THE SECOND Evangelium summer conference in Berkshire, which finished on August 9, was filled to capacity with young people who described it as “a wonderful blend of the head and heart”, “inspirational” and giving them “great hope for the future”.
The recent attacks of the “new atheists”, and others hostile to Catholic faith and morals, have made it more important than ever to equip young people, intellectually and spiritually, to proclaim and defend the Gospel in the modern world.
Over the weekend of August 7-9, the Evangelium Conference brought worldclass, seasoned campaigners, philosophers and theologians together to share their experience with over 150 young people at the beautiful Reading Oratory school in Berkshire.
Expert insights were given on a vast range of issues, including answering militant atheists, faith and science, the Pope and Aids, spiritual warfare, the Catholic reading of Scripture, authority and freedom and the history of Catholic England. Eminent experts who spoke at the conference included journalist David Quinn of the Iona institute, Fr Brian Harrison, Dr Helen Watt of the Linacre Centre, Fr Timothy Finigan, Fr Nicholas Schofield, Prof Thomas Pink from King’s College, London, Joanna and Jamie Bogle, Fiorella Nash, Fr Jerome Bertram, Fr Thomas Crean OP and Fr Jeremy Davies.
Delegates also represented EWTN, Aid to the Church in Need, Family Life International and St Anthony Communications.
Although the topics ad dressed were often serious, there was also much good humour and a great sense of joy.
The conference was organised by Fr Marcus Holden and Fr Andrew Pinsent of the Evangelium Project, in association with the Catholic Truth Society. Describing the approach of the conference Fr Pinsent said: “We aimed to bring young people together for a weekend of expert, clear and entertaining presentations on Catholic faith and life, with beautiful liturgy and a prayerful, joyful atmosphere. The enthusiastic response of those present confirms the fruitfulness of this approach.” Many young people left the Conference asking for more such events and the Evangelium Project is hoping to organise a third Conference at the Reading Oratory School next summer.
Further information can be found at www.evangelium.co.uk.
One visitor to the conference said: “It was so wonderful to meet so many good people – it gives me lots of hope for the future.” Another said: “The most important aspect for me was meeting like-minded young and professional Catholics and hearing material from professional speakers.
“It has given me a boost to evangelise and try to live a faithful Catholic life.”