“We should be very deep-rooted experts (in social teaching),” Meuser said, explaining that the Pope will share this “strong message” with the youth through a special video on the DoCat book and app that will be played during World Youth Day.
Both Meuser and Lermer met with Pope Francis in the Vatican June 17, where they presented him with the DoCat and recorded the video that will be played during the WYD encounter.
Lermer said the process of creating the DoCat has been “a blessing” for the foundation, because they didn’t know that the Pope wanted to write a preface or that he would be willing to record a video for it.
“There’s a lot of things that could be very different,” he said, “so we have to be thankful … somehow it seems to be led from above.”
World Youth Day participants will see the Pope’s video and will receive pamphlets describing the app and encouraging them to download it.
According to Lermer, the app will have not only the content of the book, but also “some fancy motivation tools to study” it.
While as of now the printed copy of the book is only available in two languages, the app is available in several, including English, Croatian, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, French, Polish, Slovak, Czech, and German.
Meuser explained that one of their main desires from the beginning was the direct participation of youth in the project.
Divided into 12 chapters on everything from family and work life to protecting creation and promoting peace, the book was designed with the help of youth and contains direct content from projects and initiatives begun by youth themselves.
Meuser and Lermer specifically looked for content that was “scientific and social material” from youth, as well as youth doing photo projects about social content such as justice and peace.
Inside the book a main text is visible on the side with questions and answers, some of which are accompanied by “funny illustrations,” Meuser said.
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Supporting quotations from Blessed John Henry Newman, Benedict XVI, and the Bible are also included, he said, noting that after each chapter short quotations from social doctrine from Leo XIII to Pope Francis can be found.
The youth “gave us a lot of pictures and advice, so we produced the book in a process of participation with young people,” Meuser said, noting that the idea is to engage young people with the world around them, guided by Catholic teaching.
Meuser said his hope for the DoCat is that it will be “a learning moment in social doctrine.”
“We are living in the ruins of two great ideologies: of capitalism and of communism. Both destroyed the world,” he said, explaining that now “we have to change the world.”