Father Terence Henry, TOR, spoke to hundreds of young adults last month at the International Meeting of Young Catholics for Social Justice held at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome.
Fr. Henry's talk, titled "The Kind of Leaders Christ Is Looking For," drew on the thoughts of Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis, St. Francis, and G.K. Chesterton, according to the University.
He also recounted what Pope Francis said shortly before his election: “‘At stake is the identity and survival of the family: father, mother, and children. At stake are the lives of many children who will be discriminated against in advance and deprived of their human development given by a father and a mother and willed by God. At stake is the total rejection of God’s law engraved in our hearts.’”
Father Henry urged his audience to hold firm to their faith and use the power of the Holy Spirit “to persevere and seek new methods of evangelization” to spread the Gospel, “especially in places where it is not welcomed.”
He reassured the young adults that the Catholic Church has been firmly planted in the world by Christ for over 2,000 years, and they can always turn to it for direction and mooring in their lives.
“‘Everything in our life, today just as in Jesus’ time, begins with an encounter. An encounter with this Man, the carpenter of Nazareth,’” Father Henry said, quoting Pope Francis when he was a cardinal in Argentina.
“The Christ-centered leader,” said Father Henry, “is a promoter and defender of freedom against tyranny and enslavement. The Christ-centered leader . . . recognizes that all authority comes from God—has been handed over to his Son—whose mystical body is the Church.”
According to the University, many members of Fr. Henry's audience listened to him through translations on headsets. These included young adults from Europe, Africa, the Americas, and the Middle East.
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