Author: Stefan Gigacz

  • What of the 99%?

    What of the 99%?

    The Australian Cardijn Institute has published its submission to the Second Assembly of the Synod on Synodality focusing on the mission and vocation of lay people.

  • Lay apostolate & the lay apostolic movements

    Lay apostolate & the lay apostolic movements

    This is a talk prepared for a Pax Romana ICMICA webinar on 27 April 2024 on “The lay movements in the new ecclesiology of the new Synodal Church.”

  • The Synod’s missing associative dimension

    The Synod’s missing associative dimension

    When Saint (Pope) John XXIII called Vatican II in 1959, he looked upon it in a traditional sense as a council of bishops. Not even the Preparatory Commission on Lay Apostolate included a single lay person.

  • Where are lay people in the Synod docs?

    Where are lay people in the Synod docs?

    A new set of preparatory documents for the 2nd Session of the Synod on Synodality has been published. Let’s look at how they understand the role of lay people.

  • See judge act or spiritual conversation?

    See judge act or spiritual conversation?

    What method should dioceses and Church bodies use in the process of synodal discernment? Should they follow Cardijn’s “see-judge-act” process that has become a staple since Vatican II? Or what about the Ignatian-inspired “spiritual conversation”?

  • Synodal boundaries for dioceses?

    Synodal boundaries for dioceses?

    Below I am reposting an article I wrote for the old CathNews CathBlog in 2011 on the issue of the size of Melbourne Archdiocese in particular and the failure to heed an exhortation from the Vatican II to review its boundaries.

  • Youth “ministry” or “pastoral practice”?

    Youth “ministry” or “pastoral practice”?

    In Australia and other anglophone countries, the term “youth ministry” has emerged since Vatican II to describe the Church’s work with young people.

  • From Laudato Si’ to Laudate Deum

    From Laudato Si’ to Laudate Deum

    In one of the most powerful and hard-hitting documents of his pontificate, Pope Francis has challenged humanity to address the “indubitable impact of climate change” on “our suffering planet” that he fears will devastate the lives of people around the world, and particularly the poorest.

  • Saints of the Global South

    Saints of the Global South

    I count three Italians, one Spaniard, one Pole and one Canadian on today’s list of six decrees presented by the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints and promulgated by Pope Francis.

  • Retrieve the (movement) history of co-responsibility

    Retrieve the (movement) history of co-responsibility

    Warning that clericalism is not the only things preventing the development of a more synodal Church, Chicago priest, Fr Louis Cameli, who is Cardinal Cupich’s delegation for formation and mission, has called for “a retrieval of history of co-responsibility in mission lived out in the past.”

  • The clericalisation of the Dicastery for Laity

    The clericalisation of the Dicastery for Laity

    Working on the archives of International YCW pioneer, Marguerite Fiévez, who was a member of the original Council of the Laity established by Pope Paul VI in 1967, I located a complete list of the 29 members and consultors of that original Council.

  • Simple, practical synodality

    Simple, practical synodality

    This is the video of a webinar on synodality hosted by the International Movement of Catholic Students (IMCS) Asia-Pacific and the International Youth Training Centre in Chiang Mai, Thailand on 16 December 2023.

  • An alternative model for a Vatican Council of the Laity

    An alternative model for a Vatican Council of the Laity

    Prior to Pope Paul VI’s January 1967 motu proprio, Catholicam Christi Ecclesiam, establishing the Council of the Laity and the Pontifical Study Commission ‘Justice and Peace’, much discussion and consultation took place regarding the model for the new structures.

  • Cardijn’s devastating critique

    Cardijn’s devastating critique

    In this article, we will examine Cardijn’s immediate and uncharacteristically harsh response to the structure of the 1967 Consilium de Laicis.

  • A representative Vatican body for laity

    A representative Vatican body for laity

    The promotion of missionary synodality requires “the establishment and configuration of councils and advisory bodies at which representatives of lay associations and ecclesial movements and new communities can meet.”

  • Mass at the Catacombs

    Mass at the Catacombs

    On 21 October, we held a Mass at the Domitilla Catacombs to celebrate the memory of the martyred Blessed Enrique Angelelli and Jose Serapio (Pepe) Palacio, the co-founders of the YCW in the Diocese of Cordoba, Argentina.

  • Synod23 Synthesis or Summary Report

    Synod23 Synthesis or Summary Report

    Here is an unofficial, Google-aided translation of the Synthesis from the First Assembly of the Synod.

  • Lay people and communities in a synodal Church

    Lay people and communities in a synodal Church

    Congratulations to the participants at the Synod on Synodality for a comprehensive, thought-provoking Synthesis of their month’s work at the First Assembly.

  • Three issues for the Synod’s consideration

    Three issues for the Synod’s consideration

    Over 120 local, national and international leaders of various movements and groups from 33 countries have endorsed a contribution to the Synod on Synodality that calls for a greater focus on the lay apostolate and representation of lay movements.

  • Questions from the Instrumentum Laboris

    Questions from the Instrumentum Laboris

    In contrast with previous synods, in which the IL offered a draft statement or document, this time the IL proposes a series of questions for discussion and discernment at the Synod. And a number of these questions concern the role of lay associations, groups and movements.

  • An appeal to participants in the Synod on Synodality

    An appeal to participants in the Synod on Synodality

    This is a Contribution to the Synodality from 40 (and counting) mostly former national and international leaders of the various lay apostolate (or Specialised Catholic Action movements, as they have been known historically).

  • Renouncing riches, living like ordinary people

    Renouncing riches, living like ordinary people

    As the Synod on Synodality opens in Rome today, perhaps it’s worth remembering the commitment of a group of 40 or so groups, mostly from the Jesus Christ and the Church of the Poor group at the Second Vatican Council, who adopted what has since become known as the Pact of the Catacombs. Initiated by…

  • A century of struggle: International lay movements in a synodal Church

    A century of struggle: International lay movements in a synodal Church

    The twin Pax Romana movements held a webinar on 17 September 2023 addressing the theme “Synod Asia: Together – Gathering the People of God in Asia.