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Pope Francis: Education goes beyond academic instruction

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“University students today need an education that not only prepares them for a career but helps them face personal challenges and learn how to contribute to the good of their communities,” Pope Francis said.

Welcoming members of the board of trustees and other leaders from the Augustinian-sponsored Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts, to the Vatican 10 May, the pope noted how the college opened in 1947 specifically to educate soldiers returning from service during World War II.

“Clearly, for those young men who had experienced the trauma and the brutality of war, more was needed than academic instruction alone,” the pope said.

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“It was necessary to restore in them a sense of meaning, hope and confidence for the future, to enrich their minds, but also to warm their hearts and restore hope for a brighter future.”

While the challenges young people have today are different, the pope said, they “are faced with multiple ‘crises’ of various kinds” and “it is important that they be taught to face challenges together, not letting themselves be overwhelmed, but rather responding in such a way that every crisis, even when it involves suffering, can be transformed into an opportunity for growth.”

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