Experiences of FLAME 2

16th March 2015 - by Nathalie Marytsch

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Columban lay missionaries  based in Birmingham share their experience at Flame 2

By Rosalia Basada

Once again I attended the Flame National Catholic Youth event in the UK which took place in the Wembley Arena, London, last Saturday 7th March. It was a very moving event where thousands of young people from around the country gathered to share our faith.

The theme was ‘To rediscover our joy – The Joy of the Gospel’. It was very well explained by David Wells, when he said, “Pope Francis has called us to be a people of Easter, to rediscover our joy, to remember that we are joy-filled church” .

Philippine Cardinal Tagle shared the Mercy of God in the joy of the gospel. He inspired the young people to marvel on the many signs of mercy. At the same time he encouraged the youth to be aware as well of the many signs of lack of mercy: human trafficking, abuse, hunger, poverty and many more examples. He said that only mercy can save humanity, that God is known as the God of Mercy, of tenderness of compassion, of justice. And the mercy of God is related to the covenant relationship; when God said: ‘I am your God, you are my people’ (Exodus 6:7). I think Cardinal Tagle hit the core of his topic. He explained it clearly and shared some examples so that it will be well understood.

I was also moved when Baroness Hollins talked about Mental Health problems as there are so many young people these days experiencing these problems. She encouraged us to keep our minds well and to help others as well, being everyday a face of Jesus to others.

There was also live worship music by Matt Redman and he was great on stage. His songs were really inspirational and made the young and old sing and dance with his music.

Indeed, it was a very heart-warming event. I’m glad I participated as I also felt like I was able to rediscover joy and able to share my joy as a Columban lay missionary during lunch time activities. I was involved in a Columban workshop with ordained Columbans and co-workers. We went as a team and it was a very good experience for me. It was a great way to share joy and to be filled with joy.

Rose Basada is a Columban lay missionary from the Philippines based in Birmingham.

By Gertrudes Samson

It was really worthwhile going to Flame2 last Saturday, a national event for the Catholic Youth here in England & Wales.
It was great opportunity to meet other fellow missionaries, co-workers, old friends and new friends too. The messages of the speakers were very inspiring to people of all ages, including those, like me, who accompany youth. I was very happy to listen to and meet our very own Cardinal Tagle from the Philippines. His messages were very inspiring indeed. We, the Filipinos present, were very proud of him. We had the unexpected chance to have a group picture with him as well! By the way, he told us to send this message to all our loved ones: “Blessed are the merciful”.

Gertrudes Samson is a Columban lay missionary from the Philippines based in Birmingham.

“You are Mine”

By  Jayjay Enterina

I was deeply touched by the talk of Cardinal Tagle on Mercy and Compassion. He is such a powerful and inspiring speaker! He shared his experiences of God’s love for him in a very real and rich manner that made listeners really feel the undying love of God in their lives!

I was struck by what Cardinal Tagle said that it is really important to say to a person that you truly care about them. We have a God who never gives up on us no matter what. The world may abandon and ignore us but the love of God prevails. At times we may feel that nobody cares for us but in truth we do have a great God who does!

Cardinal Tagle encouraged young people to be vessels of God’s mercy and compassion for others. Though us, we are authentic witnesses of that love in our world today. As one young person at the event put it: “Life is not about money, and not even knowledge, but about relationships”.This is what gives life more meaning and value.

Through the various sharing of experiences of speakers and activities,I have been reminded again of God’s goodness and faithfulness in my life. May I continually be blessed to carry and fan the flame of God’s Love where ever I will be.

As God said: “Jayjay, I love you and you are Mine.”

Jayjay is a Filipina Columban lay missionary based in Birmingham