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Catholic youth: The Church belongs to you in Year of Faith

— Get involved in the Year of Faith online forum launching in the Scottish Catholic Observer this week

By Aidan Cook

Visiting Scotland two years ago, Pope Benedict XVI declared to the young people at Mass in Glasgow’s Bellahouston Park, ‘the Church now belongs to you!’ His words were a call to the young Catholics of Scotland to take responsibility for our Faith: to deepen it, and to witness to it. This is especially true in this Year of Faith, when we are called to learn more about our Faith, to reflect on it, to profess it, and to live it ever more intensely.

With this in mind, we have launched Strong in Faith, a discussion project for young Catholics in Scotland. Every fortnight, a relevant topic is open for discussion on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/sco stronginfaith).

The fruits of this discussion will then be shared in The Scottish Catholic Observer. The idea is both to help young Catholics look more closely at their Faith and to reveal the deep Faith of many young Catholics to a wider audience.


For all those who take part in the discussions, the project will be a chance to come together to talk about and to share our Faith. In today’s world, young Christians can often feel isolated, as if there was no one else of the same age who takes their Faith seriously. It is a great encouragement to know that you are not alone; that others share your beliefs and your concerns, your hopes and your joys. That does not mean that we will all agree on everything—far from it! In fact, it is the very chance to be able to discuss our Faith openly and honestly in a positive environment that makes this such a great opportunity.


On alternate weeks from the Strong in Faith discussion, we hope that the forum will help generate news, views and photographs from young Catholics throughout Scotland to run in The Scottish Catholic Observer under Faith in Action to show what young Catholics are involved in and are achieving.

We also hope that the project, as well as bringing together individuals, will help create links between the different communities of young Catholics around Scotland: The university chaplaincies, the movements, or the young adult groups.

The internet alone is not really enough to achieve this, and so we have organised a Strong in Faith conference to enable participants to meet ‘in the flesh’ (see below).

It is also a good opportunity for those who do not participate in the discussions themselves—but follow them online or in this page in the paper—to see the renewed Faith and enthusiasm of the young participants. Their Faith holds a life and vigour that is often hidden from the wider Catholic community.

Through this project, we hope to put the lamp on the lamp-stand and give light to everyone.  We are confident that you will be surprised by the Faith of Scotland’s young Catholics.


—     Aidan Cook is part of the community at Glasgow University Catholic Chaplaincy. He will edit contributions for the Strong in Faith and the Faith in Action pages. He can be contacted via www.facebook.com/scostronginfaith


Strong in Faith Conference November 16 2012


On the feast of St Margaret, Queen of Scotland, young Catholics from across Scotland will gather for a conference to mark the Year of Faith.

The event aims to inspire young people to deepen their understanding of the faith and to live it more intensely in their daily lives.

The day takes its themes from the core documents of the Second Vatican Council. Speakers will include Bishop Hugh Gilbert, James MacMillan, Sr Roseann Reddy, Lorraine Currie of SCIAF and Lorraine McMahon from Aid to the Church in Need.

Spaces are limited and will be by invitation only but videos of all talks will be posted online so that all can benefit from this exciting event.

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