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Rome Reports

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Pope to Youths: Don't let technology distract you from what's really important

Rome's heat was in full swing, but that didn't keep more than 50,000 German altar servers from going to St. Peter's Square to see Pope Francis.  He made his way through the Square several times in the popemobile, blessing children and greeting the big crowds.  Some of the altar servers got to ask some questions directly to the Pope. Everything from their mission, to how to manage their time.  The Pope used some humor to answer them.  POPE FRANCIS "You do need to organize your time to balance everything. But you're German! This is something you do very well.â? Their responsibility as altar servers isn't just about helping out in Mass, said the Pope. Part of their responsibility is to share the faith with other youths. To make that happen, the Pope gave some practical tips on what they can do to strengthen their own faith first.  POPE FRANCIS "Let me give you some advice. The Gospel you hear in the Liturgy, read it again, in your own time, in silence and apply it to your life.â?  He also said that liberty is a gift. But if abused, it can turn into slavery.  Part of his practical advice, also extended to technology. The Pope reminded them to not get carried away by playing endlessly with the computer or phone.  POPE FRANCIS "Many children and young adults waste so much time on hollow things: Chatting on the internet, playing with the cell phone, seeing soap operas. High tech products are meant to make life simple and to improve the quality of life. But often, they distract us from what's really important.â?  Even though most of the altar servers came from Germany, some also came from Austria and Switzerland for  a four day pilgrimage.  AC/KLH  ctv FA -BN Up: PM