Today is dedicated to the youth; to the most active and creative building block of any society, to the most beautiful and fragrant blossom that adorns the garden of humanity.
It may seem trite but we must repeat it at every opportunity: Our young people are our hope for the future.
With this admission, comes a great responsibility for all of us: Firstly, to listen to our young people; to listen to their anxieties and to share their concerns. And then to try and meet their needs and, at the same time, to generously offer not only the material but primarily the spiritual provisions that will be useful for them to create a better world than the one they receive. In other words, we have a responsibility to give them their space in the present world. The space they need and the space that they deserve.
Personally, from the moment I arrived in Australia, I have prioritised to direct the focus and resources of our Holy Archdiocese to provide support and spiritual guidance to the young people of our community. Through a series of initiatives, we have tried as a local Church, with our local Bishops and priests, to reduce the distances and break down the barriers in order to bring the new generation closer to the way of Christ. We have tried to inspire the new generation but we also rely on the enthusiasm and joy of our youth. So, on the occasion of this International Day, I feel the need to reaffirm my confidence in the youth and to pledge that their voice will always be heard in the Holy Archdiocese of Australia. Our Church will always have her arms open to embrace them with affection, to empower them, to give them the space they need, to give them a say and a role for the future. Above all, to give them Christ.