Da Vinci Code talk at the London Oratory

It is always such a joy to visit the London Oratory. If you are reading this from the USA and haven't heard of this vibrant centre of Catholic life in London that is making real gains in the culture war, just take a look at the Liturgical Celebrations tab on their website and look at what is on offer on any given Sunday. The young fathers organise regular talks under the banner of "Call to Youth" in the magnificent setting of St Wilfrid's Hall. They keep in touch with the young people by emails which remind them also of the times of Mass, devotions and confessions.

I was there tonight speaking on "The Da Vinci Code: is there any truth in it?" (There is a copy of the talk on my Da Vinci Code page along with some other links.) There were about 100 young adults in attendance. Afterwards, I got to speak to someone from New York who is in London doing consultancy work, someone working at the British Museum, some members of "The Work" (Opus Dei), an equities broker on a break from Thailand, an RE teacher, a TV production guy interested in producing Catholic materials, and many others, enthusiastic young Catholics eager to learn more and take St Peter seriously: Always be prepared to make a defence to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you. (1 Peter 3.15)

The Oratorians provided wine and sandwiches for a long social session after the talk and mingled affably with the people who had come. The whole occasion would have delighted St Philip, I'm sure, and they are living proof that solid Catholic priests who are proud to be seen as such and celebrate the liturgy with due gravitas, can draw the young to Christ.

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