Arnould, Emilie



Arnould, Emilie

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One-line bio

Early leader of the Belgian JOCF and the International YCW, secretary general of Pax Christi International and deputy secretary of the International Federation of Christian Labour Movements.


Émilie Arnould was the daughter of Émile Arnould, railway worker, Christian union activist and of the Social-Christian Party (PSC), and Renelde Gorez, housewife, section member of the Christian Women's Workers' League (LOFC).

Émilie Arnould studied at the Higher School for young girls, located in rue d'Arlon in Brussels − she graduated in 1925 −, and those at the Catholic Social School in rue de la Poste. She then did internships in factories and at the Secretariat of Women's Social Work in Mons (pr. Hainaut) where Canon Scarmes*, chaplain, hired her as a regional permanent. She is responsible for the Christian Women's Workers' Leagues (LOFC).

At the end of 1930, E. Arnould was literally “mobilized” by Joseph Cardijn , chaplain general of the Christian Workers' Youth (JOC) and the Christian Women's Workers' Youth (JOCF). A few months later, she became general secretary of the JOCF. With Louise Bauthier , Madeleine Téchy* and Marguerite Fiévez*, she constitutes the "quadriga", according to J. Cardijn, of the female branch of the French-speaking jociste movement. It thus acquires its first French-speaking national team. Émilie Arnould becomes more sensitive to popular realities. Under her impetus, the national leaders devote a good part of their time to visiting the sections and the federations, taking care to give the permanent staff, identified for their effectiveness in the field, a more important role. Under the aegis of E. Arnould, the recruitment of the JOCF is carried out, more than before, in the popular circles of big industry. She remained general secretary of the JOCF until 1935, then was president from 1935 to 1948.

After participating in the Resistance during the Second World War, Émilie Arnould was national president of the Catholic Association of Belgian Female Youth (ACJBF) from 1945 to 1954 and a member of the Bureau of the National Youth Council.

From 1948 to 1954, Émilie Arnould was Deputy General Secretary of the LOFCs. From 1954 to 1966, she was responsible for the international service of the Christian Labor Movement (MOC) and deputy secretary of the International Federation of Christian Labor Movements. From 1954 to 1966, she was vice-president of the LOFCs. She was also General Secretary of Pax Christi, from 1960 to 1972. She owes her social orientation to her parents and, later, to Victoire Cappe , to Monsignor Cardijn and to Canon Belpaire , chaplain of the national LOFCs.

Émilie Arnould is, during her career, delegate to the World Youth Organization, delegate of the international YCW to UNESCO, member of the board of directors of UNICEF and Pax Christi. She is also a delegate of the International YCW, of the International Federation of Christian Labor Movements and of Pax Christi at the International Catholic Organization (OIC). She retired in January 1966.

(Rapid translation of Emilie Arnould, Maitron,fr

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Birth date

January 27, 1906

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Death date

September 1, 1997

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