their formators have come to pray at the tomb of St Peter. This pilgrimage is another mark of the Year of Faith we’ve been celebrating in the Catholic Church. To be honest I have no idea of the event. However I find it a great blessing to be part of the celebrations. In a few weeks crowds will ascend to Rio de Janeiro for the World Youth Day but what I am seeing in Rome right now is like another celebration of the Church’s youth. It is an uplifting experience to see so many young people from different seminaries and religious orders bearing witness to the presence of Jesus who has called them to be priests, brothers or nuns. As I am watching these young religious I have been tempted to kidnap 10 of them and to transport them to Australia ;) I am pretty sure my Provincial would give me absolution for that ;)
These morning we gathered at the Lateran University to attend a reflection on the New Evangelization. The Lateran University is the most prestige Catholic education institution in Rome. It is run by the Rome Diocese with the Pope as the local Bishop. It is the only place on Earth where the Pope and the local bishop are the same person. The lecture we attended was given by an auxiliary bishop of Rome who is one of a few bishops helping the Holy Father to minister to the Rome Diocese. He started with this point: “Faith is not a refuge for people without courage. Likewise vocations are a refuge for people without courage.” The first sign of New Evangelization is that it takes roots in my own life. I am the first person to be transformed because in the course of my life I have encountered Christ and because of the encounter I am ready to tell others that faith does work, that by giving my life to Christ my life makes sense. The Bishop continued saying that New Evangelization isn’t about getting new believers or brining back those who have left the Church or having clear answers out. New Evangelization calls us all priests, religious and lay people to be missionaries where we are by bearing witness to the encounter we had with Christ like those who saw him after his Resurrection and were so transferred that it was evident that Christ is alive. It was even a stronger proof for the Resurrection than the Empty Tomb.