Our inspirational new leader is breaking down barriers
WHAT a revelation. Pope Francis has had a profound effect on the Catholic Church in the past few weeks with his simplicity and his engagement with those he meets.
On the way back from the Catholic Youth Ministry Federation congress in Gateshead recently, a group from the Clifton Diocese stopped for a break on our journey where we happened to catch coverage of the Pope greeting his parishioners after a Mass in the Vatican.
He had chosen to greet personally – with a smile and a handshake – each person who attended. The new leader of the Catholic Church is breaking down barriers and already showing the world that it is how we live that is important, not what we have, what we wear or who we know. Our bishop, Bishop Declan, met Pope Francis two weeks ago. Although the meeting was brief, Bishop Declan said it was inspiring and encouraging.
The Clifton Diocese annual family day, hosted by St Brendan's Sixth Form College in Brislington, is taking place on Saturday, July 6. This day brings together our diocesan family and everyone is welcome whether a Catholic or not – surely something Pope Francis would be inspired by and would encourage.
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It is a day for families, with seminars and talks for adults and activities for young people and children. Our theme this year is 'the harvest is rich' which links with the church's year of faith that we are celebrating.
Pope Francis shows us that although the harvest may be rich, how we use what we have and how we act are the things that really matter. Visit www.cliftondiocese.com for more information on the family day.
I have high hopes for Pope Francis and am getting good feedback from the young people of the diocese about his election. We look forward to him inspiring young people in their journey of faith.
Dave Wheat is youth-ministry coordinator of Clifton Catholic Diocese