The Catenians


Fanning the Flames

Publish Date: Fri 10th Mar 2017


As thousands of young people head to Flame 2017, Father Dermott Donnelly, Chair of CYMFed, spoke about how the bi-annual event reignites the faith of the next generation with the help of the Catenians.

Organised by CYMFed (Catholic Youth Ministry Federation), the third ever Flame hits London on 11 March and is expected to be the biggest on record.

The ‘congregation’, aged from 14 years old and travelling from as far as Norway, will be engaged in an energetic experience designed to “light, reignite and fan the flames of faith”, according to Father Dermott.

How do you engage and inspire thousands of youth whose world revolves round screens and social media?

“That’s simple,” says Father Dermott: “You embrace their communication. There’s no event booklet deliberately: a Flame 2017 app has been designed for the event which stays ‘live’ afterwards.

“I’ve been to each event and two moments have stayed with me: the powerful sight of Matt Redman on stage facing a full, darkened auditorium lit only by thousands of phones held aloft by youngsters praising God. And in contrast, a silent arena filled with peace, calm and the power of prayer as Cardinal Vincent Nichols led Eucharistic Adoration.”

This year, Cardinal Nichols will be joined by more than 20 Bishops at the end of Flame to again lead the young in prayer.

Flame was inspired by Pope Benedict’s visit in 2012 and by the Olympics. The Catenians have been involved from day one, supporting the young with travel and offering hands-on help at Wembley: we are truly grateful.”

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   Crowd going inot arena


Flame in Atrena with Peter and Ann Woodford

Thank you to © Mazur/ for the photos.