Pope with 'A Chance in Life' Members - Copyright: Vatican Media

Pope Thanks ‘A Chance in Life’ Foundation for Helping Boys & Girls Realize Fully God’s Plan for Them

Recalls How Valuing Human Dignity and Creation Are Essential Pillars

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Thank you for helping boys and girls realize fully God’s plan for them, and for your sensitivity and concern for the least of our brothers and sisters…

Pope Francis expressed this today, Dec. 9, 2018, to members of the “A Chance in Life” Foundation, founded during World War II in 1945 and dedicated to serving disadvantaged youth through education and formation initiatives around the world, reported Vatican News.

Francis recalled how the organization was born of the vision of Monsignor John Patrick Carroll-Abbing, and how over the years it has developed to the point where today it supports a variety of educational initiatives that have benefited thousands of boys and girls in Italy, Bolivia, Colombia, Guatemala and Peru.

“These initiatives offer children and adolescents in situations of particular hardship a chance to surmount their difficulties and to realize fully God’s plan for each of them.”

The Pontiff stressed how important it is that their educational initiatives teach young people how important it is to care for and value each human being, and their dignity, and the environment.

“In creative fidelity to its original charism, the foundation is making an effort to be more incisive and effective in carrying out its mission in a world that presents ever new educational challenges,” Francis said, observing: “I am pleased to know that these efforts are inspired by the recommendations I made in the Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ in the name of an integral ecology aimed at the development of each individual and the world around us.”

The Holy Father prayed God reward their “passionate commitment and always accompany your efforts to build a world of greater fraternity.” He invoked upon them, and extended to their families, the Lord’s blessing, asking them all to pray for him.

Below is the Vatican-provided text of the Pope’s address:

***

Dear brothers and sisters,

I am pleased that we have this opportunity to meet. I thank Mr Guy Chiarello for his greeting, and I offer a cordial welcome to all of you, supporters of the organization A Chance in Life.

Born of the vision of Monsignor John Patrick Carroll-Abbing, over the years your organization has developed to the point where today it supports a variety of educational initiatives that have benefited thousands of boys and girls in Italy, Bolivia, Colombia, Guatemala and Peru. These initiatives offer children and adolescents in situations of particular hardship a chance to surmount their difficulties and to realize fully God’s plan for each of them.

The first step, greatly desired by your founder, was the national Boys’ Town of Italy foundation. Thanks to your generous support, today it can boast a long tradition of commitment to the service of disadvantaged young people in accordance with an educational methodology based on self-governance. In creative fidelity to its original charism, the foundation is making an effort to be more incisive and effective in carrying out its mission in a world that presents ever new educational challenges. I am pleased to know that these efforts are inspired by the recommendations I made in the Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ in the name of an integral ecology aimed at the development of each individual and the world around us.

It is essential to train new generations in the exercise of an active and participatory citizenship centred on the human person and care for the environment. Technological innovation is also needed to achieve these goals, and young people, if well motivated, will in fact be able to attain them, since they have been born and raised in today’s fast-paced technological world.

I am certain that, as it faces this new challenge, the national foundation for Boys’ and Girls’ Towns will be able to count on your support. I thank you for your sensitivity and concern for the least of our brothers and sisters. May God reward your passionate commitment and always accompany your efforts to build a world of greater fraternity.

Upon all of you I invoke the Lord’s blessing, which I gladly extend to your families. And I ask you, please, to remember to pray for me.

[Vatican-provided text]
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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, at times from the papal flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has done television and radio commentary, including for Vatican Radio, Sky, and BBC. She is a contributor to National Catholic Register, UK Catholic Herald, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside the Vatican, and other Catholic news outlets. She has also collaborated with the Vatican in various projects, including an internship at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and is a collaborator with NBC Universal, NBC News, Euronews, and EWTN. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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