Archbishop Addresses Young Catholic Students

“I AM very grateful for the musical item by the C.L.C. girls, and now you will have to submit to an unmusical item by me,” said his Grace the Archbishop, Most Rev. D. Mannix, addressing a recent conference of Young Catholic Students at Sacre Coeur Convent, Malvern.

“I am, once again, delighted to have the opportunity of associating myself with this section of the lay apostolate. I like to call it the lay apostolate rather than Catholic Action. The title lay apostolate is much more significant and appropriate than Catholic Action, which has been misunderstood and misinterpreted, at all events, in this this country. country.

“I am delighted to find that you continue to make a notable contribution to the lay apostolate. No doubt there have been ups and downs. The best proof of your success is that the lay apostolate has been growing in strength over the years; for the growth of the apostolate is largely due to the fact that the young people at your stage of life are doing their best to lay solid foundations.

“I am grateful to the priests, sisters and brothers who are helping you so much. If the priests, sisters and brothers did not make their zealous contribution, your activities would peter out. I thank the priests, brothers and sisters for their contribution and the young people themselves. We all have much reason to be gratified for what has been done.

“I am much gratified to know that through your influence the number of religious vocations seems to be increasing. Recently, hero in Melbourne, a priest, Father Lyons, has been specially set the work of fostering vocations, and I am sure that you will co-operate with him. I don’t suppose all of you are going to have religious vocations; if you did, the lay apostolate would very soon come to an end. Nevertheless, you are going to make your own big contribution to the religious bodies.

“I hope also that parents, too, will co-operate generously. Sometimes parents can make difficulties in the way of vocations. While parents’ advice should be listened to and taken in the proper spirit, parents have no right to put obstacles in the way of their children’s religious vocations. That is something between the individual and God.

“We are all glad to welcome back Father Chamberlin from his world-wide investigations. I have not heard him speak his mind on how we compare with other places, but I am sure he would say that while we have a good deal to learn from other lands and peoples, we have no reason to be dissatisfied with what has been done here.

“Once again, I wish to express my gratitude and indebtedness to you. I ask God to continue to bless your movement and enlarge your activities so that His cause will advance in and through the Catholic Church in Australia.”


Archbishop Addresses Young Catholic Students (Advocate, Thursday 15 May 1952, page 8) / Trove

Rev. Fr. C. Mayne, SJ., to Visit Adelaide.


A welcome -visitor to Adelaide this month will be Rev. Fr. Charles Mayne, S.J. He is a professor at Corpus Christi College, Werribee, Victoria, and one of his many duties is the training of students for the priesthood to be Chaplains of Catholic Action groups. Fr. Mayne has been interested in Catholic Action ever since he came to Australia as a Priest in 1939 and went to St. Ignatius’ College, Riverview, Sydney.

In 1942, he came to Corpus Christi College, Werribee, and there not only increased the interest of the seminarians in the various Catholic Action movements but was also intimately associated with the growth of these movements in Melbourne. The National Catholic Girls’ Movement and Young Christian Students’ Movement owe much to him.

Fr. Mayne has contributed many articles to Catholic Action publications, but he deserves to be especially remembered as the author of “Exit Australia,” “The Enquiry,” and “Stations of the Cross for Militants.”

To Fr. Mayne we extend a cordial welcome and we hope to have the privilege of his presence at some of our meetings as well as benefiting from the help and advice we know he will be only too willing to give.


Rev. Fr. C. Mayne, SJ., to Visit Adelaide. (Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 – 1954), Friday 13 December 1946, page 11) (Trove)

Catholic Action and French Resistance

Furnished Spiritual Inspiration for Struggle, Says French Leader

Though the Communists have sought to convey the impression that the Communist Party was the organising and leading force in the French Underground Resistance Movement, it is now becoming clear that the inspiration of the effective opposition to Nazi occupation and totalitarian ideas came from the Catholic Action groups, such as the J.O.C. (Young Christian Workers), J.E.C. (Young Students), and Scouts.

WITHOUT Catholic Action the French Catholic resistance “would never have started.” This is the deliberate statement of a French leader belonging to one of the great religious Orders, a noted man of science, and the main originator of the “Cahiers du Temoignage Chretien” (“Notebooks of file Christian Witness”), in an interview to a C.I.P. correspondent in Algiers.

