2010 Cardijn Movement Newsfeed

Malaysian student begins IYCS Asia internship

posted 29 Jun 2010, 23:16 by Stefan Gigacz

Kuching YCS student animator, Ralph Balan Langet, is commencing an internship with the International YCS Asia Team in Manila.

The internship will last for a month, from 28 June to 28 July 2010, under the responsibility of IYCS Asian Team coordinator, Reyna Clemena, the Kuching Archdiocesan Youth Blog reports.

Ralph has been a member of YCS movement since 2004 from SMK Batu Lintang. He was the President in his school movement in 2007-2008 and has been serving as a Student Animator for KYCS after he finished his term. 

Ralph was the Coordinator for the IYCS Asian Session and Council (ASC) in June 2009 held in Kuching, a delegate for South East Asian Session (SEAS) in August 2009 held in Bangkok, Thailand and he also accompanied student leaders in organising the 3rd East Malaysia Encounter (EME) in March this year held in Sibu, Sarawak besides all other YCS camps held locally in Kuching. 

“I feel excited and I am very much looking forward to face new challenges, new cultures and new friend," Ralph said. 

"I also hope that I can contribute in the Asian Team to help other country YCS movements. When I come back, I hope to journey even closer with KYCS.” Ralph shares his thoughts of expectations from this internship program."

Internship in IYCS Asian Team Office (Kuching Archdiocesan Youth Blog)

Jamshedpur's 'man for others' has gone

posted 29 Jun 2010, 22:58 by Stefan Gigacz

Fr Augustine Minj, last YCW chaplain for the Jamshedpur diocese during the 1980s, has died at Chakradharpur, India.

CCI Jamshedpur coordinator Maryanne Ekka sent us this tribute to Fr Augustine:

Dear Friends,

It is with a heavy heart and on behalf of the CCI group here at Jamshedpur that I inform you about dear Fr. Augustine Minj who died at Chakradharpur on 25th June 2010.
He was buried at Jamshedpur yesterdy 28th June 2010. A few former YCWers made it for his funeral and we placed a wreath on behalf of the CCI Group.

Fr. Augustine Minj was the last YCW Chaplain that was appointed by the Bishop of Jamshedpur in the 80s . He was very committed to the development of the youth in Jamshedpur and was inspired by the teachings of Cardijn. He lived a very simple life, with very few material needs, he spent is time visiting families reaching out a helpng hand and was a champion of the poor downtrodden and those with any problems. 

He was also a tremendous support during the struggle of the Apprentices of TELCO and stood by the team through thick and thin, earning the wrath of his superiors. He was a 'MAN FOR OTHERS" and was true to his priestly vocation, which was to serve the poor.

He was not very well appreciated by his fellow Priests, had very few supporters. People never really understood him or may be they just could not keep up with his way of reaching out to people, to the masses. 

But I was personally happy that at least in death they acknowledged that Fr. Augustine was truly a 'Man for others" and lived up to the values of Christ - not only preaching but practicing the values of the Christ and reaching out to people - serving the poor , helpless, homeless , the workers , those with problems in their daily lives. This he did every day of his life.

He was not keeping good health for some time and did not pay attention to a leg injury which was very painful . He suffered a massive heart attack while he was in hospital the last few days. He was truly a follower of Cardijn.

Let us pray for his eternal rest. 

In grief,
Maryanne Ekka

CCI India consolidates and extends

posted 22 Jun 2010, 18:47 by Stefan Gigacz   [ updated 24 Jun 2010, 01:26 ]

At its inaugural General Assembly in Nagercoil last month, CCI India elected its first National Team with Mr Xavier Anthony of Bangalore as National President and Ms Monica Mascarenhas of Pune as National Secretary.

In its first National Plan, CCI adopted a plan focusing on extension across the country and on establishing CCI as an organisation..

Campaigns on major issues will be adopted and a training module on SEE-JUDGE-ACT is to be developed. 

