Building the network

International Year of Cardijn 2007

The International Coordination met again in Chennai, India on 9-10 December 2006 to plan for the implementation of the decisions already taken.

The main outcome of this meeting is the declaration of the year 2007 as the ‘International Year of Cardijn’ (IYC) to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the death of Cardijn, the 40th anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Populorum Progressio and the 125 anniversary of Cardijn’s birth.

Some of the salient features of the proposal: 1. to present Cardijn awards to Cardijn movement leaders for outstanding contribution in specific fields; 2. to launch a campaign to declare Cardijn as ‘Doctor of Church’’ 3. to organise an international Symposium and Conference of CCI in November in Chennai, India.

Events to observe the 40th death anniversary of Cardijn were organised in different parts of India by CCI teams on the 24th July 2007. The International Coordination of CCI organised a memorial service in collaboration with the local CCI team in Assumption Church, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia in which many former leaders of Cardijn movements participated with families. The Bishops of the dioceses and parish priests extended their support and participated in the events.

The first printed edition of ‘Cardijn Info’ was also published in July 2007 to commemorate the 40th death anniversary of Cardijn.

Likewise, the 125th birth anniversary was also celebrated with grandeur by different CCI teams. The International Symposium planned to beorganised during this time could not however be held but was postponed to February 2008.

2008 – Year of Expansion of CCI

International Symposium in India

An international symposium on ‘Sustainable Development through Education, Dignity and Harmony’ followed by the CCI Study Session was organised in Chennai, India from the 23rd to 25th February 2008. The Archbishop of Chennai (Madras-Mylapore) and Bishop of Jamshedpur, North East India participated.

Cardijn Resource Centre: was launched during this Symposium with the first publication titled ‘Lay Apostolate – the Urgent Need’.

The Study Session helped the participants to understand the need to strengthen the network to work towards restoring human dignity and sustainable development.

The First General Assembly of CCI elected its first International Coordination as follows:

M. J. Ruben (India): International Convenor; Stefan Gigacz (Australia) and Joseph Baptiste (India) – International Coordinators; Fr. Servatius (India) and Dr. Bernard d’Sami (India) – Collaborators.

35 Delegates from Australia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Thailand/Japan and India attended this General Assembly.

CCI launched in Australia

Another main event in this year is the launch of CCI in Australia. The International Convenor M. J. Ruben worked along with Stefan Gigacz for 3 months in Australia. A Conference on ‘My Community’ was organised on the 24th and 25th July 2008 at Melbourne. Kevin Vaughan, a former YCW of the 50s along with Tony Whelan worked tirelessly to prepare for this event along with the International Coordinators.

Melbourne Bishop Tim Costelloe, SDB addressed the conference along with the Auxilary Bishop Hilton Deakin . Former and current leaders and chaplains from movements including the YCS, YCW joined with World Youth Day pilgrims from Australia, Asia and Europe for the conference on building communities

The conference was followed by a Public Forum on “International Community Development and Networking” on July 26 at Australian Catholic University’s Melbourne campus.

The Cardijn Community International – Australia was officially launched at the conference with Paul Rijken (Adelaide), Kevin Vaughan (Melbourne), John Bonnice (Bendigo), Mark Ager (Adelaide) and David Moloney (Melbourne) elected as the CCI Coordination Team for Australia.

Green World Youth Day

A two week programme (including WYD in Sydney) mainly for young people, most of them from YPD was organised in Melbourne and Sydney by YPD and Stefan Gigacz, CCI International Coordinator. CCI was one of the co-sponsors of the event. CCI delegates from India also attended the GWYD.

CCI International Coordination Meetings – July, 2008 in Australia and August 2008 in Malaysia

Stefan Gigacz and M. J. Ruben met to review the work so far done and to plan for the future. The main topic of discussion in these meetings was the need to extend CCI in South East Asia and to organise a meeting in Malaysia to launch CCI by 2009.

2009 – CCI launched in South East Asia

M. J. Ruben joined Stefan Gigacz in Malaysia and worked for a week in May 2009 to contact former YCWrs, to meet the local CCI team, the Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur and to finalise the venue for the CCI-SE Asia Meet scheduled for the 8th and 9th August 2009.

The SE Asia Meet was an unexpected success for CCI. Delegates from Australia, India and Sri Lanka too joined the meet though we called it SE Asia Meet making it the event of the Asia-Pacific Region. Delegates from Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand attended the event which started with a Symposium on ‘Peace Edcuation for Sustainable Development’ followed by a study on ‘My Community’.

At the first General Assembly of CCI-Asia/Pacific Region, plans were made to prioritize extension to Burma, Indonesia, Vietnam, Hong Kong and the Philippines. The following were elected to the first CCI Asia-Pacific Coordination Team:

Paul Sinnappan (Malaysia); Rungrote Surakit (Thailand); Francis Mane (Singapore); Ms Glynis Joseph (India); Ms Paulina James (Malaysia).

Ruki Fernando (Sri Lanka) and Ms Rebecca Sinnappan (Malaysia) were inducted as the International Coordinators and Charles Santiago, M.P. (Malaysia) as the Resource Person to the CCI International Coordination.

Campaigns / Media Releases

CCI participated in various campaigns launched by the IYCS, IYCW, WMCW and CFM.

CCI also issued a series of Media Releases on matters of importance in the Church and in the life of the people.

During the war in Sri Lanka, CCI took a firm stand against war and killings of the Tamils and wrote to the President of Sri Lanka to stop the war; wrote also to the United Nations to intervene.