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The World Youth Day held in January in Panama was another great success. The 15th international World Youth Day ended Sunday with a Mass celebrated by Pope Francis attended by hundreds of thousands of young people from around the world.

Pope Francis key question to those in attendance was: Are you willing to say “Yes”?

Pope Francis presented Mary as the supreme example of how to say ‘yes’ and to “trust in the love and promises of God”. It is this, he said, that makes Mary, “the ‘influencer’ of God”.

He challenged the young people present to say:

“Yes” to embracing life

“Saying ‘yes’ to the Lord means embracing life as it comes”, said the Pope, “with all its fragility”. “It is through our frailties and flaws that the Lord wants to write our love story”, he said. “What a gift it is to know we have a Father who embraces us despite our imperfections”.

“Yes” to building community

The Pope spoke of how impossible it is for us to grow “unless we have strong roots to support us”: the roots of an education , employment, a family, a community. Without these we cannot “dream of a future”, he said. “Because dreaming of a future” means answering the question what am I living for, and who am I living for”.

“Yes” to being guardians

To be an “influencer” in the 21st Century, said Pope Francis, “is to be guardians of roots”, of everything that makes us “feel part of one another”, that makes us “feel we belong”.

Willingness to say “Yes”

“Are you willing to say ‘yes’?”, challenged the Pope. “Are you willing to be an ‘influencer’ like Mary?”, he asked. “Only love makes us more human and fulfilled”, he concluded.
So do not be afraid to tell Jesus you want to be “part of His love story in this world”.

You can read the full text here. 

You can read Pope Francis’ welcome at the Opening Ceremony here.

At the end of the event it was announced that the next World Youth Day will be held in Lisbon, Portugal in 2022. 

Our regular youth events are:

Reignite Young Adult Mass, takes place on the third Sunday of the Month This will start back towards the end of 2019.  Reignite is an opportunity to experience our faith as fun, engaging and transformative.

Come along for great speakers, guest homilists, our young adults music ministry, reunion with friends and social time.

Nightfever which takes place on the First Friday of the month at 7pm at Holy Name Church, Oxford Road.The concept behind Nightfever is very simple, the church remains open from 7pm – 10pm, bathed in just candlelight. On the altar is the exposed Blessed Sacrament.  Live music is softly played in the background. The atmosphere is one of beauty and of peace.

Our volunteers are outside, in pairs, simply just inviting passers by to come in and light a candle.  The response to the invitation varies, but a surprising amount of people come in and their breath is taken away by the beauty.  Many are struck by the beauty and ask to stay.  Some wish to talk, some just remain in silence.

Afterwards we retire to the chaplaincy next door for some pizza and to share our experiences – Come along and join the team!

Come back for more news after the Youth Pilgrimage to Rome later this month!