18-February-2013 -- ZENIT.org News Agency |

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Celebrating 40 Days of Pope Benedict XVI

UK Youth Give Testimony of Pontiff's Impact on Their Generation

By Ann Schneible

LONDON, February 18, 2013 (Zenit.org) - On each of the 40 days of Lent, 40 young people will share their testimony of how Pope Benedict XVI has impacted their faith, and their lives.

The project began on Ash Wednesday, just two days after the Holy Father historically announced his forthcoming resignation from the papacy.

The diverse testimonies given to date include those of Lisette Carr, a young blogger who authors Catholicism Rocks, a blog dedicated to sharing positive Church news; Ryan Service, a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Birmingham in his first year at the Venerable English College (VEC) in Rome; Charles Bradshaw, a young man discerning the priesthood; Fr. Paul Moss, vocations director for the Archdiocese of Birmingham and former student of the VEC; and Michaela Blackwell, a first year medical student.

The initiative is being driven by Generation Benedict: an online resource for young people who have found formation and enrichment in their faith under the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI. It is managed by Lisette Carr of Catholicism Rocks, and Collette Power.

On their Web site, the authors cite the Holy Father's visit to the UK, as well as his presence during the World Youth Days of his pontificate, saying this has made him an important figure for this generation of young people.

In response to the Holy Father's resignation, the Web site authors state: "Pope Benedict will be truly missed by our generation. Those who have met him look upon him fondly as a gentle grandfatherly figure, as he has pointed us towards Christ, at a point in time when many of us were at a crossroads -- telling us not to settle for second best, but to strive for sainthood."

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