It is the time of the year when everyone speaks of sacrifice, penance, fasting, suffering and so on. We are asked to meditate on the passion of Christ and the price He paid to redeem us.
For us, the followers of Cardijn, this meditation is not a ‘once in a year’ ritual but an every day event. By seeing the contradictions that exist in our day to day reality, we have judged the consequences and causes of such dehumanising situations in the lives of the people, learnt from experiences of those who have lived and struggled before us and dedicated our lives to act to restore human dignity and build another world.
We have discovered the joy in suffering isolation, dismissal, suspension, reduction in wages, imprisonment and even to face death for the sake of ‘love’ for humanity.
When we see small changes owing to our actions, when we see the smile on the face of those benefited from our actions and when our own mentalities and attitudes undergo change for the better, when we see bigger changes in the community....these events give us joy; this joy is like the joy of ‘resurrection’, the joy of Easter.
Cardijn Community International (CCI) is one such network which enables the followers of Cardijn to continue to live this life of ‘passion and resurrection’ and to promote Cardijn’s vision, spirituality and methodology.
CCI is in its 10th anniversary year. To commemorate this, we are organising an International Forum on ‘Peace Building towards Sustainable Development’ and a General Assembly of all Cardijn Followers from the 23rd to 25th July 2011 in Bangkok.
All Cardijn followers (even those currently in Cardijn movements) are invited to join us in Bangkok. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Wishing every one of you a very happy and blessed Easter.
Dutch historian Jo Schoormans has published a new article on the history of the Sri Lankan YCW and the role of Dutch-born YCW chaplain Father Henk Schram.
"From far Ceylon five former Young Christian Workers, now Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, come and show you [by way of letter] their gratitude and sympathy." Belgian nuns wrote these words in 1947 to Joseph Cardijn, who was reputed as the great man of the YCW, writes Jo Schoormans.
"Some of the Sisters of Ragama, who payed a tribute to Joseph Cardijn, owed their religious vocation to the YCW. At the time, they were too busy caring for tubercular patients, unabling them to build up a youth movement. The sisters yearned for the opportunity of sacrificing themselves.0
"'Ceylon's sun is not too hot. The deaf and blind who have been entrusted to us, are not too exacting. Our beloved ones are not too far away, if one has good intentions and knows for whom one is working', a sister wrote. In 1948, sisters could already inform YCW international headquarters of a movement of Catholic young workers in Colombo, led by fathers Oblates of Mary Immaculate.
Philippines President Benigno S. Aquino III has asked members of the Students Catholic Action of the Philippines for help to advance the nation's bid for the Puerto Princesa Underground River to be declared as one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature.
He made the pitch for the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP) at the sidelight of his speech during the 10th Student Catholic Action of the Philippines (SCAP) National Leadership Conference Monday morning at the Fleurde-lis Theater of St. Paul University in Malate, Manila, Zamboanga Online reports.
The Students Catholic Action of the Philippines is the local affiliate of the International Young Christian Students (IYCS) movement.
“I need your help. I need text votes so that the Palawan underground river will be proclaimed as one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature,” the President said as he urged the teachers and students present during the SCAP conference to take part in the government’s campaign to promote Palawan’s Underground River.
He noted that the Philippines has 80 million cell phones and one text vote for every cell phone user is really essential for the PPSRNP to win in the wonders of nature title. “Just TEXT PPUR and send it to 2861,” he stressed.
Puerto Princesa’s Underground River is one of the finalists competing with 28 other sites for the New 7 Wonders of Nature title.
PPSRNP is reputed to be the longest navigable underground river in the world at a length of 8.2 kilometers that winds through spectacular limestone formations before emptying out into the South China Sea.
International Young Christian Students leader Edouardo Koutsava from Togo talked to the YouthActiv8 website while on a visit to India.
Edouardo Koutsava, 33, is originally from Togo, Africa and is the first of six children. Since 1989, he was involved in YCS which attracted him because of the space and opportunity it provided to young people to live their motto of ‘See, Judge, Act.’ He served three years as a national leader in Togo before he was elected in 2007 as Secretary General of International Young Catholic Students (IYCS). He is much in favour of peace building initiatives and advocating the young people. Koutsava spoke to Nalini on the upcoming IYCS meet and many more.
Q: What is the purpose of your visit to India?
Edouardo Koutsava: I am in India in order to finalise the preparation of the global “study” session, the world council of my organisation which is the International Young Catholic Students.
Why in India?
We have presence in 87 countries. India was selected because it has a wide ground of different topics, its different religions, culture and diversity. There is the issue of poverty, how the government is coming out. There are different types of subjects. India is offering us a space to go into concrete studies and find solutions to problems. To see how they can face the challenges that the world is facing now.
[caption id="attachment_165" align="alignnone" width="465" caption="L to R: Fr RV Mathias, Fr Thomas Joseph, CCI Convenor MJ Ruben"][/caption]
CCI International Convenor M. J. Ruben and CCI Asia-Pacific Coordination member from India Ms Glynis Joseph met Fr. R. V. Mathias, former International Chaplain of the IYCW on Thursday, March 31 in Chennai, India.
This interaction is part of the initiative of the Cardijn Community International (CCI) to reach out to as many former animators and leaders of Cardijn movements in order consolidate their experiences.
Fr. Thomas Joseph (92 yrs), YCW/CWM Chaplain in India from 1950 was also present during this meeting.
Recalling his days as International Chaplain, R. V. Mathias narrated his encounter with the Sisters of Charity (Mother Theresa’s order) in Egypt who lived along with and served the workers’ community who did scavenging jobs in gutters amidst piles of garbage dump. It is impossible for any ordinary person to stand that stench even for a minute, he said
“Pure love combined with dedication was the motivation for those sisters”, Mathias continued, “Which is very much needed in all spheres of life today”.
Expressing his deep anguish at the competition, greed and false values promoted among the people, particularly the youth, R. V. Mathias stressed the need to work with real commitment based on love as the driving force in whatever field we are placed.
Fr. Mathias appreciated the efforts of CCI to promote Cardijn’s spirituality, vision and methodology.
Fr. Thomas Joseph agreed with Fr. Mathias on the need to re-orient the formation of the clergy in seminaries by offering them real life challenges just as the lay people.
Fr. Mathias offered his services as a resource person for any training sessions CCI would organise for animators. After his services at the Arul Anandhar Theological College at Karumathur, Madurai in south India, Mathias is on a sabbatical for a year now and is engaged in research besides conducting awakening retreat sessions for seminarians.
CCI International Convenor M. J. Ruben briefed Mathias about the forthcoming General Assembly in Bangkok in July and the CCI initiative to float a global forum to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Vatican II. Ruben requested R. V. Mathias to document his experiences as his testimony which he agreed to do.
M. J. Ruben
CCI International Convenor, Chennai, India March 31, 2011