"You must know what you believe; you must know your faith with the same precision with which a programming specialist knows the operating system of a computer." Pope Benedict XVI, the prologue of YOUCAT
Today our world is moving further and further away from faith and the Church, especially young people. There are many other things that concern them (social networks, work, etc...). They have forgotten the origin of their life, the purpose of their existence, and they seek how to complete their lives and answer all these questions.
What must we do to maintain hope for our young people? And how can we restore their confidence in the Church?
In his apostolic letter "Moter Proprio: Sanctuarium in Ecclesia" published in 2017, Pope Francis invited shrines all over the world not to remain solely for tourist visits and popular devotions but to offer and encourage pilgrims to a new evangelization, so that after their visit they can bring with them a teaching that will be the door to the study of catechism and the deeper study of their faith.
For this reason, the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes and the YOUCAT Foundation have set to work in response to this call of the Pope. An international group of dynamic and active volunteers from different countries and languages (Germany, Colombia, Lebanon, Australia, Poland and Austria) have started a three-month pilot evangelization project in the heart of the Shrine.
There is plenty of material available such as study guides, catechetical games, Youcat books, etc., since the program is very varied and covers all ages: days for families and children, afternoons for youth, evangelization workshops, as well as individual encounters with pilgrims and groups.
With this new evangelization we begin by approaching people with the intention of bringing men and women, young people and children of our time to the encounter with Jesus.
The encounter with Jesus is the key to the new evangelization, the final message begins there: "Faith decides everything in the relationship we establish with the person of Jesus, who comes to meet us.“ (Pope Benedict)
Anthony S. Farah