UNIV 2006: the Pope, with students from 200 universities throughout the worldOn Monday 10 April, at 11:20 midday, about 5,000 young people who are taking part in the 39th UNIV meeting will be received in audience by Pope Benedict XVI in the Pope Paul VI Hall (the Vatican).
This university meeting in Rome gathers together students from 32 countries
from all over the world.
The event will include songs of welcome for the Pope, an address by the president of UNIV 2006, Anthony Njugi Gichiki, who holds a degree in Public Accountancy from Strathmore University, Kenya, and an address by the Holy Father.
This is the first audience that Pope Benedict XVI has given to the students of UNIV. The UNIV meetings, organised by the Institute for University Cooperation (ICU) began in 1968 under the inspiration of St Josemaría Escrivá, the founder of Opus Dei. They provide an occasion for an exchange of cultures for students from all places, and an opportunity for them to be with the Pope, who has received them from the beginning: first Paul VI, then John Paul II, and now Benedict XVI. The addresses by the Popes can be found on the web: www.icu.it/univ
Opus Dei organizes the activities of Christian formation that appear in the general program. Those attending also take advantage of the meeting to see the city of Rome, and the mark that Christianity has made from the earliest centuries.
Every year the meeting is organized around a central topic which the university students discuss. The title for this year's conference is: "Projecting culture: the language of the means of communication". The participating university students, from more than 200 countries worldwide will present their analysis and proposals at different UNIV forums: conferences, seminars, debates, study groups and round tables.
In the words of Carlo De Marchi, Secretary General of ICU and coordinator of the meeting, "For the university students, it is always a great joy to be received in audience by the Pope". He added that, "it is beautiful to be listened to, truly moving and besides, as it is the first audience with Benedict XVI, we want to bring to the Holy Father the affection and love of ourselves and those of our colleagues from 200 universities worldwide".
The topics from the previous 39 UNIV meetings, as well as other data of interest can be found on the internet: www.icu.it/univ