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Message of the PG - November 2019

María Lía Zervino, Servidora


"In so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me" (Mt 25:40), Jesus said to us.

May our path to holiness lead us, dear friends, to caring for and promoting the new generations.

Although the lives of those around us must benefit from the exercise of our maternity, future generations and children deserve a special priority - from the moment of conception until they reach the autonomy of their age of majority.

As I write this message, I cannot help to recall my almost 20 years of work in Argentina as a catechist and animator of community ministry, in a rural area with small villages. I think of those dear families with children and young people who suffered from the lack of access to quality education, to dignified and stable work, to health and recreational services... and for whom the accompaniment of the Church was not only at the service of their evangelisation but also of their integral human development.

At present, the cultural project "Growing in harmony" (https://www.creciendoenarmonia.com/, in Spanish), of the center "Santa María de la Armonía", founded by Father Luis María Etcheverry Boneo, Servant of God, in the diocese of Mar del Plata, Argentina, takes care of hundreds of children and young people in the area. What a beautiful example of evangelisation and integral development for the benefit of the less favoured!

I invite you to turn our gaze to the new generations as this month we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, through which the international community recognised that children have an identity of their own and that they should be holders of non-negotiable rights. It is one of the most universally accepted covenants in history.

We should ask ourselves whether, in addition to what has been done positively over the past 30 years, we need to do even more in our own countries, for example on the right to be born, to do not undergo genetic manipulation and/or gestation in rented wombs, to adequate education and nutrition, to family protection for healthy growth during childhood, to a development free of slave labour and enlistment in armies, to live in decent housing, and also to be more committed to demanding that the rights of girls be equally respected than those of boys, and to promoting laws that save their innocence and consider as crimes any abuse or violation of their childhood.

This anniversary practically coincides with the recent culmination of the Synod for the Amazon. It reflected the dedication of Pope Francis to the new generations. He had warned us in Laudato Si that "once we start to think about the kind of world we are leaving to future generations, we look at things differently; we realize that the world is a gift which we have freely received and must share with others (...) Intergenerational solidarity is not optional, but rather a basic question of justice, since the world we have received also belongs to those who will follow us" (159). This special synod, although it focused on the Pan-Amazon region, dealt with issues of global importance, since a great part of the breathing and satiating the world's thirst for water depends on the Amazon basin.

Let us thank the Holy Spirit who leads the Church to update and make concrete the contribution of saints such as Francis of Assisi or Hildegard of Bingen and the magisterium of St. John Paul II, who underlined the human ecology, and that of Benedict XVI, nicknamed "the green Pope", for the sake of the new generations. The pastoral lines of the post-synodal magisterial document to be issued by the Supreme Pontiff will help us to incarnate our own "ecological conversion", with the consequent benefit for future generations.

I entrust to Mary Most Holy, and to all the saints which we celebrate on November 1, the commitment assumed in the General Assembly of Dakar 2018, so that we may educate to respond to the call to holiness (Resolution no. 4) through "the formation of persons, especially young people, in the human, spiritual, religious, doctrinal, apostolic and professional fields, transmitting founding family values" and "the participation in politics of women with true Christian values, in order to generate healthy policies of government for the good of the citizens." May it be so, with the Providence of our Father God!

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