Mgr Paul Grogan

Mgr Paul Grogan
Mgr Paul Grogan

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Head and heart engaged

We've been working hard in the last couple of days on our forthcoming conference: "Vatican II, fifty years on: the new evangelisation." All the signs are good. The programme has been finalised. In addition to the lectures from very eminent theologians and Church leaders - and they are very eminent! (see programme) - there are forty shorter papers by a series of academics and pastoral practitioners. This morning, I went with my colleague Professor Kirsteen Kim (Head of Theology and Religious Studies) to Durham where we met with Professor Paul Murray, Head of the Centre for Catholic Studies, who is helping us plan the event.

This evening, after Mass, I did something totally different: I joined in a prayer meeting in the Leeds Trinity chapel to ask the Lord to bless an event which is happening three months after the conference: a two-week ecumenical mission which is taking place in Horsforth and in which we will be participating in - it'll be great for Freshers' Week. A group of about twenty of us from a number of churches in the town, walked between temporary boards displaying particular prayer needs associated with the mission and offered spontaneous petitions; and we gazed upon a big map of our area - fifteen metres long - laid out on the floor, and said more prayers for the local inhabitants.

So at one moment today, I was reflecting on what the new evangelisation is; and at another moment I was doing it, in company with evangelical, Baptist, house church, Catholic and Anglican brothers and sisters. It would help me to be able to measure the fruits of these activities. How far will our conference further the conversion of our nation? How will our prayers for the mission be efficacious? We cannot know. However, that both will make a significant difference is beyond question to one who has faith. Here is a picture of our gang this evening with the map on the floor beneath:

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