The Council can change the face of the Earth

Responding to French Archbishop Gabriel Garrone of Toulouse on 20 December 1962, Cardijn thanks him for his support and encouragement.

Brussels, 20 December, 1962

His Excellency Archbishop Garrone,

Most Reverend Archbishop of and in



Your Excellency,

Thank you for your kind reply! I was unable to follow it up immediately as I would have liked, due to the abundance of mail and visits!

The planned book should have been published before the first session of the Council, but this was not possible. It will certainly be published before the second session… I hope then to be able to send it to a large number of Council Fathers.

You know that, perhaps better than anyone else, I attach great importance to the Council, especially from the point of view of the lay apostolate. The Council can change the face of the earth, if the clergy are unanimous and the laity are encouraged!

I very much regret not having been able to meet Your Excellency in Rome. I hope I’ll be happier next time.

In the meantime, I send You my most fervent wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Holy New Year! What a decisive year it will be for the Church and the world! And I thank You again for your affectionate greetings.

Please accept, Your Excellency, the assurance of my respectful and faithful attachment.

Jos. Cardijn,

General Chaplain of the YCW.


Archives Cardijn 1777

Stefan Gigacz, The Leaven in the Council, Chapter 8, Suenens vs Cardijn, Lay people in the frontlines (Australian Cardijn Institute)