Pope Francis sends video message to young Catholics in Texas

Pope Francis sends a video message to young Catholics in Brownsville, Texas, to mark World Youth Day. Youtube screenshot

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis is urging young people to have courage and enjoy life to the full, in a personal video message he sent to a Texas diocese before leaving for World Youth Day in Poland.

The video, recorded in Spanish, was made for the Diocese of Brownsville, described by the Vatican as “one of the most impoverished areas” of the U.S. on the Mexican border.

“Play life to the full! Today, take life as it comes and do good for others,” the pope said in his message published on Tuesday (July 26). “In the world today, a game is being played out in which there is no room for substitutes: either you’re in the team or you’re out.

“Take the memories you’ve inherited, look towards the horizon and today, grasp life and carry it forward, use it productively make it fruitful.”

Young Catholics were gathering in Brownsville Tuesday to celebrate World Youth Day, a weeklong event in Poland that is expected to draw around 2 million young Catholics by the time it ends on Sunday.

“I want to be close to you,” Francis said. “I want to tell you to always look forward, always look towards the horizon, don’t let life put walls in front of you, always look at the horizon. Always have courage to want more, more, more.”

“Do not be afraid! Do not be afraid. Play life to the full!”

Around 30,000 young Americans are registered to attend World Youth Day festivities in Poland, but events are also being held in parishes and dioceses across the U.S. for the faithful who cannot make the journey.

In an interview with Vatican Radio, Paul Jarzembowski, the World Youth Day USA national coordinator, said more U.S. pilgrims were going to this World Youth Day than to any other held outside North America and young American Catholics identified with the pope’s compassion and sympathy for others.



About the author

Josephine McKenna

Josephine McKenna has more than 30 years' experience in print, broadcast and interactive media. Based in Rome since 2007, she covered the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and election of Pope Francis and canonizations of their predecessors. Now she covers all things Vatican for RNS.


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  • Perhaps he can send some of the billions of dollars the church is sitting on? Heck, the gold thread in his clothing can help a little.

  • The most cogent response I’ve read to Jim Johnson’s plea which is ” he can send some of the billions of dollars the church is sitting on” is “Who starts?” That is, I see LOTS of people who would gleefully give away someone else’s money (or stand outside a local parish and criticize) but when it comes to the hard work of actually persuading a local parish to give away money (or something else of value), not so much.

  • Mere criticism without any personal involvement in the game is reprehensible and a participant will see things differently than a passive onlooker.

  • John, I especially liked your last sentence fragment, where you said, “… and a participant will see things differently than a passive onlooker.”

    Good job.

  • Aragon the Atheist,
    If you think that the Pope is against everything a healthy society needs, you still owes us a definition of what constitutes a healthy society!
    John P. S.

  • Tom,
    Thanks for your appreciation. What i feel is that mostly people are led by a sort of crowd-instinct than through personal reflection and thinking. Not only that, often the thinking of many turns out to be muddled without any clear perspective. Philosophy of language can help us in clear thinking.

  • Instead of categorizing healthy societies by a few societies that may have both healthy and unhealthy practices, it may be better to look for healthy individuals whose influence in society overwhelms that of the unhealthy ones. Who are the healthy individuals? They are those who enjoy life in its fullness. Are there such individuals? All those who are able to have genuine inner joy that radiates outside influencing others by attraction are healthy individuals. Such healthy individuals are like lamp-posts with brightly burning light-bulbs. Does a society wants to see and walk or does it prefer to walk in darkness?

  • Your concept of lying must be very peculiar as no one has so far accused the Pope of lying. Now that you are able to see a negative influence in a person you probably have no intimate knowledge of is something very surprising. Remember that you are judged by your own words and no one else needs to pass judgment on you, this being a fundamental law of life. This is why no one should judge others as God alone is the judge. You being an atheist, these words don’t mean anything to you. I can only appeal to you to be a decent human being.

  • Stop being ridiculous. A claim which cannot be substantiated may not be a lie by itself – but if it is repeated as a ‘fact’ it is a lie. The following lies are told by the Pope almost every day:

    “JESUS is the son of God” – How does he know this? What sources does he have access to which are not available to me.
    “Hell is real” – How does he know this? Why does he claim it to be true?
    “God is love” – How does he know this? From the Bible? Why is he cherry picking verses?
    “Jesus died for us” – How does he know this? The Bible stories do not confirm any of this. And what does it mean? the Bible does not tell us.