There was Catholic resistance from the very day of the French capitulation when others were still stunned and it seemed as if no hope could rise again, he said.


The first resistance was not external, but spiritual, Catholic Action men, mostly the workers’ youth (J.O.C,), the students (J.E.C.), and scouts, immediately started organising to , keep the spirit of the French masses free from pagan Nazi influences. The movement even penetrated into the “Chantiers de la Jeunesse,” the work camps organised by the Vichy Government.

Catholic Action was strongly supported by the Bishops in its struggle against indoctrination and State-control. The slogan adopted in the Bishops’ pastorals was “jeunesse unie, oui, jeunesse unifiee, non” (united youth, yes; unified youth, no), thus opposing State-controlled youth organisations.


In this first period of resistance, the ideological and practical opposition against totalitarianism was just as sharp as now, but there was no clarity about its political form. De Gaulle was very little known, and many who admired him for his broadcasts and saw in him a symbol of free France did not think that he offered a solution of their internal problems. It was not infrequent to hear affirmations that Petain was playing a double game to fool the Germans and that actually he agreed with De Gaulle.


In the second half of 1941 these groups of spiritual resistance resolutely began to oppose Vichy as the shield and instrument of the Germans. There were some struggles, but at the end of ’41 it was clear to most young Catholics that Vichy meant ideological surrender and that its defeatist propaganda had to be fought with all means, to save the spirit of France. At first, this opposition was voiced in certain articles and columns of religious papers. The .most influential organs of this tendency, “Temps Nouveau” and “Esprit,”’ were soon suppressed by Darlan.

The Catholic daily, “La Croix,” under direction of the Abbe Merklen and Monsieur Michelin, went on prudently but firmly combating the totalitarian ideology, and, because of its semiofficial character as organ of the Hierarchy, Vichy did not dare to suppress it. The leaders of “Temps Nouveau,” Stanislas Fumet and Roger Radisson, started an underround paper, “Position.” Aonther sheet, “Verite” (Truth), began to circulate. But it became clear that sporadic appeals nd news items were not enough.


A group of Catholic theologians decided to clarify the issues and o unmask the Fascist maneuvres thoroughly. They called heir organ “Cahiers du Temoingage Chretien,” which means “Notebooks of the Christian Witness.” The first issue printed 3500 copies in November, 1941. It was printed on paper bought on the black market from German officials at 80 francs the kilo (about six or seven shillings a pound).

All the typesetters did the job in their free hours. Instead of going home they took their meals on the job. The first number had to be reprinted several times and soon the Cahiers were printed in three different towns in France.


The Christian underground organisations of the North, more compact than those of the South, were most intricately ramified. Sometimes one or more of the distributors of the Cahiers were caught, but the system of communication prevented any interruption in production or dissemination. Each collaborator knew only one man under him and one above him. Some men living in the same house never knew which of the others was also in the “Temoignage” network.

All Bishops received the “Cahiers du Temoignage Chretien,” many approved it, some knew where it came from. The “Cahiers” were also smuggled to Rome, and there also some wise and highly-placed men did not conceal, their approval. Messages from certain ecclesiastical sympathisers in Rome were also muggled to France.


This form of spiritual resistnce existed earlier than the rmed resistance, which began to rganise only at the end of 1942, any Catholic Action men who tarted the spiritual resistance ere the first to start “Maquis” activities. This happened mainly when the “Chantiers” (work camps) which up to then had maintained a considerable independence from the Vichy spirit, were tricked into sending some of their men to Germany.

The Germans told them there would be no military co-operation but that they would simply continue in Germany the farm work they had been doing in France. Instead they were sent to munition factories. Some of the men formed in the “Chantiers” then decided to escape*and helped to form the first groups of the Maquis. Collaborators of the “Temoignage Chretien” joined them.

The groups of the “Christian Witness” as such, although having normal relations with other groups of the Resistance movement and furnishing the spiritual inspiration for the struggle, remained independent from the groups of political and military Resistance. Although the contents of the “Cahiers” remained severely intellectual and even often theological, 85,000 copies were printed of the last numbers before the liberation. As each copy was discreetly passed on to several persons, this meant that several hundreds of thousands read the issues.

