Lower Sixth student, Davide, tells us about the Flame Congress:
On Saturday 2nd March, a handful of students from St Columba’s College, accompanied by Ms McCarthy and Brother Nelson, joined the confirmation candidates from the parish of St Alban and St Stephen in attending Flame Congress 2019 – the biggest Catholic youth event in the UK.
8,000 young Catholics from dioecies across England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Norway headed to SSE Wembley Arena for the event, with this year’s theme focussing on ‘significance’. We were reminded that in God’s eyes we are ‘masterpieces’ (Ephesians 2:10). Father Dermott Donnelly, who coordinated this year’s event, told us: 'At this time, when we are sometimes exposed to ‘fake news’ we are reminded of the truth about who we are as people, truly loved by God and called to do Him some definitive service'.
The day’s proceedings included an inspiring talk from Texas-born Robert Madu, who presented the Gospel in a unique and inspiring way, reminding us always to ‘stay in our lane’ and ‘keep our eyes on Jesus’. Whilst worship leader, singer and songwriter, Tim Hughes, led the day’s music.
We were blessed to have an interview made specially for the day with Canadian-born humanitarian and theologian, Jean Vanier. He spoke about 'discovering the secret God has put in our hearts', and how those with disabilities teach us how to be human – whilst also seeking to love and be loved above all else.
Primate of All Ireland, Archbishop Eamon Martin, spoke about our ‘Call to Holiness’, reflecting on the Vatican’s recent Synod focussing on the young people of the Church. Whilst Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols concluded the day’s preceding with an adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
We thank Ms McCarthy, Brother Nelson and the parish of St Alban and St Stephen for allowing us to participate in this wonderful day, as well as the Flame organisers for what has been a magnificent event.