.- Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela of Madrid greeted a large group of young Catholics gathered at the headquarters of the World Youth Day 2011 organizing committee last Friday.
Cardinal Rouco Varela addressed the youth saying, “Today begins the race towards WYD, an extraordinary event in which we will be able to experience the universality of the Church, in union with the Pope…with more than a thousand bishops from all over the world, thousands of priests, consecrated men and women, parents, boys and girls, and especially many young people from all over the world.”
Cardinal Rivera reminded the youth of the two great objectives of WYD:
The first, he explained, is to promote “a great encounter of young people with the Lord, that with their faith they might make visible the theme of WYD, ‘Rooted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith'.”
The second objective is “to show the world the testimony of young people in the Church who demonstrate that they know Christ and that following Him is the best path to give life meaning and to be truly happy.”
Cardinal Rouco encouraged those present, including leaders of the organizing committee, their collaborators and many volunteers, to carry out their tasks with the dedication of St. Paul and to bear difficulties and crosses with joy in order to achieve the goal.
This is “a grace as well as a great challenge for Madrid, which we take up with enthusiasm and a spirit of service and humility,” the cardinal said.