Canon Cardijn Visits England

Canon Cardijn, founder of the Young Christian Workers, is spending a few weeks in England and will broadcast next Friday in the B.B.C. Home Service, in the “Christian Outlook” series.

Addressing a 2000-strong Y.C.W. rally in London on Wednesday, Canon Cardijn emphasized that anti-Communism and anti-working class attitudes will not save the world.

“The solution,” he said, lies in mutual, understanding in order to build a social order based on Christian principles. Many Governments and businessmen adopt a purely negative attitude towards workers’ movements and particularly towards Communism. Our hope is not in the atomic bomb, but in the strength of the spiritual potentialities of the peoples of the world.”


Canon Cardijn Visits England (Advocate (Melbourne, Vic. : 1868 – 1954), Thursday 24 November 1949, page 5) (Trove)

£1700 prizes in YCW raffle

The raffle now being conducted by the Y.C.W. Men’s Extension Committee, to be drawn on May 24, is well under way.

Prizes are: First, Holden Motor Car; 2nd, “Dream Holiday for Two” to the Great Barrier Reef by car and plane; 3rd, Lounge and Bedroom Suite; 4th, Refrigerator; 5th, Dining-room Setting; 6th Crystal Cabinet arid Buffet; 7th, Electric Cookery; 8th. Electric Washer; 9th, Stainless Steel Sink and Cabinet; 10th, Canteen of Cutlerv; 11th, Innerspring Mattress; 12, Electric Mantel Clock.

The proceeds from this raffle go to build a convalescent camp on Phillip Island, on the shore facing Smith’s Beach, for Y.C.W. returned servicemen, sons of deceased servicemen, and sons of ex-servicemer,, particularly those in necessitous circumstances. Tickets can be purchased in this raffle for 1 /-each at the various position^ in the city: “Miss Modern” Shoes, Swanston-street; Fred Hesse, Mercer, Elizabeth-street; Melbourne Coffee Palace, Bourke-street; under dome at Flinders-street Station; Smith s Royal Arcade Milk Bar, Elizabethstreet. , ….

These positions have been kindly donated by the various proprietors, and are deserving of your support. To make this raffle .the success it deserves, we are appealing for voluntary workers to assist in the sellinq of tickets at the positions mentioned. Any person interested should contact the organizer, T. R. Quirk, or members of the ladies’ committee at 312 Elizabeth-street, Melbourne (Cent. 5180).


Advocate (Melbourne, Vic. : 1868 – 1954), Thursday 21 April 1949, page 22

Opening of YCW Youth Hostel extension

The official opening of the new extension to the Y.C.W. Hostel for underprivileged youths at l/l Beaconsfield-parade, Albert Park will take place at 3 pan. on Sunday October 23, by his Grace the Archbishop, Most Rev.” D. Mannix. • Visitors will include priests from various parishes, Mr. J. L. Cremean, M.L.A., the Mayor of South Melbourne, Cr H. A. Layfield, councillors from South Melbourne and Port Melbourne, and members of the Y.C.W. Men s Extension Committee. Mr. P. J. Mitchell will be chairman.



Advocate (Melbourne, Vic. : 1868 – 1954), Thursday 20 October 1949, page 22

Seminarians Summer School of Catholic Action


Back Row (from left to right): J. Kelly (Ballarat), T. Holland (Adelaide), F. Lyons (Melbourne), J. Cross (Melbourne), T. Brophy (Melbourne), E. D’Arcy (Melbourne), F. Larsen (Melbourne), K. Ryan (Melbourne), L. Wholohan (Sydney), J. Allman (Sale), W. Murphy (Sandhurst).

Middle Row: R. Harden (Sydney), B. Burke (Melbourne), J. Cassidy, (Sydney), Leo Clarke (Melbourne), J. Murray (Melbourne), B. Lohan (Goulburn), F. Murphy (Melbourne), N. Timbs (Sydney), J. Ellis (Melbourne), R. Merrick (Melbourne), P. de Campo (Sandhurst), J. O’Shea (Melbourne).

Front Row: Rev. G. Weissel (Goulburn), Rev. D. O’Neill (Sandhurst), Rev. V. Marley (Sydney), Rev. K. Pranty (Sydney), Rev. B. Rosen (Sydney), Rev. C. Mayne, S.J. (Melbourne), Rev. B. Kennedy (Maitland), Rev. J. Phelan (Melbourne), Rev. E. Lloyd (Goulburn), Rev. J. Atkins (Melbourne), Rev. F. Doolan (Melbourne), Rev. F. Brouggy (Sydney).


