Thursday, March 13, 2008

Pope Wants to Make World Youth Day a Real Celebration

A Zenit article quotes Rome's diocesan director for youth ministry as saying the following up the upcoming World Youth Day with Pope Benedict XVI:
Monsignor Mauro Parmeggiani, Rome’s diocesan director for youth ministry, explained to ZENIT that the Pope wants to transform the traditional meeting with the youth, “which was a sort of party, into a real celebration, not only an external celebration."

Now we're talking! What kind of real celebration does the Pope have in mind?
In this context the Holy Father is hosting on Thursday a penitential liturgy in St. Peter's Basilica in preparation for Palm Sunday, which is the day the dioceses of the world celebrate World Youth Day. More than 20,000 young people have signed up for the event, which is also a lead-up to the international World Youth Day, to be held July 15-20 in Sydney, Australia.

With this liturgy, Monsignor Parmeggiani explained, the Pope has one objective: “To meet God who loves. The more the sense of God grows, the more the sense of my smallness before God grows, of my impotence before God, of my sin. From this the plea arises: ‘Have mercy on me, Lord, have mercy on me because I am a sinner.’”

The priest who works with Roman youth said young people’s attitudes toward confession, “despite what one might think, is positive.”

The real celebration the Pope wants to have with youth is one of meeting God, cultivating a greater sense of God as well as our own sense of finitude and sinfulness. Penance. Repentance before the God Who loves.

God bless our Pope!

Pax Christi tecum.

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