With the slogan "Joseph Cardijn inspires us", the Lumen Vitae International Centre, in collaboration with the CEFOC (Centre de Formation Cardijn), organised a day of study and exchange in Namur, Belgium. A very diverse audience gathered: it was composed of students of the International Centre who are, themselves, from the most diverse backgrounds, social activists, many of them members of the current IYCW, the ICA -International Cardijn Association, former YCW members, or leaders from the GEPO (European Group of Workers' Pastoral), Vie Féminine, CSC (Christian Trade Union), CEFOC (Cardijn Training Centre), members, staff and guests of the Lumen Vitae Centre... all with the same objective, i.e. to deepen and enhance Joseph Cardijn's See-Judge-Act method.
Joseph Cardijn and his method, as we well know, have inspired many organizations and social action movements around the world, especially the youth movements of Catholic Action: JAC, YCS, JIC, YCW and JUC, and adults such as Catholic Women's Action, the Christian Workers Movement, but also training centres, Church practices and orientations and liberation theologies. In Belgium the Christian Trade Union (CSC) and the Christian Workers Movement are large and powerful movements that have Cardijn as their inspiring Father.
It was on the beautiful sunny day of April 30, 2019, the eve of Labour Day, that Namur saw us enthusiastically discussing the importance of the method, Cardijn's message and the fruits of his time on this earth because, as the current President of the IYCW put it, "the YCW was founded with the mission of making heaven on earth - justice, peace, solidarity". Discussions and questions - such as: Joseph Cardijn, who are you? What have you become? Cardijn's influence and heritage, the influence and heritage of his intuitions and action to date, the implication of the "See Judge-Act" method at the level of society and the Church - motivated the participants throughout the day.
Sarah Prenger, President of the International YCW, took the floor and through the testimonies of the young workers of the world was able to reaffirm the importance and relevance of the method for the development of an in-depth analysis of the reality of either the specific reality of young workers or the economic and structural situation in the world; for the review of life and action carried out by young workers all over the world; and especially for the process of education, training and organisation of young workers, in the IYCW but also elsewhere in the different social movements, the Church, trade unions...
The testimonies were quite emotional and reaffirmed the convictions mentioned above. According to Fatima Hussain, 24, a member of the Pakistan YCW, for example, who tells us that it was "at a base group meeting that I learned how the YCW is changing the lives of young workers through the ROLWA method (See, Judge, Act)".
In today's world, challenges to continue Cardijn's message and method have also been highlighted, among others:
- The economic challenges, because reality in the world, for the working class and specifically for young people, suffers from constant changes and a stifling speed: in labour relations and precariousness, technological and cultural changes such as individualism....
- Another challenge is the possible trap in the use of the See-Judge-Act method. The different aspects of the method should never be divided up. In addition, the other important dimensions of the YCW method must be respected such as: do it, do with and let do and promoting organizations where their members organize themselves among themselves, by them and for them.
A glass of friendship was served to conclude this very productive day!
And finally and to be able to go further, here are three essential videos to watch: one on the history, the personality of Joseph Cardijn and the social context in which he revealed himself and developed his method; another one with the presentation of the President of the International YCW; and a third one on the See, Judge, Act method, seen by a former chaplain of the IYCW and now Bishop in Brazil, Mgr. Reginaldo Andrietta.
Enjoy watching the videos !