It’s started to feel, dare I say, normal once more for the Ignite Team. Since the Spring, we have found ourselves visiting more and more people and places in person, following all the disruption of pandemic restrictions.
The new academic year has got off to a good start with new members joining our ‘Ignite Lite’ group of volunteers and a steady stream of invites to schools and parishes arriving in our inbox. Some of these are bookings that were postponed since Spring 2020. Others are parishes who have had to progress quickly through two or three cohorts of sacramental preparation classes to make up for lost time.
It’s been heartening to see places where flames of faith amongst our children and young people have kept burning in spite of all the challenges. We are, however, also acutely aware of our part in the ongoing challenge of reaching out to those young people who have not yet returned, having lost touch during the pandemic, and also engaging those who have found God for the first time during these unusual times.
Embracing the best of the past year, we are continuing to offer online content to schools and to parishes, especially the popular Third Thursday Assembly for primary-school-aged children. But really, I’m most pleased about getting back to more in-person visits to young people across the length and breadth of our Diocese. Just recently, we had our first residential retreat since before the pandemic and it was a real joy to spend a few days with a group of teenagers drawing close to the Lord. It’s the sort of experience that simply doesn’t translate onto Zoom.
In the coming year, we are continuing to offer the possibility of joining us full-time in either the January or September intakes and we continue to welcome as-and-when volunteers to our Ignite Lite group.
We have lots to thank God for and lots to look forward to. Please keep us in prayer and do consider inviting us to work with children or young people in your parish or school.
Pictured above is Ciaran Losasso with a group of young people from the Diocese.