“I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Ps 34:1
We believe that our relationship with God brings the greatest joy when it is beautifully entwined with all aspects of who we are. It was out of this desire to explore living out our Catholic faith that the idea of bringing ECHO to the diocese was conceived. ECHO gives Sixth-formers and young adults the life-changing opportunity to delve into the teachings of Theology of the Body, and to join the steadily growing community based on these values.
What is Theology of the Body?
Theology of the Body (TOB) is the inspired teachings of St John Paul the Great on the implications of Catholic spirituality in our day-to-day life. Its practical, down-to-earth applications to many of life’s biggest concerns has help millions enter a deeper relationship with Christ, and brought renewed joy to daily life.
Is Theology of the Body just about sex?
For those who have heard of Theology of the Body, the first thing many think of is ‘sex’. While it is very true that TOB has many wonderful things to say about relationships and marriage, this is only one part of a greater whole. TOB explores what it means to be human and what being human means in relationship with God. It looks at the wonderful creation that is you and asks how can you live your greatest life.
What is ECHO?
ECHO gives you the opportunity not only to delve into the teachings of TOB but to live them out on retreat with those others who come.
First designed and run by Dumb Ox Ministry in America, Westminster Youth Ministry is now partnered with Dumb Ox in running ECHO in England.
The retreat takes place in several stages. First, there is a young adults weekend retreat where the nucleus of the community built on TOB principles is developed. These young adults are guided by our mission team to explore the beauty of these teachings. If they are interested, they are also invited to join the mission team when later we have the Sixth-formers retreat. Joining this team will require successfully completing a safeguarding session we provide and a DBS check.
The second stage of ECHO is the Sixth Form retreat. The young people are invited into the already-established community to explore TOB in sessions, talks and activities designed for their level.
Priests, religious, consecrated singles, married couple and families are invited to bring their joyful perspectives on TOB to the young adults and Sixth-formers. The idea of ECHO is not to prescribe a single lifestyle for all but to joyfully celebrate and explore the multitude of ways faith can be applied to modern life.
When and where is ECHO?
ECHO runs in our beautiful residential retreat centre for young people, SPEC. This centre is set within nine acres of beautiful gardens and woodland in Pinner, north-west London. Easily accessible by the Metropolitan tube line, more details about SPEC can be found here.
As of present, the young adults weekend retreat takes place during the Autumn term and the Sixth Form week retreat takes place at the end of the Summer term. For more precise details, place check the events page.
Following on from ECHO: Resonate
ECHO aims to offer the chance to explore your faith and make it profoundly personal. After ECHO, we want to provide you the opportunity to regularly meet with others in your position and journey deeper in your faith together. Resonate is our answer to this and can be found out more about here.