Stefan Gigacz, Cardijn Community, Australia

Stefan Gigacz

In 1975, I was a new YCW member in a parish group in Melbourne, Australia.

But I remember receiving the appeal for solidarity action from the International YCW for Pepe Palacio.

Argentina seemed very away and it was hard to believe that someone who had worked so closely with the YCW had “disappeared”.

But it made a big impression on me that I have never forgotten.

Later I came to realise the impact that the loss of Pepe Palacio also had on the whole movement. He was the first lay collaborator for the IYCW but he was unable to take up his post.

Forty years later, the IYCW has still never had a lay collaborator. It is an indication of what the movement lost.

Pepe Palacio also worked closely with Bishop Enrique Angelelli, who was also killed six months later.

Like Bishop Angelelli, Pepe Palacio was also a martyr for the JOC, for Christianity, the Church, and for the worker movement.

We are proud to remember him.

Stefan Gigacz

Former YCW

Convenor, Cardijn Community International