Faithful to the Vatican's teachings and following the example of the church in France, elements of the Roman Catholic Church in Québec established Catholic action groups to associate laymen of various ages and professions with the church's social work, particularly in urban areas. The Association catholique de la jeunesse canadienne-française was founded in 1903-04 by Fathers Lionel GROULX
and Émile Chartier. Other groups comprised farmers and workers, and the youth movement included Jeunesse ouvrière catholique (JOC), Jeunesse étudiante catholique and Jeunesse rurale catholique, which were formed in the 1930s following the papal encyclical Urbi Arcano (1922) and the subsequent formation of JOC groups in Belgium. The influence of these associations, which were criticized by the conservative clergy as being too activist, is difficult to measure. They declined rapidly in the 1950s.
See also CATHOLICISM; SOCIAL DOCTRINE.
Groulx kept posing the worrisome question of French and Catholic survival in an urban, industrial, Anglo-Saxon environment (courtesy Library and Archives Canada/C-16657).