CCI international chaplain, Fr S. Servatius informed the meeting that the Tamil Nadu Bishops’ Conference plans to declare a ‘Year for Youth’ to follow the ‘Year for Priests’ from June 2010. 

He suggested that the CCI could introduce the Cardijn methodology to the youth during this year, may be in the form of a campaign/meeting on ‘Youth for Change’. This was accepted to be examined.

National Team members will hold their posts for one year in this inaugural stage.

The full list of team members is as follows:

Xavier Anthony, Bangalore: National President 

Ms Monica Mascarenhas, Pune: National Secretary 

Ms Maryanne Ekka, Jamshedpur: National Treasurer 

Clifford Bastian, Nagpur: National Team Member 

Ms Glynis Joseph, Chennai: National Team Member

ILO adopts convention on domestic workers

posted 11 Jun 2010, 00:34 by Stefan Gigacz   [ updated 11 Jun 2010, 00:58 ]

The International Labour Conference of the ILO has overridden opposition from Bangladesh, India, Arab countries and employers to adopt a convention on the rights of domestic workers around the world. 

Opponents to the measure tried to have the document limited to a non-binding “recommendation,” ucanews.com reports. 

Unexpected support for the convention came from China, the Maldives, Sri Lanka and Thailand. 

The International YCW also welcomed the decision, following lobbying by IYCW representatives, Geethani Peries (IYCW president, from Sri Lanka), Marcos Rondon (international team member, from Venezuela), Christian Doumingou (national president, Gabon YCW), Noelia Samudio (activist and leader of Paraguay YCW), who took part in the 99th session of the ILC, in collaboration with Social Alert.

The IYCW team called for the domestic workers convention to include measures on freedom of association and collective bargaining, working hours, minimum wage and equal wage, occupational health and safety and social security;

“This is a major victory,” said former Indian YCS collaborator, Sister Jeanne Devos from India’s National Domestic Workers Movement (NDWM), which has more than 3.5 million members. 

The decision showed that the international community has recognized domestic workers as people with rights comparable to other workers, she said. 

The official opposition to a convention showed the scale of problems facing workers and their advocates, she said. 

The new convention was passed at the ILO’s June 2-18 meeting in Geneva, attended by more than 2,500 delegates from member countries, trade unions and employer’s confederations. 

It provides for freedom of association, fair terms of employment and decent working and living conditions, easy access to dispute settlement procedures, regulation of employment agencies and protection of migrant domestic workers. 

The agenda also included the adoption of two recommendations – one on decent work for domestic workers and the other on HIV/AIDS and the world of work. 

International YCW president, Ms Geethani Pieris, was among the many people lobbying for the success of this measure.

Appeal for Ruki Fernando

posted 8 Jun 2010, 06:20 by Stefan Gigacz   [ updated 11 Jun 2010, 00:26 ]

Dear Friends

CCI Coordination Team member Ruki Fernando suffered a serious injury at Colombo airport last week as he returned home from our CCI conference in Kuala Lumpur.

Tripping on a broken bottle in the airport, he broke his knee.

He has just been released from hospital but is still in great pain.

We therefore wish to launch an appeal among CCI members and supporters to assist Ruki to cover his medical expenses, etc.

Please click on the Donate button below to make your contribution via Paypal or by Credit Card.

This Donate button has been created specifically for this Ruki appeal. All funds collected here will be sent to Ruki to assist with his expenses.

For those in Australia, donations may also be made directly to our CCI Bank Account:

Account Name: Cardijn Community International
Bank: Bendigo Bank
Address: 117 -119 Puckle St, Moonee Ponds, VIC 3039, Australia.
Branch Number: 633 300 
Account Number: 131079006 - SWIFT Code: BENDAU3B

Thanking you for your generosity.

The CCI Coordination Team

Remembering Marguerite Fievez

posted 29 May 2010, 20:18 by Stefan Gigacz   [ updated 29 May 2010, 22:53 ]

It is ten years since first IYCW "secretary-general" or executive officer, Marguerite Fievez, died in June 2000, in the midst of the YCW's 75th anniversary celebrations. 