Seminarians Summer School of Catholic Action (Advocate (Melbourne, Vic. : 1868 – 1954), Thursday 12 February 1948, page 7) (Trove)

None May Refuse Support to Catholic Action

Archbishop’s Urgent Statement at Christian Workers’ Conference

SPEAKING to the large gathering of men at the — National Christian Workers’ Movement annual conference at Sunshine Parish Hall on Sunday, September 28, his Grace the Archbishop quoted a recent utterance of the Holy Father. The Pope was addressing the Catholic Young Women’s Federation in Rome and he said: ” ‘Abstention from active work for God and for Christ in the present condition in Europe, you must know full well is in itself a grave sin of omission.’ These are very strong words coming from the Pope, dealing with a situation like our own,”‘ said Dr. ‘Mannix. “We have substantially and practically the very same pagan atmosphere to fight, and the very same problems to solve, and I have no doubt if the Pope were standing here, he would say the very same thing to you.”

The theme of the conference was “The Home,” which was considered under three heads, “Christian Marriage.” “Parents and Children” and “The Family Unit and Society.” the three rriain speakers being Rev. M. Caterinich, Sir Henry Digby-Beste and Mr. W. McMahon.

Mr. W. O’Keefe, diocesan president of the N.C.W.M., was in the chair and amongst those present were Revs. W. P. Hackett, S.J.; J. Ciantar. S.C.; M. Brosnan, B.A., PP.; C. Mayne, S.J.; B. Kennedy, B. M. Day and L. Egan.

In his address of welcome to the Archbishop the parish priest of Sunshine, Fr. Ryder, said that according to the reports of those who had been overseas Catholic Action in Australia could compare favourably with any other part of the world. Whatever success we had had here was in very large measure due to the wise guidance and wonderful sunport that Dr. Mannix had given it. Under present condition^, he said, none could hold back and refuse their full support to Catholic Action.


In his annual report the diocesan secretary, Mr. T. Cushen, said that the progress during the past 12 months had been very satisfactory. Membership had risen and there were now more than 1000 members in the N.C.W.M. in the Melbourne Archdiocese. Services and activities were growing and the spirit of the movement was at a very high level. Groups at West Brunswick and West Footscray had formed branches during the year. The former, although it had been in existence for only six months, already had over 90 members^ and was one of the most successful branches in the movement.

Groups were in process of formation at East Brunswick, Ascot Vale, Flemington and Castlemaine.

The two N.C.W.M. Co-operative Housing Societies had held their first annual general meetings in September and their reports were most satisfactory. There were approximately 60 members in the 22-year society and 126 in the 30-year society. Altogether, 40 members had started to build homes. Their applications for loans totalling about £46,000 had been granted, and four houses were completed and occupied.

Other services reported on were credit union, vocational guidance and employment bureaux, handy-man service, cooperative buying clubs and advice on taxation, gardening, social services and various other practical problems in the lives of adult workers.

A complete new training programme incorporating all the latest developments in Catholic Action was in course of preparation and would soon be ready. When it was, a new drive for branches, both within and outside the Archdiocese, Would be made.


Outlining the plans for the future, the national secretary of the movement, Mr. K. W. Mitchell, said that although great success had been achieved by the N.C.W.M,, until recently two problems had worried the executive and the leaders’ groups. Firstly, though there was great loyalty and enthusiasm amongst the ordinary members, there was no organised apostolic work undertaken by them, and it was of the essence of Catholic Action that every person who joined its army should become an active apostle. Secondly, there had not been, so far, any organised and systematised attack on the environment itself—in the factories, workshops and offices, in the homes arid the various places where men spent their leisure time.

The executive had now devised a plan which it felt confident would provide the solution to these two problems. Every, leader in the movement was asked to form a sub-leaders’ group comprising four or five members of his branch who lived in his immediate neighbourhood. The members of these sub-groups would, on the one hand, assist in the running of the branch and gradually take off the leaders’ shoulders all the organising and a d m i n i strative responsibility; and, on the other hand, would endeavour to form “teams of influence” in the environment through which they would spread the ideas of the movement and endeavour to Christianise the various spheres of -the work, the home and the leisure in which they spent their daily lives. Mr. Mitchell strongly urged all members to back up this plan and to develop and extend their apostolic activity so that the ultimate objective of the N.C.W.M., the Christianising of the whole environment of the workers, might be achieved.

