Papal message for the Rio Council

One of Cardijn’s concerns while in Rome was evidently to ensure that there was a papal message for the imminent International Council of the YCW due to start shortly in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

He was not disappointed.

On 25 October 1961, Cardinal Amleto Cicognani addressed a letter on behalf of John XXIII to (outgoing) IYCW president, Romeo Maione.

“The presence at this Brazilian meeting of nearly 300 national leaders of the Y.C.W. of all countries is a witness to the vitality of your movement throughout the world and there is no doubt that this meeting will result in a new missionary development and strengthen the union of young workers of all races and colours in the Mystical Body of Christ,” Cardinal Cicognani wrote.

“The Holy Father, who is extremely pleased by the progress accomplished by the Y.C.W.’s, encourages them with all his heart to go forward, strengthened by the grace of Christ Jesus. For it is in Him that they must be, as the Apostle says, “rooted and built up, and confirmed in the faith, abounding in Him in thanksgiving,” (Col. 2, 7). What a splendid task it is to share in the redemption of all the working youth of the world and to reveal to it, no matter what be its material, moral and spiritual misery, the image of the living God, creator and redeemer of our souls!

“Thus the Y.C.W.’s, by their very life, their work sanctified by the state of grace, and their action based on prayer and nourished with sacramental graces, will share in the edification of the body of Christ (Eph, A, 12). United in the friendship and animated by charity, their constant concern will be to achieve a personal apostolate in their environment, in union with the other Catholic youth movements, and to give to their working comrades the example of an attractive Christian community.

Preparing young workers for family life

Evidently, Cardinal Cicognani had been well briefed on the topics the Council was to deal with.

“The programme of these days of study is largely concerned with “the preparation of young workers for family life” and the international action of the Y,C.W. ,” he continued. “These are without doubt two subjects of capital importance.    

“For it is absolutely necessary that, in the upheavals of the modern world, the family should retain its character as a sacred sanctuary, in which man and woman fulfil themselves in conjugal love and the joys of fatherhood and mother hood. The Y.C.W. has already done a great deal, but it will never do enough to train these young people, who to morrow will be the heads of families and the guardians of homes. And we must rejoice that its representatives should make their voice heard at the great international organizations in favour of legislation enabling still more all young workers to enjoy conditions of life and work permitting the greater human and Christian fulfilment of their personalities.

Mater et Magistra

And Cardinal Cicognani did not miss the opportunity to mention Pope John’s recent encyclical, Mater et Magistra, which had been suggested by Cardijn himself and specifically recommended the Jocist “see-judge-act” method.

“The Holy Father, who again recently has expressed his paternal solicitude for all workers in his Encyclical Letter MATER ET MAGISTRA, is hoping that the Rio de Janeiro meeting will mark a new development of the Y.C.W., especially in the countries of Latin America, which are so dear to him.

“And that is why he grants a fatherly Apostolic Blessing to tireless Mgr. Cardijn, to yourself who are to preside this meeting, to all taking part in this Second International Council, and to all the chaplains and leaders of the great Y.C.W. family throughout the world.

“I am happy to send you this precious encouragement of His Holiness and I should like to express my own best wishes for the work of the leaders of the groat international Catholic movement of young workers,” the cardinal concluded.

SOURCE

ORIGINAL FRENCH

Cardinal Amleto Cicognani – Romeo Maione 25 10 1961 (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

ENGLISH TRANSLATION

Cardinal Amleto Cicognani – Romeo Maione 25 10 1961 (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

REFERENCES

Pope John XXIII, Mater et Magistra (Vatican.va)

Amleto Cardinal Cicognani (Catholic Hierarchy)

A message from Cardinal Ottaviani

On 24 October 1961, Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani, the ageing, almost blind, conservative son of a Rome baker, sent his own blessing to the YCW International Council in Rio de Janeiro.