After many years service with the French speaking Walloon JOC in Belgium prior to World War II, Marguerite took up the reins of animating the newly launched IYCW International Secretariat following the end of the war in 1945. 

Over the next 12 years, Marguerite carried out a heroic labour in animating the emerging IYCW network around the world. She retired from her position in 1957 following the First International Council of the IYCW in 1957.

For the next 10 years, she worked with Cardijn as his personal assistant and secretary. 

It was Marguerite who in fact compiled Cardijn's only book, Laymen into Action, a collection of Cardijn's speeches and writings, that were compiled as a contribution to Vatican II. 

Following Cardijn's death in 1967, Marguerite with Jacques Meert and Professor Aubert wrote the biography of Cardijn, The Life and Times of Joseph Cardijn. 

Cardijn with Marguerite Fievez

She also wrote a biography of YCW co-founder, Fernand Tonnet, following his death in a Nazi concentration camp in 1945. 

After finishing with the IYCW, Marguerite took on the herculean task of cataloguing Cardijn's personal archives now housed in the Royal Archives of Belgium. 

Towards the end of her life, she took on the task of cataloguing the archives of the IYCW. 

Marguerite with Flo Triendl (left), Veronique Rousseau (rear) and Urbain Vanderschraege (right) at the History Colloquy 2000

Shortly before her death, she also participated at the History Colloquy organised by the IYCW and International Cardijn Foundation in 2000. 

Workers India Federation launched

posted 27 May 2010, 21:00 by Stefan Gigacz   [ updated 27 May 2010, 21:09 ]

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) Labour Commission has launched a national organization called Workers’ India Federation, including local YCW and Christian Worker movements, during a three-day workshop at Bangalore, May 20-23. 

The orgnaisation is created to work for the welfare of the workers, majority of who belong to the unorganized sector, the CBCI announces. 

The Commission chairman Bishop Oswald Louis in his inaugural message said, “Workers’ India Federation is a CBCI response to unorganized workers of India”. 460 million of India’s workers, 93% are estimated to belong to the unorganized workers, those who are deprived of legal and social protection announced the first elected office bearers. Mr. Rajamoni from Tamil Nadu , President, Mr. Joseph Jude from Kerala ,General Secretary, Mr. R.Alvin Devas Maharashtra , Treasurer are the main office bearers of WIF.

The Workers India Federation is a federation of all regional and national workers’ organizations of CBCI. WIF has 8 regional and 5 national movements which are spread over 120 districts of India. WIF ‘s affiliated movements are Christian Workers Movement of India (CWM), Young Christian Workers Movement of India (YCWM), Apostolate of Seafarers of India (AOS), Pastoral Care for Nomads of India (PACNI), National Domestic Workers Movement (NDWM), Swanthra Nilmana Trade Union (SNTU) of Construction Workers, Kerala Labour Movement, Karnataka Labour Federation, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh Labour Commission,Western (Gujarat, Goa and Maharashtra ) Region Labour Commission, Agra Region (Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand) Labour Commission, Northern region (Delhi, Punjab and Jammu Kashmir) Region Labour Commission, Tamilnadu Labour Commission.and Andhra Pradesh (A.P) labour Commission.

WIF is also proposing to assist the government by opening facilitation centers for dissemination of important information to the working class with social security schemes and programmes. Early steps in this direction have already been taken by WIF to build up a strong nation with secured workers. WIF is now a registered body. The Labour Department of union Government has approved WIF as an organization for unorganized workers, which may be able to achieve national trade union status for unorganized workers of India in near feature.


CBCI Labour Commission Launches Workers’ Federation (Catholic Bishops Conference of India)


RIP Columban Fr Cyril Hally

posted 19 May 2010, 06:44 by Stefan Gigacz   [ updated 22 May 2010, 06:57 ]

New Zealand born Columban Fr Cyril Hally, a key supporter of the foundations of the YCW movement in Australia, has died in Sydney aged 90.

