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A Personal Gift From the Pope

July 31, 2011
by Robert Lalonde, ACN Canada
Montreal, Thursday, July 28, 2011 – The 700,000 copies of the new Youth Catechism – YOUCAT – represents one of the biggest print orders in the world today. This book of 300 pages will be distributed to 700,000 participants at the World Youth Days (WYD) which will be taking place in Madrid, from the 16th to the 21st this coming August. On its striking yellow cover we find the mention: “This book is a personal gift from the Holy Father.” The book is available in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Polish and Portuguese.
“You must know what you believe.”
In the prologue, Pope Benedict XVI says clearly: “The youth of today is not as superficial as it is accused of being. Young people want to know what life truly consists of,” all the while forewarning: “This supplement to the Catechism does not flatter you; it does not offer easy solutions; it calls for a new life on your part.”
This speaks to how deeply Pope Benedict XVI holds young people in his heart and asks that them to be solidly attached to the Faith: “Study the Catechism! This is my heartfelt wish. Study the Catechism with passion and perseverance! Sacrifice your time for it! Study it in the silence of your room, read it together, form groups and study networks, exchange ideas on the Internet...”
The Holy Father believes that knowledge of the Faith, as well as the transmission of such, are the responsibility of every young person. He also urges them to consistently question the important life issues in his introduction wherein a passage reads as a sort of “Magna Carta” of the New Evangelization:
“In any case remain in dialogue on your Faith! You must know what you believe; you must know your Faith with the same precision with which a specialist in information technology knows the working system of a computer; you must know it as a musician knows his piece.”
Moreover, it incites youth to become more deeply rooted in their Faith than their parent’s generation in order to resist with force and determination the challenges and temptations of modern times. YOUCAT is thus openly sending out a challenge to its readers because, as Pope Benedict emphasizes: “[...] this book is fascinating because it speaks to us of our very destiny, and that is why it concerns each one of us very closely.”
ACN’s role
Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) is assuming a great part of the printing cost for this edition destined for World Youth Days. It is a project that combines two fundamental elements of ACN’s work: a concentration on pastoral initiatives, with priority on salvation and the transmission of the Faith, with our deep identification of papal wishes.
In addition, this project encourages you to fan the flickering flame of Faith, much threatened by western opulence. In supporting YOUCAT, you keep the flame alight as the harsh cold winds from the icy deserts of religious indifference gust over, especially across the Western World.
You will find annexed testimonials of young people who have attended past World Youth Days.
Web site: www.acn-aed-ca.org
Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) is an international Catholic association which has a mandate fraternal charity toward greatly suffering and needy local Churches.
Founded in 1947 by Father Werenfried, she offers spiritual and material help to the Church in need in over 137 countries.
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