.- The president of the Bishops’ Conference of Chile encouraged the 4,000 young people planning to attend World Youth Day to be “the springtime of the Church” and “sentinels of the morning.”
Bishop Ricardo Ezzati made his comments during a commissioning ceremony on July 9 at the Father Hurtado Shrine in Santiago. He invited the young people “to experience of the joy of an encounter with Jesus, for it is worth it to be a Christian.”
He also recalled the words Pope Benedict XVI addressed to the Chilean delegation, in which he encouraged them “not to be overcome by difficulties and to be generous in the faith in order to share the joy of belonging to the People of God with others.”
The send-off concluded with a Mass celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Cristian Contreras of Santiago. The bishop invited young people “to experience this World Youth Day as a gift that demands our commitment and an opportunity to extend the bonds of communion with the Pope and with other young people and cultures.” He said that this bond will “strengthen the roots of our faith in Jesus and thus return to Chile with renewed vitality, as builders of a new culture.”
Although the official Chilean delegation includes 2,203 people, a total of 4,000 Chileans will attend World Youth day, including a group from Easter Island.