Although it was a slightly overcast Saturday in May, Confirmandi were once again fired up at 'Blaze 2015', this time from all across the Diocese. 145 young people of secondary-school age arrived on coaches with their catechists for the chance to mix with other young people and explore a range of different ideas and topics in preparation for their Confirmation.
The key-note speaker, Liam Lynch, certainly challenged the young people listening to him – he asked them to think seriously about why they were were being Confirmed. Was it simply something that their parents wanted or were they taking the Sacrament seriously for themselves? After the key note-talk, young people broke off into smaller groups to take part in numerous workshops exploring the Catholic Faith through a number of different lenses. Fr. Joseph from Princes Risborough led a workshop on prayer, prompting young people to consider the reasons we pray, and the different approaches and attitudes that can apply to our prayer lives before ultimately challenging young people to carve out time in their routines to spend with God in prayer. Another of the groups learnt some language which led them to think about why the Holy Spirit is depicted with fire.
Later young people had the opportunity to go receive the sacrament of Reconciliation before participating at a Mass presided at by Bishop Peter. Young people then had the chance to meet Bishop Peter and they had been preparing questions for him throughout the day. The questions were certainly wide-ranging: Confirmandi wanted to know about Bishop Peter's call to the priesthood, his crosier and if he had ever been in a fight! Prudence Hill accompanied a group of Confirmandi on the day. "I came with a group from our Pastoral area including St Gregory's parish. I was very impressed with all the people involved and the organisation. I noticed how much more recollected the group was at the Mass compared to the morning. The Holy Spirit was working!"