Pope Tweets Profound Messages of Love and Hope
Wednesday, September 25, 2013 by Communications

I can’t help but grin every time I read one of Pope Francis’ tweets, or listen to his thought-provoking appeals directed at the youth of the world.   It is an exciting time in the Church when our 76 year old pontiff is “tweeting” profound messages of love and hope, and encouraging all of us, but especially young faithfuls, to “go out from ourselves… to give ourselves and to serve others.”    

In one of Pope Francis’ recent audiences, he asked if there were any young people in the crowd, and said to them: “I ask you who are just setting out on your journey through life: have you thought about the talents that God has given you?  Have you thought of how you can put them at the service of others? Do not bury your talents!  Set your stakes on great ideals, the ideals that enlarge the heart, the ideals of service that make your talents fruitful.  Life is not given to us to be jealously guarded for ourselves, but it is given to us so that we may give it in turn.”

These exciting and exhilarating words are exactly what our youth want and need to hear: put faith into action and lead lives that continually focus on others.  What a profound counterpoint to all the messages of materialism, greed, and selfishness that our young people are bombarded with on a daily basis.  

I am so looking forward to the excitement surrounding World Youth Day, which is happening this year in Rio de Janeiro July 23-28, and is expected to draw 1.5 million people.  Locally, the Archdiocese of Chicago is co-hosting a Midwest Celebration on July 27 that will bring together 2,000 young Catholics from around the Midwest.   

Since its inception in 1985, World Youth Day has energized millions of young people in their faith.  This celebration shows the world the young face of the Church, which is a tremendous sign of hope.  We know these young attendees will go out in the world and bring Jesus’ message of peace and love into their home communities.   This year, I am sure Pope Francis will inspire the crowd to new heights!    

Another wonderful sign of hope for me is the growing interest in Catholic Charities’ Junior Board from young Chicago-area professionals.   Our Junior Board is made up of 400+ men and women age 21-40 who have a desire to put their faith into action and become involved with the mission of charity.  

Catholic Charities’ Junior Board is not a mere social outlet for young people (although they sure do have their share of parties and fun!).  Catholic Charities provides Junior Board members with real, hands-on opportunities for truly living their faith and serving others.  Whether it’s reading to children in one of our homeless shelters, stuffing bags of food for hungry families, or playing bingo and sharing stories with residents in our senior housing, Junior Board members can’t wait to get involved in their next service project.   We are honored that so many young people believe deeply in the mission of Catholic Charities and want to share their time and talents with us.  This year, we have already added 60 new members, and we are on track to have a record-setting number of new members by year’s end.  

I feel such positive energy in the air from young Catholics today.   They want to get involved and be a part of something greater than themselves.  Pope Francis is just the man to inspire these wonderful young people to bring Jesus’ message of faith, hope and charity to communities all over the globe.  

For more information about Catholic Charities’ Junior Board, please visit www.catholiccharities.net.  For information about World Youth Day, visit  www.worldyouthday.com/rio-2013, or www.youthministry-chicago.org.

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