“I have received your kind letter of 16 October, which was also signed by the President and Vice-President of the International YCW and by which you officially announced to me the forthcoming opening of the Second International Council of the YCW

“Be sure, dear Monsignor, that I was both very touched by this delicate and filial attention and very happy to learn this important news.

“I gladly express my ardent wishes that the Lord may bless your meetings, and make all the fruits that you expect from them germinate, for the good of the YCW and that of the whole Church.

Be sure, dear Monsignor, of my very devoted greetings in Christ Jesus.

A. Cardinal Ottaviani”

SOURCE

Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani – Joseph Cardijn 24 10 1961 (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani – Joseph Cardijn 24 10 1961 (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

Greetings from Cardinal Frings of Cologne

On 23 October 1961, Cardinal Josef Frings of Cologne sent his own greetings to the International Council of the YCW.

“The YCW is holding its second World Council in Rio this year.

“If I am not mistaken, it was the first of these meetings that I was allowed to attend in Montreal, Canada, in 1947.

“Since then, the world YCW has continued to develop under God’s visible protection and has become an integral part of the structure of international Catholic associations.

“May the 2nd World Council represent a new milestone in its development!

+ Jos. Card. Frings

Archbishop of Cologne”

Cardinal Pizzardo’s message for Rio

Cardinal Pizzardo – Cardijn – 23 10 1961

On 23 October 1961, Cardinal Giuseppe Pizzardo, longtime head of the Vatican Office for Catholic Action and nemesis of Cardijn, addressed a letter to him for the IYCW International Council in Rio de Janeiro.

“Most Reverend Monsignor,

I received with great joy the announcement of the second International Council of the YCW, which will take place in Brazil (Petropolis) from November 2 to 11, and of the Grand Assembly which will bring together 30,000 young workers, an assembly that will close the National Congress of the YCW of Brazil. I have also taken note of the program that You were kind enough to send me.

I pray the Lord to always bless You and assist You in the apostolate, which is so fruitful useful for the Christian future of the world, and which You carry out on behalf of youth. And may the Master of the Harvest awaken a great number of ecclesiastical vocations.

Assuring You the help of my prayers for the success of the project, I have the pleasure to say that I am completely devoted in Our Lord

(G. Cardinal Pizzardo)”

SOURCE

ORIGINAL FRENCH

Cardinal Giuseppe Pizzardo – Joseph Cardijn 23 10 1961 (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

ENGLISH TRANSLATION

Cardinal Giuseppe Pizzardo – Joseph Cardijn 23 10 1961 (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

A leaven of expanding influence

On 23 October 1961, Archbishop D’Souza of Nagpur, India wrote to the Indian YCW chaplain, Fr Rupert, who was preparing to leave for the YCW International Council in Rio de Janeiro.

“My dear Father Rupert,

“I am sorry I could not get a message across to you before you left, as I was out of station for a while. I do hope I am not late in reaching you. We have just finished two Conferences here – one of the Bishops of the Region and the other an Interdiocesan Conference of Priests, where, among other things, we discussed the question of the social uplift of our people. The Y.C.W. as is but natural figured in our discussions.

“I would have loved to be present on an occasion like this when our young Christian workers, from all over the world, have assembled together. However, I shall follow all your proceedings in spirit and in prayer. This is indeed, an unique occasion which can spell great things for the Church and I wish you to convey to Mr. Romeo Maione my heartiest congratulations. Tell him from all of us, how deeply interested we are in this Conference and also in the programme that the Y.C.W. has chalked out for itself for the spiritual welfare of the working classes. We here in India have pledged ourselves to make the Y.C.W. a leaven of expanding influence and a power for good. To this end also, our Five Year Plan will give us an opportunity to spread the Y.C.W. far and wide till it infiltrate into every industrial area where its presence is needed.

“Remember me also to all our Delegates and I am sure all of you will give a good account of yourselves. We shall be waiting to hear the results of your deliberations.

“With my heartfelt blessing and best wishes for a successful Conference and tour.

