By Alan Pasi
From Thursday 24th to Monday 28th of August the six of us, Alan, Martha, Bridget, Belinda, Serjie and Jason (together with our Parish Priest) travelled to Walsingham for a spiritual retreat at Youth 2000. Its purpose is to draw young people between the ages of 16-35 into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. This year it was focused on the theme of inheritance which mentioned,
“We have a promise of an inheritance that can never be spoilt or fade away. Kept for you in the heavens.”
Young people are introduced to the essentials of the Catholic faith which are Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, Confession, Scripture, Devotion to Our Lady.
Each pilgrim was provided with a programme which had all the essentials including prayers too. In the morning people had breakfast then soon after attend morning praise and Rosary. Each day there was Mass, workshops to attend and big and small groups which separated males and females to serve the purpose of discussing personal problems which affect us daily.
We had speakers who shared their lives and how believing and having faith makes your prayers stronger. One of the speakers, Kerri Lenartowick, spoke about personal prayers to God and how it is okay to use the imperative with him. It is okay to let everything out to God since you will be having a personal relationship with him. God will give you what you want even though it takes time he will always come through.
The workshops came with different range of topics such as, Give peace a chance, Be yourself, Discipleship, Stories of healing, Healing and many more. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament was also available anytime during the day and throughout the night in the big tent for anyone who wants to pray, go to confession or praise and worship.
We were blessed to have quite a few Bishops with us to celebrate Mass who were Bishop Patrick McKinney (Nottingham), Bishop Alan Hopes (East Anglia) and Bishop Mark O’Toole (Plymouth). In addition, we were joined by Bishop Elias, who is currently living in London having been driven from his home diocese in Syria.
A café was also available for socialising, hot drinks were sold and there were performances such as singing, guitar playing and people danced.
Youth 2000 is an amazing experience and it gives us young adults the time to praise and worship God without any distractions since we are all there for the same reasons. That is why I love Youth 2000 and would like to make sure I go every year to have time to myself and my God. To meet new people and pray together. To get closer to God.