Youth 2000 day of prayer in Lancaster
On Saturday 2nd April, the eve of the feast of Divine Mercy, a group of young adults met at Lancaster University Chaplaincy centre for the first ever Youth 2000 day of prayer in Lancaster Diocese. Youth 2000 is an organisation that seeks to draw young people into a personal relationship with Jesus. They do this primarily through weekend prayer festivals, where young people are introduced to the essentials of the Catholic faith: Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, Confession, Scripture, Devotion to Our Lady. These festivals are opportunities for young people to experience the love of God, to receive the grace of conversion and to begin living anew the Christian life.
In the last number of years more and more young people from the Diocese have been attending events led by Youth 2000. We wanted to bring the joy of these events to the Diocese so that more of our young people could experience what Youth 2000 are all about.
Nisha, 19, from Preston, who attended the event said: "I attended the Youth 2000 day at Lancaster University, mainly because I wanted to strengthen my faith and make new Catholic friends - both of which I achieved. I left the day feeling renewed after listening to God’s Word, taking part in discussion sessions and singing the best hymns in Adoration. It was also great to see friends after a long time and speak to new people, because having good Catholic friends on your faith journey is so important. I would most definitely do this again and I would encourage other young people to join too!"
We gathered at the start of the day sharing lunch together before moving into a time of prayer. This was followed by a talk looking at both the Year of Mercy and Divine Mercy – to link with our theme of the day ‘Mercy’. We ended the day with a time of Adoration, accompanied with praise and worship – and the chance to receive God’s mercy in a tangible way, in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Anna, 18, also from Preston said: "The first Youth 2000 Prayer group at Lancaster was a really enjoyable day, with thought provoking discussions and talks on the theme of Mercy. I had a great time catching up with old friends and getting to know many new people. A particular highlight for me was the small group discussions where we talked and reflected on several questions on the topic of Mercy. This was quite a moving experience as people shared how they had experienced mercy in their own lives.
After having such a good time, I feel inspired to get more involved with the work of Youth 2000, in particular future prayer groups and the pilgrimage to Walsingham this summer! I really encourage other young people to come to future Youth 2000 prayer groups and other events as I found it a great way to not only deepen my faith, but to get to know other young Catholics!"
We hope for this to be the first of many Youth 2000 days of prayer that we have in the Diocese. The next day we are to host will be Saturday 9th July at Lancaster University Chaplaincy to begin at 12:30. All young people are welcome to attend the event, please keep an eye out for more information in your parish bulletin.
The next retreat led by the National Youth 2000 team will be in Walsingham, Norfolk – running from August 25-29. All information can be found at http://www.youth2000.org/#!conquerors/b2675 There will be a group travelling from Lancaster Diocese, so please get in touch with the team at Castlerigg if you are interested in attending.