The popular edition, “Courier Francaise du Temoignage Chretian,” consisting of four pages with short stories and simple articles, had to print 280,000 copies from the sixth number on, which probably meant a million readers.


Summarising his experiences, the French leader emphasised the point that the great idea of justice, or what may be called the cult of justice, was the lasting fruit of the period of resistance against deception and defeatism. He says the new generation of intellectuals, together with the masses, is now conscient of the depth of the crisis in society, and will see to it that justice is established as the root of a new political structure.


His Holiness Pope Pius XII was especially solicitious for the spiritual welfare of the Catholic Underground and instructed the French Bishops to arrange for religious and moral assistance for the men. (See “Advocate,” “Jocists Among the Maquis,” January 31, 1945) ‘

“The Pope had given orders to the French Bishops to assign’ priests, with all the privileges of military chaplains, for the spiritual assistance of the men of the Maquis. Thus, after the liberation of Rome, official recognition was given the mission of those ‘cures du Maquis’ (Maquis Pastors) whos without hesitation, right from the beginning of the deportations, made up their minds to bring religious assistance to the multitude of young Frenchmen who revolted against the shameful insults of the enemy and were determined, in loyalty to their conscience, to become resisters.

“What humble pride they must have felt, all our chaplains of the early times, whom some persons treated as if they were fools, and also all my comrades of the Maquis, whatever their religious beliefs may be, when they heard of that decision of die supreme leader of Christendom, the Vicar of Christ.”

The decision of Pope Pius XII, was communicated to the French Cardinals by a letter signed by Mgr. Domenico Tardini, of the Papal Secretariat of State.

CANON CARDIJN Founder of the J.O.C.

Youthful members of the French Underground In a town which they occupied briefly for a patriotic demonstration


Catholic Action and French Resistance (Advocate, Wednesday 7 February 1945, page 11) (Trove)

Archbishop Beovich, Episcopal Chairman of YCS

THE first combined function of the Young Catholic Students’ Movement in Melbourne took place on the 14th inst, when nearly 200 leaders of the movement gathered at “Tay Creggan.”

They came from practically every one of the boys’ and girls’ colleges in the diocese. The rally was given additional prestige and significance by the presence of four members of the Episcopacy—the Archbishop of Melbourne (Most Rev. D. Mannix, D.D.), the Archbishop of Sydney (Most Rev. N. Gilroy, D.D.), the Archbishop of Adelaide (Most Rev. M. Beovich, D.D.),and the Bishop of Toowoomba (Most Rev. B. Roper, D.D.).

These members of the Bishops’ Committee on Education were holding a conference in Melbourne, and generously accepted the invitation to be present at the Y.C.S. gathering.

It was announced during the afternoon that the Bishops’ Committee on Catholic Action had asked Archbishop Beovich to become the Episcopal Chairman of the Students’ Movement, and that he had generously undertaken to guide the destinies of this youthful organisation.

He is the first member of the Hierarchy to assume this active leadership of a specialised Catholic Action Movement following the example of Bishop Henschke in the National Catholic Rural Movement, Bishop Gleeson in the National Catholic Girls’ Movement, and Archbishop Mannix in the National Christian Workers’ Movement.


Archbishop Beovich, Episcopal Chairman of YCS (Southern Cross, Friday 30 October 1942, page 3) / Trove

Four Bishops Attend Demonstration

THE first combined function of the Young Catholic Students’ Movement in Melbourne took place on Wednesday of last week, when nearly 200 leaders of the movement gathered in the lovely surroundings of “Tay Creggan.” They came from practically every one of the boys’ and girls’ colleges in the diocese.

The rally was given additional prestige and significance by the presence of four distinguished members of the Episcopacy—the Archbishop of Melbourne (Most Rev. D. Mannix, D.D.), the Archbishop of Sydney (Most Rev. N. Gilroy, D.D.), the Archbishop of Adelaide (Most Rev. M. Beovich, D.D.), and the Bishop of Toowoomba (Most Rev. B. Roper, D.D.).

These members of the Bishops’ Committee on Education were holding a conference in Melbourne, and generously accepted’ the invitation to be present at the Y.C.S. gathering.


