Santiago - More than 1,500 young people arrived on Saturday 4 January at the San Joaquin campus of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, full of enthusiasm to dedicate their summer holidays, just started, not only to rest but also to evangelization and at the service of the most needy. As the note from the Chilean Episcopal Conference sent to Fides underlines, in the face of the crisis that the country is experiencing, many young people listened to Pope Francis’ appeal who on several occasions called them to be "wayfarers of faith", members of a "Church that goes forth".
The sending of the young missionaries took place during the Mass presided by the new Archbishop of Santiago de Chile, Msgr. Celestino Aós, who urged the students to give testimony of God in the communities where they will go: "Jesus Christ is not an idea, Christianity is not an ideology, nor a morality, nor a philosophy. Christ lives and I have met him. And the joy of that meeting is what we want to communicate to others". The Archbishop also underlined the importance, in the current social context of the country, of being builders of the civilization of love: "You must also love those who persecute and slander you, today in Chile this is our Christian challenge, we must not love each other only, we must also love those who despise us, those who destroy our churches, our institutions ... We must be the builders of the civilization of love. And the civilization of love is built with love, the civilization of truth is built with truth, the civilization of life is built with life".
There are three projects to which young people will dedicate themselves in this period, in the context of the Pastoral Care of the Catholic University. The first is an evangelization project that wants to "work for the soul of Chile", sending young people to announce the message of Christ in the most remote areas. The second project involves the construction of chapels in the urban suburbs, so that they are not only places of prayer but also of meeting, where communities can be together, dialogue and strengthen their bonds. The third project concerns the school environment, to prepare university students to train students. >>