Young Christian Workers

Last updated

The Young Christian Workers (YCW; French : Jeunesse ouvrière chrétienne) is an international organization founded by Rev. Joseph Cardijn in Belgium as the Young Trade Unionists; the organization adopted its present name in 1924. Its French acronym, JOC, gave rise to the then widely used terms Jocism and Jocist. In 1925, the JOC received Papal approbation, and in 1926 spread to France and eventually to 48 countries.


YCW in the past

JOC Quebec in 1939 Feature. J.O.C. Weddings 18 BAnQ P48S1P03721.jpg
JOC Quebec in 1939

Cardijn blamed the death of his father, a mineworker, on harsh labor conditions. Working-class Belgians of the era tended to see the Church as serving the interests of the aristocracy, and some old friends considered Cardijn a traitor; he thus decided to devote his career to "reconciling his Church with the industrial workers of the world." [1] When Cardijn was first made an assistant priest in the Brussels suburb Royal Laeken in 1912, he began to work with factory workers. In 1915, he became the director of the city's Catholic social work. In the years after the First World War, he began to organize young Catholic workers in the Brussels area to evangelize their colleagues; the group was named Jeunesse Ouvrière Chrétienne. Its teachings were based on labor encyclicals by Popes Leo XIII and Pius XI. It received approval from Pius XI in 1925.[ citation needed ]

Time Magazine , reporting on a Paris rally with 75,000 members in 1938, quoted Cardijn as telling his followers, ""Every Jocist has a Divine mission from God, second only to that of the priest, to bring the whole world to Christ." [2]

Cardijn devoted the rest of his life to the movement, and in 1957 the JOC held its first world council in Rome. Cardijn served as an advisor to Vatican II and was made a Cardinal in 1965.[ citation needed ]

In England, the first section of the YCW was set up by Father Gerrard Rimmer in February 1937 at St Joseph's RC Church in Wigan, Lancashire. [3] Accompanied by parishioners Jim Tickle, Tommy Sullivan, Larry Sharkey, Pat Keegan, Jim O'Brien, and Frank Foster, Fr Rimmer travelled to Belgium to visit Cardinal Cardijn in the same year. Pat Keegan would go on to become the first International Young Christian Workers President in 1945. A post he held until 1957. He then took the role of Secretary General at the World Movement of Christian Workers. [4]

Today's YCW

Nowadays the YCW is organized in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa and the Americas. The international headquarters are located in Brussels, Belgium.[ citation needed ]

The International YCW (IYCW) is a Non Governmental International Movement actively present in over 51 countries with members between the ages of 15 and 35. Thanks to its work with young people, the England branch is a member of The National Council for Voluntary Youth Services (NCVYS). [5]

The IYCW has 4 official branches, the Panafrican YCW, YCW of the Americas, YCW Europe, and YCW Asia Pacific. IYCW adopted "Social Protection for all" as its International Campaign for the next four years in the 12th International Council held in Thanjavur, India, from 29 September to 12 October 2008.[ citation needed ]

In late January 2020, at their National Council, the Australian movement distanced itself from an exclusively Christian definition of faith to accommodate common values and shared beliefs from the broader culture. Fr Joseph's imperative to "bring the whole world to Christ [6] " is now interpreted as a call to "forge traditions and expressions of spirituality that speak to our multi-cultural and multi-faith identity and to engage in interfaith dialogue in all our communities [7] ".

Related Research Articles

Modernism in the Catholic Church

In a historical perspective, Catholic Modernism is neither a system, school, or doctrine, but refers to a number of individual attempts to reconcile Roman Catholicism with modern culture; specifically an understanding of the Bible and Catholic tradition in light of the historical-critical method and new philosophical and political developments of the late 19th and early 20th centuries—and implicitly all that this might entail.

Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) is an association established in Rome in 1562 for the purpose of giving religious education. Its modern usage is a religious education program of the Catholic Church, normally designed for children. In some parishes, CCD is called PSR, meaning Parish School of Religion, or SRE, meaning Special Religious Education.

Hope UK

Hope UK is a United Kingdom Christian charity based in London, England which educates children and young people about drug and alcohol abuse. It was founded in 1855 as the Band of Hope.

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is an ecumenical Christian observance in the Christian calendar that is celebrated internationally. It is kept annually between Ascension Day and Pentecost in the Southern Hemisphere and between 18 January and 25 January in the Northern Hemisphere. It is an octave, that is, an observance lasting eight days.

The Catholic Church and politics and concerns the interplay of Catholicism with religious, and later secular, politics. Historically, the Church opposed liberal ideas such as democracy, freedom of speech, and the separation of church and state under the grounds that "error has no rights". It eventually accommodated these ideas and began to view religious liberty as a positive value during and after the Second Vatican Council.

Catholic Action was the name of many groups of lay Catholics who were attempting to encourage a Catholic influence on society. They were especially active in the nineteenth century in historically Catholic countries that fell under anti-clerical regimes such as Spain, Italy, Bavaria, France, and Belgium. Adolf Hitler ordered the murder of Erich Klausener, head of a Catholic Action group in Nazi Germany, during the Night of the Long Knives. Catholic Action is not a political party in and of itself; however, in many times and places, this distinction has become blurred. Since World War II the concept has often been eclipsed by Christian Democrat parties that were organised to combat Communist parties and promote Catholic social justice principles in places such as Italy and West Germany.