It is only during the last school year that the Y.C.S. has been placed on an official basis, and that all of the Melbourne schools have agreed to cooperate and to work on the one set of programmes specially prepared by the Secretariat of Catholic Action.

The results have been most satisfactory. The students have proved that they are capable not only of understanding clearly the purpose of Catholic Action, but of organising and controlling their own movement and of setting in motion a plan of varied and useful activities.

Archbishop Beovich commented particularly on this fact when addressing the leaders, and expressed his satisfaction with the high degree of initiative and responsibility which they had shown.


It was announced during the afternoon that the Bishops’ Committee on Catholic Action had asked Archbishop Beovich to become the Episcopal Chairman of the Students’ Movement, and that he had generously undertaken to guide the destinies of this youthful organisation.

He is the first member of the Hierarchy to assume this active leadership of a specialised Catholic Action Movement, following the example of Bishop Henschke in the National Catholic Rural Movement, Bishop Gleeson in the National Catholic Girls’ Movement, and Archbishop Mannix in the National Christian Workers’ Movement. Following the arrival of the dis-Rev. W. P. Hackett, S.J., the Y.C.S.

leaders listened attentively to a full report of the activities of the boys’ secondary schools (by Mr. Frank Presa) and to a similar account for the girls’ schools (by Miss Nanette Kelly). They dealt with the organisation of kaders’ groups—the members of which received special training and conducted their own investigations

into the problems of school life—and with the numerous activity groups which had been established.


They were resolved that Catholic Action must not be confined to a small group of “elite” or to those generally regarded as very pious or very learned. Their efforts this year had been directed to getting the whole senior school interested. The response had been far greater than they had expected.

There was no difficulty about securing the co-operation of their fellow-students once they had seen for themselves just what the Y.C.S. was trying to do with and for the students.

The leaders realised that there was no cause for pride or self-satisfaction. Only the foundations had been laid, and an immense amount of building remained untouched.

They all hoped that the knowledge of Catholic Action they had gained would fit them for the fierce struggle that awaited them when they went out into the modern world.


Following the arrival of the distinguished visitors, Mr. F. K. Maher explained to them the purpose of the Y.C.S. and the methods which it had adopted. He pointed out that they had proved the value of the accepted Catholic Action technique and that there was every prospect of the movement now spreading into every State. Archbishop Gilroy congratulated the two representatives of the Y.C.S. on their eloquent addresses. He told the students that he was glad to hear they realised that there was a tremendous struggle for them to face “in their crusade for Christ, but he knew that they would tackle it with courage andl a fine fighting spirit. He knew that the Y.C.S. would be capable of facing any odds.


The Archbishop of Melbourne, the Most Rev. D. Mannix, D.D., when addressing the rally, expressed his approval of the progress of the Y.C.S. Stressing the importance of this movement in the schools, he declared that he had always been of the opinion that unless Catholic Action was/firmly rooted in the schools, it would possibly fail and certainly would never do what otherwise it might hope to do. He said also that, just as the Church in Australia owes its success to the -excellent system of Catholic education, Catholic Action, if it~~is to be- lasting and binding, must capture the schools. They had done splendid work in the short time they have been working with the Secretariat, and he personally had not listened with more pleasure to any address than to those of the boy and girl who spoke on behalf of the movement.

His Grace concluded by thanking the Secretariat, the Ladies of the Grail and particularly the superiors of the colleges—all of whom had co-operated with such happy, results.

Bishop Roper told the students that in Toowoomba, also, there was a very strong and flourishing movement in the schools. He said the students there were also very keen and active.

They, too, owed much to the National Secretariat, which had supplied them with programmes and either help in starting this movement in his diocese. He encouraged the Y.C.S. leaders to go ahead steadily. He had seen many striking examples of the magnificent apostolic work which had been performed by men and girls trained in such groups.


The rally, as well as being an inspiring demonstration, proved to be a most enjoyable social event for everyone. The addresses were interspersed with .a short play on the Resurrection presented by members of the girls’ groups and by an informal afternoon tea and games on the lawns.

The walls of the Tudor Hall (in which the rally was held) were decorated with an excellent display of posters contributed by various schools as the work of members of their Poster and Propaganda Activity groups.

