by DioceseofVenice | November 10, 2017 5:53 pm
Bob Reddy – Florida Catholic
The representative of Pope Francis in the United States, Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Christophe Pierre, was the surprise guest at the 2017 Diocese of Venice Youth Rally in Punta Gorda on Nov. 4.
As a special guest of Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Archbishop Pierre spoke to the youth on several occasions throughout the Rally, inspiring the youth to become more active in their faith as they are the foundation the Church is built upon. The Archbishop explained how Pope Francis has a special place in his heart for the youth of the world, noting that a Synod of Bishops will be take place in October 2018, its purpose is to focus on young people, the faith and the discernment of vocations.
In a world where it can be difficult for young people to find meaning and direction in their lives, Archbishop Pierre said that is the time when turning to the Lord is most important. “The Lord can give you that meaning, by enriching you with graces that will guide you on a path of love and truth,” Archbishop Pierre told the young men and women. “But, you must be open to the Lord. You must be listening! The call He has is different for each one of us. How are you going to respond?”
During the closing Mass, the Archbishop reflected on the Rally and its key moments saying how important it was to experience everything together, one faith in Christ, noting that they had the opportunity to talk and listen to one another; to hear inspiring words from the speakers; to listen to motivating music, and finally a special time of silence in the presence of the Lord during Adoration.
“We are together, to extend the Church, which is the presence of God in our midst,” Archbishop Pierre said. “Each one of us is called to renew our Faith in His presence. At the end of this day we are called forth to the celebration of the Eucharist being in the presence of the Lord.”
The Nuncio reminded the youth that the Mass is an important moment, knowing that the Eucharist is the center of our life, it is also the center of the life of the Church. “We cannot be the Church without the presence of God in our midst.”
Quite often, Archbishop Pierre added, we are not in the presence of the Lord in a Church, but away which is a tempting time to “put the Lord to the side, in a corner… when we do this, we must ask Him for forgiveness, because He loves us.”
The Archbishop spoke to the youth at the beginning of the day, and later during a vocation talk, reminding them that they are each called to respond to the Lord’s call in different way, some as religious brothers or sisters, some as priests, others as parents and so on. The key, he noted, is making sure they keep asking the Lord what He wants of them. “If you stop asking, you won’t get an answer. Jesus Christ has a plan for you. Keep your relationship to Him strong. Keep your heart open and He will help you magnify the light of the Christ in the world.:”
Archbishop Pierre and Bishop Dewane participated in a question and answer session with 20 Rally attendees who were lucky enough to get a special prize earlier in the day. They could ask any question of the Archbishop who enjoyed spending quiet time with the smaller group, nearly as much as he enjoyed the enthusiasm of the larger crowd of about 2,000. After the session was over, the youth received an autograph from the Nuncio and several photos were taken.
Bishop Dewane and Archbishop Pierre also concelebrated a Mass at Epiphany Cathedral on Nov. 5, before the Nuncio has to return to Washington, D.C.
Source URL: http://dioceseofvenice.org/apostolic-nuncio-surprise-guest-at-youth-rally/
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