Cardijn had many things to do before leaving for Africa, one of which was to deal with a project to write a book to be published by the French-Belgian company, Editions Universitaires, which was directed by a French Catholic layman, Jean-Pierre Dubois-Dumée.
After two years of correspondence with the JOC founder, the publishers were frustrated by the lack of progress.
Jean Lannoye, a well-known Belgian Catholic figure, who happened to be the father-in-law of Jean Delarge, the editor at Editions Universitaires, now took the opportunity to press Cardijn further.
But since Cardijn had no time to reply, he left it to Marguerite Fiévez to do so.
“You are undoubtedly aware,” she wrote, “that a project was begun to respond to the desire of J.-P. Dubois-Dumée as well as many leaders and chaplains of the JOC, who wished to see established for those who come after us, the fundamental thinking of the JOC. I am in the process of completing the first chapters done by Mgr Cardijn.
“But he himself has always refused to look at anything that would speak of his own life published, particularly here in Belgium and France.
“Once the drafting is finished, we will see what the result is and that will perhaps be the time to rethink the problem,” Fiévez wrote.
Jean Lannoye (Connaître la Wallonie)
Jean-Pierre Dubois-Dumée (La Croix)
Marguerite Fiévez à Jean Lannoye (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)