In 2014, Bishop Stephen Robson, Bishop of Dunkeld near Perth in Scotland, released a pastoral letter to mark Day for Life 2014. The theme was Young People Protecting and Cherishing Life.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the entrustment of the Jubilee Cross of the Redemption to the young. That symbolic act by John Paul II was the beginning of the great youth pilgrimage which has since crossed the five continents. The Pope’s words on that Easter Sunday in 1984 remain memorable: “My dear young people, at the conclusion of the Holy Year, I entrust to you the sign of this Jubilee Year: the cross of Christ! Carry it throughout the world as a symbol of the love of the Lord Jesus for humanity, and proclaim to everyone that it is only in Christ, who died and rose from the dead, that salvation and redemption are to be found.
The Day for Life message this year has a special meaning for the young.
Especially close to the young is the care of, and concern for, life. Parents have often been the first people to teach their children about unconditional love, the kind of love that helps us appreciate how much God our Father loves us. But their care and concern also extends to cherishing and protecting life in all its forms: from the womb to the grave; from protecting creation and the environment to caring for the sick at Lourdes and in the Community.
Sometimes nowadays the young get a bad press but my experiences of young people’s capacity for spirituality and concern as a priest over 35 years have been amazing. Let all of us in the Church realize that young people are our future in the Church and that we need to foster and encourage them as much as possible to take up the causes of Jesus in our world.
With Saint John Paul II and Saint John XXIII to help them how can they fail to build a better future by caring for and protecting the sacredness and dignity of all human life and the world that God has given us.