Yours devotedly in Christ,

(+ Eugene D’Souza)

Archbishop of Nagpur.

Director of the Section for the Lay Apostolate”

C.B.C.I.

SOURCE

Archives JOCI 2.10.7.38-2

No objection to Rio International Council: Vatican

On 16 October 1961, Archbishop Antonio Samorè (finally) replied to Cardijn indicating that the Holy See had no objection to the holding of the YCW International Council in Rome.

“I was away from Rome when your letter of 17 September arrived and it is only now that I am able to reply,” Archbishop Samorè wrote.

“As you wish, I therefore hasten to let you know that there does not seem to be any objection to the Second International Council of the YCW taking place in Rio in 1961.

“I am also happy to learn of the valuable contribution that Bishop Helder Câmara has promised you to facilitate this meeting. For my part, I will not fail to intervene with the competent Offices of the Curia to obtain financial assistance for you, but I cannot predict how effective my efforts will be.

“In expressing the best wishes for this second international session, I beg you to accept, Monsignor, an assurance of my devoted commitment in Our Lord.”

SOURCE

ORIGINAL FRENCH

Mgr Antoine Samorè – Joseph Cardijn 16 10 2021 (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

ENGLISH TRANSLATION

Mgr Antoine Samorè – Joseph Cardijn 16 10 2021 (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

From mustard seed to enormous tree

Cardinal Gracias – Message to IYCW World Council Rio de Janeiro 1961

On 7 October 1961, Cardinal Valerian Gracias of Bombay, India, addressed a message to the IYCW for its International Council in Rio de Janeiro.

7th October, 1961

I am happy to learn that the 2nd International Council of the Y.C.W. (J.O.C.) will be held at Rio de Janeiro from the 2nd to the 19th November, 1961. Delegates from all over the world will assemble to exchange views, to assess what has been done in the past and to plan for the future. The very fact that the delegates meet will be for each one of them a source of added strength and encouragement for the great and noble vocation which is theirs as Young Christian Workers of the world. The Council will certainly contribute to a greater sense of solidarity and help in no small measure to further promote the cause of this apostolate of the Young Workers.

This movement, begun in Belgium under Canon Cardijn, has slowly developed and gained momentum like the proverbial mustard seed of the Gospel, and to-day it has blossomed into an enormous tree with its branches outspread to carry the Christian message far and wide. No greater compliment could have been paid to the Y.C.W. movement than the recent reference made by our Holy Father, Pope John XXIII, in his recent Encyclical Letter “MATER ET MAGISTRA”, in which he clearly indicates the three stages in the practical application of social principles: look, judge, act, and says:

“It is particularly important that youth be made to dwell often on these three stages, and as far as possible, reduce them to action. The knowledge acquired in this way does not remain merely abstract ideas but is something to be translated into deed.”

I bless abundantly all the delegates who will assemble for the 2nd International Council and wish their deliberations every success.

+Valerian Cardinal Gracias

Archbishop of Bombay

Brazil prepares for YCW congress

PETROPOLIS, Brazil (NC) —A technical committee has been set up here to make preparations for the second world congress of the Young Christian Workers’ organization to be held here Nov. 1 to’ 11. Cardinal de Barros Camara, Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro, has established the committee. The YCW congress will deal with such subjects as the preparation of young workers for marriage, the training of leaders, and international aid within the structure <of the YCW.

SOURCE

Brazilians Prepare for YCW World Congress (The Monitor, Volume CIII, Number 20, 18 August 1961)(The Catholic News Archive)

Social and economic defence of young workers

On 7 August 1961, Cardijn wrote to Mgr Glorieux expanding on his proposal for action on the issue of young domestic workers.

“Prior to receiving your letter, I had written the attached short note on Proposals 50 and 51, on the subject of the family,” Cardijn wrote. “The secretariat will decide whether it should still be taken into account.”

