A New Year's Message from Pope Benedict XVI

As our calendars change from 2011 to 2012, people often have a sense of new beginnings. New Year’s Day is often regarded as a time to renew goals or resolve to work at changing bad habits. Sometimes, people may choose a theme for their year, to bring the future into a perspective. Catholics across Lincoln also know January 1st as a Holy Day dedicated to Mary, Mother of God and as the World Day of Peace. This year, Pope Benedict gathered all these meanings of the first of the year in a message given in Rome. His words described his own “New Year’s Resolution” for the Church throughout the world, in Lincoln and beyond.

Education of Young People

In his message, Pope Benedict urged all people to look to 2012 with an “attitude of confident trust.” While he spoke of 2011’s world-wide economic crisis, and various declines in society and culture, he appealed to people to wait with expectation for the Lord. Pope Benedict then focused his talk upon the future, upon the hopeful youth. Reminding people of the enthusiasm of young people, he addressed parents, families, educators, leaders, and the media to listen to the youth and to communicate to them a positive value of life and a desire to be of service. The Holy Father said that the “Church looks to young people with hope and confidence; she encourages them to seek truth, to defend the common good, to be open to the world around them and willing to see ‘new things’ (Is. 42:9).” The message continued with encouragement and ideas on how to encourage the education of young people in true justice, peace, and truth. “Dear young people, you are a precious gift for society…The Church wishes to offer you the most precious gift she has: the opportunity to raise your eyes to God…”

Getting ready for World Day of Peace 2012 Education of Young People in Lincoln

In the Diocese of Lincoln, Catholic education is placed as a high priority. The Mission statement of the diocese states that the School System is to “form students spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, socially, and physically, in partnership with parents and in harmony with the specific gifts given by God to each student.” In today’s world of education, there is growing pressure to increase the number of young people who can compete in a global society. While this may be a particular goal, the Holy Father reminded all people, including schools, to renew the priority of teaching young people the truth and to form them spiritually as well as intellectually. This year, the Catholic Schools in Lincoln will once again work to renew that call to true education. We can participate in this by showing a good example and supporting the young people in our lives, encouraging them to discover Christ in their own lives, who is the source of true justice and peace.