As a young priest, he taught in the seminary in Melbourne, Australia, where he played an instrumental role in forming the first generation of chaplains of the Australian YCW.

He remained faithful to the Cardijn method all his life, particularly in his research and in his teaching and indeed his whole approach as a missiologist.

In the years after Vatican II, he lived and worked at the Pro Mundi Vita Institute in Brussels where he also collaborated with many leaders of the International YCW of that period.

On his return to Australia he taught missiology for many years at the Columban Mission Institute in Turramurra, New South Wales.

After his eventual "retirement", he moved to the Columban Centre at Essendon in Melbourne.

In 2007-08, he was a founder member of CCI Australia.

A great figure of the Australian Church and of the Cardijn tradition.

As well as a CathBlog post from me: Missionary who knew how to cross culture boundaries

Stefan Gigacz

Photo above: Tony Robertson

Cyril Hally sees the Spirit moving

What is needed is a process of healing of memories which provides strength to the victims to tell the truth. 

This in turn calls for the conversion of the perpetrators of injustice and full restoration of the perpetrators' humanity. 

This has come out very clearly in the truth and reconciliation things in South Africa, where the police stood up, and had to stand up and say what they did, because they were less than human, and they were told that during the torture processes. 

Could it be that the weakening of the powerful institutional aspect of the Australian church's recent past, the decline in mass attendance, the decline in the numbers of clergy and religious, scandals of paedophilia and orphanages etc. are rendering the church more vulnerable and therefore open to reconciliation, healing of memories, the need for forgiveness. 

Are we prophets of gloom and doom? Or do we see the spirit moving to make us vulnerable? (Religion Report, 21/7/99)

A Cyril Hally investment

I ran into Cyril Hally in mid-2004 and mentioned that I was going to Malaysia. Whereupon he informed me of an international missiology conference he planned to attend there and would I like to join him? Glancing at the $600 price tag, I quickly concluded that missiology was not my area of expertise.

"I'll pay for you," he said in a matter of fact tone that made my participation seem like a foregone conclusion.

At the conference, I roomed with Batara Sihombing a Lutheran seminary professor from Sumatra with whom I became friends and we later ended up working on a series of projects.

In 2008, Batara invited me to teach English to his seminarians during their long holidays. Only having a few days to spare and not being an English teacher, I balked but Batara wore me down.

A few weeks later I was in Medan standing before his seminarians, i.e. my English students.  Seminarians they indeed were but not as we Catholics know them. 100 young men and women from the backblocks of Sumatra, all future pastors, and I was going to teach them English - for two days. With no books, no idea.

Instinct and training kicked in. First session. See. Break up into groups of ten and discuss - in English - the issues facing young people in your villages. Stunned silence, scraping of chairs gave way to a crescendo of animated voices. By the end of the morning the whiteboard was covered with an extensive list of issues - unemployment, drift to the city, lack of education, drugs, sex, you name it...

Afternoon session. Judge. What does your faith tell you about these issues? An afternoon of outstanding biblical insight that would done any teacher of Christian social justice proud.

Next day.Act. What could you do in your villages about one of these issues during your summer break?  A whiteboard crammed with simple action ideas capable of transforming the lives of young people across the nation. Plus a room full of powerfully motivated pastors-in-waiting.

It was the best YCW weekend, I mean English course, I ever ran.

Cyril would have loved it. Young men and women pastors trained to read the signs of the times and to see, judge and act all over outback Indonesia. A great return on his initial investment!

Stefan Gigacz

A modern day prophet

Cyril Hally without doubt was a modern day prophet: a great advocate for the underdog, an upholder of the human dignity of every person, and someone who continually called us back to the person of Jesus. May Cyril's vision, courage and hope be an inspiration to us all in these challenging times. May he rest in peace. 

