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At the service of the Church and society

· The World Congress of Catholic Universities begins in Avila ·

In Avila, from August 12-14 at the Universidad Catolica Santa Teresa de Jesus, the World Congress of Catholic Universities takes place. The conference was opened by Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education (we publish an extract below) and can be followed live on the Internet (

Our presence, here and now, could be understood metaphorically, in two ways. On the one hand, like John the Baptist, we have come to prepare the way for thousands and thousands of young people who will celebrate World Youth Day in Madrid together with Benedict XVI. As the Pope wrote in his Message for this encounter, our young people will live, “the experience of the risen and living Lord Jesus and of his love for each one of us.”

On the other hand, we can make our own the words of the beloved Pope, Blessed John Paul II, pronounced in this city in November 1982, “we have come today to Avila to adore the Wisdom of God.” On that occasion, the Pope said, “From Avila, the fire of ecclesial love spread, which illuminated and enflamed theologians and missionaries. Here, began the original service of Teresa to the Church of her time; at a moment torn by reform and counter-reform, she chose the radical way to follow Christ, to build the Church with living stones of sanctity; she raised the standard of Christian ideals to incite the captains of the Church.”

We have come, therefore, as precursors and adorers, to strengthen the mission which God and the Church have entrusted to us: to evangelize by educating and to educate by evangelizing. In this way, citing the words of Benedict XVI, “our institutions offer a vital contribution to the mission of the Church and effectively serve society. They become places in which the active presence of God is recognizable in human affairs and every young person discovers the joy of entering into the “being for others” of Christ. (cfr. Spe salvi , 28)




St. Peter’s Square

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