1 WRITE as a young person who attended the Eucharistic Congress in Lourdes. Many people are under the impression that the Congress was not a complete success, that the conditions, especially in the Youth Camp, were terrible and that the whole thine, in the words of one of my companions, was "a waste of time," Before I left for Lourdes I spent a great deal of time preparing for the Congress. I spoke to many groups of young people and spent time preparing a "White Paper".
The theme running through the preparation was that the young people going to Lourdes would be there to try and live the New World that Pope John Paul II had expressed in his chosen theme for the Congress, "Jesus Christ Bread Broken For A New World".
When we arrived in Lourdes on Thursday spirits were high along with the sun but by Friday the sun had been exchanged for storm clouds and rain, But I truly believe this was God's wish. l think He was trying to show all of us idealistic young Catholics just how hard it is going to be to build a new world.
If the sun had shone the whole time we were there it would have been easy to laugh and smile and sing happy songs. But God wanted us to see what it is really going to be like trying to cope. to live. to built in conditions that are difficult vet realistic. That to he tolerant and understanding is not easy.
To listen and try and help is difficult especially when you want to moan about how wet and cold you are.
God. I felt was testing us, seeing if we could cope. if we really loved our neighbour as we said we did on the sunny days before. It was as though He was trying to show us a little of what we will have to withstand if we really want to build a new world.
The Congress was a success and an enlightening experience, but I know my voice is not alone when I say this. The Congress was something I will never forget, I will remember my time there and the people I met with the fondest of memories, and not for one second do I regret going.
But I do pray that I have the strength to start building the new world in myself because that is where it has to begin in all of us. I pray that I have enough strength to overcome the difficult conditions in our world that Christ enabled us to see at the Congress and I thank God for allowing me to share in the wonderful experience of the Congress.
Yvonne Hardy Crawley Deanery Youth Representative Diocese of Arundel and Brighton.
THANKS to Christopher Howse for his coverage of the Lourdes celebrations, For people like myself who were not able to be present a paper like the Catholic Herald can provide a very good service which we may not always appreciate.
However, the leading caption may have been a bit misleading as it might give the impression that the confusion mentioned was something to be upset about. I think the surprising thing is that there is not a lot more as from my own experience I have seem some people misuse such occasions in order to draw attention to themselves.
As regards to the sad conditions to which the young Scats were exposed, I think Bishop McGFill might have been over sensitive as the Scots are a hardy race and would not be over worried about a drop of rain and from personal knowledge neither would they have been unduly worried about h being out in the open.
Sometimes temptation to crowd unrest can even result from depression and let us face up to the fact we are all depressed and it would be hypocrisy to deny it for we are human beings and some of the hopes we had built up seem to have come unstuck.
James McFall London SW I THE ARUNDEL and Brighton youth delegates would like to clarify a statement made in last week's report on the Eucharistic Congress.
In preparation for the Congress the delegates had put in a great deal of hard work — contacting as many young Catholics as possible — and finding out their views on the Church and how young people can play a more active part in the Church.
In conclusion each delegate had produced a "White Paper" from the discussions that had taken place in the deaneries.
After all the preparation and great participation of the young people in the Arundel and Brighton Diocese, the delegates were initially disappointed at the lack of the Organisation and the breakdown or communication at the Congress.
Each delegate had gone with expectations of what we would bring back from the Congress with us, although most of these expectations weren't realised, totally different areas emerged and we would like to share some of them with you.
The Congress was a living enactment of the Beatitudes and the Gospels for the young people. B y praying and discussing the theme "Jesus Christ Bread Broken for a New World" and relating it back to our daily lives we have become more aware of Christ's presence in the Eucharist and also His presence in each of our neighbours.
Although the conditions for the young people were Spartan we Feel that by living through this experience we are more aware of the plight of the Third World and of the reality of their situations.
If the conditions had been better the young people from England would not have had the privilege of "singing for their supper". The adult delegates arranged a hot meal for all the 3t) young people, after which we entertained them with a sing-song.
A great number of other important topics have emerged from the Con gress which will be discussed later on, and will benefit both the parishes and the clocese.
We all feel we have had a magnificent opportunity of deepening our own faith and commitment to the Church and each one of us had found it a very worthwhile experience. Arundel and Brighton youth delegates