This morning after Mass, I drove round to Woldingham again to the Faith Summer Break. This is a four day conference organised by the Faith Movement for youngsters aged 11-15. The week includes daily Mass, confessions, Benediction and talks on the Faith. There is also the obligatory trip to Chessington World of Adventures which I regard as a terrible rip-off. But the youngsters enjoy it. Notice how in the talks, it is almost like the Church where I once said Mass in Austria - the girls are mostly on one side and the boys on the other. Nobody arranged this - it was just natural :-)
I was down to give a talk this morning on The Da Vinci Code. This is not my favourite subject but with a group of this age, it is possible to work in a number of other issues by way of explanation. So I said a bit about Opus Dei, St Mary Magdalen and the various ways in which the Church contributes to the good of society.
With a young audience it was also appropriate to have a little fun. So I told them to "boo" every time I said the words "Da Vinci Code". They enjoyed this and I hope that it will stick in their minds. I explained the beliefs of the gnostics in a simple way, especially pointing out how they denigrated women and the transmission of human life. Most of the questions afterwards were about gnosticism so that also gave me a chance to warn them about the occult. I suggested that when they are in WH Smith and pass the shelves with books about witchcraft, they should say the prayer to the Guardian Angel and the Prayer to St Michael. Failing that, I said that since the demons flee shrieking in terror from Our Lady, a Hail Mary would be a good alternative.
And here are the priests who were at the Faith Summer Break. Not as many as at the Faith Summer Session but a fine group of men.
And last, but by no means least, here is the group that were associated with the parish of Our Lady of the Rosary, Blackfen.