Kampala (Agenzia Fides) - "Take in hand the development of your local Church and of your country. Always remember that the spiritual future, as well as other aspects of your continent and of this Nation, no longer depend on missionaries or agents of human development from Europe or from other continents. The future of your respective local societies, the future of the Church in Uganda, and that of Africa at large, depends on each of you!". This is what Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, said this morning in his pastoral visit to Kampala, Uganda, for the concluding celebrations for the Jubilee of the Archdiocese, meeting the children and young people. In the first meeting in Uganda, the Cardinal recalled Pope Francis’ visit two years ago and the reason for his presence: "In these three days I will be in Uganda to rejoice with you and thank God for the many blessings that the People of God in Kampala have received in the past 50 years".
He reminded the young people that both the Church and the society have much confidence and hope in them, and "the history of the Church in Uganda clearly shows how young people can make a great contribution to the Kingdom of God and to the transformation of society. The Uganda Martyrs were young people like you. You well know that most of them were in their teens and twenties. Regardless of their tender age, they are rightly considered the “foundation stones” of the Church in Uganda". The divine seed, sown by the first Missionaries, was able to survive and sprout, thanks to those twenty-two young men and boys. What began as a small seed, slowly grew into a big tree. "Missionaries and the Martyrs sowed and nurtured the seed of the Gospel through great toil and self-sacrifice - he said -, but most of them did not get to see the results of their labors. You are heirs of the work of missionaries and martyrs. You have the sacred duty to continue their work, to be shapers of the present and of the future".
The Cardinal was happy to know that many young people are involved in some way in the work of evangelization through various Catholic Youth Associations, which are excellent forums for personal growth in faith and fraternity.
"In order to demonstrate that the Church has interest in you and that she is concerned about you, I wish to remind you that next year, the Synod of Bishops will take place in Rome, around the Holy Father, with the purpose of praying and reflecting on how the Church can better encounter, accompany and care for you; on how she can lead you to recognize and accept the call of God to each one of you. One of the topics that will be discussed is, precisely, vocational discernment". He then explained that the word "discernment" means "the process of making a decision about one’s life, with the help of the Holy Spirit. This is the process by which a person makes very important choices in life, for instance the decisions whether to enter married life, or become a priest, or embrace the consecrated life. It is the question of listening the voice of God who calls each person for a particular mission and being ready to accept whatever turns out to be God’s plan for you".
In the concluding part of his speech, the Prefect recommended establishing the right priorities in life, as "today’s many younger people tend to spend much of their time and most of their resources on things that attract their senses, while neglecting those which are objectively important for their life, especially for their future". No doubt this is a challenge, therefore this is why Cardinal Filoni advised young people "to always ask God for the gift of wisdom, a gift which will enable you to discern correctly, to see what is truly important in life, and to set the right priorities". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 27/10/2017)