Last Saturday we took the young people who are being Confirmed at Saint Edmund’s this year to Flame 17, an event organised by the Catholic Youth Ministry Federation (CYMFED). Along with 10,000 other (mostly) young people from all over the country we headed off to the Wembley Arena for a day made up of rock-music, liturgies interspersed with dance, rapping, a Mexican Wave engulfing the whole arena, together with interviews and presentations about how young people can and do put their faith into practice. A boat alongside the stage set the scene for the day, for when the Flame event began we learned that it was one of the many boats on which countless refugees have attempted the perilous journey across the Mediterranean to the Italian island of Lampedusa. Later in the day
we would see dozens of crosses, roughly fashioned from the driftwood from boats that had not made it to land, being carried in procession to accompany the Blessed Sacrament for Benediction at the end of the day.
So what could we actually do about the human tragedy presented by the thousands of refugees who flee their homes each year? We were soon reminded of those great words of Saint Catherine of Siena: ‘Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire’. And throughout the day the presentations by Catholic leaders and aid agencies – on this occasion concentrating on the poor, the destitute, and refugees living here and abroad – told us just how, with God’s help, young people, like the rest of us, can indeed become the people God meant us to be, by helping those less fortunate than ourselves. And one message of the day, given to us by Cardinal Bo (from Myanmar) as he read to us the following poem, was that by putting ourselves in God’s hands we can overcome every challenge.
Read the 19th March Newsletter here.