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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis to UNIV Congress: Look for an integral preparation for service of others while at university

During the General Audience, Pope Francis greeted 2,500 young people who are taking part in the UNIV Congress this week. 

“I'm happy to welcome participants of the UNIV Congress, which was established 50 years ago. I urge you all to experience the university years as integral preparation for service of others, being testaments to happiness and the values of faith.”

Many Spanish speakers are participating in the congress, and they were especially animated during the pope's address in Spanish. 

“I cordially greet the Spanish-speaking pilgrims, particularly the groups from Spain and Latin America. These Spanish speakers are noisy...”

“...I want to ask something of all of you: That each of you, just like you make so much beautiful noise, also have the courage to go to confession during this week. Make a good confession. Thank you.”

Later, Pope Francis personally greeted some participants, who told him their stories and gave him some gifts. 

“I'm from Hong Kong, China. My family isn't Catholic, but my parents baptized me.”

“I'm a soccer referee.”

“How nice!”

“It's from the Philippines.”

“Very good!”

This week, these young people have reflected on the theme “Rethink the Future” via works of art, conferences, debates and video creation. 

Now, they're preparing to experience the Holy Week celebrations in the center of Christianity.