Faith Summer Session '15
Faith Summer Session
Richard Marsden FAITH MAGAZINE November - December 2015
Richard Marsden, 5th Year Seminarian at the Venerable English College, Rome, gives a flavour of a packed week.
Newly ordained priests, giving First Blessings, a popular Forum with young people giving testimony to their faith, a ceilidh with dancing until late...all part of the 2015 Faith Movement Summer Session, with some 200 young people, daily Mass, and a programme of talks focusing on the Sacraments.
Some sound bites: Fr Nick Walsh - "The Holy Eucharist is the centre and focus of the Church's life. Christ, the Son of God, through whom was made the universe, makes himself available for us at every Mass. Why wouldn't we want to be there?"
Jessica Robertson, history student at the University of Hull, giving her personal testimony about her devotion to the Eucharist - “Adoration really gives you the strength to do anything, as does Mass. I urge you - if you can get to weekday Mass, then go.”
Fr Roger Nesbitt with St John Bosco's vision - “He summed up the Catholic faith, our faith, with three important persons - first the Holy Eucharist, Jesus himself; second Mary, his Mother; third Peter and his successors. So if you want something and someone to guide your life and principles, follow those."
Fr Stephen Brown on the Sacrament of Reconciliation - "I think confession is a win-win situation for us because we are healed of the wounds that our sins cause us and we are therefore brought closer to God."
Mass each day, some 20 priests hearing confessions during a Reconciliation Service with Adoration and Benediction. Football, swimming, a talent show and the unmissable ceilidh.
Fathers Phil Cunnah, Matthew O’Gorman, and Mark Higgins were delighted give “first blessings” during the week as newly ordained priests.
Fr Higgins said: “It’s been a really amazing experience - seeing familiar faces but now relating to them in a different way, having people that I’ve looked up to over the years, other priests, now call me ‘Father’.
“It was particularly moving to lead and preach at the Reconciliation Service. When I was 17, the Reconciliation Service really had a big impact on my life. It was then that I really was brought back to my faith. So it's an extraordinary honour to be involved in helping teenagers today to return to their faith or begin to take their faith more seriously.”