More than 8,000 young Catholics from across England and Wales filled London’s Wembley Arena on Saturday for the Flame Youth Congress, Britain’s largest-ever Catholic youth event and largest gathering of Catholics since 2010’s Papal visit.
After prayer, music, and a series of presentations, Father Timothy Radcliffe gave a keynote speech on the theme of “respect”. Paralympic runner Stephanie Reid, Olympic rower Debbie Flood, and the former Olympic speed-skater Sister Catherine Holum CFR spoke of the role of faith in their lives, and Barry and Margaret Mizen, whose son Jimmy was murdered in 2008, spoke of forgiveness and peace.
In his homily before Eucharistic adoration, Archbishop Vincent Nichols called on those present to share their gifts with the world to the glory of God, and to “embody the joy and happiness which comes with loving generously.”
Jack Regan, from CatholicYouthWork.com, said “I think that Flame shows us a number of things: It shows us what Catholic youth ministry can achieve when we really set our minds to it; it shows us how many young people there are out there who will respond generously to the Gospel, and it shows us that the faith in this country is still strong and vibrant.”
-- Originally published in The Irish Catholic, 29 March 2012