Younger generation NZers, working with marginalised, excited by election of Pope Francis

Some of the staff of Challenge 2000, a youth development agency, are excited by the election of Pope Francis because he is a man who has a proven track record of serving the poor and working for social transformation.

“At a time where the world is struggling with many issues it is heartening to hear of the example of service that Pope Francis has led in his life. I hope that he can translate his experiences of working with the poor and vulnerable in our society into change in our Church. The time is now for an examination of how we live, how our actions affects the lives of those around us, and how we can all contribute to a world where the common good is the supreme good. I look forward to Pope Francis leading the way” said Heath Hutton.

Heath’s colleague at Challenge 2000, Anh-Dao Pham  saysThere is no denying that a lot of young people feel alienated from our Church. It can often feel like the Church is not addressing the real issues that face us and it was becoming more and more irrelevant. It is exciting and encouraging to see such a real person who has lived a real life at grass roots level now leading our Church. Lets hope we soon see a positive impact – our world needs the gospel.”

Bridget Roche Director of Challenge 2000 is also hopeful.

“From what I understand Pope Francis has shown a lived commitment to social justice and the common good and therefore his election gives me great hope for a refreshed vision for this in the Church and as a consequence into the world”.

“Many of the young people, children and families we work with live and suffer in poverty and are treated unjustly -we need to address the causes and rebuild our structures so that all have enough – this is what St Francis of Assisi was about – it will be inspirational if Pope Francis brings this attitude to the Catholic Church internationally,” she said.

Challenge 2000, a youth development agency based in Johnsonville, Wellington New Zealand, is committed to social justice, social responsibility and the rights of all


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