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Monday, May 9, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 7 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Benedict XVI sent a message to the participants in the XIV National Assembly of Italian Catholic Action, which began yesterday afternoon in Rome with the theme: "Living the Faith, Loving Life: Catholic Action's Educational Commitment".

  The Pope writes that the young members and the adolescents of Catholic Action "have before them the example of men and women who are happy in their faith, who want to accompany the new generations with love, wisdom, and prayer, who understand ... how to face the most pressing problems of the everyday life of the family: the defense of life, the suffering of separations and abandonment, solidarity in misfortune, and assistance of the poor and homeless. Assistant clergy, who know what it means to teach holiness, are following you. You are called to cooperate with the bishops of your dioceses in the life and the mission of the Church in a constant, faithful, and direct way".

  "In the instruction outlined by the bishops for the Italian churches", he continued, "you are especially called to value your educational vocation. ... It is necessary to teach ... to build, with the collaboration of all, a project of Christian life based on the Gospel and the Magisterium of the Church, placing an integral vision of the person at the center".

  The Holy Father encourages the associations to be "schools of holiness, where one can prepare for a complete dedication to the cause of the Kingdom of God, a profoundly evangelical life plan that characterizes you as believing laypersons in everyday areas. This requires intense personal and communal prayer, a continuous listening to the Word of God, and a diligent sacramental life".

  Referring to formation in cultural and political commitments, the Pope underlined that "it is an important task that requires thought shaped by the Gospel, capable of discussing ideas and proposals that are valid for laypersons". In this sense he recalled that "Italy has gone through difficult historical moments and has emerged revitalized, also because of the unconditional dedication of Catholic laypersons involved in politics and institutions. Today, a nation's public life requires a more generous response on the part of its believers so that the capabilities and spiritual, intellectual, and moral strengths of each might be put at the disposition of all".

  "I ask", Benedict XVI writes, "that you be generous, supportive, and above all, communicators of the beauty of faith. ... Catholic Action can help Italy respond to its unique vocation, situated in the Mediterranean region, at the crossroads of cultures, aspirations, and tensions that require a great strength of communion, solidarity, and generosity. Italy has always offered peoples near and far the richness of its culture and faith, its art and its thought. Today, you, Christian laymen and laywomen, are called to offer with conviction, the beauty of your culture and the reasons of your faith, as well as your fraternal solidarity, so that Europe may be up to the current historical challenge".
MESS/                                    VIS 20110509 (490)

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