February 2 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

7-FAITH-FORUM

Faith forum urges Catholics to speak up

Catholics cannot remain silent and must ‘take on public engagement’, a priest from Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University told Glasgow Catholics on January 18. — By JAMES FARRELL

There were no spare seats as young students and professionals gathered to hear Fr Davide Marino give the first in a new series of talks from the Glasgow Faith Forum, titled ‘Faith in the Public Square.’

“The purpose of the talks is to offer catechesis to young Catholics so that they might get to know their Faith, in order to love it and to love Jesus Christ,” Fr Ross Campbell, the university chaplain, said. “The talks aim to give young Catholics the language to articulate their Faith in a coherent and modern way, consistent with Church teachings.

“The present series looks at today’s culture which sees Faith as a purely private thing. Something that is OK for you, so long as it doesn’t affect anyone else’s way of life.

“We can see that’s not consistent with Christianity as Christ clearly commissions us to proclaim the Good News. The talks look at how we do that with regards to particular issues impacting modern Catholics in Scotland today.”

The first talk was given by Fr Davide Marino, from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, on how St Pope John Paul II and his New Evangelisation was relevant to Catholics in Scotland today.

He spoke eloquently about the growth of the Church in Nova Huta, ‘the new steel mill’ planned by the communist regime in Poland to be a ‘Godless City.’ In this Godless city John Paul II and local Catholics planted ‘tiny seeds of Faith.’

“Little by little, churches began to spring up, through the stubborn resolution of Faith of the Polish people,” Fr Davide said.

He likened that situation to our ‘increasingly secular society,’ which seems to have ‘no place for God.’ He instructed the young people that, like the Polish, they had to address their peers with a new ardour of Faith, hope and love.

He then echoed the words of St John Paul II’s address to the masses at World Youth Day 2000 saying that ‘it is Jesus in fact that you seek when you dream of happiness; he is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you.’

Saying that this was the message the young had to bring to Scotland, Fr Marino advised that ‘Catholics cannot remain silent, it is necessary to take on public engagement.’ He added that to change our culture ‘we must put the Cross at the centre, like the people of Nova Huta.’

– The next talk in the series will be given by Sr Roseann Reddy on Thursday February 15 at 7.30pm, in Turnbull Hall, 13 Southpark Terrace, G12 8LG. All young people welcome.

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