December 13, 2010.
Benedict XVI visited the parish of St. Maximilian Kolbe, a Polish priest who gave his life in the Auschwitz concentration camp to save the life of the father of a family. Hundreds of people attended the Mass, filling the neighborhood with people during the Pope's arrival at the church located on the outskirts of Rome. The parish was consecrated in 2009 and has paintings of Kiko Arguello, founder of the Neocatechumenal Way. It is a very active parish with a Polish pastor and a high percentage of immigrants that attend.
In light of this, Benedict XVI asked them to promote dialogue and understanding between different cultures and lifestyles. He said that everyone should find in the parish a place to form and feel the strength of family.
“Strive to grow more and more in communion with all: it is important to promote opportunities for dialogue and favoring mutual understanding between people of different cultures, backgrounds and social conditions. But even more important is to involve people in the Christian life with a pastoral attentive to the real needs of each.”
He said that if they live in this way, people can bring God to their jobs and day to day life.
The Pope said that many have declared themselves saviors of the world, trying to replace God. However, he added that Christ has neither led a bloody revolution or changed the world by force but rather he has illuminated the pathway throughout history.
“There have been many prophets, ideologues and dictators have come and said: 'No, not him! He has not changed the world! We have!' And they created their empires, their dictatorships, their totalitarian regimes which were meant to change the world. And they did change it, but destructively.”
The Pope also spoke to young people. He told them that the Church expects much from them, from their enthusiasm and passion in their life decisions.
He also had some words for married couples. He said that when confronted with difficulties they must remember their vows of “I do” they made to each other, promising themselves to each other before God on their wedding day. He noted that faithfulness requires “courage, generosity and sacrifice.”
It was a very exciting celebration that this parish will remember forever.