The creation of a movement formed by Catholic graduates and professionals was an idea pursued with determination by Don Giovanni Battista Montini, Igino Righetti and Angela Gotelli, when, at the beginning of the thirties, they led the branches of the Federation of Catholic University Students (FUCI). The announcement of the new proposal of religious formation and Christian militancy addressed to former university students was made in 1932, during the congress of the FUCI of Cagliari, and the following year, after a long gestation, the Movement of Catholic Graduates formalized its foundation, starting its activities in the dioceses and at the national level, not without effort.

    The globalization is profoundly disrupting our society. It calls into question some of our absolutes and the institutions that transmit them. It creates new types of relations, between countries and within countries because of migration. All this gives rise to hope or despair and radicalisation depending on the perspectives offered to people. This invites our movements to changes, conversions, to be able to assure our mission in this new context. We believe that concrete experiences play an essential role in this conversion process.

     As many of you know, the themes addressed by your SIIAEC  meeting in Warsaw are topics that our movement has been working on over the past year. The concerns raised by members of our movement around world have led us to launch a campaign on Christian Citizenship and the Crisis of Democracy.

     This crisis of governance is not unique to Europe. We see the rise of xenophobia and populism in many places around the world, including here in the United States. We see corruption in nearly all levels of government from the local to the international. I see my students asking questions about the future: Is there any hope in democracy? Is there a future for international structures such as the European Union or United Nations? Should we just give up?

1. Improve the internal life of the Movement in order to facilitate the knowledge and contacts between the members of the movement: gatherings dinners, intergroup meetings (to meet the people of other groups and proposals and dynamics that are usable), preparation of material to reflect on subjects in a common way. Continue to promote intra-movement communication through technologies.

Building Communities for Social and Personal Change

Pope Francis meets a group of immigrants at the pier in Lampedusa, Italy. Since his election, Pope Francis has called  attention to an unprecedented global crisis. Never before have people and planet been so threatened by human sinfulness. Consider, for example, the massive global humanitarian crisis marked by refugee flows in nearly every region of the world. Or the ecological and human destruction resulting from our excessive consumption patterns. At the national level in many countries, including the United States, we are seeing a crisis in democracy and a rise in xenophobia, isolationism and nationalism.

 

The Catholic Church in Ireland is “very lacking” in people of intellect who, educated in their faith, can address the pressing issues of the day, Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has said.

He was “haunted” by a quote from Pope Benedict at the beatification of Cardinal Newman in 2010. “He said: ‘The service to which Blessed John Henry was called involved applying his keen intellect and his prolific pen to many of the most pressing ‘subjects of the day’,” the Archbishop recalled.

“If the place of the Church in the current social and political discussion in Ireland risks becoming increasingly marginal, this is not just due to some sort of external exclusion; it is also because the Church in Ireland is very lacking in ‘keen intellects and prolific pens addressing the pressing subjects of the day’,” said the Archbishop.

The XXI century puts us in a different context from the past, in terms of the presence of the Catholic Church in the public sphere of thought. In this context of weakening of the religious culture in our society we firmly believe that what the Christian proposal offers to the world is fully in force. The Moviment de Professionals Catòlics de Barcelona, on its 25th anniversary presents this manifesto:

INTRODUCTION

     This document was Jointly prepared by the following throe international movements : International Young Christian Workers, International Movement for Agricultural and Rural Catholic Youth, and the International Young Catholic Students, and thus it has a place in the increasing growth of a closer collaboration among them.  These three movements meet regularly to discuss the common problems that arise in connection with their apostolic work among a large part of the youth that they deal with. They hope to see this international cooperation become intensified on a continental, national, and local basis. This common endeavor, on all of these levels, is becoming a living reality, of real benefit to society and to the Church.

     This collaboration is furthered by the common approach these three movements have for apostolic action among the youth, as this document shows. Since the announcement of the Council, as described in various other documents, tho preparation of ideas concerning the apostolate has been noticeably intensified. It is not, therefore, necessary to repeat the principles already developed in these documents. We wish to develop here our common plan for action in the area confided to us by the Church: youth.

     The apostolate among youth seems particularly important to us at this moment in human history. The transformation of the modern world, in society, politics and religion, poses for the young questions that are often deeply disturbing. The future of the world and of the Church depends upon the answers that this youth, which in certain continents is more than half of the population, will be able to find.

     Our movements, which aim at helping these young people to discover the meaning of their vocation are not, however, the only ones concerned. The political and social organizations of many countries are showing an increasing interest in the matter.  By mandating our movements the Church has recognized the responsibility that is the right of the young laity, and it has entrusted them with an apostolic mission.