Kids Need "Vitamin C"


SYDNEY, Australia, JULY 16, 2008 ( The president of Caritas Internationalis invited Spanish-speaking pilgrims in Sydney to be saints with the help of "vitamin C" -- to discover the strength of confirmation, communion, confession and Christ.

Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga led one of today's catecheses for 600 young people from Spain, Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Costa Rica and Uruguay.

Through Friday, pilgrims attending the 23rd World Youth Day have the chance to take part in catecheses on the Holy Spirit and the mission, imparted in 25 languages and at 250 different venues by cardinals and bishops from all over the world.

During today's session, the bishops reflected on the theme "Called to Live in the Holy Spirit"

Cardinal Rodríguez Maradiaga highlighted the centrality of baptism in Christian life.

"Baptism is the day in which we are born to God. Life begins here, the mission begins here. It is the most important day of our life and often we don't remember it," he noted. "Let us say 'yes' to what is yes, and 'no' to what is no. We know that to live this in daily life at times can be difficult, but we count on the presence of the Spirit in our lives."

The cardinal also stressed the importance of knowing Christ.

"We can only follow the Lord if we have a profound encounter with him," the prelate affirmed.

Finally, he spoke of the Spirit's presence in young peoples' lives. "In confirmation we become soldiers of Christ, but at times it is hard for us to live the grace of the sacrament. However, we cannot forget that the Spirit accompanies us. The Holy Spirit wills to make a saint out of every one of you."

All the catecheses sessions were accompanied by songs, reflections and questions-and-answers, as well as by time for confession. They ended with a Mass celebrated by the cardinal or bishop assigned to the group.