Lux.home saw young people of secondary school age from across the diocese come together for a weekend of fun, games, roller disco and reconciliation, to reflect on the Church’s teachings on heaven, hell and purgatory.
Some of the young people commented:
"My first time at NYMO and had a great time, made lots of new friends.
Looking forward to seeing you all again in June" - Adam, year 9
"It was my first time going to lux and loved it and made lots of new friends.
Thank you to Steve, and all of the lux team, I'm so going in June, inviting some of my friends!
Thank you guys xx" - Kozo, year 7
"Definitely up for more! I will be back in June and Lourdes" - Tom, year 11
Friday night we were warmly greeted once again by Kings Park Conference Centre and after a yummy dinner as always, we met in the main hall to kick off the weekend. Bishop Peter had kindly given each young person a YOUCAT so these were distributed and explored. Neil introduced the theme and explained that the idea of the weekend had all come from young people, past luxians. Will Currie came up with the theme and title and Clare O’Brien designed the advertising.
The Bible passage of the weekend was John 14:1-4:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going.”
Neil led us by reflecting on what heaven means to us. Some of the suggestions were: clouds, loved ones, peace, angels, gates, with God, castles, gold, imagination. Neil told us that Heaven is being with God and that He wants us to be with him, as is shown in the passage. We then reflected on what our perfect room would look like in small groups, before the evening ended with Night Prayer on ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ led by Niamh.
Saturday morning began with an optional Mass with Fr Simon, followed by a full English (standard King’s Park) – the perfect start to the day! We sang some funky singing led by the band (“Peace like a river in my souuuuul!”) to wake us all up, ready for the day. Hannah Zafar came to speak to us about what the Church teaches about heaven and explained it using an apple bobbing demonstration which you can watch here and two truths and a lie: truth no.1: faith in Jesus, truth no.2: grace of God, lie no.1: heaven is for good people. You can view her talk here and here.
Before lunch we celebrated the sacrament of reconciliation and were joined by Fr Paul Donovan, Fr Andrew Behrens, Fr Brendan Killeen, Fr Joe Walsh, Fr Damien Walne and Fr Simon Penhalagan. Fr Paul gave a great demonstration of what happens during reconciliation when Jesus takes the pain of our sins upon himself so that we can be free. Lizi led us in a service during which we were able to receive the sacrament if we wanted. She led us in a reflection and explanation of the sacrament which you can view here. She also used bubbles to demonstrate how when we confess our sins, God destroys them completely, he pops the bubbles.
We then had another incredible lunch, which was followed by another input from Hannah, talking about what heaven is like. You can view some of the talk here. She quoted St Augustine who said,
"Undeniably, in heaven, we shall see, we shall love and we shall praise.” And showed us this video of the amount of joy we would feel in heaven.
In small groups we were then encouraged to come up with an advert for heaven which we could tweet:
The time of your (after) life. You've never felt this way before. I pray it's the truth.
We want to welcome you! #luxhome #Petegroup
Mans hosting an eternal party in my Kingdom, spread the Grace to reserve your place! #turnup! #SteveoBgroup
Keep faith + go to heaven: the supreme state of happiness, hogwarts in the sky #nothell #luxhome #lizigroup
Heaven; the gateway to eternal life with more than "enough room" for all
#john 14:2 #bestthingsinlifearefree #luxhome #hannahgroup
Want to be in a free place where you can meet King Apple Bob?
#cometoheaven #bringyourowndressinggown #blacktie #luxhome #amygroup
God <3 U!Join him in paradise+experience th joy of heaven
#therewillbebabieslaughingeverywhere #butyouhavetodiefirst #luxhome #steveHgroup
Just booked my place in heaven: the adventure begins. All friend's welcome
#heaven #luxhome #adultsgroup
Do you actually love love? Then this is the place for you.
#paradise #stateofbeing #luxhome #godsquadkeenos #niamhsgroup
God's home, our home, your home, has a place for you. So make God's home your home
#happinessforever #love #peace #luxhome #michellesgroup
The afternoon was spent in workshops where we had a choice of ultimate frisbee, film, theology of the body for boys, theology of the body for girls, sign language, singing and dance.
The evening consisted of a Grill the Priest session with Fr Simon in the hot seat. Eat small group had a chance to ask questions on the topic, so we discussed things like ‘why is there a hell if God is loving?’ and ‘what is grace?’.
We then had a neon roller disco and an indoor hockey match, across at the Sports Hall, which was great fun. Once we had all calmed down and rehydrated, we spent night prayer in Adoration which was a wonderful end to a busy but great day.
Sunday morning after another tasty breakfast we met in the main space for morning prayer. We watched a video reflection called 'Dear Mr God' and spent the next few minutes writing our own letters to God which was great to take a good chunk of time out of the busy weekend to do so.
We were joined by Bishop Peter and some of his friends for Mass which was great and by the end the sun was shining! The feast was of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple and we reflected how we could present the light of Christ to others.
To finish off we had lunch and then a final service where we gave out affirmation balloons, watched some performances from the workshops and sang lots of songs. It was a really happy way to end a great weekend! Thank you to everyone who came and for all you gave to it :)
Keep an eye on our website for information about our next weekend ‘lux.hungry’ in June 2014 in Northampton. We look forward to seeing you there! Here's a little trailer: