'Indian Cardijn' emphasizes worker mission

posted 10 Oct 2010, 00:34 by Stefan Gigacz   [ updated 10 Oct 2010, 07:55 ]
Chennai's veteran worker chaplain Father Thomas Joseph, 91, has released a new book calling for a renewed emphasis on training lay people for their mission in the world.

Auxiliary Bishop Lawrence Pius Dorairaj, DD of Madras-Mylapore  Archdiocese launched Father Joseph's new book ‘Christian Workers in Action’ in Chennai Saturday.

The book deals with the reality of the working class, working class  spirituality, social teachings of the Church, See-Judge-Act methodology  of Cardijn and guidelines to animators of worker movements within the  Church.

Inspired by Cardinal Joseph Cardijn, founder of the International Young  Christian Workers, Father Joseph engaged in the worker apostolate from the time of his ordination in 1949.

Beginning as chaplain to the Madras YCW, he later became national chaplain of the Christian Workers movement. He served as executive secretary to the Catholic Bishops Conference of India Labour Commission for 21 years from 1974.

In this capacity, he lobbied the Indian government for legislation on domestic workers, unorganized workers, migrant  workers, bonded labourers, child workers and Sri Lankan refugees in  India.

He also emphasized justice for Church workers, publishing his landmark ‘Personnel in Church Related Institutions’ on service conditions for the employees.

At the age of 91, Fr Thomas Joseph is still active and as Spiritual Father in  Sacred Heart Seminary, Poonamallee, Chennai he is conducting classes on the workers’ realities and the mission of the Church.

The book is the first publication of Cardijn Media which released Fr Joseph's book as a tribute to the 'Indian Cardijn'.


Worker Chaplain, 91, authors Book on Worker Apostolate (CCI Media Release)

CCI Convenor MJ Ruben introduced Fr Thomas Joseph and Bishop Lawrence Pius Dorairaj

Fr Thomas Joseph Book Launch