Report by Fr. Gareth Leyshon
On October 10th, 120 delegates from across the Archdiocese of Cardiff together with a few guests from Menevia, gathered at St David’s Sixth Form College for “Proclaim’15 Cardiff”. This was our local follow-up to the National Proclaim’15 event in Birmingham earlier this year.
The day began with a welcome from Archbishop George Stack followed by a stirring opening liturgy based on the hymn ‘The Summons’. This set the tone for the Keynote Addresses and Workshops. Hannah Vaughan-Spruce (Portsmouth Diocese) opened with her talk on discipleship, which she delivered very enthusiastically and sincerely, demonstrating how Christ calls us to a relationship which is not a contract but a covenant. In the afternoon, Irish missionary Revd Pat Collins spoke very powerfully on Building a Missionary Diocese. The workshops all focussed on different ways of sharing the Good News about Jesus, through social outreach, through healing, reaching non-churchgoing Catholics, kindling faith in youth and building missionary parishes.
Recurring themes throughout the day were the need to move from being merely a member of the Church to being a disciple, for parishes to move from being maintenance parishes to missionary ones, the need for us all to be outward-looking and missionary, and to engage in evangelisation in our daily lives. Delegates filled in a questionnaire in which they were asked to indicate how they could be involved in proclaiming the Good News, what training they might need and their availability. At the end of the Conference, all the delegates were asked to come forward and place their completed questionnaires in a basket as an outward sign of the commitment to evangelisation they were making. The delegates were then commissioned by Archbishop George with a prayer and a blessing, and the day ended with the heartfelt singing of Go, tell everyone.
In the light of the Questionnaires completed by delegates, we are launching a new programme in January, “Keep FIT For Mission – Fellowship, Intercession and Training”. Now that we have a network of more than 100 Catholics who are keen to proclaim the Gospel at parish, cluster and deanery level, we want to offer a monthly opportunity for people to come together to receive training and to share prayer and good ideas. As a PILOT, this programme will run for three months at St Philip Evans Parish in Cardiff, but a permanent time and venue will be announced for meetings from April onwards. For the pilot, each session will run at 1.30 p.m. and be repeated at 7.30 p.m. on the first Monday of each month.
January 4th – “How to share the Gospel Message”. Revd Dr Gareth Leyshon presents the same workshop he delivered to a national audience in Birmingham
February 1st – “Making the Most of the Year of Mercy”. How do you invite your local community to go through the Holy Door with you?
March 7th – “Intercession and Open Forum”. 45 minutes of prayer for the work of evangelisation, followed by an opportunity to share ideas which are working in your area.
If you would like to be involved in the “Keep FIT” programme but the time or the venue is not possible for you, we are considering options of
- The evening session being moved to the Cathedral on Mondays, or being run after the 7pm Mass on Wednesdays at St. Philip Evans
- The afternoon session being run after the 12.45pm Mass on Mondays or Thursdays at St. David’s Cathedral
- The afternoon session being run at a different time on Mondays or Thursdays.
Suggestions are welcome.
The monthly Keep FIT meetings will be at a Cardiff city location because this is a central gathering place for the diocese, but we will respond to requests from other parishes wishing to have a particular training session repeated elsewhere in the diocese. You can contact Revd Gareth Leyshon at firstname.lastname@example.org or 029 2073 1061.
- Many of the resources used by speakers on 10 October are now available on-line at tinyurl.com/P15CF-docs