    If I tell you a UFO landed on my house but I offer no evidence there is no reason for me to repeat the hallucination unless I am willing to lie.

  • “A claim which cannot be substantiated may not be a lie by itself – but if it is repeated as a ‘fact’ it is a lie”.
    What is a ‘fact’ and what is ‘evidence’? Are there any pure facts without any interpretation and consequent understanding? We are unable to see facts because very often we don’t understand something that is already in plain view. If water boils in a pot, steam comes out of the pot and also pictured steam comes out of the pictured pot. But what if one insisted on saying that there must also be something boiling in the picture of the pot?

  • Pope: “God exists”
    Prove this is true or admit he does not know. Admit he is spreading a lie.

    Pope: “Jesus was the son of God”
    Prove it. Or I must dismiss the claim as another lie.

  • Arragon the Atheist, The hard work done at the Council of Nicea in 325 AD must not be discounted, in your searching out lies. Hint: this is well-ploughed ground, even when the pearls are still buried.

  • You are failing to produce any evidence for a God.

    “The council of Nicea must not be discounted” – why not? All other religions discount it entirely, especially Islam, Hinduism, Theraveda Buddhism and Judaism. You don’t need an Atheist like me to point that out to you.

    Your argument amounts to nothing more than this:
    “The Pyramids built for Osiris must not be discounted.” When you start buying that argument, I’ll buy yours!

  • Aragon the Atheist, now you have another avenue to pursue. You’re welcome. Keep us informed.

  • Aragon the Atheist,

    Please don’t be confused in your arguments and you need a strong dose of logic before you express yourself in public. Otherwise what Richard P. Feynman said would be true of you: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool”.

  • Tom, I have been using the philosophy of language in discussions on various threads of Philosophy of Mind and it still continues. Other than that what I have is more technical that may not be of interest to the general public. However, I might shortly publish blogs on precisely addressing your concern. I had a cursory look at the “book of bad arguments” that seems exciting and I shall read at leisure. By the way, please recommend the same to Aragon the Atheist!

  • Did you provide evidence for god somewhere? You know Feynman was an Atheist like me, right? He did not believe a real god existed – you knew that before you quoted him? Correct?

    Where is your god? Demonstrate its existence.

  • Aragon the Atheist,
    If you need proofs for all your queries, please go to the website: and let me know your reactions.

  • Oh, good grief. Shall I purchase the “Spiritual Adventure Pack”?
    Just show me your god’s existence and get this over with. I’m losing patience.
    Where is your god?

  • Aragon the Atheist, Please don’t be impatient and jump to conclusions before seeing what is presented before your eyes. Nobody asked you to purchase anything, but just go to the website for answers to all your queries, if you don’t want to fool yourself!

  • The website had no evidence for a god.
    If you cannot prove or demonstrate that a god exists then you are confirming my suspicion that you have no such evidence. Repeating a claim such as ‘god exists’ is a lie unless you can provide this evidence.

    I stand by my assertion that the Pope appears to be lying about several things: God, Jesus, power of prayer and other things.

  • Aragon, Did you notice this online book recommendation when it first flashed across your screen? It concisely phrases what we have
    been exchanging about.

  • Aragon the Atheist,
    I doubt very much your claim that you did not find any evidence for a god in as it is prepared by a former atheist. Her name is Marylin Adamson and innumerable number of people have accepted her arguments for existence of God and related topics initiating their own relationships with God. If you find it unsatisfactory, we have to probe into the reasons for which you may directly contact her through the website. All the best!

  • Tom,
    I also recommended a website to Aragon for proofs of God’s existence and related topics and he has reverted with his same old story. So I have informed him the website was prepared by an ex-atheist, named Marylin Adamson, which has helped a lot of people to initiate their own relationships with God and suggested that he may contact her directly through the website if he chooses to do so.

  • There is no evidence for a god on that website. Only flawed arguments.
    Your failure to prove or demonstrate a god means we are right to call such claims what they are: Lies.

  • Aragon the Atheist,
    Please specify what would count as evidence for you in order to diagnose the malady you are suffering from before thinking of a cure for the same! For in Philosophy too there can be illness in using words out of tune with their use by healthy people in everyday life. Unless we are able to correct it with the antibiotic called logic, the infection may spread beyond all control.