Bishop Enrique Angelelli, auxiliary of Cordoba, Argentina

Bishop Enrique Angelelli

On 12 December 1960, Pope John XXIII appointed Enrique Angelelli Carletti, a founder of the JOC and the JUC in the Diocese of Córdoba, Argentina, as auxiliary bishop of that diocese.

The son of Italian immigrants, Bishop Angelelli was born in Córdoba and entered the seminary of Our Lady of Loreto at 15 years of age. He was then sent to Rome to finish his studies. He was ordained priest on 9 October 1949 and returned to Córdoba.

He started working in a parish, where he founded the JOC for the Diocese of Córdoba and worked in its slums. He was also a chaplain to the University YCS movement (JUC).

Later he became bishop of La Rioja before he was eventually assassinated on 4 August 1976 as a result of his work with the poor of the diocese.

He also worked closely in Córdoba with the lay leader and IYCW international collaborator, Jose Serapio Palacio, who was also killed (‘disappeared’) by the Argentine military on 13 December 1975.


Bishop Bl. Enrique Ángel Angelelli Carletti (Catholic Hierarchy)

Enrique Angelelli (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

Bishop Paul-Emile Charbonneau, auxiliary of Ottawa

Paul-Emile Charbonneau

On 14 November 1960, Pope John XXIII announced the appointment of Paul-Emile Charbonneau as auxiliary bishop of Ottawa, Canada.

Bishop Charbonneau will later become the president of the Canadian bishops Commission for Catholic Action and the Lay Apostolate.


Bishop Paul-Emile Charbonneau (Catholic Hierarchy)

Décès de Mgr Paul-Émile Charbonneau, évêque émérite de Gatineau (Conférence des Evêques Catholiques de Canada)

Albert Descamps, auxiliary bishop of Tournai

Bishop Albert Descamps

On 3 November 1960, Pope John XXIII appointed the biblical scholar and theologian, Albert Descamps, as auxiliary bishop of Tournai, alongside Bishop Himmer.

In 1954, he addressed a training session for JOC chaplains. In 1961, he would also accompany a JOC pilgrimage to Lourdes.

And in 1962, he would become Rector Magnificent of the University of Louvain.


Bishop Albert Louis Descamps (Catholic Hierarchy)

Albert Descamps, évêque (

Albert Descamps, Aux sources bibliques de notre message (Notes de Pastorale Jociste, 1955, T. 20, N° 3 et 4, 34-47)


Bishop Descamps, (Jac. de Nijs (ANEFO)) — GaHetNa (Nationaal Archief NL)  (Wikipedia)

Bishop Power of Antigonish

On 12 May 1960, Pope John appointed Fr William Power, the national chaplain of the English-speaking Canadian YCW as the bishop of the Diocese of Antigonish.

Significantly, this diocese was the home to the Antigonish Movement, a Canadian cooperative movement with origins in the 19th century.


Bishop William Edward Power (Catholic Hierarchy)

Obituary Rev. William Edward Power (

Antigonish Movement (Wikipedia)


Race Mathews, Jobs of our own, Pluto Press, 1999.

Archbishop Bernard Yago of Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

Archbishop Bernard Yago

On 5 April 1960, Pope John XXIII appointed Bernard Yago as archbishop of Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast).

After studying at the Institut Catholique de Paris from 1957-59, he returned to Abidjan where he served as the chaplain to the Catholic Action movements.

Former IYCS leader, Lazare Kabran reports that Mgr Yago continued to support the movements in his role as archbishop.


Bernard Cardinal Yago (Catholic Hierarchy)

Bernard Yago (Wikipedia)


Archbishop Bernard Yago (La Croix Africa)

Yves Congar: Five areas of work

Among the first to realise the Council’s potential was the theologian, Yves Congar, who had begun to work with Cardijn and the JOC during the early 1930s, giving retreats to JOC leaders at the Saulchoir, the Dominican convent then located at Kain, near Tournai in Belgium.

Subsequently, Congar continued to work closely with the JOC and other Specialised Catholic Action movements, culminating in his publication in 1953 of “Jalons pour une théologie du laïcat.” This was later translated into English as “Lay People in the Church.”

Nevertheless, his work had also attracted the attention of the Holy Office, the Vatican body responsible for doctrine. Along with several colleagues, he had been banned from teaching. As a result, he was transferred to Jerusalem at his own request and later sent to England and was eventually assigned to Strasbourg, where Archbishop Weber was more open to him.

Congar therefore took a keen interest in Pope John’s announcement of a Council. Within three weeks of its announcement, in mid-February 1959, he wrote suggesting five areas of work that thought the Council would do well to focus on (Giuseppe Alberigo, “The Announcement of the Council: From the Security of the Fortress to the Lure of the Quest,” in Alberigo-Komonchak, I, 35).

These included:

  • Confirming the unity of the Church
  • Promoting pastoral activity,
  • Reasserting the spiritual vocation of the human person
  • Combating doctrinal error and
  • Completing the work of Vatican I a century before.

International YCW president meets the new pope

Cardijn had not yet returned from Asia and the Pacific, when International YCW president, Romeo Maione, had his first encounter with the incoming pope.

He later recalled that meeting as follows:

“I remember well my first meeting with Pope John a week after he was elected. A new Pope as part of traditional protocol meets with various government delegations which attended the enthronement ceremonies.

“Pope John insisted that he also meet with a delegation of lay leaders in the church as part of this protocol. As the international president of the Young Christian Workers, I was asked to be part of this small delegation.

“At that time, I was suffering from a serious attack of sciatica, literally, I was leaning like the Tower of Pisa. As was the custom of the day, one was called to genuflect when introduced to the pope. (This tradition was later abolished).

“Because of my back, I told the papal secretary that I could not kneel. When the pope entered, he gave his usual commentary on a gospel passage and then met and had a personal word with each person.

H”e came to me and moved back looking at my 250 lbs and said: “I suppose that you are the man that can not kneel down, you better not who would be able to pick you up.”

“Suddenly, the laughter brought the great virtue of humour into the Vatican,” Maione wrote.

But in addition to his humour, Pope John was already foreshadowing the importance that he would place on lay leadership and the lay apostolate.