Young Christian Workers

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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[edit]

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 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.

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.

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[edit]

Nowadays the YCW is organized in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa and the Americas, in more than 2000 grassroots base groups with around 20,000 young workers who are regular members. The international headquarters are located in Brussels, Belgium.

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 next four years in the 12th International Council held in Thanjavur, India from 29 September to 12 October 2008.

YCW national movements[edit]

(member of International YCW / 2008)

JOC América YCW Asia Pacific YCW Pan Africa JOC Europe JOC Middle East
América HQ, Quito Ecuador Aspac HQ, Kwai Chung, China Panaf HQ, Boksburg, South Africa Europe HQ, Brussels Belgium Middle East HQ, Dubai UAE
JOC Bolivia YCW Australia JOC Congo KAJ Flanders JOC UAE
JOC Brasil YCW India YCW South Africa CAJ Germany JOC Syria
JOC Chili YCW Hong Kong YCW Nigeria (Lagos Archdiocese) JOC Wallonne JOC Jordan
JOC Colombia YCW Philippines YCW Egypt CAJ South Tirol
JOC Costa Rica YCW Japan JOC Rwanda
JOC Ecuador YCW Sri Lanka JOC République du Congo JOC Romania
JOC Guatemala YCW New Zealand YCW Namibia YCW Ucraïne
JOC Haiti YCW Pakistan YCW Ghana CAJ Austria
JOC Nicaragua YCW Thailand YCW Zimbabwe YCW Ireland
JOC Paraguay YCW Indonesia JOC Sénégal
JOC Peru YCW China JOC Bénin
JOC Quebec YCW Ethiopia YCW Kenya
JOC Republica Dominicana
JOC Venezuela
JOC Honduras
YCW USA

References[edit]

External links[edit]