Archbishop Aims to Teach ABC's of Love and Marriage

"School of Life" Reaches Out to Young People

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CAGLIARI, Sardinia, NOV. 14, 2003 (ZENIT.org-Avvenire).- The archbishop of Cagliari has been teaching young people in school, but their classes aren't the usual fare of trigonometry and physics and history.



The classes are about love and marriage and happiness.

For the past two months Archbishop Giuseppe Mani has been engaged in dialogue with young people who seek answers to fundamental human questions.

The program, centered on the family, youth and vocations, started Nov. 4 with a "Scuola di Vita" (school of life), which will continue until May 30.

Young men and women are invited to attend the "school," where there will be discussions on happiness, love, marriage and vocations to service, all led by Archbishop Mani on this Italian island.

Every two weeks, the archbishop will initiate the meetings. Lessons will be held on Tuesdays at the Cagliari diocesan seminary, on Wednesdays at the Shrine of Our Lady of Bonaria, on Thursdays at St. Elena's Church in Quartu, and on Fridays in Guasila, a town 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the capital.

The archbishop has sent messages to parishes and educational institutions to invite young people. He published a letter in the "Scuola di Vita" Web page directed to youths who are wondering: "What will I do tomorrow? What will I do when I grow up?"

"I know very well that it is not easy to make fundamental choices on your own that will turn you into a real masterpiece. I suggest a travel companion for you: Jesus Christ," the archbishop proposes.

To facilitate the meetings with youth, Archbishop Mani has given his own e-mail in "Scuola di Vita," establishing a forum in which the young men and women attending the meetings can share their thoughts and concerns. With this forum he has launched a new way of carrying out pastoral work.

The formation course planned by the archbishop is summarized in a pastoral letter entitled "To Live and Respond." It aims to help young people see life as a vocation, "not as work," and to reflect on important concerns, such as prayer and marriage.