International Zoom Meeting with Young People from UNIV
For public health reasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UNIV Forum, scheduled to be held during Holy Week, was suspended in 2021. Every year since 1968, this international meeting has brought together in Rome university students from all over the world who take part in the activities of Christian formation offered in centers of Opus Dei.
The Prelate of Opus Dei, following a tradition begun by St. Josemaría and continued by his successors, had planned to meet with the young men and women. So this year he wanted to show his closeness and encouragement through two online meetings, moderated from Rome, with young people from all over the world taking part.
“It gives me great joy to meet with you in this way, even though it is so different from being with you in person. This can help us to pray for this pandemic to end as soon as possible, praying especially for so many people who are suffering,” he told them at the beginning of the virtual gathering. “Be sowers of the peace of joy,” Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz urged, making use of an expression of St. Josemaría’s that takes on new light in the context of the worldwide pandemic. “We cannot see ourselves as strangers to anyone. We Christians must realize that everything that belongs to others is very much our own. St. Paul tells us: All things are yours, you are Christ’s and Christ is God’s," he reminded them.
Some of the young people expressed their desire to evangelize the environments in which they find themselves, so often quite far from God. Monsignor Ocáriz reminded them that “we have learned from St. Josemaría that the most important apostolate is based on friendship.” He also advised them to “strengthen their doctrinal formation, so as to have deep and sure convictions. It is necessary to study, to ask for advice, to inform ourselves about the truth. Thus we will be able to confront errors with wisdom, knowledge, patience, gentleness and, always, with charity."
The Prelate of Opus Dei also encouraged them to “pray a lot for the Pope.” “You can imagine,” he said, “the great weight he is carrying on his shoulders, the great difficulties the Church and the whole world are going through, because the Church is for the whole world. So much weight falls on the Pope and he himself asks us to pray for him and for his intentions.”
The theme chosen by the UNIV committee for 2021 was Navigate: Seeking a Solid Education in a Liquid Society. Conferences and workshops were held online in each country.
Romana, n. 72, January-June 2021, p. 51-52.