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 

The Voice of Young People Must Be Heard

Last week saw the surprise news of a snap General Election to be held on June 8th.

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.

Pope Francis puts it simply: "A good Catholic meddles in politics, offering the best of themselves."

He adds: "None of us can say, 'I have nothing to do with this, they govern.  No, no, I am responsible for their governance, and I have to do the best so that they govern well, and I have to do my best by participating in politics according to my ability. Politics, according to the Social Doctrine of the Church, is one of the highest forms of charity, because it serves the common good. I cannot wash my hands, eh? We all have to give something!

So if you are not registered to vote, go and register.

If you are not sure what politicians do, go and find out.

If you are not sure what a candidate stands for, go and ask them.

If you don't feel listened to, make your voice heard!

Above all, take your opportunity to vote on June 8th.

More information can be found here: http://www.byc.org.uk/news/june-snap-election-young-people-must-be-heard

YCW National Council

Last weekend, the YCW in England and Wales held its 78th National Council at St Antony's Centre, next door to our HQ in Trafford Park. It was a well attended day, drawing members, Companions and national leaders from across the country.

After prayers and introductions, Amelie from the National Training Team led a training session reviewing the attendees' experiences of the YCW, how they saw their roles within it and their ideas for the future.

There was time to discuss and share in small groups throughout the morning and afternoon, as well as the opportunity to think about how we could plan for the future. In particular, groups were asked to share their ideas for how members can lead within society, the Church, the world of work and amongst other young people.

Group 1.jpg

Following this, the afternoon was centred around the official aspects of the Council itself - approving the accounts and resolutions put before the members. There was also the unanimous vote approving long-serving member, Kate Wilkinson, as the President-elect, who will take over from current President Phil Callaghan in July.

Thank you to all those who attended, sent their best wishes and prayers and above all, continue to spread the work of the YCW in England and Wales throughout the year.  

European Commission Visit

Last September, at the International Council of the ICYCW in South Korea, YCW England and Wales was elected as the coordinating movement of the ICYCW European Commission. This means that we host and chair the European Commission meetings.

The European Commission supports the International Secretariat in the development of YCW across Europe. Members were hosted over Friday and Saturday at the HQ in Trafford Park and were shown the work we have been doing across the country.

Members of the European Commission: Eleonora, Phil, Fr. Juan Ramon, Estibaliz, Noella

Members of the European Commission: Eleonora, Phil, Fr. Juan Ramon, Estibaliz, Noella

There were members from Spain and Italy, as well as the Chaplain to the European Commission Fr Juan Ramon (JOC Catalonia). In the evening they were also treated to some local Manchester culture and food!

The European Commission and members from the National Team in England and Wales

The European Commission and members from the National Team in England and Wales

We ask that you keep the European Commission in your prayers as they continue their mission.