“Note Ri 55 seems to address my concerns about the plight of domestic workers, especially younger ones. We should perhaps add the social and economic defence of these young employees. An organisation which brings together and helps young domestic workers, in which they themselves are trained to train and support each other, seems to me very advisable. The JOCF in Chile and Brazil have taken the initiative to launch such an organisation, within the JOC movement itself, with excellent results.”

Moving on, he raised questions – indeed perhaps frustration – about the method of work being followed by the Preparator Commission.

“At the point the work of the Commission has arrived at, would it not be useful to provide its members a copy of all the proposals adopted so far? This would help us to gain an overview of these Proposals in order to be able to evaluate and add to them.”

And he again returned to his primordial concern for the “apostolate of the laity.”

“Personally, I am very concerned with the apostolate of the laity – individual, but above all organised – in their lay life, in their lay environment, at the heart of the problems and institutions that influence them; I am referring to the proper and irreplaceable apostolate that the laity must exercise personally or through their organisations with respect to secular problems.

“Can we not highlight even more the importance and the necessity of this and underline the formation which the laity need, as well as the indispensable collaboration with the Hierarchy, as much for their formation as for their action?” he asked.

And it is an issue that he sees as important in the ecumenical or even inter-religious context as well.

“The problem seems so important to me for the years to come! Catholics and non-Catholics alike expect a clear and definite declaration from the Council on such a fundamental point. This statement needs to make an impact, both inside and outside the Church.

“I apologise for returing to this point so often. I hope that after the International Council of the YCW in Rio (November 1 to 23), I will find more time to put on paper a few moer concrete observations concerning the distinctions to be made regarding the direct and indirect apostolate as well as, apostolic, social and charitable action, collaboration between chaplain and lay leader, relations between the Hierarchy and the laity.

“I will be in Rome from 23 to 28 October and will leave from there directly to Rio de Janeiro. Do not forget us in your prayers!” Cardijn concluded.

SOURCE

FRENCH ORIGINAL

Joseph Cardijn – Achille Glorieux 07 08 1961 (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

ENGLISH TRANSLATION

Joseph Cardijn – Achille Glorieux 07 08 1961 (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

Requests to Cardinal Dell’Acqua

As usual, Cardijn maximised his trips to Rome, taking the opportunity to visit various Vatican officials.

On 3 July, he met with Pope John XXIII’s Substitute, Archbishop Angelo Dell’Acqua to make a number of requests that he summarised in an aide-mémoire he prepared:

First, he requested a “”essage from the Holy Father for Rio de Janeiro” i.e. the International YCW World Council scheduled for the end of 1961.

Secondly, he requested “honorary distinctions for the former leaders of the YCW International Bureau (1957 to 1961).”

Thirdly, he sought an honour for “the former National President of the KAJ (JOC Flemish) on the occasion of the 50th pilgrimage to Lourdes that he was organising for the sick.”

Fourthly, he raised the problem of how to contact the JOC in post-revolutionary Cuba.

“The regime and situation of certain States, such as Cuba, for example, makes it very difficult for the International Secretariat of the YCW to transmit its advice and the apostolic directives intended for them to the YCWs of these countries,” he explained.

“Would it be possible for the International Secretariat of the YCW to submit these communications in an open envelope to the Belgian Nunciature with a request to forward them to the Secretariat of State which would determine the possibility of sending them through diplomatic channels to the Representatives of the Holy See in these countries?”

Finally, in a handwritten addition, he requested financial assistance for the travel of World Council delegates from “Africa, Asia, certain European countries (illegible) …. Central America.”

It seems he had received assurances of this from Archbishops Samorè (Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs) and Sigismondi (Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith) on this matter.

SOURCES

French

Visite à Mgr Dell’Acqua 03 07 1961 (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

Requête à Mgr Dell’Acqua 03 07 1961 (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

English

Visit to Archbishop Dell’Acqua 03 07 1961 (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

Request to Archbishop Dell’Acqua 03 07 1961 (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)