POPE'S MESSAGE | Pope tells young Paraguayans: Stir things up, then help fix things

Pope Francis greeted a young woman as he led a meeting with young people July 12 along the waterfront in Asuncion, Paraguay.

ASUNCION, Paraguay -- "Stir things up, but then help organize what you have stirred up," Pope Francis told about 220,000 young people gathered on this city's waterfront on July 12.

In his last major event before ending a weeklong trip to Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay, the pope spoke about service, solidarity, hope and freedom of heart.

Abandoning his prepared text, he based his remarks on the testimonials of two young people who asked him questions.

Seeking justice requires getting out of our comfort zone

A great character believes in his own agency to change the world, has a vision that is larger and more engaging than his own personal accomplishments and has absurd hope, said Stacy Cretors, who spoke to more than 220 young adults July 7 at the monthly Theology on Tap at Kirkwood Station Brewing Company. Cretors is the director of the Life Teen Mission at Blessed Teresa of Calcutta in Ferguson.

Stacy Cretors believes we should have a certain thirst -- specifically, something big that brings us out of our comfort zone. After all, we should be disturbed and uncomfortable with the needs of the world that surround us.

Nexus Regional Pro-Life Conference


Nexus means core. The center.

On the issue of abortion, high school and college students are at the core. The message wasn't a surprise to those who attended the first Nexus Regional Pro-Life Conference, sponsored by Coalition for Life St. Louis and Students for Life of America.

Approximately 75 percent of the abortion business in the United States is from high school and college students, according to Brian Westbrook, executive director of Coalition for Life St. Louis. "They're also the solution to abortion," he said.

In Google Hangout, pope helps launch worldwide social network

Salvadoran Gerardo Ernesto Mancia, 15, video chatted with Pope Francis in San Salvador's gang-infested neighborhood of La Campanera Sept. 4. The pope said all of society needs to help children and young people who are homeless, exploited, victims of violence or without any prospects.

VATICAN CITY -- The wisdom of "It takes a village to raise a child" has been lost as kids are either overprotected by permissive parents or neglected, Pope Francis said.

"The educational partnership has been broken" as families, schools and society are "no longer united together for the child," he said Sept. 4 after holding his first Google Hangout -- a live video conversation -- across five continents with teenagers who belong to the international network of "Scholas occurentes," uniting students of all faiths and cultures.

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