Jales, Dom Luiz Demetrio Valentini, Bishop Vilson Dias de Oliveia of Limeira, and Bishop José Brandão Cabral of Almenara presided over the Eucharistic celebration which began at 3pm

Ten other bishops, over 140 priests and deacons of the Diocese of Limeira and Jales and also from other dioceses, as well as seminarians, religious and family of Don Reginaldo were also present.

It is estimated that more than 1,500 people attended the ordination, which mobilized nearly 300 people who collaborated in some way.

The celebration was filled with varied cultural expressions that Don Reginaldo experienced during his 32 years of priesthood in mission to the world as indigenous, African and Latin American.

He will take possession in Jales Diocese on 311 January 2016 with a celebration scheduled for 9:00 am at Our Lady of Assumption Cathedral.



Thursday, 17 December 2015

Pepe Palacio remembered

Argentinian ex-JOC leader and IYCW lay collaborator, Jose Serapio (Pepe) Palacio, was remembered at a memorial Mass at the Archdiocesan Pastoral Centre in Chennai, India, on Sunday 13 December, forty years to the day after he was killed by military or para-military forces.

Two days earlier on 11 December 1975, Palacio had been abducted after leaving his trade union office in Buenos Aires, becoming one of thousands of  "desaparecidos", i.e. people who "disappeared" in the Southern Cone countries of Latin America under the military and military-dominated governments of that period.

On 13 December 1975, a large group of up to 80 armed men descended on the family home, taking almost all of his personal documentation and photos recording his life work as a JOC leader, trade unionist, and activist in the MOAC (Christian Worker movement).

His wife, Amalia Castaño de Palacio, who had also been a JOCF leader and fulltimer, and their three sons were left in the dark for decades concerning the fate of their husband and father, recalls Jose Luis Palacio, eldest son of Pepe Palacio, who was then fourteen years old.

Earlier in 1975, the IYCW had appointed Pepe Palacio as its first lay collaborator.

"He was a person respected by all the former YCWs," according to Enrique Del Rio, then-president of the IYCW, "and it was precisely for that reason that our international team, in agreement with the Latin American team, proposed him as a 'lay chaplain'.”

"Unfortunately, he did not have the opportunity to take up that responsibility because of the military repression in Argentina at that time.

"We had very little information then. However, in a very informal manner, we heard that he had been assassinated by Argentine military," Del Rio noted in a message for the 40th anniversary.

Days after Palacio's disappearance, the IYCW launched an international solidarity campaign seeking his release.

However, it was not until a later Argentinian government finally opened up access to its archives that it was confirmed that Pepe Palacio had been tortured and shot two days after his initial disappearance.

Although the exact reasons for his abduction and killing remain known, it appears likely that Pepe Palacio, who also had strong links with Chilean JOC and union leaders, may have been killed under the CIA-assisted Operation Condor program to assassinate union and popular leaders suspected of links to the left, Jose Luis Palacio believes.

Jose Luis, his wife Stella Maris, and their daughter Belen, took part in the Memorial Mass celebrated by current Chennai Archdiocese youth chaplain, Fr Varghese Rozario. Ironically, it was also the 29th wedding anniversary for Jose Luis and Stella Maris, who had been married in 1986, before the details of the death of Pepe Palacio were known.

Prior to the Mass, CCI members honoured the memory of Pepe Palacio at a special commemorative session. In a message for the event, current IYCW president, Ludovicus Mardiyono noted that he "was disappeared for the sake of struggle for new society that he and we dream about."

"Please trust me that the life of your father will always written and stay in our heart, in the heart of young workers, women and men and in the heart of YCW that will encourage us to do more and take action to achieve what he also want to have, it is Just Work and Dignified Life for all young workers," he added.

Former YCW India and CCI chaplain, Fr Soosai Servatius, also celebrated another memorial Mass in Nagercoil, in India's Kanyakumari district on 11 December.