ADDRESS OF JOHN PAUL II
Saturday, 31 August 2002
1. I welcome you with joy and affection, dear friends from Varese who are commemorating the
100th anniversary of St Victor's "Young People's Oratory" and the Sports Association "Robur et Fides". I greet Bishop Marco Ferrari and I thank him for his courteous words. I greet Archbishop Pasquale Macchi and Bishop Giovanni Giudici. I also greet your parish priest and the other priests, as well as the mayor of the city and the civil authorities, who, by being present, witness to how much the community of Varese cherishes the "Oratory".I am particularly pleased to greet the new recruits: children and young people. Welcome, dear friends! I also thank the choirs for their beautiful singing.
Pastoral service to youth along with the pastoral care of families
are the priorities of the Church in Italy. The "Oratory" is the place where these two pastoral activities naturally converge: a place of education and co-education, which very appropriately backs up the educational task of parents. Children need an environment in which, with other persons and other dynamics, to reinforce the values they have learned at home. Sports activities make an effective contribution to this. Indeed, if well integrated into the formation, they help young people to be generous and mutually supportive. May Robur et Fides be distinguished always by its generous openness to solidarity.
I entrust you to Our Blessed Mother and bless you warmly, together with your loved ones and your activities.