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A report on the Invocation weekend at Oscott seminary, 4-6th July 2014

By Jo-Anne Rowney

Archbishop Longley with young peopleYoung people gathered to think about their calling in life and what role they have in the Church at a festival last weekend.

Invocation 2014, a national discernment festival, was held at Oscott Seminary, in Birmingham from Friday 4 July - Sunday 6 July.

The event saw more than 700 people, including those from Northampton Diocese, descend on the seminary over the whole weekend of events, starting with a day for priests, an education conference and then the main event, the festival from Friday to Sunday.

The event included a range of speakers, a candle lit procession, Mass and workshops.

During the event, your reporter tweeted live from the talks, and arranged for the key note speaker Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelisation, who has flown from the Vatican for the event, to speak to the BBC, Telegraph, Vatican Radio, Rome newspapers and Catholic media.

Archbishop Fisichella, said:  in a time where young people are bombarded by noise and distractions, there is still a ‘deep desire’ for silence and a personal encounter with Christ.

“With social media there is a lot of noise and distraction. We don’t understand the value of silence,” he said.

“In silence we encounter ourselves, and God. There is a desire for silence, desire for spirituality, and the problems of society. If we take time in silence we find the answer to this desire.”

Other speakers included Curtis Martin, from FOCUS USA, the fellowship of Catholic University Students, Sr Roseann Reddy from Sisters of the Gospel of Life, and Dr Andrew O’Connell, who is communications director for the Presentation Brothers based in Dublin.

Executive director for Invocation Chris Smith said: “Young Catholics living in today’s society need to be accompanied and directed by informed, inspiring and experienced guides; priests and religious, educators from our Catholic schools, youth leaders, witnesses from within parish communities and from within their own families.

“Young people seek an abundance of opportunities; to encounter the Lord, for discernment, formation, catechesis and fellowship, all within the right environments, and they want to develop and be equipped with the right tools so as to listen, discern and respond to the call of Christ in their lives.

“Invocation seeks to form experienced and inspiring leaders in discernment. It endeavours to provide the right tools, and it seeks to provide the best opportunities within the right environments for young people to listen, discern, and respond to the call of Christ in their lives. It does this by supporting and enhancing the work of other agencies and groups in providing outstanding practice across these key areas where it already exists. Furthermore, Invocation strives to seek out and develop new ideas and ways forward to meet the vision of what would help young people.”

For more information visit invocation.org.uk.

Twitter: #Invocation2014 or follow @Invocation_CT.



To read the Telegraph interview visit


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