Jeunesses Musicales International (JMI) is the largest youth music non-governmental organisation in the world, created in Brussels, Belgium in 1945, with the mission to "enable young people to develop through music across all boundaries". JMI has established four priority activity fields: Young Musicians, Young Audiences, Youth Empowerment and Youth Orchestras & Ensembles.

JOC may refer to:

Marc Boegner

Marc Boegner, commonly known as pasteur Boegner, was a theologian, influential pastor, notable member of the French Resistance, and a French essayist, and a notable voice in the ecumenical movement.

Jean-Yves Le Drian French politician

Jean-Yves Le Drian is a French politician serving as Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs since 2017. He previously was Minister of Defence from 2012 to 2017 under President François Hollande. He was nominated by Emmanuel Macron to serve as Foreign Minister in the First Philippe government on 17 May 2017. A former member of the Socialist Party, he has been an Independent since 2018.

Joseph Cardijn Belgian Roman Catholic cardinal and founder of the Young Christian Workers

Joseph Leo Cardijn was a Belgian Roman Catholic cardinal and the founder of the Jeunesse ouvrière chrétienne (JOC) [Young Christian Workers]. Cardijn was best known for his lifelong dedication to social activism and working towards the improvement of the working class; since his ordination he made a particular focus of his life the effort to evangelize and bring the core messages of faith in the Gospel back to the working class, who he believed were neglected. He was not wrong in that assessment since old schoolmates working in the mines and mills believed the Church had abandoned them, which prompted Cardijn to found a social movement dedicated to this task despite the opposition that it faced.

SIGNIS is a Roman Catholic lay ecclesial movement for professionals in the communication media, including press, radio, television, cinema, video, media education, internet, and new technology. It is a non-profit organization with representation from over 100 countries. It was formed in November 2001 by the merger of International Catholic Organization for Cinema and Audiovisual (OCIC) and International Catholic Association for Radio and Television (Unda). At its World Congress in Quebec in 2017, SIGNIS welcomed also former member organisations of the International Catholic Union of the Press (UCIP).

The late years of the pontificate of Pope Pius XII were characterized by a hesitancy in personnel decisions. After a major illness in 1954, he redirected his energies from Vatican clergy to the concerns of lay people.

Jeunesse Étudiante Chrétienne

Jeunesse Étudiante Chrétienne (JEC) is a worldwide group of young Christian students. The movement also goes by the name YCS in English or JEC in Spanish.

The Christian Family Movement (CFM) is a national movement of parish small groups of Catholics and their families who meet in one another's homes or in parish centers to reinforce Christian values and encourage other fellow Christian parents through active involvement with others. Its mission is "to promote Christ-centered marriage and family life; to help individuals and their families to live the Christian faith in everyday life; and to improve society through actions of love, service, education and example." CFM action groups contain five to seven families and the adults meet one or two nights each month in each other's houses.

The Roman Catholic Church in the 20th century had to respond to the challenge of increasing secularization of Western society and persecution resulting from great social unrest and revolutions in several countries. It instituted many reforms, particularly in the 1970s under the Vatican II Council, in order to modernize practices and positions. In this period, Catholic missionaries in the Far East worked to improve education and health care, while evangelizing peoples and attracting numerous followers in China, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan.

François de Menthon

Count François de Menthon was a French politician and professor of law.

Reynold Henry Hillenbrand was a seminal American Roman Catholic Church leader in the Liturgical Movement, Chicago priest and seminary rector, pastor, and “Specialized Catholic Action” chaplain following the methods of Belgian Cardinal Joseph Cardijn, who mentored clergy and laity in the Young Christian Students, Young Christian Workers, Friendship House, the Cana Conference, the Christian Family Movement, the Catholic Labor Alliance, and La Leche League.

Catholic resistance to Nazi Germany

Catholic resistance to Nazi Germany was a component of German resistance to Nazism and of Resistance during World War II. The role of the Church during the Nazi years was always, and remains however, a matter of much contention. Many writers, echoing Klaus Scholder, have concluded, "There was no Catholic resistance in Germany, there were only Catholics who resisted." The Vatican policy meant that the Pope never challenged Catholics to side either with National Socialism or with Catholic morality, and Pius XII was so adamant that Bolshevism represented the most terrible threat to the world that he remarked, 'Germany are a great nation who, in their fight against Bolshevism, are bleeding not only for their friends but also for the sake of their present enemies'. In a letter of autumn 1941 Pius XII wrote to Bishop Preysing, "We emphasise that, because the Church in Germany is dependent upon your public public declarations you are duty bound to exercise restraint" and "requires(d) you and your colleagues not to protest."

The World Movement of Christian Workers is the Catholic Church's officially recognized association for Catholic workingmen and women. It is a member organization of Vatican's Conference of International Catholic Organizations. The World Movement of Christian Workers (WMCW/MMTC) does not have individual members but is a federation of various national movements. The affiliate in the United States is the Catholic Labor Network. In the UK, it is the Movement of Christian Workers.


  1. Prentiss, Craig. Debating God's Economy: Social Justice in America on the eve of Vatican II. Pennsylvania University Press, 2008, p. 126.
  2. "Jocism". Time. September 26, 1938. Archived from the original on August 26, 2010. Retrieved 2009-01-22.
  3. See 'Those Were The Days', St Jude's RC Church Archive
  4. "Patrick Keegan - Pioneers". Retrieved 2018-02-13.
  5. "". Retrieved 2018-02-13.
  6. Dame, Marketing Communications: Web // University of Notre. "CST Lay Movements // CST Minor // University of Notre Dame". CST Minor. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  7. "About – Australian Young Christian Workers" . Retrieved 2021-01-07.