The Summit at Westminster Cathedral: A Review

On Friday 18 October, we organised, for the first time at the Westminster Cathedral, our Eucharist-centred event for all the young people of our diocese, called The Summit.

We designed this evening to help young people meet Jesus who was present among us in the Eucharist. We wanted to give them an opportunity to pray, have reconciliation and meet other young people like themselves, in their common home, the cathedral, with our Cardinal.

The event was aimed at all young people aged between 14 and 35 years. It lasted about two hours and consisted of two parts: the first one was more reflective, composed of inspiring reflections and worship music; the second part more spiritual, with exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.

The event started at 6pm with welcoming from all the Westminster Youth Ministry staff. The young people were welcomed at the entrance of the cathedral and accompanied to take seats among the pews. Young people were invited to pray through worship music performed by a group of musicians and a fantastic choir.

As soon as all the young people were gathered, the main event began. Initially, our wonderful colleagues, Phoebe and Holly, welcomed everyone present, thanked them for their participation, and explained how the evening would unfold.

Throughout the entire evening there was the opportunity to go to confession with four of our amazing diocesan priests.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols was the first of our speakers and he focused on the recently canonised Saint John Henry Newman, reminding us that we all have some definite purpose and that even saints have moments of doubt.

After listening to the cardinal, Brenden Thompson, CEO of Catholic Voices and a great friend of the youth ministry, was given the floor.

During his speech, Brenden touched on various topics: from his personal testimony of coming to his faith, to helpful tips on how we can all become closer to God. His speech was really engaging and inspiring. He gave us so many points to reflect on and allowed us the opportunity to think about our personal relationship with God and our vocation.

After Brenden’s words we entered the second part of the evening.

Bishop Paul McAleenan exposed the Blessed Sacrament and, accompanied by a group of seminarians, our chaplain Fr Mark Walker and a deacon, processed with the monstrance between the young people, who were able to admire the beauty of Jesus Christ present in the Eucharist.

After this short journey, the monstrance was placed on the altar and exposed for some time, accompanied by prayerful music. Bishop Paul then led benediction and, after reposition, he gave some words of reflection about the evening we had shared.

After the thanks and final greetings, we all left with the hope of seeing each other again soon and being able to continue this wonderful experience.

We hope that this is the beginning of a journey where young people can meet in the same place with a common goal: and that is, growing in faith and prayer.