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Trip of a lifetime: From Bolivia to the Vatican

2015-08-23

When Pope Francis visited Bolivia at the end of July, he was welcomed by thousands of people, with a lot of energy. Among them was this group, who decided to come to Rome, to return the visit and to see the Pope face to face. 

Fr. Ivan Mamani is a Salesian priest who is celebrating his ninth year as a priest. He decided to celebrate the big day with people from his parish in the very heart of the Catholic Church. In his catechesis, Pope highlighted the value of work for both society and for the family. 

FR. IVAN MAMANI
Priest
"Family isn't just the nucleus of love where values are learned. The family has another dimension. It's the starting point from where societal change can take place, and part of that is based on the dignity and value of work.” 

Their visit to Rome was also a way to mark 200 years since the birth of St. John Bosco. Before arriving in the Eternal City, the teenagers took part in a youth gathering movement in the city of Turin. This to better understand the life and legacy of their founder. 

GABRIELA COPA
Pilgrim (Bolivia) 
"It was a moment to show gratitude and to thank God for the achievements of Don Bosco. He has led us toward the path to find Christ. Now, we go back home, encouraged and ready to get back to work. It's what John Bosco asks of us and it's what the Church needs.” 

They say they felt that same type of enthusiasm when the Pope visited the country this summer. One speech in particular struck the group the most. 

FR. IVAN MAMANI
Priest
"He called for the clergy, for priests and for religious to be closer to the weak. So, not hide in a corner, or to not wait for others to come to you. Rather, he calls on priests to be the ones who go out among the people.” 

Now they go back home with a clear mission of encouraging the youth to dedicate time to their faith, family and their work. 

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