INDIANAPOLIS (CNS) — Here is the text of Pope Francis videotaped message to the 20,000 youths and chaperones attending the National Catholic Youth Conference in Indianapolis Nov. 21-23. It was the pope’s first recorded message to the biennial conference. Released by the Vatican while the pope was in Thailand, the video was played for the youth during the NCYC’s opening session:
Dear young people of NCYC,
I send you an affectionate greeting and my prayers at this moment of encounter that you are living. May it be an opportunity to deepen your faith and communion. May it light your missionary hearts with the courage and strength to live in and with the Lord always as a church sent forth.
Today, as in the beginning, we need to go out to meet each person, as it is our mission to do so, especially with those most separated and those who are suffering most. We must meet the existential peripheries of our world.
You know from your everyday life that many are alone, that many do not know Jesus. Go, go and take the world with you. Go and fill your surroundings, even the digital ones. Not of convictions. Not to convince others. Not to proselytize. But to bear witness of the tenderness and mercy of Jesus.
I bless you with all my heart. (Blesses viewers with the sign of the cross.) And don’t forget to pray for me.