The John Paul II Youth Foundation participates in the ‘Tuesdays at the Gregorian’ meetings
On the tenth anniversary of the election of Pope Francis, in preparation for the XXXVII World Youth Day, to be held in Lisbon from 1 to 6 August 2023, the Hurtado Centre, in collaboration with the Embassy of Portugal to the Holy See, is organising three meetings that frame the perspectives opened up by the magisterium of this pontificate, declined as proposals addressed to the new Christian generations. In attendance will be H.Em. the Card. José Tolentino de Mendonça in dialogue with José Mourinho (31 March); H.Em. the Card. Mauro Gambetti in dialogue with Mr. Daniele Bruno, President of the John Paul II Youth Foundation (18 April) and H.Em. the Card. Gianfranco Ravasi in dialogue with Prof. Jorge Vaz de Carvalho (9 May). The meetings are aimed at young laymen and women who want to complement their human and professional training with the intelligence of the Christian faith to prepare themselves for the challenges they face in our societies. All three appointments will take place at 5.30 p.m. in the Aula Magna of the Gregorian University in Rome. They are free and open to all, subject to registration at www.unigre.it. It will also be possible to follow the matches live streaming on the youtube.com/UniGregoriana channel.
Our President guest speaker at the XXVIII National Conference of the Catholic Student Movement – FIDAE
The Movimento Studenti Cattolici – Fidae was founded in 1978 and is a student association representing students of Catholic public secondary schools with the aim of contributing to the improvement of the school as a whole, understood as a public service, through dialogue with the competent institutions.
The annual national conference is an important cultural moment for the association, where students can discuss important topics with distinguished speakers.
From 9 to 12 February, the XXVIII National Conference was held in Rome, entitled: ‘Unbalanced World. Seeking a more just way’.
Our President, Daniele Bruno, was one of the speakers on the opening day and presented to the young people the activities of the Foundation, the initiatives for the upcoming World Youth Day in Lisbon and the Convention on the Care of Creation to be held in Lisbon on 31 July.
“For promoting peace, union and fraternity among the peoples and nations of the world, starting from the protagonism of young people, with an invitation to young people to build a more just and united world”. It was also emphasised that this World Youth Day provides “an experience of the universal Church, fostering an encounter with Jesus Christ and constituting for young people a birthplace of vocations to marriage and consecrated life”.
These are the motivations for the prize awarded on 23 January in Madrid by the Fundación Universitaria San Pablo, of the Universidad Cardenal Herrera, which has recognised the social, educational and research work of individuals or groups belonging to the different CEU centres every year since 1997.
About to celebrate its 40th anniversary, World Youth Day received this award for ‘Spreading Catholic Culture’. The president of the John Paul II Youth Foundation, Daniele Bruno, accepting the award expressed his gratitude for ‘the recognition of the importance of this meeting of young people in transmitting the Gospel and, at the same time, values such as dialogue and peace’ and also thanked ‘on behalf of His Eminence Card. Kevin Farrell, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, the President of the Asociación Católica de Propagandistas and the Fundación Universitaria San Pablo CEUProf. Alfonso Bullón de Mendoza y Gómez de Valugera, for the prestigious award”, recalling that the prize is to be shared with all those who are working with enthusiasm and dedication for the realisation of the next WYD in Lisbon in August: “the Local Organising Committee, chaired by His Excellency Mons. Américo Aguiar, and the Youth Area of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, directed by Fr. Joao Chagas, as well as the John Paul II Vatican Foundation for Youth, which I have the honour to preside over and which works in support of the Youth Area of the Dicastery”.
After a long and careful work, which produced an updated text in line with the latest state regulations, and after the Decree of approval of the Prefect of the Dicastery, H.Em. the Card. Kevin Farrel, the Foundation’s new Statute was entered in the Vatican City State registers, thus concluding its process In the documents section you can find an extract, together with the Decree of Approval.
