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Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Report from Invocation

Anna-Marie Treloar, one of my young parishioner (left in the photo) went to the Invocation 2010 weekend. At my request, she kindly wrote this report:
Invocation 2010
The event, probably best described as a youth festival celebrating and promoting religious vocations, was billed by the organizers as ‘the first of its kind in England and Wales’. The weekend was structured around basic liturgy of Divine Office and Daily Mass, with talks from keynote speakers and a selection of workshops.

For me, the talks were the highlight of the event. The first speaker, Abbot Christopher Jamison, spoke about the theology behind the idea of vocation, setting the tone for the weekend. The second talk by Dr Andrew O’Connell was a brilliantly delivered, energetic and encouraging look at the need for vocations today, and how fulfillment can never ultimately be found in a digital age of instant gratification, but only in Christ. The last speaker I heard was Sr Gabriel Davison, who gave a very personal, beautiful account of her life in her community of Poor Clares. I was particularly stuck by the passionate terms she used to describe her vocation, as a love affair with Christ and the Church developed through community life.

I was only able to be there until the Saturday evening, but left wishing I could have stayed longer. The organization and administration was very impressive from start to finish; the events ran very smoothly and professionally.

The setting for the weekend was Oscott Seminary, Birmingham, a good choice with its beautiful grounds and stunning chapel.

Personally, I was delighted to see the unified national effort that had gone into the weekend, and the enthusiasm of the organisers that drove the initiative. There were fantastic numbers of representatives from religious orders and dioceses all over the country (including several Archbishops) and participants from so many new movements and charisms within the Church. Definitely money and effort well spent, hopefully an inspiration for similar national festivals in the future.
Anna-Marie is currently cycling to Rome, having left early this morning after prayers at the Church. Keep up with the Via Romea blog for progress reports.
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