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Two new members join the Ignite Youth Team

Two new members have joined the Ignite Youth Team from September for a year. They are UEA master’s student Adam Dodd and Peterborough parishioner Alexander Thanickal, who introduce themselves here.

Adam writes: “I am originally from Salford, but have spent most of my life living in Wales. I moved to Norwich in 2021 to begin my Master’s in Medieval History at UEA and loved the city so much that I decided to stay.

“I am a ‘cradle Catholic’ but come from a lapsed family and so did not regularly attend Mass or have any kind of involvement with parish life until a few years ago.

“In my faith journey, I have had to learn a great deal about what it means to be a Catholic. The thriving community at the cathedral in Norwich has done a great deal to encourage me to really engage with my faith in a way that I had never attempted before.

“I first encountered the Ignite Team at the Young Adults’ Rosary Group at St John’s Cathedral and, after learning more about their work, found myself drawn to the idea of committing a significant length of time to serving God in a unique and involved way. I am also discerning a vocation to the priesthood and felt that joining the Ignite Team would be a fantastic opportunity for spiritual growth and learning about how to engage with young people and evangelise effectively.

“My hope is that I can make a tangible positive impact on the diocesan community, inside and outside of schools, and continue my own formation and discernment process.”

Alexander writes: “I’ve been a part of the Diocese of East Anglia all of my life. I am from the Parish of St Lukes in Peterborough. Growing up I was always involved in the church, regularly serving on the altar for many years.

I had first come into contact with Ignite as a teenager, going to the Ignite festival and other events that they had running at the time but I never saw it as something I could ever do. As I got older my faith began to become lukewarm, I began turning my back on God and this lasted for a couple of years.

“In August I went to World Youth Day in Portugal, a world-wide gathering of hundreds of thousands of young Catholics from across the world. I went there as a person who was seeking fulfillment and happiness in everything but Jesus. Throughout the course of the pilgrimage, I began exploring how Jesus could change my life. I asked many challenging questions, engaged in all the programmes and really searched for a purpose in my life.

“Thankfully whilst there, I began finding peace in holiness, living in a community, daily Mass, lots of prayer and understanding my faith more. I wanted to continue living in communion with God. Suddenly, Ignite appeared to me as a place where I could continue to practice living in holiness and, more importantly, deepen my faith and understanding of God, and to be able to share the meaning of God’s love for others, especially young people. I look forward to serving God and the Diocese of East Anglia over the next year.”

Pictured above are Adam, left, and Alexander, right, with Youth Services Director Hamish MacQueen.