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Pope tells Marists not to be afraid

The Pope has told participants in the General Chapters of the Marist Congregations to face their challenges with courage and to rededicate themselves to the education of young people.

He received the Chapters of the Marist Sisters, the Marist Brothers and of male religious of the Society of Mary on Monday morning at his Castel Gandolfo summer residence.

"Education is difficult and demands of educators that they adapt themselves to young people and their new demands," he said. "Do not let yourself be discouraged by the difficulties of the moment but look at the young people with the eyes of the Good Shepherd."

The Pope exhorted them to train lay collaborators to live the charism which animates the religious of the congregations, and to propose the "challenge" of the consecrated life to "young people looking for the truth".

In his speech, the Holy Father paid tribute to the role of the Marist Family in bringing the Gospel to the people of Oceania, both in educational field and in the area of assistance to the local Church.

"The Church acknowledges with gratitude the missionary work which has been carried out and gifts of God' s grace manifested in the life of your Institutes," he said. "These gifts have been recognised in a special way as the fruits of the sanctity of Saint Pierre Chanel and Saint Marcellin Champagnat."

Vidimus Dominum