RIP NZ YCS founder Jocelyn Franklin

Jocelyn Franklin, who died on 3 October aged 93, helped found the Young Christian Students (YCS) movement in Aotearoa-New Zealand.

Bishop Patrick Dunn of Auckland with Jocelyn Franklin

After she converted to Catholicism at the age of 20, Bishop (later Cardinal) Reginal Delargey chose her for the role.

With the encouragement of Bishop Delargey and inspired by the writings and activities of Cardinal Joseph Cardijn’s principles for the lay apostolate – “See, Judge, Act” – Jocelyn became heavily involved in the establishment and training of the emerging lay apostolate movement.

She also co-founded and was instrumental in the work of the Catholic Overseas Volunteers Service (COVS) as well as Justice and Peace activities.

Encouraged by Bishops Delargey and Mackey, she established the Lay Training Centre over a period of several years in two houses, where young people flatted together and studied at night and weekends after work, focusing particularly on social justice work.

In 1916 Jocelyn published a collection of poems and reflections on her long life of faith and her journey through her later years of failing health, called “Faith and Reflection”. In a foreword to this book the late Bishop John Mackey wrote “Jocelyn has been an icon for those who rejoice in the layperson’s work … Now in these poems she reveals the depths and richness of her faith.“

In recent years Jocelyn has been a resident at the Little Sisters of the Poor St Joseph’s Home, in Herne Bay in Auckland.

“We owe a great debt of thanks and gratitude to Jocelyn for her dedication, vision and missionary zeal. Well done thou good and faithful servant,” said the bishop of Auckland Patrick Dunn in a Facebook post.

Her Requiem Mass will be celebrated at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Auckland on Saturday 12 October.


Jocelyn Franklin served the church in New Zealand for 70 years (CathNews NZ)

Reflection and prayers from Auckland church ‘legend’ (New Zealand Catholic)

Faith and Reflection (Tui Motu Interislands)