Neocatechumenal Meeting Attracts 90,000
2,000 Young People Express Interest in Consecrated Life
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BONN, Germany, AUG. 23, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Following Cologne's World Youth Day, some 2,000 young men and women expressed their desire to serve God in the consecrated life.
The youths responded to the "vocational call" during a World Meeting of Young People in Bonn's Rheinaue Park on Monday, organized by the Neocatechumenal Way.
According to the organization, 90,000 youths took part in the meeting, at which 50 bishops were present.
The meeting began with the expression of gratitude by Cologne's archbishop, Cardinal Joachim Meisner, who was accompanied by his three auxiliary bishops. "The Church is young and we have seen that in Cologne," said the cardinal.
Cardinal Meisner then ceded the floor to Cardinal George Pell, archbishop of Sydney. The Australian prelate thanked the youths of the Neocatechumenal Way for what "they do for the life of the Church, with missionaries and seminarians who take Christ's message throughout the world."
Neocatechumenal Way founder Kiko Argüello told the young people that "the Church is going through a grave crisis due to globalization, secularization and the silent apostasy of Europe," and asked them to help priests as "the surmounting of the crisis is on the backs of the clergy."
One of the most moving moments of the event was a procession, with an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, of 1,150 priests and students from Redemptoris Mater seminaries. The seminaries arose thanks to the help of the Neocatechumenal Way.