Friday, July 27, 2012

Let the games begin...

Tonight, the 30th Olympic Games commence in London. In ancient times this was a period when conflicts were ceased or put on hold.

You can take a look at some information about the spiritual dimensions of the Olympics over on

I think it would be a good idea to mark the opening of the Games by praying for peace in the world. In particular we pray for the innocent victims of the violence in Syria. I also want to remember those parts of Nigeria which remain troubled by strife.

In the words of Pope Benedict XVI:

“I pray that, in the spirit of the Olympic Truce, the good generated by this international sporting event may bear fruit, promoting peace and reconciliation throughout the world."

Friday, July 20, 2012

Post-Invocation 2012

Catechesis session in the main tent at Invocation

After the hugely successful Invocation 2012 discernment festival in Birmingham I took a few days holidays in England. Now I'm back at my desk and, in addition to being refreshed from the experience of a good rest, I'm also enthused by the memory of the great energy and commitment I witnessed at Oscott College, the home of Invocation.

Hundreds of people gathered at the seminary for a weekend of prayer, reflection, catechesis, workshops and an opportunity to chat with a priest or religious. The goal of Invocation is to provide young people who are discerning a religious vocation with a supportive environment. Many of the people at the event tell us that they find it hard to discuss their experience with family and friends. At Invocation they are surrounded by people who are also discerning and who have the same questions, fears and dreams.

You can take a look at some photos from the event on the official website of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales. You can also keep in touch with the organisers by Liking the Invocation page on Facebook (Invocation Festival) and following it on Twitter (@Invocation2012).

A scene from Benediction at the end of the Eucharistic Procession at Invocation

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Invocation 2012

One of the most exciting developments on the vocations scene in recent years has been the emergence of the Invocation discernment festival, held each summer at Oscott seminary in Birmingham.

I'll be there this year along with dozens of young men and women who are seriously discerning their vocation in life. I'm looking forward to experiencing the atmosphere of prayer and reflection that characterises events of this nature.

The role of the religious who will be there is to provide advice, encouragement and support to the young people we meet.

If you're in the region why not consider registering to attend...

You can read more about the event at