Spirit On The Rock 2013
Spirit on the Rock 2013 - Believe it!-Live it!
The Catholic Church in Jersey held its annual youth weekend on 2nd/3rd March. Since 2008 this event has grown and developed from a response to World Youth Day Sydney to a gathering of around 150 young people from across this small island parish. The weekend is open to young people school year 7 up to age 18 years. It is also an important part of the Confirmation formation programme. This year the weekend was hosted at St Bernadette’s in the West before a six mile Walk of Witness carrying the youth cross to town to St Thomas's church. The theme Believe it! –Live It! was chosen because of the Year of Faith.
Organised by the Jersey Association of Catholic Youth (JaCy) the weekend was a mixture of faith, friendship and fun. Guests included the Sion Youth Mission team and also Lynda Mussel of Cafod and Dave Hill the Portsmouth Diocesan Youth Advisor. Events such as these are so important as it is more practical than taking significant numbers to UK based events.
It began with Fr James McCauley speaking about the choices we make as Catholics before going on to talks and testimonies from Sion throughout the day. The young people were treated to an inspiring presentation on the Pure in Heart chastity message. Workshops covered the important topics of the Sacraments, calling and vocation, Cafod action, and an in depth look at the Apostles Creed. One workshop involved running across the playing fields to find the missing pieces of the Gospel stories on calling which was very energetic, fun and quite competitive at times. Before leaving for the walk of witness everyone gathered to pray and reflect on trust and mercy and the wonderful graces we receive from God. As well as sharing scripture, song and prayer we saw dance and drama used to highlight the greatness of our God. Testimonies from senior youth stewards from our youth assembly and from Sion’s Will Desmond were powerful and faith filled.
The walk was cold but a great witness to the local community as they carried our youth cross to St.Thomas ready for the evening programme. After a well earned rest they had an inspiring pro-life talk from the local youth president, 17 year old Samantha Richmond and Vice President 16 year old Mairead Cahill. There was also a very messy art experience as they created a Confirmation 2013 altar cloth and tiles for our Year of Faith mosaic. A beautiful and awesome time of Adoration and prayer ending with Benediction by candlelight brought the day to a fitting close. As they left the church in silence the leaders were hopeful for a quiet night. Boys slept in the church hall and girls in the next door Catholic Pastoral Services and Welcome Centre. Though it has to be said ‘slept’ may be the wrong word to use!
Bleary eyed but in good voice, breakfast was followed by Morning Prayer and a live visit from local radio BBC Jersey. The weekend closed with a beautiful Holy Mass in St Thomas and saw 128 candidates enrolled for the second part of formation for Confirmation in June 2013. It has to be said that a weekend like this in a parish only 9 miles by 5miles takes a lot of dedication and work. We saw over 60 volunteers come together to chaperone, feed, clean up and ensure the smooth running of the weekend. Parishioners baked 400 jacket potatoes donated by a local company and others turned up with much appreciated bacon at 6am Sunday. The sandwich team preparing lunch for 200 people were a wonderful band of ladies under direction of Mrs Melody Walters who was volunteer catering manager for the event. The Knights of St Columba helped with road crossings and the Catenians sponsored part of the weekend to help with costs. The Catholic Women’s league took part as well as the Little Sisters and Beaulieu sisters, who spent time with the young people. Blessings too must go to the night watch team who spent a long noisy night keeping everyone safe. Praise God for a weekend of celebration of faith and our Catholic family.
Spirit On The Rock 2012 Past Event
For more information on this event please click here