The conference was organised by the Faith Movement, which last year celebrated its 40th anniversary. It is one of Britain's home-grown New Movements, runs annual summer gatherings which draw large numbers of young people, and has also become well known for fostering vocations to the priesthood.
George Weigel spoke of a newly emerging "Evangelical Catholicism" engaging with the modern world and presenting a message centred on a personal commitment to Jesus Christ as taught by John Paul II and Benedict XVI.
"Benedict XVI spoke repeatedly of 'friendship with Jesus Christ' as the heart of the Christian life. It is fostered by prayer, and it must be at the core of all that a Catholic does" he said "The Church is not a club with rules, or an institution that will simply exist in a particular place because it has a traditional presence there. The Church is centred on Christ, the Saviour of the world. The New Evangelisation begins with this deep understanding."Weigel's message followed a talk by Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth in which he called for renewal based on prayer, especially prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.
The Day of Faith began with a talk from Canon Luiz Ruscillo, Director of Education for the Lancaster diocese. Listing signs of hope for the future of the Church in Britain, he spoke of the influence of the New Movements, the renewal of liturgy following the new translation of the Mass, and the deep commitment and loyalty of the new generation of young men training for the priesthood. "For too long we have been hearing that the liturgy is all about reaching out to people, but essentially it is about worship of God, and that is what the new translation emphasises" he said.
He also noted that some of the seeds of the New Evangelisation are "planted deep in the soil - but, as you will know if you know the Parables - it is deep soil that is the best for growth and nurturing" he said.
The Day of Faith included Mass in St Patrick's, with Mgr Keith Newton of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham as the chief celebrant, and priests of the Faith Movement from across Britain concelebrating.
Friday, 5 July 2013
Auntie Joanna's report from Day of Faith
While I was away in Australia, the Faith Movement held a Day of Faith which I was sorry to miss. Here is a report by Joanna Bogle: