The anguished call of a great apostle

Among the first people Cardijn met were Chilean Bishop Manuel Larrain and Brazilians Dom Helder Camara and Dom Jose Vicente Tavora, a former JOC national chaplain.

Helder Camara recorded the meeting in one of his letters to his colleagues in Brazil:

Msgr Cardijn has just left. He cried with joy at everything that Dom Larrain, Dom Tavora and I told him. If God wishes, we will succeed in having him appointed as an expert on lay apostolate issues (and who surpasses him in this area?).

Tomorrow he will come to celebrate his 80th birthday with us. What a life, fully and well lived in the light of grace!

In the same letter, Camara recalled Cardijn’s 1951 speech on ‘The lay apostolate and the world today’ at the First World Congress on Lay Apostolate, which had made such an impression on him – ‘one of the greatest of my life.’

‘Just about everything that we are trying to achieve, with the grace of God, is in response to the anguished call of this great apostle,’ Camara added.

SOURCE

Stefan Gigacz, The Leaven in the Council, Chapter 7, The Council opens without Cardijn (Australian Cardijn Institute)