The boys and girls, who were accompanied to the Vatican by Bishop Francesco Lambiasi, assistant general of Catholic Action in Italy, and by Paola Bignardi, the organization's national president, explained to the Pope that they are now focusing on the theme of company and fellowship in their formation.

"It is important that each one of you grows in conscience and friendship with Jesus," the Holy Father said. "You can do it fully in that 'company' which is the Church, so loved by Christ as house and school of communion and solidarity."
<br> The Pope expressed his wish that Christmas "with its spiritual charm, will inspire in you the desire to know more about Jesus, who comes to the world to save us."

Before ending the annual visit of Catholic Action youth, the Pope extended his greetings and best wishes to the whole of Catholic Action. Catholic Action, which dates back to 1867, is active in Italy in more than 8,000 parishes.