Young people from Jesuit Schools in the British Province gathered at Wembley Arena, London, on 4th March for the Flame 23 event organised by CYMfed, the Catholic Youth Ministry Federation. Eight thousand young people from Dioceses across England and Wales were greeted with a blessing from Pope Francis and a message calling them to “be known for prayer, pursuit of justice and common good, love for the poor and to dare to be different.”
The theme for this Flame 23 was ‘Rise Up’ taken from the Annunciation, where Mary after the visit from an angel, ‘arose and went with haste’. Cardinal Tagle, proprefect of the Dicastery for Evangelisation shared how his experience of angels in his life had given him power to rise up against injustice. “Who are the angels sent to you by God” he asked.
Cafod youth worker Jenny Garzon Saavedra told her story of the challenges of deforestation in Columbia and how she never loses faith in God. Archbishop Costelloe called on the young people to rebuild the church so that it doesn’t fall into ruins. All these requests and testimony were responded to with great enthusiasm.
There was a lively mix of music and praise throughout the day which climaxed in the silence of Adoration led by Cardinal Vincent Nichols. The stillness and simplicity of pure love to and from Jesus was something very beautiful to be part of. The young people were amazing and leave one full of hope for the future of the Church.
We look forward to Flame 25!