.- Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati of Santiago opened the Chilean bishops' annual meeting by emphasizing the priority of Church leaders to help young people encounter Jesus and follow him.
“As bishops of the Catholic Church we want to fix our gaze upon the lives of young people, to discover in them the seeds of so much good and so much hope, in order to be mediators of the encounter with the Lord Jesus for them, so that they might have abundant life,” Archbishop Ezzati told reporters during the bishops' Nov.14-18 meeting in the city of Punta de Tralca.
Archbishop Ivo Scapolo, the apostolic nuncio to Chile, presided at the assembly's opening Mass.
In his homily, he underscored the need for communion among believers who live in a society that overlooks essential values such as life, the family, and the dignity of persons, particularly children.
He noted that 2012 would be especially devoted to young people, with the celebration of the country's youth mission, which is part of the Great Continental Mission taking place across Latin America next year. In addition to those involved in education and youth ministry, he added, the entire Church in Chile is invited to participate in the outreach.
Archbishop Ezzati said he was looking forward to hearing from the 15 young people invited to address the bishops during their meeting.
“The life of the Church is everything good that is being done in the country: the work with poor, the proclamation of justice, the reflection on what is happening in Chile today,” the archbishop added.