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World Youth Day helps inspire young people to serve others, pope says

By Mary Brazell

Pope Francis at the final Mass of World Youth Day 2019 in Panama. Image: Diocese of Parramatta.

By Carol Glatz, 4 May 2023

World Youth Day is an antidote against indifference, isolation and lethargy, Pope Francis said.

Since World Youth Days were established by St. John Paul II in 1985, “they have involved, moved, stirred and challenged generations of women and men,” he said in the preface of a new book, “A Long Journey to Lisbon,” by Aura Miguel, a Portuguese journalist for Rádio Renascença. Vatican News published the preface May 2.

Young people, he wrote, “risk self-isolation every day, living in a virtual environment much of their life, ending up as prey to an aggressive market that creates false needs.”

“Getting out of the house, heading out with fellow travelers, having important experiences of listening and prayer combined with moments of celebration, and doing it together, makes these moments precious for everybody’s life,” he wrote.

“We really need young people who are at the ready, eager to respond to God’s dream, to care about others, young people who discover the joy and beauty of a life spent for Christ in service to others, to the poorest, to the suffering,” the pope said.

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With thanks to the National Catholic Reporter (NCR)Catholic News Service (CNS) and Carol Glatz, where this article originally appeared.