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)