Shrewsbury Catholics attending a Youth 2000 meeting in Manchester recently were given the rare opportunity to quiz their bishop about his faith.
Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury celebrated Mass at the “[email protected]” event before leading a “Grill the Bishop” workshop in which he took questions from young Catholic adults.
One of them, Claz Gomez, said: “Many of us fired all our burning questions, most of which were personal questions about the bishop’s faith story, which he answered gracefully and with much humility.”
She added: “[email protected] was a great opportunity to find deeper meaning in our lives, to love and feel loved back, and to meet other young Catholics that we could share our faith and prayer with.”
The Youth 2000 event was held on April 2, the sixth anniversary of the 2005 death of Pope John Paul II, who will be beatified on May 1.
The theme was drawn from the words of John Paul: “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly, knowing that God is with you, therefore no harm can befall you.”
The event took place in the Parish of Sacred Heart and St Peter in Baguley, Wythenshawe.
Speakers included Sister Miriam from the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal, who reminded the young Catholics that Jesus is alive.
She told a story about a time when she was asked if she was married. “Yes. I am married to Jesus,” she replied. Her questioner said: “But you can’t be married to someone who is dead.” Her answer was: “True. However, Jesus is not dead. He is alive.”
She also strongly encouraged Youth 2000 to appreciate that the living Jesus came to each of the faithful whenever they received Holy Communion.
Fr Stephen Brown, chaplain to Bradford University, helped participants in the day of prayer to reflect on the nature and destruction of sin ahead of a service of healing and reconciliation.
Claz Gomez said: “The worship really helped to bring people to that holy place in their minds and hearts and to focus on Jesus present throughout the day in the Holy Eucharist.”
The event for young Catholics in Shrewsbury was organised with the help of Dave Fitton, the Shrewsbury diocesan youth ministry co-ordinator.