- Canberra Auxiliary Bishop Pat Power

Farewell, Cyril

Nigerian activist warns on election rigging, killings

posted 15 May 2010, 20:23 by Stefan Gigacz

Addressing Nigerian YCW leaders, human rights activist, Dr. Martins Iwuanyanwu, has lamented the spate of insecurity in the country, characterised by cultism, election rigging and unchecked killings. 

He called on the Federal Government to address the state of the nation’s security ahead of the 201 general elections, the Nigerian Daily Sun reports. 

Dr. Iwuanyanwu, who spoke on the topic: Nigeria at 50; Are Nigerians secured, during the Singles Summit organised by the Young Christian Workers (YCW), at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Ajegunle, also enjoined the youths to be the change they want to see by turning out en-masse to vote for the right candidates in the 2011 polls. 

He said: “As we approach 2011, what should we be thinking? I believe we must be a part of the process that will produce our next president and other leaders. We must make sure that we register to vote and ensure that our votes count.” 

Assistant Parish Priest and Parish Chaplain of Young Christian Workers, Fr Damian Alozie, maintained that the church could champion the course of a secured Nigeria. He advised that leaders and the led should respect the voice of God by shunning the abuse of exalted offices. 

Reacting to the scenario playing out ahead of the 2011 elections, Fr Alozie warned all those parading themselves as the peoples’ servant to be wary, pointing out that it is high time Nigeria stopped the recycling of old hands.

President of YCW, Mr Martins Agwude Chijoke, said the choice of the topic was apt considering the sensitive political times the nation is passing through. 


Bangladesh Catholic Workers safeguard rights

posted 6 May 2010, 08:59 by Stefan Gigacz

The Catholic Workers' Association of Bangladesh is giving workers a voice, livelihoods and safeguarding their rights.

“I used to work in a readymade garment shop and was paid five taka (less than 10 US cents) per day. A priest took me a CWAB (Catholic Workers’ Association of Bangladesh) meeting, helped me learn the alphabets and provided me with sewing skills,” Ratan Baroi, 33, of Khulna diocese, told UCA News.

Upon completion of the training, Baroi found a job in a Muslim-run tailoring shop and earned 2,500 taka (US$36) a month.

“My employer liked me very much because I worked for him with Christian values and did my best,” he said. “Now I’ve opened my own betel leaf shop but still he often invites me to his house,” Baroi told UCA News during May Day celebrations.

May Day – also known as International Workers’ Day or Labor Day – is traditionally a time for workers to rally in celebration or protest for their rights.

Catholics in various regions of Bangladesh marked May 1 under the auspices of the CWAB and its local units that have helped workers gain their lawful rights and freedom from poverty.

Jacinta Ritchil, 45, a tribal Garo Catholic from Mymensingh diocese, too is grateful to the CWAB. Her husband could not earn enough to maintain their family and would “often scold me if I asked money for family maintenance,” she recalled.

However, things changed when CWAB inspired her to open a small livestock farm with a loan it supplied. That turned her life around, she said.

“Now I can run my family well and my husband is happy with me. I’ve pigs in my farm and plan to expand it with some cows,” she said.

Jacinta Nokrek, 45, a schoolteacher and a CWAB official said the association gives vocation training and jobs. “We need to make ourselves competent, to claim our rights,” she said.

Fr Martin Mondol, a CWAB chaplain said, “We aim to make every member self-reliant.” Its several hundred members are mostly day laborers, catechists and schoolteachers.

CWAB’s national office is located in Dhaka where about 100 Catholics workers celebrated May Day with Mass, a rally and cultural program.

CWAB president Ethelbert Pinheiro told UCA News that most workers are “poor and have no security of life” and that “sometimes they are physically, mentally and sexually tortured at their workplace.”

He said his organization is trying to reach vulnerable workers and assist them through advocacy and by helping them fight for their rights.

In the coming year CWAB and the nuns plan to define a pay scale for workers and to open joint accounts for them with a credit union so that workers are assured of a provident fund.


Catholic group helps workers fight for their rights (UCA News)

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