I am very happy to pass on this report of the Evangelium Conference which took place last weekend:
Over one hundred young adults met deep in the Oxford countryside 2-4 August for the sixth annual Evangelium conference, designed to help Catholics explain and defend the Faith in the modern world. Delegates streamed away from the Oratory School, founded by the recently-beatified Cardinal John Henry Newman, enthused by top-class speakers and liturgical services of stunning beauty and dignity in worship of God. Participants expressed gratitude for the opportunities to make new Catholic friends, for the mutual encouragement in the Faith, for the chance to explore vocations and the commitment to holiness. One participant wrote in the feedback, “Never stop holding these conferences: you are making saints.”
Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury, as well as celebrating Mass for the second time in three years at the conference, spoke movingly on the great 19th century French saint, Jean Vianney, as an inspiration for the Faith in our age, and on the need for perseverance. Other speakers included Fr Jerome Bertram of the Oxford Oratory, James and Joanna Bogle, Dr Alan Fimister and Dr William Newton of the International Theological Institute, Fr John Hermer from Allen Hall, Fr Nicholas Schofield from Westminster Archdiocese, Dr Joseph Shaw from the Faculty of Philosophy at Oxford, Fr Ed Tomlinson from the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham and Sr Mary Trinity of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT). Besides no shortage of discussion of hot-button topics in apologetics, philosophy, theology, and the defence of marriage and life, there was still time to chill out in the bar to live Colombian music.
The Evangelium project is sponsored by the Catholic Truth Society and started in 2006 with the publication of a catechetical course by Fr Marcus Holden and Fr Andrew Pinsent. The next Evangelium conference is planned for 1–3 August 2014.