Left to Right: Maureen & Des Ryan, Wayne McGough, Fr Len Thomas, Mark Ager, Fr Kevin Mogg, Kevin Vaughan, Fr Mick Wheeler, Fr Des Magennis and David Moloney. Photographer Josephine Hwang.

Dear friends,

Some recent and upcoming events:

Australian Cardijn Institute (ACI)

While Cardijn Community Australia (CCA) is an organisation of adult Cardijn groups in the community, the goal of the Australian Cardijn Institute (ACI) is to advance the Cardijn educational and academic mission.

In addition to this CCA newsletter, the distinctive new ACI newsletter will be an important resource for those interested in the Cardijn movement. Have a look at the inaugural Christmas 2019 edition HERE, and the January 2020 edition HERE . Also see the ACI and CCA websites for current work and priorities, and consider joining up and supporting our common mission:

https://www.australiancardijninstitute.org ; and


CCA Work Inquiry

Our 2020 national inquiry on ‘Work’ throws up a huge range of issues, including trade unions, casual work, automation and AI, unemployment, penalty rates, globalisation, safety, stress, race, gender, retirement, and travel to work, to name but a few. We have started off with two inquiries on aspects of work today:

The first, on ‘Work Creep’, or work-life balance, comes from our own experiences.

The second, on ‘Slavery’, was inspired by a presentation by the Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans (ACRATH) to the recent Catholic Social Ministry Conference: https://acrath.org.au

If you have the opportunity to use these in a small group, please consider recording some key points of your discussion, its impact on your consciousness of issues, any actions, and then sharing these with us. We would also value your feedback on the inquiries themselves.

CCA Groups & News

Thanks to the Salisbury (Adelaide) CCA for preparing and trialling the inquiries on ‘Work Creep’ and ‘Slavery’.

The new Bendigo CCA group, at St Laborious Eaglehawk, is coming up for its third meeting.

A new Cardijn-inspired ‘Earthcare Laudato Si’ group at Mitcham (Melbourne) parish is discussing Laudato Si, and planning its goals for 2020, including a parish audit.

At Seaford (Melbourne), the Cardijn-inspired Seaford Housing Action Coalition suggested that the St Anne’s parish join the ACOSS ‘Raise the Rate’ campaign regarding the inadequacy of Newstart. Based on the authoritative grass-roots experiences and statistics of local St Vincent de Paul conferences, a written submission was made to the Minister, and the local Federal MP received a delegation from the parish. In January SHAC put on a barbeque for the homeless, with live music, on Frankston foreshore, and is now preparing a submission to the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry on Homelessness.

CCA is helping Catholic Earthcare organise its National Convocation in Melbourne on 5-6th September.

We remain active on the CSSV ‘Parishes as Centres of Services’ committee. (CSSV is hosting the upcoming national CSS conference: HERE)

Cardijn Christmas Dinner Get-Together

It was wonderful to have former YCW chaplains join us at a very pleasant pre-Christmas dinner at the Mulgrave Country Club. See photo above.

Catholic Social Ministry Conference: ‘Delivering Catholic Social Teaching through community services and public advocacy’

This conference at Catholic Theological College on 23 November 2019 provided a forum for an exchange of ideas and experiences about the nature, functions and priorities of Catholic Social Ministry.

Important papers by leaders in their fields included a number with Cardijn backgrounds or perspectives, including Bruce Duncan CSsR, Greg Crafter, Elizabeth McFarlane, and Sarah Moffatt. Other papers from the full program HERE are also available.

Australian YCW

An enthusiastic and very well attended AYCW national conference held at Mt Eliza over the Australia Day weekend planned its agenda for 2020, and elected a new executive, headed by Marilyn Bellett. The role of Elizabeth McFarlane and Joe Magri in pulling the national YCW back from the brink was warmly acknowledged. Elizabeth’s paper (attached) tells something of that story, and the current AYCW strategy, which recognises the necessity today of engaging young people outside of parishes.

Australian YCS

The YCS is vital and active, and also a significant source of recruitment for the YCW.

The Australian YCS has recently published a newsletter: HERE

The Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle is advertising a position for a YCS worker. Applications close 21 February: HERE

Former YCS members are being invited through Facebook to an on-line conference call this month.

RIP Brian O’Halloran

Former Brisbane YCW leader and fulltimer worker Brian O’Halloran died on 23 January at the age of 87.

At the 1952 National Council in Melbourne he delivered a stirring, Cardijn-inspired, address on “The Problem of the Young Worker in Australia “, available HERE . Later he became a founding member of the Brisbane Archdiocese Catholic Commission for Justice and its first Executive Officer. “Brian was a learned, passionate and tireless worker for justice. Indeed, his whole life was devoted to working for justice. His was a life well lived and we are very grateful to have benefited from his efforts,” said current executive officer, Peter Ipswitch.

Brian is survived by his wife, Meta, who was also an NCGM leader, and large family. Son John was also a Brisbane YCW fulltimer during the early 1980s.

Anniversaries of Fernand Tonnet and Paul Garcet

We are indebted to Stefan Gigacz, through his contact with Paul Garcet’s daughter Monique, for bringing to our attention these two principal YCW founders who were killed by the Nazis in Dachau in 1945, 75 years ago. A number of anniversary Eucharists were celebrated as a result:

  • Our Lady of Lourdes, Rockingham, Perth, celebrated by parish priest Fr Pierluig
  • St Theresa’s Kennington, Bendigo. Read CCA Bendigo chaplain Monsignor Frank Marriott’s homily for the occasion HERE
  • Catholic Theological College, East Melbourne, celebrated by South African Fr Mike Deep OP, former IYCS chaplain, and Dominican Justice and Peace delegate to the UN. Some spoke of the sustaining memories of the YCW of their youth, and others spoke of its principles at work in their lives today. We thanked Paul and Fernand for their sacrifice, and the movement that they helped realise, and that still perpetuates life here.
  • Fr Epitace, in Burundi, Africa
  • Articles written by Stefan were published in Catholic papers in Australia and elsewhere in the world, including The Tablet (attached, and HERE – register for free)
Belgium 1919

Val Noone has recently contributed a chapter (attached) entitled “Belgium 1919, Joseph Cardijn begins the Young Christian Workers” to John Lack’s 1919, The Year Things Fell Apart? (Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2019)

Collaborative Futures Festival

This event in Carlton has a full day of sessions about Community Land Trusts, co-operatives and related topics: http://www.slf.org.au/event/collaborative-futures-festival/


CCA welcomes new member-subscribers. Subscriptions: individuals $25; unwaged and pensioners $15; groups / families $50; parishes $100.

David Moloney

Newsletter Secretary, CCA Inc

0417 704 427


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