On Saturday 30 November 2019, over one hundred people engaged in youth ministry in all its guises gathered at Amigo Hall, St George’s Cathedral, London for an inspiring day on Christus Vivit and how to translate its vision into practice – ‘Christ is Alive! Unpacking the Synod for youth ministers.

Christus Vivit (Christ is Alive!) is Pope Francis’ Post Apostolic Exhortation published after the Synod on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment held in October 2018. The document gives a renewed vision and hope to young people and those who minister to them, evident from the document’s opening words: “Christ is alive! He is our hope, and in a wonderful way he brings youth to our world, and everything he touches becomes young, new, full of life. The very first words, then, that I would like to say to every young Christian are these: Christ is alive and he wants you to be alive!” (Christus Vivit, 1).

Archbishop John Wilson, Archbishop of Southwark welcomed us all to St George’s Cathedral. Christ was alive and present throughout the day, particularly during our beautiful liturgies led by Andy Clare from HCPT during which Joe Wells from One Hope Project led us in worship.

Fr Martin Poulsom SDB gave the keynote speech. Giving an in-depth look at Christus Vivit chapter by chapter, Fr Martin provided much food for thought ahead of the practical workshops . Danny Curtin, CEO and co-founder of Million Minutes, youth action and advocacy organisation introduced us to “Complex Catholicism”, research undertaken to provide a realistic and timely snapshot of contemporary young Catholics in England and Wales to mark and inform the Synod.

To facilitate practical application of the vision of Christus Vivit a variety of workshops were on offer: The Synod in Parish Practice; Synod Fruits; Can ‘accompaniment’ disrupt the ‘dramatic limbo of non-belonging’ experienced by many Catholic Young People?; and Complex Catholicism – Exploring the faith and life of young Catholics today.

An attendee from Southwark Archdiocese said ” It was a very inspiring day. Many thanks for the smooth organisation and brilliant input.” Another said “Thank you. It was an uplifting and practical day.”