BIRMINGHAM, England, JULY 9, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Around 400 young adults gathered at Oscott College in Birmingham, England, this weekend to celebrate the third national discernment festival, entitled Invocation.
The objective of the festival aims to deepen its participants’ relationship with Christ, giving them access to good formation and space for the discernment and understanding of God’s will for their lives and offering them the chance to speak with priests and religious who are living their vocation.
Young people from across the UK had the opportunity to meet with priests and religious, and listen to talks given by various religious, including one given by the bishop of Shrewsbury, Mark Davies. They also had the opportunity to venerate the relic of the heart of St. John Vianney; the relic concluded a four-day visit to the UK at the festival.
The closing Mass of the event was celebrated by Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster, who was joined by Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham, and the apostolic nuncio Antonio Mennini.
“This Invocation Festival,” said Archbishop Mennini in his homily, “is a wonderful opportunity for you to seek out others who share your desire to know God’s will and who visibly remind you very clearly that you are not alone. None of us is alone when we know and love the Lord! Here too, during this festival, and perhaps when you are at home … it is possible to make the time, the space and especially the silence as members of the Body of Christ to help one another in listening for, and hearing God’s call, especially in the Holy Eucharist and during time spent in adoration of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.”
Included among the personal vocation stories that the participants heard was that of CFR Sister Catherine Holum, a former Olympic speed skater. “The greatest joy about being a sister,” she told the young people present, “is belonging totally to Jesus. He is my spouse.”
Father Stephen Langridge, chairman of the national Conference of Diocesan Directors of Vocation, who helped organize the festival, said, “This year’s event exceeded all our expectations. It is a privilege to help these young Catholics find the life that God is calling them to lead, and with the Lord’s help, the Church can be confident of an exciting future.”