Monday, 11 May 2009


Well, our REFRESH weekend happened, and it was VERY blessed. The number of young adults was not huge, though if you add together all those who came for part of the weekend to those who stayed for the whole thing, the numbers really mount up. But what was obvious was the presence of Jesus, and of Mary, his Mother. The number of blessed conversations that people have told me about, the number of people who came to Confession after many years, the people young and not-so-young who came up to touch the fringe of Our Lord's cloak at the Saturday evening Healing Service, the really anointed way in which the music group played, the fantastic catering done by Caroline and her team of parishioners... the list goes on of the ways that God has responded to all our efforts for this event. For myself, one of the abiding memories will be the members of the three religious orders that we invited to come along. Sister Mary Trinity from Carmarthen just smiled a beautiful smile through the whole weekend. A whole bunch of Mother Teresa's sisters from Merthyr radiated peace and inner beauty, and attracted the young people to them like bees after the honey. And Fr Augustine and Brother Benedict, two young Friars of the Renewal in their full grey Franciscan habits spent the whole weekend just making themselves available - in Confession, in the canteen, wherever they were needed. Sadly, many of our young people have never encountered men or women from religious orders who are so at home with youth, so down to earth and yet so inspiring. It's not just because these ones wear their habits; rather it's because they are so transparently given over to the Lord.

I was really tired by Sunday evening, having been on the go throughout the weekend. Now I'm looking forward to the "post mortem" of the organizing group, and to a reunion meeting of those who attended - to see where we go from here.

So, readers, make no mistake, the Church is alive and active. Bring people together, gather them around Our Lord, light the spiritual touch paper and stand back!

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