Forming and serving Youth Ministry in England and Wales

Young people gather to welcome the Pope

Over 3,000 young people from England, Wales and Scotland are involved in the weekend Papal Visit events.

More than 2,000 16-25 year olds will participate in the Mass at Westminster Cathedral tomorrow (Saturday 18th September 2010), representing one young person from nearly every parish in the country from the tip of Cornwall to the edge of Northumberland including young people travelling from Scotland. At the conclusion of Mass, the Pope will greet the young people gathered outside the cathedral. Paschal Uche, on behalf of young Catholics in the UK will thank the Pope for his visit saying “Your visit brings us together – it is like a family reunion – and we are very pleased to see you.”

The Pope will then bless a new candle stand, a symbol for Catholic Youth Ministry throughout England and Wales. Commissioned by the Catholic Youth Ministry Federation, the stand represents four themes at the heart of work with Catholic young people: incarnation, salvation, community and ministry (see notes).

These young people will then proceed to Hyde Park to join others at the Hyde Park prayer vigil. 600 will represent their dioceses and catholic organisations carrying banners in procession as the Catholic community gathers to welcome the Pope.

Paschal Uche says “Christ himself did say ‘those who have ears, let them listen’ and if people really listen to what Pope Benedict has for us and what God is telling us through him, then there’s some really great stuff.”

Fr Dominic Howarth, Chair of CYMFed, said, “We are delighted that so many young people have the opportunity to gathering to welcome the Holy Father. I have been with young people in Rome, Cologne and Sydney and seen the electrifying effect of being in the presence of the Holy Father and I hope that tomorrow the young people of England and Wales in their thousands will enjoy a moment to remember for ever.”

Notes for Editors

  1. CYMFed is the Catholic Youth Ministry Federation
  2. Candle Stand: Designed by Xavier J. Javier, Creative Artist (Hexham & Newcastle Diocese)
  3. Alongside Paschal Uche (from Brentwood Diocese) who is welcoming the Pope, will be a young person from each diocese and a number of catholic organisations. Gathered with the young people on the steps: Fr Dominic Howarth (Brentwood Diocese) CYMFed Chair and Becky Barber (Plymouth Diocese) who will take over as Chair in October.
  4. Also, at the beatification of Cardinal Newman in the Archdiocese of Birmingham on 19 September 2010 (Cofton Park) a chorus of 40 young people drawn from Bishop Ullerthorne, Cardinal Wiseman and Cardinal Newman schools in Coventry and St Thomas Aquinas school in Birmingham will be joining Boyce and Stanley to provide a concert of prayer, music and reflection based on the life and teaching of John Henry Newman.

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