While Pope Francis was greeting 3 million Catholics in Kraków, Poland, the youth of the Diocese of Brownsville gathered for the first “Encuentro Mundial de los Jovenes,” or “World Youth Encounter” and were surprised to hear Pope Francis personally address them via a prerecorded video encouraging them to have hope and live life to the fullest.

“At our recent diocesan event at which our Holy Father addressed our diocesan youth with his video message, Flocknote helped us in spreading the news to almost 2,000 people on our list with just one click,” said Diocese of Brownsville Director of Youth Ministry Giovanni Ada.

Since only a few youth from their diocese could attend World Youth Day in Poland, the diocese decided to have the event to celebrate in conjunction with the youth around the world. The event was the first of its kind, and encouraged four types of encounter – with youth from their diocese, youth from around the world, 41 first class relics of Saints, and the Blessed Sacrament. And of course, it kicked off with the message from the Holy Father.

“The message brought such joy to the 1,000 people present on that day to experience the different levels of encounter,” Giovanni said.

Giovanni said the diocese used Flocknote to help announce the event that had over 1,000 attendees.

“We are grateful for Flocknote’s service that has been helping us a lot in doing our ministry especially when we try to announce some important event at the last minute,” he said.

Among many encouraging things, Pope Francis urges the youth of the Diocese of Brownsville to be hopeful and merciful:

God calls you to be fruitful! God calls you to transmit this life to others. God calls you to create hope. God calls you to receive mercy and show mercy to others. God calls you to be happy. Do not be afraid! Do not be afraid. Play life to the full! That is life..” 

“Although Pope Francis addressed his message to the youth of the Diocese of Brownsville, TX, the core of the message is really for all youth in the world,” Giovanni said. “The ‘joy of the Gospel’ is meant to be shared with all.”

To view the rest of Pope Francis’ message to the youth of the Diocese of Brownsville, click here.

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