15 – 19 October 1985
Youth for the Church of 2000 A.D.
The First International Youth Consultation of the Catholic Charismatic renewal took place in Rome, 15-19 October, 1985. Almost 400 participants from 71 countries and every continent shared their Christian faith, their hope for the future of humanity, and their great love as children of the heavenly Father ever 4-day charismatic celebration of the International year of Youth. The variety of languages, cultures and social backgrounds provided ample scope for the unifying action of the Spirit, and the resulting communion of hearts and minds (later expressed in the letter they wrote to the Youth f the World) reached its high point at the Eucharist specially celebrated with and for them by Pope John Paul II, the friend of Youth.
Besides inspiring talks given by Cardinal Suenens (Belgium), Bishop Valerian D’Souza (India). Fr. Umberto Gomez (Venezuela), and Shyne Bennet (Australia) and enriching workshops on Integration of Personality (Anita Sanchez, France). Personal Prayer (Fr. Bob Faricy, Rome), Leadership Formation (Pepe Prado, Mexico), and Social Action and Evangelization /Rev. Rice, USA), there were very interesting testimonies from Colombia, Sri Lanka, Italy and Gabon, plus sharing in small groups. The schedule include a daily outing (complete with picnic lunches!) to 3 pilgrimage centers: Tre Fontane, the place of martyrdom of St. Paul; the Catacombe of St. Callistus and St. Sebastian; and St. Peter Basilica.
On these sites, the Eucharist was celebrated by Bishop Paul Cordes of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, and by Bishop D’Souza in St. Peter’s at the “Holy Spirit altar”. Both Bishops challenged the youth to be fully open to the Holy Spirit, finding him in the riches of the Church’s tradition, and giving witness of a new personal experience of the Lord in the Renewal. A Holy hour of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament each day, plus testimonies by Cistercian monks and the Little Sister of Jesus (of Charles de Foucauld) brought to the youth a profound experience of the life of contemplation. God also used the liturgical feasts during the Conference (Sts. Callistus, Teresa of Avila, Hedwing and Margaret Mary, Ignatius of Antioch, Luke the Evangelist and the North American Jesuit martyrs) to emphasize the Christian’s call to a personal encounter with the Lord God in silence and prayer, and to the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Even the sole banner hanging in the Conference auditorium was that gifted by prayer groups in Uganda, depicting their 22 martyrs (St. Charles Lwanga and companions) being burned for the Faith.
At the final Eucharist, each delegate accepted a personal 5-inch silver crucifix (copy of the pastoral cross of John Paul) to hold aloft, as the whole assembly professed its renewed commitment to the Lordship of Jesus, in the power of the Holy Spirit, for the glory of the Father. The letter drafted by nine youth representatives of the three language groups (Spanish, English and French) and incorporating ideas contributed by the different sharing groups was accepted by the whole assembly as their very own letter. And so the delegates went off joyfully, with new vision, renewed loyalty, and deeper commitment to the cause of human progress, justice, peace and prosperity. We believe that these seeds planted in Rome will be carefully watered and tended in the places the youth go back to (1 Cor. 3:6), and that God himself will make them grow abundantly and abidingly, even unto to Church of the soon-to-be-reached twenty-first century.
The Pope’s words at Mass (Sala Clementina, 17 October 1985)
Dear Brothers and Sisters, on the occasion of the International Youth Conference held at Domus Pacis in Rome, and organized by the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Office, you have expressed the wish to pray with the Pope. I am happy to greet you this morning as you join me in this celebration of the Eucharist. In this International Youth Year, I am especially pleased to welcome you, who are youth Leaders in the Church. You are well aware that young people enjoy a special place in my heart. And therefore I have a great desire to offer encouragement and support to leaders of youth like yourself. You can be sure that I pray for you often and it is a joy to be with you today.
The Liturgy is the focal point of all the activities of the Church. United with Christ as with one another, we place ourselves before our heavenly Father and offer him our hymn of thanksgiving and praise. We also bring to Him our desires and needs. At this Mass in which we are all celebrating the feast of St. Ignatius of Antioch, we pray for all young people throughout the world and in particular for those in the Church. We ask God, our Father, to draw them ever closer to Himself and to the heart of His only Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ. And now to prepare ourselves to celebrate these sacred mysteries, let us open our minds and hearts to God, and let us call to mind our sins…
LETTER TO THE YOUTH OF THE WORLD
I. The Event: During this International Year of Youth, 400 of us young people from 71 countries and every continent have met in Rome to share our faith and to strengthen our hope. The diversity of our languages, cultures and social backgrounds have enriched our experience of being together, and provided us with a sure sign that it is possible for all to live in unity. The climax of our deep communion was reached in the Eucharist celebrated with us by Pope John Paul II, the friend of youth.
