“Our Hope Is In the People” – Canon Cardijn
By a Staff Reporter
“Our hope is not in the atomic bomb but in the strength of spiritual potentialities of the people,” declared Canon Joseph Cardijn, founder of the Young Christian Workers, when he addressed a rally at the Kingsway Hall, London, on Wednesday last.
People from all parts of the London area packed the hall to capacity, and on the platform were representatives of all the national Catholic societies.
Mgr. Craven, Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster, presided, deputising for Cardinal Griffin, who was was unable to be present. Mr. Pat Keegan, National President, and International Secretary of the Y.C.W., introduced the speakers.
Canon Cardijn received a tremendous ovation when he began to speak. He chose as his subject ” The Mission of the People,” and his address was punctuated by applause. He aroused great enthusiasm from his audience and despite his difficulty with the English language, was able to impress by his forcefulness and sincerity. One minute a smile, the next a stern look, but always on lop of his subject. ” It would,” he said, ” be imposi sible to govern the world against the people or without the people. The people have their own mission and vocation; their own rights and longings. ” But,” he declared, ” they cannot achieve them without facing heavy responsibilities at work, in the family, in public life, in self-education and in the immoral and religious attitude.”
Canon Cardijn continued: ” We need a great workers’ movement which provides a Christian solution to these problems. ” A movement which groups workers in order to train, educate, defend and assist them. A movement which makes them leaders. apostles and missionaries of their fellow workers.”
The Canon spoke of the Y.C.W. as ” the indispensable school which aims at preparing every young worker to face his own problems and responsibilities.” By the action of and through the Y.C.W. young workers will get a new Christian conception of life, work and of the world.
” The solution,” he concluded, ” lies in mutual understanding in order to build a social order based on Christian principles of justice and charity, fraternity and love.”
Other speakers included Mr. Terry Holland, a London Y.C.W. leader, and Miss Betty Molyneaux.
SOURCE: “Our hope is in the people,” Catholic Herald, 11 November 1949