The rally ended with Solemn Benediction, which was given by- the Archbishop, Most Rev. D. Mannix, D.D., assisted by Rev. Fr. Hackett and Rev. D. Conquest. This was an impressive and inspiring finale’ to the afternoon. The altar, framed in the great windows of the Tudor Hall, was flanked on either side by the gaily coloured banners of the Youth Movements.

Six stalwart lads served Benediction, while at each side of the hall stood five boys and five girls bearing banners which they lowered in salute to the Blessed Sacrament. . . .

Kneeling behind their Bishops, they renewed their determination to labour for the Kingdom of Christ in their native land and pledged their loyalty and energies to the Hierarchy of Australia to accomplish, now and in the future, whatever apostolic work might be committed to them, for the youth of the whole nation.

MOST REV. M. BEOVICH, D.D., Ph.D., Archbishop of Adelaide, Episcopal Chairman of Young Catholic Students’ Movement


Four Bishops Attend Demonstration (Advocate, Thursday 22 October 1942, page 4)

Canada’s Young Christian Workers

The amazing success of the Jocist movement in Canada, which has won the praise not only of Bishops and clergy, but also of Cabinet Ministers, judges, police chiefs, mayors, and newspapermen, is the almost incredible work of Rev. Henri Roy, O.M.I., and of two now famous Jocists—Julien White and Gabrielle Filion.

DESCRIBED by the London “Catholic Herald” as one of the most remarkable stories it has ever published, this account of the Canadian Jocist Movement was written by Norman F. Gotro, a young Canadian soldier serving in Britain.

Since any story of the Canadian Jocist Movement is a story of its founder, and for eight years its Director-General, the Rev. Henri Roy, O.M.I., this particular narrative begins where he began, back in 1930.

Shortly after his ordination in 1930, he was sent to the Church of St. Pierre, in Montreal’s east-end. This district was one of the roughest in Canada’s metropolis and typical of any slum sector.

Poor homes, poor people, poor youths; shady women, numerous pool halls and small beer houses and dirty little cafes poked into walls and corners; streets narrow, mean and dark; cats, dogs and rats; refuse, broken fences and littered sidewalks; policemen pounding their beats in pairs, and police “prowl” cars more active here than elsewhere—in short, all that makes up the community of that great army of poorly-garbed, underpaid people known as “slumdwellers.”


To say Fr. Roy was restless is to put it mildly; he burned, first with rage at the condition of his people, then —as he viewed the vast demoralisation of the young people—he became fired with a great desire to do something to alleviate their misery, to give them their chance for the future. He sought ideals; oh, yes, other pastors and zealous priests had tried, his superiors informed him; all sorts of “societies,” “clubs,” “associations,” had been founded, but to no avail.

Soon his was a familiar figure—in the pool halls, small cafes, on corners, in public parks, along the waterfront and near the railroad yards.

Always, his companions were the sons of labourers, youths clad in patched clothing, hungry, hard-boiled. Always, the conversations were the same; he seemed to be for ever asking questions.

But Fr. Roy strove to conquer the leaders of the little neighbourhood gangs. To him, “the biggest bully and the loudest mouth” was not to be condemned: such a person was a “chief and must, be won at all costs.

He conquered some of these gang-leaders and, finally, one day he gathered a handful of these—of both sexes—into the basement of St. Pierre’s Church.

He convinced the early leaders that speed was not important; what was important was the necessity for a solid foundation for a new movement (not a” club or society) for the young workers to be organised by them, led by them, directed by them, with, the most democratic principles and the highest of ideals.


Archbishop Gauthier, lately Metropolitan. of Montreal Archdiocese, became so interested in Fr. Roy’s-work that he sent him off to Belgium to study the work of Canon Cardijn, whose name was becoming prominent in youth activities in Europe.

It would appear that the Hand of God was guiding Fr. Roy, for he came across a young fellow by the name of Julien White. Julien hadn’t much education and his job wasn’t much either, but he appeared to be fiery and anxious to do something for his fellow young workers.

It was Julien White whom Pere Roy placed in charge of the little movement’s organ, the “Young Worker,” and under this leader’s influence, the paper grew and spread rapidly among the French-speaking people of Montreal. Under Fr. Roy’s watchful eye, he studied hard, and shortly after his first appointment- he became the secretary-general of the movement.

