Catechesis with Bishop Alan Williams

In a morning catechesis held in Fatima, Lisbon, Bishop Alan Williams emphasised the importance of pilgrimage, penance and procession for World Youth Day.

icon-home » Events » Previous Events » World Youth Day » Catechesis with Bishop Alan William...

On the morning of Tuesday 2 August, our Brentwood and Westminster pilgrims spent time with Bishop Alan Williams, the Bishop of Brentwood, in Fatima, Portugal.

In an uplifting catechesis session, Bishop Williams stressed to the young people the importance of pilgrimage as a precious opportunity for prayer, penance, procession – the pilgrims will take part in a torchlight procession at the famous Marian shine of Fatima – and finally, for World Youth Day, to be close to their Pope.

He spoke about Mary as a ‘juggler’, a word used to describe her in scripture. It is a significant word that evokes both action and balance as well as an interior stillness.

Bishop Alan spoke about that interior freedom of Mary. The World Youth Day theme is “Mary arose and went with haste.” Mary was able to say a perfect and eternal ‘yes’ to God, and also had the pastoral heart to respond to her cousin’s need. Mary holds both stillness and action.

And Mary notices; she notices when the wine runs out at Cana, she listens and ponders.

This week in Fatima, Bishop Williams said, Mary will notice each of the pilgrims personally, and above all, she wants the pilgrims to notice her son, Jesus.

During the catechesis session, there was time for the young people to ask Bishop Williams questions.

These included: What brought you back to Mass after three years? The Bishop answered, “The short answer – friends.”

How do you juggle things as a Bishop?

The Bishop spoke about his Spiritual Director, and his prayer life as his anchors.

Other questions were: What is your confirmation name? Why do we reverence Mary? How do we encounter other young people not only socially but prayerfully? How does your service as a Marist priest inform your life as a Bishop? For those who have gone through bereavement or dark times, how do you help them to see God is still with them?

The Bishop shared both personally and pastorally. There were many beautiful truths to take from his words, summarised through the inspiration of a Marist Saint – Marcellin Champagnat. Friendship, respect, faith and listening.

The catechesis session was followed by a shared celebration of Mass, with a focus on St Peter Julian Eymard, a Saint whose feast was on the same day, Tuesday, 2 August.

Photos of the catechesis with Bishop Alan below.

Source: Brentwood Diocese.