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The Pope tells the Chapter Members: Welcome young people with joy

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November 11, 2014

papa salesianiMESSAGES - Vatican city. "Welcome young people with joy as Don Bosco did". This was the exhortation of Pope Francis to the Chapter Members, received by him today, Saturday November 8, at 11.15am, in the Sala Clementina of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican, on the occasion of the 23rd General Chapter on the theme of “Being with young people, today, a home that evangelises” This was indeed an extraordinary gift for our Institute, in the persons of those participating in GC XXIII!

A warm and prolonged applause welcomed the Pontiff on his entry to the hall and an atmosphere of simplicity and cordiality was immediately established. Mother General, M. Yvonne Reungoat addressed a cordial greeting to the Pope, thanking him for his closeness to the Institute, witnessed to by gestures of great delicacy. She then stressed: «We cannot immagine future paths for our Religious Family without young people, especially the poorest. In their often unspoken questions we read the need to feelat home, that is, to have affective and social points of reference, to belong, and to be able to share Gospel values and action. Young people are the place where God speaks to us, meets us, transforms us and sends us. They are the protagonists in the building of the new evangelisation and, in a certain way, also our teachers. In fact, they pass on to us the art of hoping, the patience of waiting, the joy of meeting and sharing friendship, the desire for genuine faith that touches practical life, the need for a simple life, centred on the essential».

Pope Francis, with his usual simple and family-like style, spoke to the Chapter Members, recalling the origins of the Salesian charism and inviting them above all to “go out”, to “set out” for the many peripheries, paying special attention to the poor. He then continued: «Be a prophetic witness and an educational presence everywhere, through unconditional acceptance of young people, facing the challenge of intercultural settings and identifying pathways that will make your apostolic interventions efficacious in a context – that of young people – that is permeated by the virtual world and by new and especially digital technologies».

Pope Francis also encouraged them to always be “in contact with the joys, hopes and sufferings of the people”, not to forget the Argentinean lands of Patagonia, to contribute with enthusiasm “in the areas of education and the school, catechetics and the formation of young people”, and to the missions.  «Be, for everyone, missionaries of hope and joy, witnessing to the values of your Salesian identity, especially in the area of encounter, a fundamental aspect of your charism. It is an ever fresh and vital well from which you can draw that love that revitalises your passion for God and for young people. May the inevitable difficulties that you meet on the way not diminish the enthusiasm of your apostolic action».

In conclusion, Pope Francis recalled how the Church esteems consecrated life, which is situated “at the heart of the Community and is a decisive element for its mission”.

All lived the extraordinary experience of the morning in an atmosphere of universal fraternity. It was a great gift that renewed enthusiasm for the forthcoming work of the Assembly and for that of the post-Chapter period.

For the full text of the Discourse of the Holy Father, see: http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-exhorts-salesian-sisters-to-be-prophetic-witn

For the video:

 

Source: Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, November 08, 2014

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