Inspired by the witness of the early Christian Martyrs, and experiencing in a real and profound way the unity of the Church, we wish to proclaim with a renewed sense of responsibility what think and believe and hope.
II. The world’s situation: With love, God created a world that was “very good” (Gen. 1,31), and he crowned his work by forming man and woman in his own image and likeness.
However, being deceived, man separated from God, taking with him the rest of creation. The origin of every evil suffered by humanity lies in this separation. By turning away from God, man also cut himself off from his brothers and sisters, and lost his inner harmony and peace. Hence there is seen division in every order.
In spite of the many available means of communication, man seems incapable of communicating in truth and of achieving unity with love. Deep emotional hurts impede this full realization.
Though created for happiness, man suffers from disease of materialism and consumerism. Called to freedom, he is enslaved by unjust systems, as much in the political as in the economic fields, and indeed in the religious as well. In spite of the many advances in production, hunger grips much of the world. And though there is a real longing for peace, people still suffer from war, and the terrible threat of nuclear catastrophy remains.
In such a labyrinth, man searches for a solution that neither ideologies nor the false messianism of esoteric spiritualism or occultism can offer. Far from liberating man, these drive him to despair because they cannot offer and integral and wholesome answer for human existence.
Hence, there are those who think that the world in condemned to live forever under the power of arms, to be ruled by the law of the strongest, and there exists no solution at all for their many anxieties.
III. Our faith: We, young people from the whole world, in the face of so much evil and so much despair, now shout out our conviction that there is a solution for our world, and that we have good reasons for our hope:
-We believe that God, our Father, eternally young, love us all in a unique and personal way, and has a plan of abundance for mankind: the building of “a civilization of love” (Pope Paul VI).
-We believe that Jesus Christ, by his death and resurrection, has recreated all things, and has inaugurated a Reign of justice, peace and joy. He is the Savior of the world, the Lord of the universe and of our lives.
-We believe that the Holy Spirit transforms our lives by his power and enables us to be builders of this “civilization of love”.
-We believe in the Catholic Church, God’s people., which we see being again and again renewed by the action of the Holy Spirit, and we affirm our loyalty to it.
-We believe in our fellowmen (brothers and sisters, calle like us to live in freedom, truth, peace and unity.
IV.Our commitment: Conscious that God is able to transform the world trough our collaboration,
-we commit ourselves to deepen our personal experience of God through fidelity to prayer, through our participation in the liturgy and the sacraments, especially the Eucharist and Reconciliation, through reading the revealed Word of God, and by generously welcoming teachings of the Church.
-we commit ourselves to put our hope in Jesus Christ, to live our call to sanctity according to the spirit of his beatitudes, and to practice it in dedicated service to the poor and the most needy.
-we commit ourselves to stay open to the charisms freely given by the Holy Spirit, for the integral development of the human personality and the building up in love of the communities to which we are called, and to use these charisms with boldness and creativity.
We commit ourselves to share humbly and joyfully un the specific grace of the Charismatic Renewal: effective evangelization, a spirit of praise, spontaneous prayer, the communitarian aspect of living the charisms, and to offer all this as a gift for the Church and for its unity. We want to build “the civilization of love”, fighting for respect for life, for the family, for human dignity, and the well-being of all men, as well as of the whole man.
Taken from the ICCRS Newsletter November-December 1985.
To celebrate the “International Year of Youth” (1985), Pope John Paul II has requested the Pontifical Council for the Laity to organize a big Youth Rally in Rome on Palm Sunday, March 31, 1985. The Pope also wishes that dioceses and Movements actively celebrate in their own way “the gift of young people” in the Church and in the world today.
Therefore ICCRO has decided to organize on behalf of worldwide Catholic Charismatic Renewal a Consultation of Youth Leaders in Rome 15-19 October, 1985. About 1000 countries will be invited to each send 2-6 youth delegates (age limit: 30 years). Simultaneous translations will be provided into English, Spanish and French. The cost is being held at $100 per person (all inclusive).
The Consultation hopes to involve youth leaders in discerning the future of the Renewal and to motivate them in taking responsibility for the Renewal’s efforts at being “at the heart of the Church”. Possible themes: “Give to the world Jesus!”/”Working today for tomorrow’s Church”/”Building a Civilization of Love”/”Youth and the Church in 2000 A.D.”. Feedback is being requested from leaders, after which the final theme will be announced (in January).
Financial contributions are needed to help subsidize the travel of youth from Third World countries, and the whole-hearted prayer support of prayer groups and communities is earnestly requested over the next several months for God’s blessings on this very important event.
Taken from the ICCRS Newsletter September-October 1984.