In a dimly lit Cathedral, as party revellers outside could be heard making their way to one of the city’s nightclubs, young Catholics aged 14 – 35 gathered for a night of prayer.
The theme of the event was ‘St Therese and Expectant Faith’ and from 10pm – 6am the programme included: the rosary, lectio divina, praise and worship, Mass, the Prayer of the Church, intercessions, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, as well as breaks and a time for sharing and refreshments.
Anna Cowell is the Diocesan Youth Officer: ‘It’s a privilege that they get to spend this time in church on their own. Young people have great energy no matter what time of day it is. During a night like this it’s good to be able to teach them about the faith but also to give them a prayer experience.’
Meanwhile 17 year old Matthew McGuire said: ‘I’ve come to broaden my horizons and hope that St Therese will give me some guidance for the future. I’m at a critical stage in my life and there are lots of possible routes that I could take and I’m not sure which way to go. Therese is a type of girl that you can relate to because she is ordinary. She had big decisions to make and I feel in the same position as she was.’
Asked about how he was going to stay awake all night, Matthew said: ‘I’ll be engaged in some deep “sleepful” prayer but don’t tell anyone.’ Anna said in response to the same question: ‘By eating lots of sugar!’