Welcome to this journey through Vatican II with Cardijn and the “Jocist” network of bishops, priests and lay people who worked closely with him from the time of John XXIII’s election in October 1958 to the close of the Council on 8 December 1965.

I’ve already told this story in abbreviated form in my PhD thesis, “The Leaven in the Council: Joseph Cardijn and the Jocist Network at Vatican II,” soon to be published in e-book form.

This blog will endeavour to track their progress day by day over the course of the Council.

I’m “officially” launching it now with Cardijn’s appointment to the Pontifical (Preparatory) Commission on Lay Apostolate (PCLA), which began its work on 14 November 1960.

As always, Cardijn regarded the preparation for any event as the most critical phase, even more important in some ways than the eventual event itself.

And as we will see, despite turning 78 in November 1960, he devoted enormous energy to the Council over the following two years – as well as keeping up his traditional punishing schedule of travel and other work for the JOC Internationale (International YCW).

To give context to Cardijn’s work, I have already published a series of posts documenting the initial steps of the Council’s establishment.

But our real journey with Cardijn begins now with the launch of the Commission.

Let me also note that the content of my blog posts will range from simply citing earlier sources or commentaries to adding my own interpretations to various events.

I’m sure I’m going to learn a lot more about Cardijn’s contribution to the Council over the next few years!

Thanks for joining this journey, which starts here!

Stefan Gigacz