On the Memorial Day of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, in the heart of the Church, Cardinal Kevin Joseph Farrell, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life presided over the Holy Mass which officially inaugurated the new stage of the activities of the San Lorenzo International Youth Center, from now on entrusted to the Shalom Catholic Community. Young people, religious, families, priests, missionaries from various new communities, ecclesial authorities, members of the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia as well as the founder and moderator of the Shalom Community, Moysés Azevedo, attended this historic moment to support this initiative that aims to be a “beacon” and a reference point for young people throughout the world and who, as pilgrims in Rome, can listen to God’s voice and recharge their strength allowing them to embrace their true vocation and mission.
St. John Paul II created this Center to the Youth and for the Youth and chose the ancient Basilica of San Lorenzo in Piscibus, dedicated to the holy Roman martyr of the third century, St. Lawrence, to contain two great “treasures”: the Cross and the Marian icon of World Youth Day. In his inauguration homily, St. John Paul II expressed that the San Lorenzo International Youth Center is a place where the Christ’s Cross, the Sign of Grace and Redemption must reign, awakening in all its visitors the “sensibility for God’s reality”. The Center is a welcoming place for pilgrimages, encounters, prayer, and evangelization for all the young people who come to the Eternal City.
Born among the youth, for the youth, and with the youth, the Shalom Community welcomed with joy this gift and mission, offering its Charism to support the Church in evangelizing all people, especially the youth. Shalom Catholic missionaries officially assumed the mission of welcoming the pilgrims and organizing evangelization activities, liturgical and pastoral. Moreover, being also a space for ecclesial communion and a missionary environment, the Center will house the missionaries who make up the Shalom Community International Office which is responsible for the world spreading of the Shalom Charisma, for establishing the missionary Community among nations, and for the Community’s relations with the Church throughout the world.
For more than 30 years the Communauté de l’Emmanuel (Emmanuel Community) assumed the day-to-day responsibilities in the Center with great enthusiasm and evangelising spirit and numerous graces from this service have been born in the past years. On October 1, the Emmanuel Community passed the torch to the Shalom Catholic Community.