Young Christian Workers

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The Young Christian Workers (YCW) (Jeunesse ouvrière chrétienne in French) is an international organization founded by Rev. Joseph Cardijn in Belgium as the Young Trade Unionists; the organization adopted its present name in 1924. Its French acronym, JOC, gave rise to the then widely used terms Jocism and Jocist. In 1925, the JOC received Papal approbation, and in 1926 spread to France and eventually to 48 countries.

YCW in the past[edit]

Cardijn blamed the death of his father, a mineworker, on harsh labor conditions. Working-class Belgians of the era tended to see the Church as serving the interests of the aristocracy, and some old friends considered Cardijn a traitor; he thus decided to devote his career to "reconciling his Church with the industrial workers of the world." [1] When Cardijn was first made an assistant priest in the Brussels suburb Royal Laeken in 1912, he began to work with factory workers. In 1915, he became the director of the city's Catholic social work. In the years after the first world war, he began to organize young Catholic workers the Brussels area to evangelize their colleagues; the group was named Jeunesse Ouvrière Chrétienne. Its teachings were based on labor encyclicals by Popes Leo XIII and Pius XI. It received approval from Pius XI in 1925.

Time Magazine, reporting on a Paris rally with 75,000 members in 1938, quoted Cardijn as telling his followers, ""Every Jocist has a Divine mission from God, second only to that of the priest, to bring the whole world to Christ." [2]

Cardijn devoted the rest of his life to the movement, and in 1957, the JOC held its first world council in Rome. Cardijn served as an advisor to Vatican II and was made a Cardinal in 1965.

Today's YCW[edit]

Nowadays the YCW is organized in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa and the Americas, in more than 2000 grassroots base groups with around 20,000 young workers who are regular members. The international headquarters are located in Brussels, Belgium.

The International YCW (IYCW) is a Non Governmental International Movement actively present in over 51 countries with members between the ages of 15 and 35. Thanks to its work with young people, the England branch is a member of The National Council for Voluntary Youth Services (NCVYS).[3]

The IYCW has 4 official branches, the Panafrican YCW, YCW of the Americas, YCW Europe, and YCW Asia Pacific. IYCW adopted "Social Protection for all" as its International Campaign for next four years in the 12th International Council held in Thanjavur, India from 29 September to 12 October 2008.

YCW national movements[edit]

(member of International YCW / 2008)

JOC AméricaYCW Asia PacificYCW Pan AfricaJOC EuropeJOC Middle East
América HQ, Quito EcuadorAspac HQ, Kwai Chung, ChinaPanaf HQ, Boksburg, South AfricaEurope HQ, Brussels BelgiumMiddle East HQ, Dubai UAE
JOC BoliviaYCW AustraliaJOC CongoKAJ FlandersJOC UAE
JOC BrasilYCW IndiaYCW South AfricaCAJ GermanyJOC Syria
JOC ChiliYCW Hong KongYCW Nigeria (Lagos Archdiocese)JOC WallonneJOC Jordan
JOC ColombiaYCW PhilippinesYCW EgyptCAJ South Tirol
JOC Costa RicaYCW JapanJOC Rwanda
JOC EcuadorYCW Sri LankaJOC République du CongoJOC Romania
JOC GuatemalaYCW New ZealandYCW NamibiaYCW Ucraïne
JOC HaitiYCW PakistanYCW GhanaCAJ Austria
JOC NicaraguaYCW ThailandYCW ZimbabweYCW Ireland
JOC ParaguayYCW IndonesiaJOC Sénégal
JOC PeruYCW ChinaJOC Bénin
JOC QuebecYCW EthiopiaYCW Kenya
JOC Republica Dominicana
JOC Venezuela
JOC Honduras


  1. ^ Prentiss, Craig. Debating God's Economy: Social Justice in America on the eve of Vatican II. Pennsylvania University Press, 2008, p. 126. 
  2. ^ "Jocism". Time. September 26, 1938. Retrieved 2009-01-22. 
  3. ^ Full list of NCVYS members

External links[edit]