White toured the country and organised sections everywhere. His technique was always the same: observation of the conditions by the query system of the J.O.C. (to ask is to learn); judging the facts just garnered in the light of cold reason and with the Christian spirit; action when it was known what had-to be done.

And it is a well-known fact in Canada to-day that the Jocist method never fails. If White was a great leader, the young women of the movement also had a powerful chieftain in Gabrielle Filion, better known as “Gaby.” She, a poor girl of the east-side, was actually the original leader, in that Pere Roy had chosen her as his first conquest.

To-day, she is almost a counterpart of Fr. Roy, with the same expressions, fire and action. The girls of the movement loved her, and came to her with all their problems.


One of the great works conceived and organised by Julien White with the guidance of Fr. Roy, while the former was still secretary-general of the movement, was the “Service D’Assistance Jociste,” or Jocist Assistance Service. This is known to-day as the Social Services of the J.O.C. All workers in this service are Jocists trained first in the sections and federations of the movements and then in the various departments of the service.

It is composed of the following departments: The Juvenile Court Service, the Police Court Service, the Higher Courts Service, the Prisoner Aid Society, the Shelter for Destitute Youth, and similar set-ups. In the years 1937-38 the Jocist Assistance Service handled some 10,000 to 15,000 cases of juvenile delinquency, police court cases, etc.

Of this figure, it is estimated on the best of authority that only some 2 to 10 per cent, of the young people handled could not be conquered from their wrong ways. Through the Jocist Assistance Service and the local sections of the Canadian Jocist Movement itself, the federations of the organisations were able to; send to the central headquarters in Montreal a mountainous array of data, facts, and figures.

White grasped this and under the ever-present eye of Fr. Roy, and with the help of the two supreme committees, male and female, he composed what is known as “The Jocist Plan to Relieve the Problem of Unemployment Among the Young Workers and Youth in General.” At that time (1936) the Purvis Royal Commission, appointed by the Canadian Government, was sitting in Ottawa.

The purpose of this commission was to enquire into the state of unemployment and labour conditions in general. Fr. Roy took White’s plan to Ottawa and in due course succeeded in having it presented to the commissioners.

Shortly after, they told Fr. Roy that this plan should be called “The Labour Masterpiece.” They went further; many of these facts contained in the White Plan were .placed in the commission’s report and soon, when the Government voted a large sum of money for labour plans, more than one million dollars (£250,000) was set aside for youth!

Thus, the power and influence of Jocism: Julien White and Gabrielle Filion, Pere Roy himself, products of the slums, but this great victory as God’s answer to theirj work and prayers!


But Fr. Roy and White were not blind to the danger of class distinction and early in their team work they strove to build other specialised movements, since Jocism had now become known as “Specialised Catholic Action.”

Through their efforts were born the J.E.C. (Young Catholic Students); J.A.C. (Young Catholic Farmers); J.I.C. (Young Catholic Independents); J.U.C. (Catholic University Youths), and these thrived. The J.U.C. is no longer existent, since the J.E.C. is subdivided into certain groups, which take in primary schools, high schools, and universities.

And it was a young Jocist who became the first leader of the J.E.C. or Student Movement. Alexandrine Leduc, a fiery nineteen-year-old, with Irish and French blood in her veins and speaking both languages fluently, was recommended by Fr. Roy to graduate from her work as a general militant of the J.O.C. into the position of propagandist-general of the J.E.C. Later, Benoit Baril, another Jocist trainee, became president-general, and he, with Miss Leduc, commonly known as “Alex,” are still carrying on to-day. State organisations have helped the Jocist movement in Canada.

In 1938, the Government of the Province of Quebec spent some 66,000 dollars (£16,000 approximately) in direct aid to the central headquarters and set aside a large tract of land for the use of the movement. This was used as a summer camp. The gaining of funds and the land was won through the persistent efforts of the Roy-White team; and the then Premier of the Province of Quebec, Hon. Maurice Duplessis.

