Friday, November 17, 2017

Young Christian Workers

Many years ago, a priest writing for a clerical bulletin, recalls a trip he made for a wedding Mass. He hailed a taxi whose driver seeing the clerical garb greeted him warmly telling him he also was Catholic and recounted his change of heart in recent years.

He was baptized as a child but did not take it too seriously. Recently, however, it all changed and he found great joy and meaning in everything he did as a member of the JOC.

(Young Christian Workers, Jeunesse Ouvriere Chretienne in French) is a movement for young workers that began in France. The taxi driver was a member of this movement and his taxi became his altar where he offered up his daily work, greeting all graciously and supporting his family. He was living the lay apostolate as a taxi driver.

He mentions a women member of the JOC who left her office job to work in a factory. Pay was poor, the work difficult but she felt on a mission. She had more persons to show her love and concern. At Mass, she would associate with those who were in their work clothes and did much to increase the numbers in the JOC movement and give meaning to the life many were living. 

JOC was very active in most of the countries of the world but that is no longer the case. Society has changed and so has the membership in the movement. In Korea, it was very active but now there are just about 10 groups that are still meeting.

Young people are at the learning stage so we may ask how can they participate in the apostolate of the Church. Young peoples' world is different from that of the adults. They study, play and work together. A difficult place for adults to enter. Only the young can enter and influence the direction of life.The group meetings are not education from above with cramming but young people sharing with other young people about their lives.

Many of those who in adult age continue to work in the lay apostolate of the church have their beginnings in the JOC. They were formed in way that gave them confidence and a joy that comes with concern for others in making a better world,

In recent statistics that the priest has seen show that 50% percent of those asked feel that religion is not necessary for society. With the passage of time the numbers who have a negative feeling towards religion continue to rise, Many are the reasons for this but the bad example given by religious people is great.

More than one non-believing philosopher has mentioned that Christians work to increase their numbers but more than efforts to evangelize, living what they preached would be the best method of evangelization.

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