“You young people, be the poets of a new human beauty, a new fraternal and friendly beauty!”

The Holy Father delivered a taped message in Spanish to those participating in this year’s congress, which is being held virtually.

The translated text, from the Vatican:

Dear brothers and sisters,

Cordial greetings to all participants in the Religious Education Congress sponsored by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, which celebrates its 65th anniversary and the 50th anniversary of “Youth Day”. Congratulations on these initiatives, which have already come a long and fruitful path, and which at this moment have assumed a virtual realization.

There is no doubt that we are in a difficult time for everyone, it is a time of crisis. How pertinent, in this context, is the call of this congress: “Proclaim the promise!” We need to announce and remember that we have God’s promise and that God always keeps his promises (cf. 1 Cor 1,9-11). We also have to remember that “each woman, each man and each generation holds within themselves a promise that can release new relational, intellectual, cultural and spiritual energies” (Enc. Letter Fratelli tutti , 196).

The pandemic has marked the lives of people and the history of our communities. Faced with this and other realities, it is necessary to build tomorrow, look to the future, and for this we need the commitment, strength and dedication of all. It is necessary to act in the style of the Samaritan, which implies letting myself be hit by what I see, knowing that suffering will change me, and with the suffering of the other I must commit myself. The testimonies of generous and gratuitous love that we have witnessed during all these months –so many testimonies– They have left an indelible mark on the consciences and on the fabric of society, teaching how closeness, care, accompaniment and sacrifice are necessary to nourish fraternity. They and they have been the announcement and fulfillment of God’s promise. Let us remember a universal principle: you never get the same out of the crisis, you get better or worse, but you never get the same. In crises, one’s own heart is revealed: its solidity, its mercy, its greatness, its smallness. Crises put us before the need to choose and choose and commit ourselves to a path.

«That in this age that we have to live, recognizing the dignity of each human person, we may revive together a worldwide desire for brotherhood … We need a community that supports us, helps us and in which we help each other to look ahead. How important it is to dream together »(Enc. Fratelli tutti , 8) and to look forward!

I especially greet the young people. I invite you to hope, “which speaks to us of a reality that is deeply rooted in the human being, regardless of the concrete circumstances and historical conditions in which he lives” ( I greet the youth of the PF Varela Cultural Center, Havana – Cuba, September 20, 2015; Fratelli tutti, 55). You young people, be the poets of a new human beauty, a new fraternal and friendly beauty!

And let’s remember this other reality: «Dreams are built together. Let us dream as a single humanity, as walkers of the same human flesh, as children of this same land that shelters us all, each one with the richness of their faith or convictions, each with their own voice –but yes– all brothers ”( Fratelli tutti , 8). May this be the great impulse that you live, share and take away from your participation in this Congress of Religious Education.

I entrust you to the tenderness of Mary, Mother of the Church, and I cordially impart my blessing to you. Thank you for the ministers and teachers, for what you do. And please don’t forget to pray for me. Thanks.