In a stirring appeal for action, Rev. W. Hackett, S.J., said that the time for words had passed and it was now up to us to do sromething. Australians were altogether too apathetic, and if they did not bestir themselves now the country might well be plunged into the dreadful chaos that we had witnessed in Europe followed by the oppression of totalitarianism.


“If I could be carried away,” said his Grace the Archbishop, “I should have been carried away by that passionate address just delivered by Fr. Hackett. Everything that he said was something you have to take to heart, and the appeal that he made to you, in such eloquent and passionate language, is really the appeal that I have been making, much more feebly, for many years—not altogether without result—but now that the real Catholic Actionists have come into line with Fr. Hackett and Mr. Mitchell and others, I am looking forward to great strides in Catholic Action in the near future.

“When I listened to Mr. Mitchell explaining this new system, which apparently has been hatched between himself and Fr. Mayne, I think it has in it a great element of hope and progress. It is nothing very wonderful that any individual is asked to undertake, but everybody is asked to undertake something. Everybody can do something, and everybody make his own contribution. This scheme now put before you will yield very valuable results in the near, future.

“Another thing that occurred to me was that Fr. Mayne and Mr. Mitchell might seem to be making big demands upon you, but we are not asking you to do anything that the Communists are not doing already, and doing with marvellous results—from their point of view. They have no difficulty about spending their time and devoting their energy to the promotion of their own particular objective, and if only we are as much interested in Christ’s cause as they are in the cause of the Evil One, there ought to be progress on our side, and I have great hopes that you who have done so much already, will, under the direction of those who are leading you, do even greater things in the future. I am very proud of what you have done. I know that you have made considerable sacrifices (not greater than the Communists have made for their objective), but I give you credit for all that you have done, and I have great hopes that you will do even better things in the future.

“I am glad to know that your members are increasing — not rapidly, but with continued progress. There is no falling off. Though the progress may be slow, still it is sure and stable, and you have, needless for me to say, much work to do if you are going to Christianise Australia.

Sad Plight

“We are in a very sad plight at the present time. There is very little Christianity in Australia. There is very little goodness in the world. We are, perhaps, too strong in our pronouncements on the wickedness of the world. There is some goodness, but it is mostly humanitarianism. It is not Christianity and it is for you to try and make any goodness there is in the Australian world — not merely humanitarian, but real Christianity. You are going to succeed if you will put your shoulders to the wheel and keep at it. Do not be afraid because you are not making rapid progress—even though things go awry or amiss, and something on which you have great hones turns out to be a failure. We must have failures if we are to succeed. Of course, we here in Australia are not the only people fighting this battle for Christ. Europe is even in a much worse condition than Australia. I don’t know that any part of Europe is more pagan than Australia, but they have many difficulties there from which we are free. Nobody rpq]icps that and the sad state of Europe better than the Holy Father, and he is looking out over Europe and honing that Catholics will do their duty. The Pope was reported recently to have said, in hi= address to the Catholic Young Women’s Federation in Rome, regarding the grave situation in Europe: ‘Abstention from active work for God and for Christ in the present conditions in Europe, you all know full well is in itself a grave sin of omission.’

Strong Words

“These are very strong words coming from the Pone, dealing with a situation like our own. We have substantially and practically the very same pagan atmosphere to fight, and the very same problems to solve, and I have no doubt if the Pope were standing here, he would say the very same thing to you. He would say that seeing the problems that Australia now has to face; seeing the menace of paganism and Communism,* that the man or the woman. who stands aside and fail£ to do his or her duty to shoulder his or her responsibility, is guilty of a grave omission. I am sure you will take that to heart.

“All you wanted was a lead, and very likely you have every justification for blaming your leaders. If you like you can blame the Bishops of Australia. Perhaps the call was not sufficiently urgent; perhaps the call was not eloquently supported. At all events, you can blame anyone you like—me especially—but we must now face the facts as we find them. We are face to face with atheistic Communism in Australia, and what happened elsewhere can happen here; unless we do our best, Communistic atheism will gain a victory, and it may be a losing victory, in Australia.

