THURSDAY
January 13, 2000
volume 11, no. 9
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NEWS & VIEWS     Acknowledgments
Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

"I AM NOT OLD," JOHN PAUL II SAYS AMIABLY

During Spontaneous Meeting with 300 Young Lay Missionaries

    VATICAN CITY, JAN 12 (ZENIT).- This morning 300 lay missionary boys and girls gave the Holy Father a half-mile-long roll of parchment with a million signatures promoting World Youth Day, which will be held this year in 30 Italian cities with the participation of the most important leaders of the world.

    Ernesto Olivero, founder of the Youth Missionary Service (SERMIG), the organization responsible for the initiative, met the Pope personally at the end of today's General Audience. The most significant part of the message signed by the youth read: "when I am weak, then I know I am strong." After reading these words out loud, Olivero said to the Pope: "Holy Father, you are a friend of youth, friend of the future, enemy of fear, friend of God. Thank you for your old age!"

    At this point, the Holy Father interrupted him and said: "But I am not old."

    "That's true. You are very young. You are always with youth," SERMIG's founder said.

    The Pope was impressed by the long scroll and began to read some of the signatures. Speaking to the young lay missionaries, the Pontiff asked them to help their friends "to rediscover the incalculable gift of life and to use their great potential to do good."

    "Be credible signs of God's tenderness in this world that is facing the third millennium. Let your contagious enthusiasm and conviction in the logic of the Gospel touch those who are victims of a dangerous culture of violence, or who are living the exhilarating stage of youth in a banal way or in despair," the Holy Father exhorted.

    He continued, "At the beginning of this extraordinary Jubilee Year, in which the Lord is opening to all the doors of mercy, the task of being peacemakers of peace is indispensable to implement brotherhood in justice in the world, which will restore to each person the joy and honor of being called to form part of the family of God." ZE00011203

          

January 13, 2000
volume 11, no. 9
NEWS & VIEWS

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