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Holy Father’s Prayer of Intention: september

That young people in Africa may have access to education and work in their own countries.

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The fastest growth in the 2000-year history of Christianity is happening now and it is happening in Africa. In the year 1900 there were 9 million Christians in Africa. Now there are 500 million Christians out of 1.2 billion persons in Africa. What about young people in Africa? Twenty percent of the world’s youth (those aged 15 to 21) are in Africa! It is youngest continent in the world. The median age in Africa is a youthful 19.4 years. Indeed, there are many reasons why the Pope asks us to pray for the youth in Africa.

Growing up in Africa is not easy. Youth face problems and struggles that include bad leadership, corrupt government, stagnant economies, and poor or non-existent educational facilities. Despite some advances in education and economic growth, progress remains fragile, inequalities are widespread and young Africans face major difficulties in finding decent jobs and participating in decision-making.

Yet there is hope. The youth of Africa are resilient, hopeful, and eager to learn. They have much to offer the world – joy, hope, a sense of God, dance, and song. Vocations to the priesthood and religious life are abundant. The youth of Africa need our support and need our prayers. We follow the lead of Pope Francis as he addressed the youth of Africa in Uganda.

“Do not be afraid to let the light of your faith shine in your families, your schools and your places of work. Do not be afraid to enter into dialogue humbly with others who may see things differently. We pray that your appeals and your pleas for greater opportunity can be heard; that all can enjoy the peace and security which they rightfully deserve on the basis of their infinite human dignity.”

Source: Apostleship of Prayer

 

Holy Father’s Prayer of Intention: August

That any far-reaching decisions of economists and politicians may protect the family as one of the treasures of humanity.

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The focus on the August prayer intention reflects Pope Francis’ guiding insight, expressed often in Laudato Si’, that “everything is connected.” The “micro” community of the family and “macro” community of the state depend on each other for their health. 

We all know the importance of the family from our own experience. It is there that we first learn how to respect authority, how to play fairly, how to give and receive love—all the basic human virtues and values that equip us for political and religious life. So much of our life’s trajectory, our sense of being at home in the world and in the Church, depends upon families of origin.

Yet the state does not always sufficiently recognize the “treasure” that family life is, providing support in accordance with its importance. In Amoris Laetitia Pope Francis observes, “The negative impact on the social order [on families] is clear, as seen in the demographic crisis, in the difficulty of raising children, in a hesitancy to welcome new life, in a tendency to see older persons as a burden, and in an increase of emotional problems and outbreaks of violence” [43].

Healing the family, Francis notes, requires the toppling of various ideologies dominating the state. There is the ideology of market logic, which privileges total economic growth over securing those goods that make family life possible for all, e.g., dignified housing and employment for all (Amoris Laetita [43-44]). There is also gender ideology which, by denying sexual difference, no longer accepts the permanent union of man and woman as the most favorable circumstances for raising children (Amoris Laetita [56]).

Given these challenges, we do well to join the Holy Father this August in praying for the family.

Source: Apostleship of Prayer

 

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