“You yourselves are fathers of families, or have young brothers and sisters. You couldn’t do anything better than to use all your energy in doing all you can for the young people” of Australia. You would be following the example of the Communists, but you are trying to lead youth to Christ—they are trying to lead youth away from Him.

“You have wise leadership. I am glad to hear from your leaders that you are prepared to co-operate with them so zealously. If you get the lead, you are prepared to follow. Leaders or followers, the one thing that we must always remember is that unless the Lord bless them that labour, they labour in vain. We have to put all our confidence in God. We must try and make our own lives good Christian lives before we can make Christians of those around us. Try and make ourselves real, genuine Christians, not afraid to stand up for our Faith and follow Christ.

“I hope that God’s blessing in great abundance will rain upon your leaders and yourselves, and through them, and through you, that the menace of Communism in Australia may be stayed and rolled back, and that Australia may be saved from the fate that has fallen upon so many other nations.”


His Grace Archbishop Mannix carrying the Blessed Sacrament . in the procession through the Cathedral grounds at the close of the Forty Hours’ devotion, Sunday, October 5.


None May Refuse Support to Catholic Action (Advocate (Melbourne, Vic. : 1868 – 1954), Wednesday 15 October 1947, page 19) (Trove)

Canon Cardijn Visits Prague

Speaking at the Archdiocesan Seminary of Prague before group of leading priests and laymen, Canon Joseph Cardijn, of Brussels, Belgium, founder and leader of the world-wide Jocist (Young Christian Workers) movement, explained the principles and techniques of the Jocists whose associations are now flourishing in 52 countries The audience showed by its applause and by the many questions which-were asked after the address that in Czechoslovakia there is great interest in the Jocist movement.


Canon Cardijn Visits Prague (Advocate (Melbourne, Vic. : 1868 – 1954), Wednesday 16 July 1947, page 20) (Trove)

Canon Cardijn Visits Germany

THE Young ChristianWorkers of Germany held their first national conference at Mannheim. Already before the conference, a number of informal contacts had been established with the Jocist movement in Belgium and France.

The visit of Canon Cardijn, founder of the Jocists Young Christian Workers, was undoubtedly an important factor in the work of re-education and reorganisation and gave German Catholic youth leaders a valuable opportunity of learning from experiences made in the outside world and of breaking through the isolation in which they have been living for many years.

Beginning his German tour at Cologne, Canon Cardijn, after a long conference with Cardinal Frings, addressed the Young Christian Workers of Cologne in St Michael’s parish hall He explained the nature and character of the Jocist movement which now exists in 52 countries throughout the world and described his impressions and experiences on hjs trip to Canada, the, United States,) Central and South America, which he undertook in 1946 at the express request of Pope Pius XII. ‘”


Accompanied by Fr. Sink, diocesan director of Catholic Youth, Fr. Cardijn visited the national headquarters of the Catholic Youth of Germany, at Altenberg near Cologne, the big industrial city of Essen where he addressed a large group of Young Christian Workers from Essen, Muehlheim-Ruhr and Oberhausen, Hardenhausen, Paderborn, and Aachen.

Everywhere his lectures were followed by a lively discussion in which the young Germans expressed their eagerness to cooperate with the Jocist movement. Fr. Cardijn was also told repeatedly about the great anxiety created among the young workers by the programme of deindustrialisation, whose full scope and consequences are not yet clearly realised everywhere.

The Y.C.W. of Germany have not yet been given their final organisational form. They will probably be established as a specialised section inside the Catholic Youth of Germany, whose headquarters are at Altenberg.


Canon Cardijn Visits Germany (Advocate, Wednesday 9 July 1947, page 21) (Trove)

A laborer’s prayer

Work of Italian Y.C.W.

A “Laborer’s Prayer,” written by an automobile worker in the Fiat plant at Miraflori, was read by Fr. Ernestino Bosco at the opening of the first National Convention of the G.I.O.C. (Gioventu Italiana Operair Christian, Young Christian Workers’ Movement), held in Rome.

The Priest explained that the worker who wrote the prayer had not been in the habit of going to chlfrch or meeting Priests. When the Priest approached him and urged him to pray, he said that he no longer remembered the prayers which he had learned in his youth.

