Apart from his packed schedule, Cardijn faced yet another challenge in responding to the requests of the Preparatory Commission: the documents he received were all in Latin.
Although Cardijn had evidently learned Latin at school and in the seminary, Marguerite Fiévez was undoubtedly much less familiar with the language.
Thus, with Cardijn already in Africa, when she received another document from the PCLA dated 19 December, she arranged for a “quick translation” into French by an unnamed person, probably a JOC chaplain.
As well as enclosing a series of reports, the note explained that the Second Sub-Commission, which was dealing with the issue of formation of lay people would also look into the formation needs of priests.
“It also seemed necessary,” the note explained, “to consider what is required to prepare priests in light of the modern form of the apostolate. Rev. P. Jarlot and Mgr Geraud have prepared a note on this issue, based on the wishes of the bishops as well as their own experience.”
“However, since this subject does not fall directly within the competence of our Commission, we will only include their conclusions which contain several concrete proposals.
“Pending what the Commission on Seminaries prepares, we would be grateful if you would send us your observations as soon as possible,” the note requested.
Fathers Georges Jarlot SJ was a French expert on Catholic Social Teaching then working at the Gregorian University while Mgr Joseph Geraud was a French Sulpician priest stationed at the Procure Saint Sulpice. Both were well known to Cardijn.
Finally, the note added that Archbishop Pericle Felici, the secretary-general of the Council, had published a booklet including the lists of the various people making up the various conciliar preparatory commissions.
The conciliar workload was mounting quickly and the need to work in Latin only added to the growing burden!
Traduction Rapide (Archives Cardijn 1584)