By Robin Gomes
Pope Francis on Friday visited the Scholas Occurrentes Foundation centre in Rome and urged its young people be alert and never give up hoping and dreaming.
The Scholas Occurrentes, the Latin for “schools that meet “, is an educational project launched by Pope Francis in Argentina 2001, when he was Archbishop of Buenos, to encourage social integration and the culture of encounter through sports, arts and technology. As Pope, he made it into a foundation in 2013. Today it is present in 190 countries.
Inauguration of new centres
During his visit to the centre at Palazzo San Callisto, the Pope met a new batch of trainers and students who are participating in a new project, concluded a 5-day Scholas Occurrentes meeting of school children from 10 countries and inaugurated three new centres of the foundation in Argentina, Mozambique and Colombia through video links.
Alert and dreaming
In his talk to the group at Palazzo San Callisto, the Pope urged them to keep dreaming without falling asleep. The ability to dream and hope does not disappoint but carries us forward, he said, adding, “we must fight for life and not retire before time.” However, the Pope said that while dreaming big and taking risks, one must be prudent. Prudence, he noted, is not a brake but a virtue that helps guide one’s energies without losing the way.
Faithful to one’s roots
The Pope told the boys and girls that they can blossom only when they are well rooted. The world and history of their country did not begin with them, but what have given their people an identity are the roots of the past. Hence they should proceed without trampling their roots, failing which they will fall.
The Pope also advised the young people to help others and never to allow themselves to be defeated even before trying. A battered youth is better than one that that never tries, the Pope said.