Sunday, 19 February 2012

Convening Small Groups & the ‘See Judge Act’ Method

Cardijn Community Australia
Convening Small Groups, & the ‘See Judge Act’ Method.

A workshop on training convenors in leading small groups of adults in parish and other church settings.

When: Saturday 3rd March, 10 am – 3 pm.

Where: St Augustine’s Church Hall, Bourke Street Melbourne.

Cost: Donation for coffee; bring own lunch or buy at a nearby café.

Introduction. 10-11 am.

Our dreams for the church, and how to translate them into action.

Meeting Processes. 11.15 am – 12.30 pm

Including size of groups, writing an Inquiry, possibilities of blending with other ‘small group’ methods, etc.

Starting Small Groups. 1.30 – 3.00 pm

Including the role of convenor, recruiting new members, support of leaders, issues to engage, etc.

Cooperatives and Catholic Social Teaching

Why is the Church in the English speaking world so largely silent about the Mondragon cooperatives’ success,” writes Stefan Gigacz in CathNews, echoing a recent article in Eureka Street  by former federal and Victorian state MP Dr Race Mathews.

“It’s a relevant question for Catholics in the International Year of Cooperatives and it’s one that I have been asking myself since I first learned about the Basque worker cooperatives thanks to a  BBC documentary The Mondragon Experiment that screened on Four Corners during the early 1980s.

“In 1983, I travelled to Mondragon, which is known in Basque as Arrasate, and is located at the western end of the Pyrenees that divide France from Spain. I went with Bernadette McEvoy who was the Australian YCW president of the time and we were accompanied by two Korean YCW leaders.

“Founded in 1956 by the Catholic priest Father Jose Maria Arizmendiarrietta, Mondragon already comprised close to a hundred industrial worker cooperatives at that time although it had not yet taken on a genuine national let alone international dimension.

“The tour that we made of the Mondragon administrative complex quickly impressed on me the key role played by the Caja Laboral cooperative bank in funding the growth of the corporation. That lesson was reinforced soon after I returned to Australia and when a group of us tried to start a housing cooperative only to be refused a bank loan simply because we were planning to establish as a cooperative!

“However, I also remember thinking to myself that the real test of the Mondragon model would be how it survived the worldwide economic slowdown of the 1980s.

“The stunning answer of course was that the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation has since grown into one of Spain’s largest conglomerates, with over 80,000 workers, and over 75 subsidiaries in some 17 countries.”
Read the full article here!

Cooperatives and Catholic Social Teaching (CathNews Blog)

Saturday, 18 February 2012

CCA features in Kairos

The February edition of Melbourne Archdiocese’s Kairos magazine features our CCA Conference last November.

You can also read the stories here:

Cardijn Community Australia

Cardinal Joseph Cardijn and the YCW movement

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

See, Judge, Act Training Manual now available

We are pleased to announce that the CCA “See, Judge, Act Draft Training Manual” for use in parish groups is now available for download. Click on the link below.

Mondragon cooperatives inspired by YCW See Judge Act method

The late Fr Josemaria Arizmendiarrietta
Mondragon cooperative founder Fr Josemaria Arizmendiarrietta was inspired in his work by the YCW and the See Judge Act method, writes Dr Race Mathews in an article in Eureka Street.

“Bruising industrial confrontations within Qantas and in Victorian hospitals during the latter half of last year pose pertinent questions as to whether alternative forms of ownership and control of workplaces might in some instances have more to offer than conventional wisdom may suppose.

“A case in point is the great complex of worker-owned manufacturing, retail, financial, agricultural, civil engineering and support cooperatives and associated entities headquartered at Mondragon in the Basque region of Spain.

“With Spanish unemployment levels following the global financial crisis standing at some 22 per cent, the Mondragon cooperatives have demonstrated impressive resilience, absorbing their share of economic hits and emerging largely unscathed.

“For example, Mondragon’s Eroski worker/consumer retail cooperative — hitherto Spain’s largest and fastest growing chain of supermarkets, hypermarkets and shopping malls — has over the last two years experienced for the first time since its inception in 1959 losses consequent on reduced consumer demand, and only in the current financial year anticipates a return to modest profitability.

“Fagor, Spain’s largest manufacturer of white goods, has successfully managed down production by 30 to 40 per cent in the face of a precipitous contraction of the consumer durables market.

“The cooperative group’s Caja Laboral credit union — effectively Spain’s ninth largest bank — is recovering from a 75 per cent reduction in its profitability, from 200 million to 50 million euros.

“And following a sharp reduction in the use by the cooperatives of temporary workers, overall employment has stabilised at around 83,800.

The cooperatives’ triumph is attributable overwhelmingly to key attributes that set them aside from comparable conventional enterprises.

“Not to be overlooked are the conceptual framework that underlies the cooperatives, as well as the enduring solidarity and subsidiarity values that enliven them. These are the legacy to the cooperatives of their founder, the Basque priest Don Jose Maria Arizmendiarrieta.

“Internalised and in part secularised as the values and framework have so largely become, they stem directly from the unswerving adherence by Arizmendiarrieta to formation in the ‘see, judge, act’ or ‘inquiry’ study circle mould, as developed within the Young Christian Workers unionist movement.

“As recalled by one of the five lay co-founders of the cooperative group, ‘Father Arizmendi organised specialist courses on sociology to which he invited economics professors … His ecclesiastical training led him towards being a practical apostle. He not only tried to give guidelines on what should be the model for the ideal enterprise, but he put that social enterprise to which he aspired into practice.’”

Read the full article here:

Race Mathews,Catholic social solutions to workplace fairness, Eureka Street, 31/01/201

Race Matthews January 31, 2012