Cardijn, Lombard anniversary conference

Fr Frank Lombard with Joseph Cardijn

The Cardijn Community, Catholic Theological College and the University of Divinity are calling for papers for a symposium entitled "Formation, Laity, & Vatican II: The YCW in Australia" to be held on July 29.

The conference will mark the 50th anniversaries of the deaths of Joseph Cardijn (July 24, 1967) and Fr Frank Lombard, founding chaplain of the Australian YCW, who died four days later.

The YCW was the "most significant lay movement in 20th century Catholicism", wrote Australian Church historian Edmund Campion in his book Rockchoppers.

The Australian YCW was notably an initiative of the laity (the Melbourne Campion Society, and the Grail), whose schemes were adopted by the bishops and from 1941 developed by a committee of priests with lay financial support. In later years lay adult "collaborators" replaced religious chaplains. Many YCW leaders surrendered years, and sometimes careers, to the compelling vision of the YCW. Many religious vocations were shaped significantly by YCW exposure. Australia's YCW is a potent story of clergy and laity in a vital, undulating, working relationship.

A wide range of papers are being sought relating to the historical context of the YCW in Australia. For example:

  • the developing theology of the laity in the Church, and YCW
  • particular YCW chaplains & lay collaborators (local, state, national)
  • methods of YCW lay formation
  • initiatives of YCW/NCGM leaders, including extension work (national and international)
  • new environments: eg, Vatican II, cultural revolution, changes in localism, education, social critiques
  • new responses: eg, the worker question, social justice, small Christian communities, liberation theology
  • notable conflicts between YCW (or related lay movement) and church hierarchy

Please submit proposals, with synopsis, by March 28 to:

Rev Dr Max Vodola: [email protected] or David Moloney: [email protected]


Cardijn Community - Catholic Theological College - Formation Laity and Vatican II: The YCW in Australia Conference (PDF)

'Formation, Laity & Vatican II: The YCW in Australia' Conference call for papers (Cardijn Community Australia)


Fr Frank Lombard and Fr Joseph Cardijn, 1957. (MDHC, Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne)

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