Youth Conference in Assisi to Hear Auschwitz Survivor

ROME, OCT. 23, 2002 ( The annual Youth Toward Assisi conference, promoted by the Center of Youth Pastoral Care of the Conventual Franciscan Friars Minor, will take place starting Oct. 30 in the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi.

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For the 23rd consecutive year, thousands of young people from all over Italy will meet in the city of St. Francis and St. Clare, to pray together, exchange ideas, and reflect on the beatitude «Blessed are those who mourn, because they shall be comforted.»

Among the scheduled speakers is Bishop Giancarlo Bregantini of Locri, and Bishop Vincenzo Paglia of Terni, co-founder of the Community of Sant’Egidio.

One key event is the young people’s meeting with Elisa Springer, a Jewish Catholic, who was deported at age 26 to Auschwitz, and was the sole survivor of her family. She will talk about her experience of faith.

Her story was unknown until 1994, when at age 76 she decided to speak about it so that the suffering of that period would not be forgotten.

The congress ends Nov. 3 with a Mass celebrated by Father Joachim Giermek, minister general of the Order of Conventual Friars Minor.

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