Cardijn's writings

Although he was a Flemish Belgian, most of Cardijn's writings were in French.

The number of books and articles by Cardijn ever translated and published in English is rather limited. Even fewer are currently in print.

In fact, as Cardijn himself noted, the only 'true' book that he ever published was Laymen into Action, which was in fact largely compiled by his secretary Marguerite Fievez from his key speeches over the years.

Other 'books' by Cardijn, such as the various editions of Challenge to Action, were likewise compilations of significant articles.

For the record, however, we list these books below. A listing of French language books and booklets will be added at a later date.


Joseph Cardijn, Laymen into action, Preface by Edward Mitchinson, Translated by Anne Heggie, Geoffrey Chapman, London, 1964, 175p. (Hardcover)

Joseph Cardijn, Laymen into action, Preface by Edward Mitchinson, Translated by Anne Heggie, YCW Melbourne, Melbourne, 1964, 175p. (Softcover)

Joseph Cardijn, Challenge to Action, Translated by Fr Eugene Langdale, Fides Publishers, Chicago, 1955, 148pp. (Hardcover)

Joseph Cardijn, Challenge to Action, Translated by Fr Eugene Langdale, Geoffrey Chapman, Melbourne, 1955, 148pp. (Softcover)


Joseph Cardijn, The young worker faces life, YCW Melbourne, 1960, 59pp.


Amazingly for a figure who had such an impact on the lives of millions of young workers and on the Church itself, the number of biographies also remains extremely limited.

Michael de la Bedoyere, The Cardijn Story, The Catholic Book Club, London, 1958, 196pp.

Edmund Artuthnott, Joseph Cardijn, priest and founder of the YCW, Darton, London, 1966, 61p..

Marguerite Fievez and Jacques Meert with the collaboration of Roger Aubert, Cardijn, Preface by Dom Helder Camara, Translated by Edward Mitchinson, Young Christian Workers, London, 1974.

Biographical articles

Doris Burton, Pioneers for Christ, Ten great founders, Burns & Oates, London, 1958, 171p.

Boniface Hanley, Ten Christians: By their deeds shall you know them, Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame, 1979, 269p.


To the best of our knowledge, none of the above books are currently in print.

Second-hand copies may sometimes be found for sale on or