From 16 to 19 October, all the teams of the Local Organising Committee (COL) of WYD Lisbon 2023, led by Dom Américo Aguiar, President of the WYD Lisbon 2023 Foundation, the heads of youth ministry of the Bishops’ Conferences from all over the world, as well as ecclesial movements and religious congregations, met in Fatima (Portugal) to prepare WYD Lisbon 2023, which will take place in Portugal from 1 to 6 August 2023. Cardinal Kevin Farrell, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, was present, as was Archbishop Manuel Clemente, Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon.
The meeting, promoted by the local organising committee and the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, was attended by some 280 people from 180 countries. The aim was to take stock of pastoral, liturgical and logistical work and to prepare together for the next World Youth Day.
The Foundation was also present and participated in the work with its President, Daniele Bruno, and Vice-President, presenting to the Assembly the work done by the Foundation, the Conferences on Care for Creation and this website. The representatives of the Foundation also had a meeting in Lisbon with the Rector of the Catholic University of Portugal (and President of the International Federation of Catholic Universities), Professor Isabel Capeloa Gil, who expressed the University’s willingness to host the next Conference on Care for Creation on 31 July 2023, as part of the XXXVIII World Youth Day.
On the last day of the meeting, participants also had the opportunity to take a tour of Lisbon and visit the Tejo Park, where the central events of WYD will take place.
New logo and website unveiled to strengthen service to international youth ministry
Thirty years after its establishment in our Dicastery, the John Paul II Foundation for Youth celebrated its anniversary, during a meeting in the Vatican, by presenting its activities and new projects for young people around the world.
To talk about the history, activity and mission of the Foundation, at the opening of the event presented by host Lorena Bianchetti, was Linda Ghisoni, undersecretary for the lay faithful of the Dicastery, explaining that in recent years “the mission of the foundation has not changed: to promote the evangelization of young people and support youth ministry in all its areas”. Supporting the Foundation, he reiterated, ‘means investing in young people, who are a source of hope even in these war-torn days’. Undersecretary Ghisoni recalled what John Paul II replied to those who called him “inventor” of the World Youth Day (WYD): “No, it was the young people themselves who created them, and they have become a great testimony that young people give of their commitment, and a powerful means of evangelization. In them there is a great potential for good and a lot of creativity.”
According to the head of the Dicastery’s Youth Office, Father João Chagas, “World Youth Day produces a network of generative friendships (and), beautiful and fruitful initiatives. This, together with volunteering, is the most beautiful legacy of WYD, and the John Paul II Youth Foundation is its guardian.”
Pamela Fabiano, a member of the Foundation, and official of the Dicastery, presented the logo and the website of the Foundation, www.fondazionegiovani.va, with the section dedicated to collecting the stories of all the World Youth Days, from its first celebration in Buenos Aires 1978, to recent celebrations, in Italian, English, and Spanish, and soon, also in French and Portuguese. “An archive like this was missing,” she underlined, “and it is also a way to connect those who have met on World Youth Days”.
President Daniele Bruno underlined the importance of the conferences on the Care of Creation, the next of which will be held in Lisbon on the 31st of July 2023, at the Catholic University of Portugal. These conferences, which began in Rio de Janeiro in 2013, today follow in the footsteps implemented by the Holy Father Francis with the Encyclical Laudato si’.
This special issue of the magazine pays tribute to John Paul II by commemorating his World Youth Days. They cover twenty years of history – from 1984 to 2004 – during which time the Foundation has followed and promoted the Days, just as it continues to follow and promote them today.
The magazine, produced with the contribution and testimonies of some of the directors in charge of youth ministry in various countries, aims at giving an account of St. John Paul II’s intuition concerning the pastoral care of young people and the opportunities for encounter and experience of faith realized through World Youth Days.
We have witnessed many young people come out of this experience with a renewed spirit. The WYD has been an opportunity for many young people to meet, but also amongst themselves and their Pastors and, above all, with the Pope. They also provided an opportunity for the Bishops to meet with young people and to listen to their concerns, problems and desires. For many, the Days were a chance for a more sincere and profound encounter with Christ, an opportunity to renew their faith and to feel like active members of the Church; some discovered their vocation to a special consecration, and new families were formed.
