Do you see this pilgrimage as an opportunity for young people to better understand the challenges that face their Christian peers in the Holy Land?
“I think it is most important that all of us on the pilgrimage, especially you young people, come home with a much deeper appreciation of the situation there. We will learn about the difficulties faced by our fellow Christians, especially those living in Palestine. We also learn about the ways in which we can help them directly through, for example, the ‘Friends of the Holy Land.’ When we meet and speak with young people living in those circumstances then we come to a whole new understanding of what is involved. It is also important that we learn more about the anxieties and fears of the people of Israel. The situation is so complex, but that does not stop us from getting a real feel for all those involved. We must also keep in mind the prayers that have taken place in the Vatican, when Pope Francis invited both the President of Palestine and the President of Israel to pray with him for peace. This is the image, the hope and the dream we must take with us.
“I hope that by speaking to those in the Christian communities, our young people will gain a better understanding of the challenges that can be faced from being a witness to Christ.”
In the five months since being made Cardinal, how has life changed for you?
“First and foremost, I have made many more trips to Rome and had a lot more to do as I am now a member of four Vatican departments which help the Holy Father to run the Universal Church. It is another aspect of priestly service that comes with my role as a cardinal and I welcome it. One of the things that has struck me most since February though is the overwhelming and humbling continued support from so many of the faithful for me and my ministry, both here in Westminster and beyond. It is with your prayers and support that I will be able to continue to serve the Catholic community in England and Wales and our Holy Father.”
If you’re interested in being part of our exciting youth pilgrimage to the Holy Land this year, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org