At the second general congress in 1939, the Right Hon. W. L. McKenzie King, Prime Minister of Canada, sent a lengthy telegram to Fr. Roy, congratulating him on his great work and wishing him continued success for the future. In 1937, there were some 35,000 members of the Jocist movement in Canada. At the 1939 congress, more than 30,000 members from all over Canada and the United States attended, but the actual figures, according to Pere Roy himself, were some 50,000 members in Canada alone, with more in the States, who had been organised by the Canadian leaders.

In November, 1939, Fr. Roy was sent to the New England States (North-Eastern U.S.A.) where in the short space of two months he solidly established and expanded the first American Federation of Jocism and founded the American organ, the “Young Worker.”

There is a central committee which meets on certain occasions to prepare general programmes which are later adapted to a specialised movement’s particular social sphere.

This is known as the Association of Canadian Catholic Youth, and is composed of the secretaries-general of all the specialised movements. Judges, police chiefs, mayors, public servants of all ranks, Ministers of the Cabinet—Federal and Provincial—and even hard-boiled newspapermen have heartily recommended and praised the Jocist movement of Canada.

When Jocism began in Canada, the members of the priesthood were sceptical. Only the young priests could see the value of the movement and the English-speaking priests were wont to say that Jocism was all right for French Canada but not for English Canada.

To-day, they have come to realise that if peace is to be brought back to the world—real peace, true peace—the Jocist movement will be the method whereby that peace will be won!

The Bishops, too, were sceptical; some of the French-speaking ecclesiastics were in favour of it, and the English not at all. But they gradually became “educated” to it, and in 1941 most of the Bishops of Canada are solidly behind Jocism, together with the Canadian Cardinal, Cardinal Villeneuve.

As for the Supreme Pontiffs, the late Pius XI. gave the greatest slogan the movement has ever had: “Jocists, you are the glory of Christ!” (To be continued.)


Canada’s Young Christian Workers (Advocate, Thursday 8 May 1941, page 23) / Trove

The Christian Revolution



SEVENTY THOUSAND young men and women are standing in a vast arena. About them are great machines —the machines at which they toil. To music, group after group is marching in, carrying banners and the symbols of their trades and crafts. Then come the nurses, carrying a huge white cross. A torch is lit. It passes from hand to hand, other torches take fire from it, the lights run out to the far edges of the crowd. It is the light of Christian teaching, spreading from Jocist to Jocist, to illumine the world.

The mechanics make a platform of machines. The carpenters build upon it a table of mahogany. On the table the quarrymen set a flat stone. Over it the girl weavers spread three linen cloths from their mills. At the right hand, bookbinders place a huge book, the product of theirs and the printers’ arts. Miners set safety lamps on the table. The white cross is placed above it. The altar is ready for to-morrow’s Mass. The workers have raised, from the things they make, a throne for God.

In the morning, the Cardinals and the Archbishops and the Bishops of France come to that altar. An old man and an old woman come to it

They are workers, like the tens of thousands gathered there. Between the old man and the old woman walks their son. He was a worker, too. Now he goes to say his first Mass. He is a Jocist, and those who built the altar, the seventy thousand who will presently answer his voice in the responses of the Mass are Jocists.

They are the Christian Revolution.*

The Miracle of JOC.

A year or two after the war, a young Priest in Belgium said to a young workinginan and a young working girl: ” We are going to conquer the world.” In July, at Paris, seventy thousand delegates from twenty different countries knelt before the Altar of the Workers at that first Mass of the Priest who had once been a fitter. They came from the mines and the mills and the ships and the factories and the farms and the offices. All were wage-earners. Most were manual workers. Not one was more than twenty-five years old.

To them, the Holy Father addressed a special message. He repeated that pregnant phrase of his: “The apostles of the workers must be workers.” He has said that their action is “an ideal form of Catholic Action.” He has given them his blessing.

I met, at the C.S.G. Summer School in Oxford, Father Kothen, of the Belgian J.O.C. There is still danger from Communism in France, he said, but in Belgium that is passing. Today, for each recruit to the Belgian Communist parties, JOC makes three. There are 90,000 Jocists in Belgium, 100,000 in France, 500,000 in Europe; and to be a Jocist is not an easy thing, while the organisation itself has only been formally approved for ten years. About one-sixth of the Jocists are “militants,” and each “militant” is assumed to influence about one hundred of his fellow-workmen.

