Pope Francis will have a dialogue with young people from around the world later this week.
This morning in a press conference in the Vatican, Jesuit Father Frederic Fornos briefed journalists on the international conference of the Eucharistic Youth Movement (EYM), Aug. 4-10, to take place in Rome, on the occasion of its 100-year anniversary. Conference participants will have a private audience with the Pope on Friday morning in Paul VI Hall.
In addition to more than 1,500 young people from about 38 national delegations being present, there will be 600 Italian EYM families, which will bring the total number of expected attendees to be about 2,000.
The EYM is an international movement of Christian formation for children and young people from the ages of 5 to 25 who seek to live following the example of Jesus. Started in France in 1915 as a “Eucharistic Crusade,” EYM now is present throughout the world and recognizes five different models to live out its education and spirituality. It is the second largest youth movement of the Catholic Church, with the first being the Catholic Scouts.
The movement has more than 1.1 million young people around the world on five continents. It is the youth branch of the Apostleship of Prayer–the worldwide network of prayer that publishes the Pontiff’s monthly prayer intentions–entrusted by the Church to the Society of Jesus.
During this Friday’s audience, Pope Francis will respond to six questions posed by young people of different ages, asked in their native languages. Translations of the questions will be made available to the young people, so they can follow along. Francis, who will have already seen the questions, will respond in Italian.
Of the countries participating in the week-long conference, Italy will have the largest delegation, followed by the United States which will have 150; France with about 130; and Lebanon with about 80. While there will be a presence from Asia, England, Ireland, and Australia, the speakers noted how African nations had trouble obtaining visas to travel to Rome.
Moreover, aware that many EYM members invited around the world couldn’t go to Rome for various social-political reasons, the conference’s organizers have set up resources online so all can still follow and participate from where they are.
With the theme taken from the Gospel of John: “So that my joy may be in you,” the gathering also has a prayer and songs whose lyrics can be found on the event’s website. In addition to the private audience with Francis, the conference’s program is full of visits to churches in Rome, adoration, and Masses, including one in the Catacombs.
There even will be a flashmob, which can be followed via YouTube.
On the NET: