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Cardijn continues to inspire young Catholics


Archbishop Wilson will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Cardinal Joseph Cardijn’s death and the influence of the Cardijn movement in the Adelaide Archdiocese on July 24 at 5.45pm in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral. To mark this significant occasion, two young Adelaide Catholics spoke of how the Cardijn movement has influenced them.

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“Life changing” is how Tahlia Sully describes her experience with Young Christian Students (YCS), a spin-off of the Cardijn movement.

Tahlia was first introduced to Joseph Cardijn in 2011 when she began her secondary education at Cardijn College.

In 2014 she was invited to her first YCS event on behalf of the school. YCS is a student-run movement which gives young people the opportunity to develop their lifelong leadership skills and spiritual journey through the use of Joseph Cardijn’s ‘see, judge and act’ methodology.

Since then, Tahlia’s involvement has grown to where she currently holds the position of the Adelaide YCS coordinator, a role which involves working for the young people of the Adelaide Archdiocese involved in YCS.

“My entire experience with YCS has been life changing,” said Tahlia.

“I have become a person of faith and have developed a sense of personal mission for social justice. I believe the YCS movement today honours Joseph Cardijn’s intentions for the young person. It gives young people the dignity they deserve and the opportunity to influence and change their own reality in a way which gives them so much life experience.”

As both a student and worker involved in the YCS movement, Tahlia has experienced firsthand the legacy of Joseph Cardijn.

“I feel honoured and proud to say the Adelaide Archdiocese embraces and celebrates Joseph Cardijn,” she said.

Adelaide has now become home to the first primary school YCS group in Australia. Additionally, the YCS movement has also established strong connections with key leaders in the diocese, schools and in the local southern region.

Her favourite Joseph Cardijn quote is “every young person is worth more than all the gold in the world” because it highlights the “enormous passion” that Cardijn possessed for promoting the idea that no young person should be underestimated.

Cardijn College Year 11 student Sisilina Saukuru has been involved in the college’s YCS over the past 12 months. As part of the leadership team she recently had the opportunity to be one of two executive leaders for her school YCS group.

She said YCS had existed within the college since 2014 but this year had been its most successful due to the number of attendees.

“Our vibrant and enthusiastic YCS group, currently consisting of 15-25 students, gathers fortnightly on Wednesday lunchtimes and discusses issues we recognise on a local, national and global level,” she said.

“Together at these meetings, we go through our Review of Life methodology to come up with steps for our action to create a just world through faith.”

One of her most memorable times in the movement has been the YCS State camp.

“It opened my eyes to the injustice existing in our world and changed my perspective; exposing me to the multiple possibilities to make a difference in the world,” she said.

“In addition, there was a sense of unity between members from various dioceses, which led to meaningful friendships. The feeling of belonging, sense of family and the works of YCS influenced my passion and commitment to this movement.”

Sisilina said Joseph Cardijn had inspired her by the way he “fought for all those living and working unjustly”.

“He fought for the justice of all workers and their children, for they worked in horrifying conditions,” she said.

“At such a young age, he saw the conditions they worked in and was burdened with the pain the workers suffered.

“He had the initiative to stand up for what is right and become the voice for the voiceless. Cardijn’s actions challenge us to act upon what we see, and not just stand by and see.

“Finally, he encourages us to do so through the guidance of our religious faith in which we can incorporate with our actions.”

As for her favourite Cardijn quote, she couldn’t go past this one: “Religion should not be outside of ordinary, daily life, but rather it should animate and transform it into a truly divine life”.


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