Pope Francis prays for young people as school year begins amid pandemic

A student wearing a protective mask and maintaining social distancing with other students is pictured taking her final exams in late June at J.F. Kennedy High School in Rome during the COVID-19 pandemic. (CNS/Yara Nardi, Reuters)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — In a letter to people participating in a virtual Marian pilgrimage, Pope Francis offered words of encouragement to families struggling amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The pope’s message, which was signed on his behalf by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, was sent to Bishop Stefano Russo, secretary general of the Italian bishops’ conference, and to participants in the 13th Annual National Pilgrimage for Families to Pompei and Loreto.

Advertisement

The Vatican published the message Sept. 13.

In it, Cardinal Parolin conveyed the pope’s gratitude to the promoters of the pilgrimage for organizing the event “in this time in which families are suffering particularly from the hardships due to the pandemic,” and he encouraged them to “draw hope and strength from prayer and fraternal communion in order to move forward.”

[Don’t miss the latest news from the church and the world. Sign up for our daily newsletter.]

Around the world, including in Italy, children and teens were returning to school for the first time in months.

An estimated 5.6 million Italian students returned to classrooms Sept. 14 amid questions over whether there were enough teachers, sufficient desks and face masks to keep everyone safe.

 

Acknowledging the challenges facing students today, the pope expressed his hope that the “reopening of the school year will be lived by all with a great sense of responsibility.”

[Want to discuss politics with other America readers? Join our Facebook discussion group, moderated by America’s writers and editors.]

He also repeated his call for “a renewed educational pact” that places first and foremost “the healthy growth” of young people, which “is a condition for a peaceful and prosperous future” for all.

Concluding the letter, Cardinal Parolin said Pope Francis was praying for families in Italy, Europe and around the world so that they “may continue to form that great river that spreads life, faith, hope and love in God’s people and in all of society.”

We don’t have comments turned on everywhere anymore. We have recently relaunched the commenting experience at America and are aiming for a more focused commenting experience with better moderation by opening comments on a select number of articles each day.

But we still want your feedback. You can join the conversation about this article with us in social media on Twitter or Facebook, or in one of our Facebook discussion groups for various topics.

Or send us feedback on this article with one of the options below:

We welcome and read all letters to the editor but, due to the volume received, cannot guarantee a response.

In order to be considered for publication, letters should be brief (around 200 words or less) and include the author’s name and geographic location. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.

We open comments only on select articles so that we can provide a focused and well-moderated discussion on interesting topics. If you think this article provides the opportunity for such a discussion, please let us know what you'd like to talk about, or what interesting question you think readers might want to respond to.

If we decide to open comments on this article, we will email you to let you know.

If you have a message for the author, we will do our best to pass it along. Note that if the article is from a wire service such as Catholic News Service, Religion News Service, or the Associated Press, we will not have direct contact information for the author. We cannot guarantee a response from any author.

We welcome any information that will help us improve the factual accuracy of this piece. Thank you.

Please consult our Contact Us page for other options to reach us.

When you click submit, this article page will reload. You should see a message at the top of the reloaded page confirming that your feedback has been received.

[Explore America’s in-depth coverage of Pope Francis.]

Advertisement

The latest from america

Ginsburg died at her home in Washington of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer.
This production of ‘Godspell’ is striving to be the benchmark for a possible future for theater.
Lindsay ChessareSeptember 18, 2020
A Confederate family kidnaps the film’s Black protagonist, Veronica Henley, a modern-day sociologist and New York Times bestselling author played by Janelle Monáe—and enslaves her in the “past.”
Erika RasmussenSeptember 18, 2020
Anita's Tortilleria, a restaurant and gas station on the south side of Fremont, Neb., is one sign of the growing diversity in many American small towns. (Nathan Beacom)
As rural America becomes more diverse, it faces many of the problems associated with big cities, writes Nathan Beacom. The urban-rural divide in our politics does not reflect reality.
Nathan BeacomSeptember 18, 2020