Last week, Pope Francis traveled to Assisi to close the event called, “The Economy of Francis." The gathering brought together young economists, entrepreneurs, students and workers from around the world to discuss the formation of a more just and fraternal economy.
Pope Francis has traveled to Assisi several times since his election in 2013. It’s the burial place of our patron, St. Francis of Assisi, and the papal namesake, and someone known for his decision to leave his wealth to embrace a life of poverty.
The agreement was read aloud and signed by the Pope and the young people. The young people acknowledged that there is a "responsibility that falls on our generation," and expressed their commitment to "spend our lives so that the economy of today and
tomorrow becomes an economy of the Gospel."
Poverty in all its forms must be fought to reduce inequality and truly embrace the poor, the agreement said. The young people stressed the need for an economy "guided by an ethic of the human person and open to transcendence," which creates wealth for all and promotes joy, "not just wealth, because happiness that is not shared is incomplete," it said.
Pope Francis added, "When a young person sees in another young person the same vocation, and this experience is repeated with hundreds, even thousands of other young people, then great things become possible, including the hope of changing a huge and complex system such as the world economy."
"Today, a new economy inspired by Francis of Assisi can and must become an economy of friendship with the earth and an economy of peace," the Pope said, affirming that this implies "transforming an economy that kills into an economy of life, in all its aspects."
Like St. Francis of Assisi and his love for poverty, the Pope said that developing an economy inspired by St. Francis means "putting the poor at the center." "From them, we look at the economy; from them, we look at the world," he said.
Cheyenne Secor, our youth minister, is working with our young people here to reach out to the poor in our community, the homeless, as well as those who do not know Jesus. They are learning from Christ in the City in Denver and the St Paul Street Evangelization Team from Ave Maria Parish. I am so proud of our young people — and ALL of us — who are not afraid of the poor but willing to go and love them. If you’d like to get involved too, please talk to Cheyenne.
Our parish feast day is this Tuesday! St. Francis of Assisi, pray for us!
Rev. Mark Zacker