Today (25th August) is the anniversary of the first International Congress of the YCW, held in Brussels in 1935. The gathering included a range of events, speeches and training sessions, forming part of an International Study Week.
Joseph Cardijn opened the Congress saying: “The congress is the sincere expression of the spiritual and moral revolution that the YCW realises night and day in a humble and hidden fashion in thousands of souls, homes and workplaces, and which is in the process of imperceptibly changing the face of youth and the working class
No, the YCW is not to be found in processions, in congresses or in noisy demonstrations. The YCW lives and works in the uninterrupted effort of thousands of young workers, who, with all the energy of their intelligence and their will, have decided to regain their comrades and everyone in the world of work to their divine origins and destiny.
Not slaves, not beasts of burden, not machines, but sons, collaborators, inheritors of God!”
It was also an opportunity to share the 3 Truths of the YCW. Cardijn explained: “Three fundamental truths dominate and illumine the problem of the working youth of the world. They inspire, explain, and direct us towards the solution that the Y. C. W. has to give:
1. A truth of faith. The eternal and temporal destiny of each young worker in particular and of all the young workers in general.
2. A truth of experience. The terrible contradiction which exists between the real state of the young workers and this eternal and temporal destiny.
3. A truth of pastoral practice or method. The necessity of a Catholic organisation of young workers with a view to the conquest of their eternal and temporal destiny.”
On this anniversary we hold in our prayers the continued good work of the ICYCW and all those around the world who bring young workers together in solidarity and uphold their God given dignity.
Next year will see the ICYCW International Congress gather again, this time in Ethiopia, and we intend to send a delegation from England and Wales to participate.