Monday, 7 April 2008


Many stories of past Celebrate conferences had reached our ears...but none of them could hope to give us a picture of this year's experience. This annual family conference held by the Catholic Charismatic Renewal didn't take its usual form this year. But the SPES students still went and joined about 100 young adults, age 18-25, at Worth Abbey for "Joel's Bar."

We arrived at the abbey, just south of London, the evening of Easter Sunday and pitched in with the preparation efforts which were already underway. Spending time with the organising team was such a blessing. It was a way to see the prayer and effort that went on "behind the scene."

The week was great. We really didn't have a whole lot of responsibilities during the day (we weren't too disappointed about that) so we were able to participate like everyone else. Worth Abbey is beautiful (a very modern-style church!) and seemed to work out perfectly as the site for this conference. The music was inspiring, the talks gave us something to mull over and the prayer lifted us all to seek God more and more. Each day seemed to build on the previous, especially with the series of talks each of us chose at the beginning of the week. I picked the Love and Responsibility track which offered some practical information on Cardinal Wojtyla's book and also some great group discussion.

Being part of this gathering of young, charismatic Catholics was a very moving experience. I think the best part was enjoying the encouragement and company of other young Catholics who are putting Christ at the center of their lives as well.

On behalf of all the students, thank you to all who help to put on Joel's Bar! It was great meeting you all and we were definitely inspired by your love for the faith!


Anonymous said...

Beware of the sloppy and disobedient liturgies at Celebrate they are seriously bad, they have a serious Protestant mentality!

Also what's all this business about having drama's and dance during the Mass at Celebrate, it's crazy man!

They have no devotion to Our Blessed Mother there, false ecumenism and the people who organize it have little theological training...

Anthony said...

I think for all of us here at SPES our experience at Joel's Bar was a good one. We encountered people of real faith, and the setting of Worth Abbey seemed to create an atmosphere of openness to learning from the Church's rich and varied tradition of prayer - there was opportunity to sing the divine office with the monks, a lectio devina session and plenty of chance for silence - as well as the times of more 'charismatic' praise and worship.