To resist Communism is only an aspect of the task. Communism itself is but a symptom of social disease: of that disease in which, as Pius XI has said, “the whole economic life has become hard, cruel, and relentless in a ghastly manner.” Catholics who see our whole task, or even a major task, in mere negative resistance to Communism are grossly mistaken. We must destroy the disease of which it is a symptom. We must restore health to the body of society. We must make our own revolution, the revolution in Christ. And that is what JOC is doing.

” Jeunesse Ouvriere Chretienne”: they are the words for which IOC stands: the Christian Worker Youth. Christian, notice: all things are centred in Christ, Christ is our Master, the Worker who is Master of Workingmen.

Christians—W orkers—Y ouths.

JOC, though it is the most familiar of them, is only one of five great organisations: JMC (Young Catholic Sailors), JEC (Young Catholic Students), JAC (Young Catholic Peasants), and JIC (Young Catholic Intellectual Workers). JOC is essentially the organisation of the industrial workers. It will be seen at once that the vocational orders, of which the Social Encyclicals speak, are observed here in their true sense. The vocations have each their part, but the parts combine for the common good, are ordered to it.

Last Whitsun, in Paris, JOC, JAC, JEC, JIC, and JMC presented together a parable play. They described in great choruses, the selfishness and violence which destroy the social order. Cries JOC: “The factory doors are shut.” Cries JAC: “No one wants the fruits of the earth.” Cries JMC: ” Ships remain in the harbors.” Cries JEC: “Students fail in the useless exams.” Cries JIC: ” Failures and miseries multiply.” Then all cry together: “Chaos, unemployment, misery, revolution, war. We want to work and to live. Who will save us?” And a voice answers: ” Christ.”

Christ is the Unity in Whom men must live and work, in Whom all vocations, all individual talents, all personal labors and sufferings, all social effort and trial, find meaning and realisation. That is the lesson of JOC and JAC and J EC and JMC and JIC. It is the message they are carrying to the world, to their immediate worlds, to the classrooms and the ships and the farms and the mills and the newspaper offices and the mines.

JOC is for boys and girls between the ages of fourteen and twenty-five. There are organisations for the younger, organisations into which they pass after twenty-five, but one musl leave these aside for the time. JOC is based on the parochial units, in which the Priest is the centre of the group, in the sense that he is responsible for its spiritual welfare. But the officers are all Jocists. The great congress in Paris the other day was arranged by these boys and girls: and, seated in the midst of the Cardinals and Bishops, a young man presided over it all—the young workingman who is President of the JOC of France.

JOC is a school of young workers.

It is social service. It works for better conditions, better wages. It is a representative body. Its reports are valued by the International Labor Office. But, above all, it is an apostolate. It insists not only on the personal sanctification of its members, but on their duty, their splendid task, as apostles to their fellows. It works at the conquest of the workers for Christ.

Its militants are the hard core of the movement. They form cells in shops and factories and mines: they are the nucleus of the parish sections. JOC always begins with a small group of militants. One can see them in training now in England. In the first week-end of August forty young men of Wigan, Father Rimmer’s group, went into retreat. For nearly six months they have been preparing themselves. Father Atkinson has another group at Wellingborough. The organisation has been authorised in Westminster, Liverpool, Northampton, Birmingham. One believes that in a year or two it will be spreading across England, as it has spread across Belgium and France: that in every place where the toiling masses labor the spirit of JOC will be there to remind men again of Christ, Who toiled and labored.

To penetrate the milieu, that is the task of JOC. Tt is a personal apostolate for each boy and girl. You are concerned with tJie man next to you at the bench, the boys who live in your street: with the girl beside you at the loom, the young women in the dance halls. The job requires courage and knowledge and spiritual integrity. Tt is not the least of the great achievements of JOC that it has found the method of steeling the moral and intellectual purpose of the young city dwellers: it has learnt how to waken their enthusiasm, how to instruct their minds, how to nourish their charity, how to make apostles of them. The whole Catholic world can learn from JOC’s technique. In my next article T shall try to give some account of it.


The Christian Revolution (Southern Cross, Friday 24 September 1937, page 17) (Trove)