In short, through the use of many images, the magazine, now available on line on this site, provides an account of all this.
Twenty-five years ago (9-10 September, 1995), the European Youth meeting, EurHope 95, was held in Loreto. The inspiration for this meeting was an appeal for peace in the Balkans. At the time, I was working in the Youth Section of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, which was in charge of organizing this event, and therefore I was very much involved. I remember many things from that gathering, but I will point out three which made a particular impression on me.
First of all, there were the words of Cardinal Eduardo Pironio who, in greeting the Pope at the end of the Mass, stated: “Holy Father, these young people are not afraid of holiness—they are afraid of mediocrity and sin.” This was a true and proper vision of life which expressed the strength of what was experienced.
During the Saturday evening vigil, the connection with Sarajevo was the most anticipated event. The second memory is linked with this connection: the image of the young woman of Sarajevo crying and laughing at the same time, just as pain and the home that comes from God go together on the same path.
The final memory is of a great gesture of humanity on the part of John Paul II. Although by that time he could only walk with great difficulty, he did not hesitate to approach a group of young Poles who had had an accident during their journey to Loreto.
Yet the strongest memory is of how the youth from different areas of the Balkans were able to sit together, pray together for peace, exchange gestures of peace, and together commit themselves to do everything possible to realize this peace.
Carmen Aparicio, President of the John Paul II Youth Foundation
For the past thirty years, the magazine has been an official testimony to the fruitful dialogue between the Holy Father and young people. Published by the John Paul II Youth Foundation as a single issue containing multiple languages, (English, Spanish, French, and Italian) the World Youth Day Magazine accompanies every World Youth Day, documenting its development with a wide selection of images and with brief but incisive texts—it is a means of re-inspiring the millions of young people who have participated or will participate in World Youth Day by reminding them of their experiences, their encounters, and the highlights of the event.
Issue 25 of the magazine, focused on WYD Panama 2019, marks the beginning of the magazine’s stable internet presence, without compromising on the publication’s usual content: i.e., a multitude of images along with, naturally, the key words of the Holy Father’s addresses and the resonance of these words in the testimonies given by the young people who were able to attend the meeting with Pope Francis in person.
Finally, a space is also dedicated to the Conference: “Youth for Our Common Home: Ecological Conversion in Action,” the third meeting of which was held in Panama, for the deeper understanding and living out of the Encyclical Laudato Si’, and for the safeguarding of creation.
The usual Saturday evening Mass which took place at the San Lorenzo International Youth Center this past 28 September was the occasion for a very special moment: a commemoration in thanksgiving for the work of Marcello Bedeschi and his team, for his nearly thirty years of service as the president of the John Paul II Youth Foundation; and the beginning of the work of the Foundation’s new Board of Directors with the new president, Carmen Aparicio Valls.
In the homily of the Mass, the Secretary of our Dicastery, Fr. Alexandre Awi Mello, dwelt at length on the theme of generosity, stating, “Marcello and his collaborators have led the Foundation since its beginning, thirty years ago, at the request of St. John Paul II. Through your service in World Youth Day,” he continued, “you were especially concerned with the young ‘Lazaruses’ who needed a ‘Father Abraham’ to welcome them ‘into his bosom,’ and who could help them discover the joy of feeling loved and welcomed in the heart of God, the joy which is a foretaste of the eternal life promised to them.” This same generosity, he went on to add, “characterizes the commitment assumed by the new Board, which gives continuity to this valuable service to young people all over the world.”
The purpose of the Foundation is to promote the evangelization of young people and to support youth ministry throughout the world, collaborating with the Youth Office of our Dicastery, particularly in the organization of World Youth Day. Since 1991 the Foundation, established at the wish of Pope John Paul II originally as “Fondazione Gioventù Chiesa Speranza” (“Youth, Church, Hope Foundation”), has carried out this work above all through the commitment and selfless generosity of Marcello Bedeschi and those who worked with him, as was recalled by Fr. João Chagas, head of the Youth Office, in a brief but poignant moment of thanks.
It is now for the new Board to take up the torch and continue this important service in the same spirit.
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