It is good to be back at the Reading Oratory School for the Evangelium Conference. An annual event for young adults that seeks to better educate people about the Catholic faith. This year the numbers are reduced; partly because of a limit imposed by the school due to a building project, and secondly because world youth day is happening at the same time. But the smaller crowd has not diminished proceedings in any way. One might even argue a positive in that the sense of intimacy in enhanced. Thus far talks have been engaging and worthwhile, worship inspiring and the food and conversation most agreeable.
My duties at the conference include giving a lecture, preaching at Mass, sitting on an apologetics panel and offering Mass according to Divine Worship. Countless others are also giving lectures and seminars which makes for a full but interesting and varied programme. The hope is that people return home better informed about their faith and equipped to give a good account of it to others.
Many of the speakers will be well known to parishioners at St. Anselm’s in Pembury for the simple fact that our Year of Faith and Year of Mercy lecture series have been something of an Evangelium roadshow. Fr. Jerome Betram, Fr. Marcus Holden, Fr. Andrew Pinsent, Deacon Stephen Morgan and Dame Joanna Bogle all having visited our parish in the last few years.