Formation and ecumenism key issues for the Council

On 9 June 1959, Cardijn wrote to Rosemary Goldie, an Australian who had studied theology in Paris who was now working at the COPECIAL secretariat in Rome, to thank and congratulate her on the publication of the three volume proceedings of the Second World Congress on Lay Apostolate in 1957.

But, as always, Cardijn also took the opportunity to raise other issues, particularly formation for the lay apostolate for both priests and lay people.

“The leaders of the Permanent Committee know how much I am concerned with the formation of lay people for the apostolate; essential formation

  • for priests (all priests) who must understand the need for it and be capable of ensuring its realisation in all milieux but particularly in the world of work;
  • to the militants and lay leaders themselves, who are directly responsible for ensuring this formation in the life of the masses of these different milieux.

“As long as all clergy, like all laity, fail to be imbued with the need for this formation and do not seek to adapt it, especially to the life problems of young adults, I fear that an effective response will not be given. to the predominant needs of the modern world,” Cardijn wrote.

“I ardently hope that the Permanent Committee will continue and extend its research on the formation of an authentic Christian laity, to the dimension of this world which is expanding in all fields. With respect to this, would it not be the moment to do a special study on the apostolate of the laity and contact with non-Christians, the union of Churches, etc.?

“I believe that this is an important aspect of the ecumenism issue and for the preparation of the Council,” he concluded, showing that preparation for Vatican II was already becoming a key concern.


French original

Cardijn – Rosemary Goldie 1959 06 09 (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

English translation

Cardijn – Rosemary Goldie 1959 06 09 (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)

Ruth Lee, Goldie, Rosemary (The Encyclopaedia of Women and Leadership in XXth century Australia)