57th Anniversary of the IYCW: “Go forward!” Print

“The Working Youth of the World Await You”


57 years ago today, at the closing of the World Council, Joseph Cardijn made the following speech about young workers; it remains alive now and will never be outdated.


“We have seen the YCW transfigured - its apotheosis. This is not the true YCW. We could say like the apostles on Tabor: “Let us build three tabernacles.” No, we must leave here, go down from Tabor, go out from the Cenacle to the masses that suffer, who have not the means of human livelihood, who cannot read or write, who know not their human dignity nor their Christian destiny. That is the only true YCW. It begins today.”


“We believe in the possibility of saving the last of the young workers and working girls, whatever their color or race, civilization or continent. They are the sons of God and we must save them,” Cardijn said.


It gives clear direction that the YCW should be always among young workers in spirit and revolutionary actions. YCW leaders should not stay in Tabor and analyse the lives of young workers but each leader should take part in daily action, review of life and be a force of change in society.


Cardijn stressed that the YCW should go into the field of the Lord where millions of young workers are awaiting it. Let none of them be able to say like the workers in the parable: “'No man has hired us.'” Let there be no YCW unemployment! No missionary unemployment! We must take the good news to all and that will be the proof of our love for the Church, for the Pope and for working youth. We shall say to them all: “We bring you good news; we bring you joy, security, confidence. The Lord is born, the new working youth in whom the Lord lives, is born; do you see it coming to birth in all the countries of the world?”


Today, we commemorate the anniversary of the foundation of the YCW and it is our task to continue the mission of the movement to liberate young workers from all forms of modern slavery.


Happy anniversary to all Young Christian Workers in the world! Go forward! The Church sends you, the Pope sends you, and the working youth of the world await you.

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