In Your Own Words

So the Priest told him: “Speak to God in your own words, as you would to me, remembering Who He is.”

Thereupon the worker wrote the following prayer:

“Amidst the noise of our machines, let our prayer rise supreme into the sky to Thee, 0 God above all, Father of Infinite Goodness. In the poetry of our work, our thought is Thine, going out to Thee Who . watches over our families while we are away.

“From our forges, our shipyards, our factories and our mines, let our praise-rise to Thee, Creator of this blessed earth, to Thee Who created us in the likeness of Thy Son, Jesus. Give us always, 0 Lord, strength and health and the ability to perform our work as well as possible, so that our working masses may arise ever more towards Thee, to glorify Thee, Eternal God and Father of the universal human brotherhood. Amen.”

Jocists in Italy

The Jocist (Young,Christian Workers’) movement, which was started in Italy just over a year ago, aims at bringing religion to the workers in the factories and mines, and at organising the apostolate of workers among their fellow workers.


A laborer’s prayer (Southern Cross, Friday 2 May 1947, page 16) (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)

Church Needs Militant Lay Missionaries

Pope Pius XI Astounded at Workers Ignorance of Catholic Social Teaching, Says Canon Cardijn

DURING his six days in England on his return trip from the United States, Canon Cardijn Belgian founder of the world wide Young Christian Workers, told audiences in the north and south of England of the direct commission he received from Pope Pius XI to start his movement and of the Holy-Father’s consternation when he was told that the working classes knew nothing of the Church’s social teaching.

Canon Cardijn said that he was trembling when he sought his first interview with Pope Pius XI to put before him his great desire—to win the working-class masses for the Church.

“While I was speaking,” said the Canon, “the Pope stopped me and said: ‘This is the first time that anyone has come to me and said that he wanted to win the masses. Everyone says: “I will form an elite; I will form a little group of good Christians.” It is not an elite that the Church needs, not a small group, but the masses of the working classes.’


“Then the Pope said to me the words you have heard repeated so often: ‘The greatest scandal of the 19th century is that the Church lost the masses of the working class. The greatest service you can do to the Church is to win them back. The masses of the working class need the Church, but the Church needs the masses of the working class’.”

Canon Cardijn then quoted the following words uttered to him by the Holy Father during the same interview: “I can write Encyclicals, I can write about social doctrine, I can speak on the radio, but I cannot go into the factories, into the shops, into the offices, into the mines, and I cannot spread the doctrines of the Church. Nor can the Bishops^ nor the priests do this, for these places are closed to them. Therefore, the Church needs thousands upon thousands of militant, lay missionaries, young working boys and girls who are the representatives of the Church in their working environment. Everywhere there is a burning desire for the re-conquest of the masses of the people, the masses of the working classes of the world.”

Canon Cardijn went on to recall an audience which the Archbishop of Toulouse, Cardinal Saliege, had with the late Pope, in which he told his Holiness that the working class knew nothing of the Church’s social teaching. “Is that possible!” exclaimed the Pope. “Fifty-five years after ‘Rerum Novarum,’ 15 years after ‘Quadragesimo Anno,’ a Cardinal comes to tell me that the people know nothing about the Encyclicals, know nothing about the social doctrine of the Church. Is that possible? In the dilferent countries of the world there are people .who do not know the social doctrine of the Gospels, of Jesus Christ, of the Popes, that I myself have repeated so often by Encyclical, by letter and by the wireless!”

Canon Cardijn declared that the present Holy Father has told him: “I want for the future of the Church a very strong international organisation of Young Christian Workers in every country.”

During his short stay in England, Canon Cardijn addressed two meetings in London, in the presence of Cardinal Griffin and Archbishop Amigo of Southwark, one in Manchester and, finally, a national rally in Liverpool. He told the Y.C.W. members that the British Empire and the United States looked to the English Y.C.W. for leadership in the apostolate for the restoration of the working classes to Christ, and he added: “From what I have seen, that leadership will be forthcoming.” Soon he is to go to Rome to tell the Pope the results of his tour.

“I shall tell him,” he said, “that I have found the movement strong and virile in spirit in England and with immense possibilities in the Americas.”


Church Needs Militant Lay Missionaries (Advocate (Melbourne, Vic. : 1868 – 1954), Wednesday 25 September 1946, page 3) (Trove)