Cardinal Charles Maung Bo Cardinal Charles Maung Bo 

Cardinal Bo of Myanmar insists on investing in young people

Ahead of Pope Francis' imminent travel for World Youth Day, Cardinal Charles Maung Bo of Yangon, Myanmar, maintains that investing in the young generation is very dear to the Pope’s heart, and how doing so, while leading them always closer to Christ, has the power to work miracles.

By Deborah Castellano Lubov

Investing in the young and cultivating their relationship with Christ, Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, Archbishop of Yangon, Myanmar, and President of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC), maintains, has incredible value and impact.

The Salesian Cardinal stressed this ahead of the World Youth Day in Lisbon, Portugal, for which Pope Francis will make his 42nd Apostolic Journey abroad to the European nation, 2-6 August.

The Cardinal was addressing Jesuits on the occasion of the feast day of St. Ignatius of Loyola on 31 July.

In addition to recalling the rich history of the Society of Jesus in Myanmar, and its great contributions to the turmoil-ridden nation over the centuries, Cardinal Bo praised the Jesuits for always promoting and supporting the youth, as demanded by Pope Francis.

“Investing in the young generation is a theme close to the Pope’s heart, and as a Salesian, that was an uncompromising option of our Father Don Bosco.”

Jesuit schools and structures, especially those aimed at young people, Cardinal Bo reaffirmed, "have brought great solace to youth in Myanmar." 

Commending their perseverance and effectiveness, the leader of the Asian Bishops said "a Jesuit is defined by his ability to push boundaries and work miracles where others saw only nightmares."

Regenerate young people's dreams

Given this talent, the Asian Cardinal called on them to “provide great spaces for the youth to re-generate their dreams.” 

“As a Salesian and as a citizen of a nation blessed with more than 40 percent youth, I strongly believe change will come only through young people.”

If the Jesuits wish "to fulfil their mandate of establishing the Kingdom of God on earth," the Asian Cardinal directed them to increasingly invest their "great energies" in the dreams of the youth.

What more can be done for Myanmar's young people

St. Ignatius of Loyola, Cardinal Bo continued, will be praising God for your presence and work in this country, saying “all for the greater glory of  God.”

“But St. Ignatius will also be asking you the simple question: If in 'all things, love and serve' is your motto in Myanmar, 'what more can you do' for the love of Christ for the youth of Myanmar?”

Cardinal Bo said he would leave them to answer that question before they gather together again next year.

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31 July 2023, 14:57