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Gregorianum 2020 Fasc. 2

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10 - Joep van Gennip - Did you mean that I ought to say: “I’m a priest?” - pp. 427-443

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JOEP VAN GENNIP

«Did you mean that I ought to say: “I’m a priest?”»
The industrial apostolate of the Dutch Jesuits in the city of Rotterdam and its suburbs, 1947-1988
Part II
(Part I is published in Gregorianum 100/3)

The industrial mission work of the Dutch Jesuits flourished in the fifties. The laity
as «apostles» on the shop floor were crucial in this process. Due to practical experience
acquired by the industrial chaplains, the focus of the “social work” shifted in the
mid-fifties from the individual worker to the factory as a community. The Jesuits
became aware of the unequal conditions employees faced in the capitalist system.
They regarded the unfair treatment of workers by the capitalist economic system
as incompatible with Christian ethics. General Arrupe, elected 1965, held the same
opinion and encouraged their work. However, the lack of a theological foundation
became problematic. A Dutch Jesuit research centre for social work could have given
it a more theoretical basis. In 1969, faced with serious leaves, the Dutch Jesuits
concluded that their industrial apostolate could not survive as an independent pastoral
project. They began to integrate it into diocesan structures.

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JOEP VAN GENNIP

«Did you mean that I ought to say: “I’m a priest?”»
The industrial apostolate of the Dutch Jesuits in the city of Rotterdam and its suburbs, 1947-1988
Part II
(Part I is published in Gregorianum 100/3)

The industrial mission work of the Dutch Jesuits flourished in the fifties. The laity
as «apostles» on the shop floor were crucial in this process. Due to practical experience
acquired by the industrial chaplains, the focus of the “social work” shifted in the
mid-fifties from the individual worker to the factory as a community. The Jesuits
became aware of the unequal conditions employees faced in the capitalist system.
They regarded the unfair treatment of workers by the capitalist economic system
as incompatible with Christian ethics. General Arrupe, elected 1965, held the same
opinion and encouraged their work. However, the lack of a theological foundation
became problematic. A Dutch Jesuit research centre for social work could have given
it a more theoretical basis. In 1969, faced with serious leaves, the Dutch Jesuits
concluded that their industrial apostolate could not survive as an independent pastoral
project. They began to integrate it into diocesan structures.

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