Tag Archives: The Great Adventure

Quick Takes…

Praising God - Youth 2000

Praising God – Youth 2000

~1~

Wow – I have a whole new empathy with all who volunteer in the Church. In catechesis, evangelisation projects, outreach, or whatever. It is one thing when it is your job, and you have all day to work at it, but quite another when you’re drafting an email late at night, or snatching a few moments in your lunch hour to sort some arrangements. This is what life is like now, as I am beginning to help out with a few things in my parish. I now realise what a luxury it was to do this work full-time! I am wondering how on earth the mums with full-time jobs in my last parish also helped with catechesis – I suspected they were super-women and I was probably right…

~2~

One of my projects at the moment is writing a chapter on Bl John Paul II and catechesis, in a book for young people (18-25). Although it is not an academic chapter, and there won’t be much space to discuss foundations of his thought, it has been really interesting to research this a little bit. I would be fascinated to know what you think: what do you think was Bl John Paul II’s greatest impact on the catechetical world? I am still working out how I would respond to this question, but would love to hear your thoughts.

~3~

In a week’s time, we will begin ‘A Quick Journey through the Bible’, the introduction to the Bible Timeline from Ascension Press. At the moment, we have around half the number of people registered that I am hoping for, but you always find that most people sign up last minute. I always think it is a good idea to begin an adult formation session with a proper time of prayer. By ‘proper’ I mean not a quick, rushed prayer concluded with an Our Father. I think it’s good to have music if possible, a Scripture passage, a short time of silence. I really like this guide that Joe Paprocki has put together – a helpful resource.

~4~

Finally, I leave you with the video message of our wonderful bishop’s Pastoral Letter, issued today. It’s great stuff. On the written version there are plenty of footnotes to reflect on at home.


Encouragement for the Mission…

southsea storm

Right now, we all seem to be “battening down the hatches” in the face of this bad weather that’s hit. The storm raging outside makes me want to go back a week or so ago, to cosy Christmas family time around the fire… But I can’t seem to get Bert from Mary Poppins out of my head, “Winds in the east, mist coming in. / Like somethin’ is brewin’ and bout to begin.” Haha! So, to take our minds away from sandbags and continuously refreshing the weather warning page (people, I do live right on the coast…) now might be a great time to reflect on the year ahead, what encourages us in the mission right now, what excites us about what God is doing, what hopes we have for the months ahead… Please share your thoughts in the comments! Let’s encourage and inspire each other, and glorify God in what he is doing…

For me, there are two particular aspects of the mission where I am really encouraged. When I arrived in Portsmouth last February, I struggled to find other young adults, let alone ‘intentional disciples’. Nine months later, shortly before Christmas, we had the launch event of a Frassati Society. (And here’s the Frassati Society we started in Balham three years ago, which I also wrote about here…) Frassati is a fantastic model for young adult ministry (twenties and thirties) as it is rooted in fellowship (including hiking and service of the poor) and yet combines other dimensions of Christian life, too (formation, liturgy and prayer). The idea behind Frassati is to be super relaxed and friendly, so that people can invite their non-Catholic friends. In Balham, there were many fruits: deepening conversions, a culture of evangelisation, and even a marriage! At the first event here in Portsmouth, we were absolutely blown away when nearly thirty young people showed up, many of them students. Much prayer and apostolic work is now needed to fan into a flame this little spark that’s been ignited…

The second thing I am excited about here in Portsmouth is The Great Adventure Bible Timeline. Following Jeff Cavins’ visit, we are delighted to be running ‘A Quick Journey through the Bible’ eight-session course beginning on 20th January. My mission over the next few weeks is to pray for the Lord to gather many, many people to this Bible Study, that it may be a place where people meet Him.

What I would add about both of these apostolates, is that they are not being launched out of the blue. Maybe this is something for another post, but what I have learnt being here for nearly a year, is that a large foundation of prayer, sacrifice, careful discernment and personal one-to-one apostolate is needed before any event or group can begin. In some sense, these always flow organically. We have to work with the Holy Spirit, not ahead of him.

Please pray for these apostolic intentions – and share yours below!