Hello brothers and sisters, World Youth Day 2013 is now in the history books, and what a glorious celebration it was! The Holy Father Pope Francis was
World Youth Day 2013 is now in the history books, and what a glorious celebration it was! The Holy Father Pope Francis was home again in South America and proclaiming the message of this year’s event, “Go and make disciples of all nations.”
World Youth Day is a gathering organized by the Catholic Church for youth from around the world. The purpose of the celebration is to share the message of Christ with young people. This year, World Youth Day was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was first held in Rome, Italy, in 1986. Although it is called World Youth Day, it is actually one week long.
In June, we talked about how you can go out and spread the good news you learned over the past school year. What messages can we now take from this World Youth Day as we continue our quest to make disciples of all nations? How about one of these ideas:
- Like Pope Francis, we can focus attention on the poor in our communities. Serve a meal at a local shelter, make a donation of clothing to St. Vincent De Paul or find a charity that helps the poor and volunteer.
- Talk to people who are lonely and those who do not have other friends or family. Do you have a neighbor who might appreciate a weekly visit? Could you visit a nursing home or hospital and share your love?
- Reconnect each week with your parish community by attending Mass. Like all who celebrated World Youth Day in Brazil this past week, you too can have your heart touched by Jesus and your spirit for sharing his love with all renewed.
As Pope Francis said in his visit to Brazil’s Our Lady of Aparecida Shrine during World Youth Day, “Let us encourage the generosity which is typical of the young and help them to work actively in building a better world.” He continued, “Young people are a powerful engine for the church and for society.”
You are the future of the church. Boldly proclaim the Gospel and make disciples of all nations.
May the peace of Christ be with you the remainder of the summer.