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Meeting with the Pope at São Paulo

03/07/2007: Brazil

You, young people, are not just the future of the Church and of humanity, as if we could somehow run away from the present. On the contrary: you are that young man now; you are that young man in the Church and in humanity today. You are his young face. The Church needs you, as young people, to manifest to the world the face of Jesus Christ, visible in the Christian community. Without this young face, the Church would appear disfigured. (Benedict XVI - Message to young people. Pacaembu - São Paulo - SP)
The doctrine of Marist Youth Ministry, in a paragraph, says We believe in a pro-phetic and missionary Church that values youth, face of the earth and of the light of the world.

The visit of the Pope to Brazil, and more particularly the meeting with young people in the Pacaembu Stadium of São Paulo, in a certain way reaffirmed some foundations that Marist Youth Ministry has at its core: the strong feeling of belonging to a living and active Church, that allows young people to be protagonists.
Each day we find in both written and spoken means of communication from all parts of the world that the young person is an alienated “being”, who lives in his “little world” and is against everything that has to do with religion. We cannot deny that there is something true in that, but it should not be generalised. Thanks to God we have a group of committed young people who are ready to energetically take up the challenges pro-posed to us by the Church.
The proof of this was the massive presence of young people at São Paulo at the meeting with the Pope. According to official sources, nearly forty thousand young people came to the Pacaembu Stadium on the 10th May, an historic day.
The Marist Youth Ministry of Brazil could not be absent from this great event. More than one hundred and eighty young people from our colleges worthily represented all the young people who are part of Marist Youth Ministry throughout all of Brazil.
We would like to highlight here the presence of our former student of Santos, Marina de Paula Oliveira Rosa. Marina, an active member of Marist Youth Ministry, was in the group of young people chosen to greet and pass on a message to the Sovereign Pontiff. In two minutes and with a great deal of ease, she presented the educational reality of the young people of Brazil. We feel happy as the subject of her message was related to our Marist charism which wants to evangelise through the education of children and young people.

Once more Marist Youth Ministry has shown its young face. Once more we have wit-nessed the strength of our young people. Once more they have proven themselves to be true protagonists. We would like to highlight here the readiness and courage of young Marists in participating in this historic meeting. We would like to highlight the young people’s support of and involvement in Marist Youth Ministry. We would like to high-light the role of our Church open to young people, with successes and failures, but al-ways seeking a new Heaven and a new Earth to present young people with a coherent proposition of the message of Jesus and encouraging them to be protagonists.
Congratulations to our young Marists. Congratulations to the Marist Youth Ministry of Brazil. Thank you to Benedict XVI for his manifestation of affection to our young peo-ple. For that we praise the Lord.
You can be the builders of a new society if you seek to put into practice a conduct inspired by universal moral values, but also a personal commitment to a vitally impor-tant human and spiritual formation. Men and women who are ill-prepared for the real challenges presented by a correct interpretation of the Christian life in their own sur-roundings will easily fall prey to all the assaults of materialism and secularism, which are more and more active at all levels. (Benedict XVI - Message to young peo-ple. Pacaembu - São Paulo - SP)

Brother João Batista Pereira – Provincial Co-ordinator of Marist Youth Ministry

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