Pray for Manchester

YCW England and Wales would like to express its sorrow at the horrific bombing in Manchester last night. We send our condolences to all those who have lost loved ones and keep in our prayers all those who have died and those who are injured.

Whilst any attack like this is appalling, it is all the more shocking to see so many children and young people targeted in such as cruel way.

Within the YCW we regularly discuss the need for young people to have a meaningful and pleasant social life. It is an essential part of growing up and developing ourselves as active members of society.

These young people were simply enjoying their lives, their friendships, their families.

In response, The Bishop of Salford, John Arnold, has said that: “We must all commit to working together, to help the victims and their families and to build and strengthen our community solidarity.”

Cardinal Nichols has added: “May God grant strength and enduring faith to all who are bereaved, injured and traumatised. May God welcome into His merciful presence all who have died. May God turn the hearts of all who commit evil to a true understanding of His desire and intention for humanity.”

At this painful time, please take the time to comfort our young people and their families in love and prayer.

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Joseph Cardijn and Fatima

As the Catholic Church celebrates this month the 100 year anniversary of the Apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima, we recall the account of Joseph Cardijn from his visit there in 1953.

Cardijn speaks of how Fatima has a global importance, particularly for lay people in the church. He says: "This solemn consecration of the whole of humanity highlights the importance of the lay apostolate, an organised and adapted apostolate, without which the Church will never succeed in conquering the modern world for Christ, particularly the worker world, which is in the process of being born and developing in every continent and in every race on earth." 

The inspiration of the young people at the centre of the Apparition, reinforced Cardijn's view about the need to support the young find their place in the world, saying, "The YCW is not an accidental, accessory, arbitrary and secondary means in the pastoral ministry, in pastoral life. Young workers need and have a primordial right to understand their worker and Christian vocation in the Church, in their life and in their worker milieu of life."

"This apostolic formation and organisation of young workers is not easy. It requires not just perseverance but also support and mutual support among the priests who are responsible for it."

We continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in the YCW of Portugal, may Our Lady of Fatima keep their work going strong!

For more information, please find a full account here: http://www.josephcardijn.com/1953---fatima-and-the-ycw

Make Sure Your Voice Is Heard

With the General Election coming up on the 8th June, it is essential that you are registered to vote.

The deadline for registration is 22nd May, less than 2 weeks away.

You can do so online here: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote (It should only take 5 mins)

The YCW believes it is vitally important for the voice of young people to be heard in the campaigns, manifestos and ultimately, the result. This means that the politicians and their parties should do their utmost to engage with young people, listen to their concerns and priorities and then show, through their actions, a willingness to respond.

But this also means young people taking the responsibility to get involved too.

Since the election was called, 390,00 young people have registered, which is fantastic. However, there will be many more who have not and will miss out on the opportunity to have their voice heard.

Pope Francis puts it simply: "A good Catholic meddles in politics, offering the best of themselves." Let's make sure we fulfil our calling to engage fully in public life and use our votes on June 8th.

Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker and International Workers' Day

Today marks the joint celebration of the Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker and International Workers' Day.

It is a chance to acknowledge the role of workers in our world and renew our commitment to ensuring there is dignity in work.

In 1955, Pope Pius XII also established the day as the Feast of St Joseph the Worker in order to reflect Joseph's status as a model for and patron of workers. The Church highlights, especially, Joseph's patience, persistence, courage, and hard work.

In the words of St Pope John Paul II: “Saint Joseph is a man of great spirit. He is great in faith, not because he speaks his own words, but above all because he listens to the words of the Living God. He listens in silence. And his heart ceaselessly perseveres in the readiness to accept the Truth contained in the word of the Living God.”

We ask that you keep workers in your prayers and continue your support of our mission to young workers in particular. 

Workers' Memorial Day

Today marks this years Workers' Memorial Day. The purpose of the day is to "remember the dead: fight for the living" and is an opportunity to focus on all those killed through work but at the same time, ensuring that such tragedies are not repeated.

Every year more people are killed at work than in wars. Most die because their safety hasn't been considered an important priority.

For 2017, the theme of the day is "Good Health and Safety For All Workers Whoever They Are" and will focus on inequalities in occupational health and the role Trade Unions play in narrowing the inequalities gap. The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has said it will focus on the hidden and new GIG economies - which are jobs characterised by the excessive use of short-term contracts, rather than permanent jobs - the risks faced by migrant workers and the issues of gender and class.

Workers' Memorial Day is held on 28 April every year, all over the world workers and their representatives conduct events, demonstrations, vigils and a whole host of other activities to mark the day.

The YCW will be joining in the commemorations and fully support the need to promote safe and secure work places, as an inherent part of ensuring that the dignity of workers is respected.

Workers' Memorial Day is officially recognised by the UK Government.

Celebrating 90 Years of YCW in France

On the occasion of the 90th Anniversary of the YCW in France, the National Movement of JOC (Jeunesse Ouvrière Chrétienne) France organised a big meeting under the theme of "Decent Work", to which YCW England and Wales were also invited. 

More than 4000 young people from across the country gathered to reaffirm their rights and reflect together on possible solutions to the challenges facing young people. 

It was also an opportunity for other National YCW Movements of the ICYCW, such as YCW England and Wales (represented by Amélie) to come and share their experiences within the movement and express solidarity with the French young people for a better future. 

Throughout the day, young people had the possibility to participate in many activities: an exhibition about the 90th anniversary of the YCW, presentations from partners (trade-unions, youth association, etc...) and stands for each YCW region.

The main activity of the day was the series of debates organised in order to allow young people to build together their Book of Demands: by, among and for young people to express their demands for decent work for all. 

The demands were announced at the end of the day and specially addressed to politicians and national leaders. 

To find out more you can visit the website of JOC France (www.joc.asso.fr) or Facebook and Twitter: @JOC2France