MESSAGE OF JOHN PAUL II
To Reverend Father Ottaviano D'Egidio
This year, the 21st edition of the "Tendopolis", promoted by the Passionist Fathers will take place in the shadow of the Shrine of St Gabriel of the Our Lady of Sorrows.
I greet all of you who are taking part in it and those who have carefully prepared it. In a special way, I greet Cardinal Agostino Cacciavillan, who will preside at the solemn Eucharistic celebration on Saturday, 25 August. Participating in spirit, I would like to address each one of those present with the trust I place in their youthful enthusiasm.
Dear young people! Christ is asking you to be protagonists of a deep religious renewal in contemporary society, that is focused on prayer, personal conversion and the constant search for ecclesial communion. Many of you, as catechists and the leaders of groups, movements and associations, are involved in various capacities in parishes and in different dioceses, especially in Central and Southern Italy. May your missionary activity make you ever more attentive to the "signs" and "challenges" of our time.
The theme of your meeting is: "Inhabit the earth and live with faith; globalization or the global person? " and it gives you an opportunity to reflect on one of the most timely topics. Modern economic and technological development is tending to make humanity a "global village" with a dense network of interchanges and communications. We are in the presence of a sea change that should nonetheless be guided, if it is not to be detrimental to human dignity and the common good. Christians are thus called to make their contribution by imbuing the complex process with the Gospel values. Solidarity and love must be "globalized" in accord with Jesus' new commandment. It is up to you, dear young people, to strive with every possible means to build a civilization and a culture inspired by the Gospel of charity. The future of the world will be largely in your hands.
In this regard, I remember what I asked the young people of the whole world at the unforgettable Prayer Vigil at Tor Vergata for World Youth Day during the Jubilee of the Year 2000. I said: "at the dawn of the third millennium I see in you the "sentinels of the morning at the dawn of the third millennium'".
I repeat this invitation to you, dear "Tendopolis" participants. To carry out this important task, faithfully follow the formation path of spiritual formality that requires you to be "pilgrims, sentinels and witnesses". Pilgrims in quest of God, sentinels who keep watch, preparing for the glorious return of the risen Lord, undaunted and courageous witnesses of his message of salvation.
On this spiritual journey, may you be sustained by the example of St Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows who protects you from the great Tent of his Shrine. May the Virgin Mary, Mother of hope and Star of the new evangelization, guide you always.
With these sentiments, I cordially impart the Apostolic Blessing to you, Reverend Father General, to Cardinal Agostino Cacciavillan, to the organizers of the meeting and to all the young people taking part in the "Tendopolis".
From Castel Gandolfo, 6 August 2001.
JOHN PAUL II