On missionary activity

De activitate missionali ecclesiae

This is an undated note written by Cardijn in 1965, i.e. as a Council Father, in which he makes several criticisms of the draft Decree on Missionary Activity of the Church, later adopted by the Council with the title of Ad Gentes.


I. All Christians are missionaries: Make them discover it concretely in daily life, in the missions of the interior and missions of the exterior (Pius XI)

Raise them (in this spirit) and later make them become conscious themselves (assist them to) become involved, to clarify their effective responsibilities in a missionary movement

p. 14, 11.5-16

II. FORM in the discovery of psychic, customary realities (conceptions of life, unwritten philosophy that are incarnated in religion, religious morality, the religious mission and destiny (must be incarnated)

p. 12, 11.11-32

III. (It is necessary to form them) Form in collaboration, for the support of jocist (lay), indigenous missionaries, in the necessary link between local organisation and national and international organisation:

responsibilities, initiatives, implementations (of lay apostles) (not separating the spiritual and the temporal – learning to build, to make bricks, to clear marshland, to build roads, to organise meetings), to desire a powerful autonomous organisation, contacts, internships, visits, etc…. (between local sections and regional, national and international organisations)

p. 27-28, n° 39

Jos. Cardijn

Translation: Stefan Gigacz 2012

SOURCE: Cardijn Archives No. 1540


De activitate Missionali Ecclesiae (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)