We celebrate Pentecost

May 20, 2024

On the feast of Pentecost we celebrate the moment when the Holy Spirit was given to the Church.

Bishop John Arnold of the Diocese of Salford presided at a special mass at the Church of the Holy Name of Jesus in Manchester. Fourteen young people were baptised, confirmed or received full communion with the Catholic Church. It was an event of great celebration as students at Manchester Universities’ Catholic Chaplaincy came to the end of another academic year.

In his homily, Bishop John Arnold reminded the congregation that the symbols of the sacraments spoke for themselves. He went on to explain how the candidates were making a small but important step forward in faith. They were to keep walking forward throughout their lives with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. He invited the congregation to recognise the work of the Holy Spirit among them. He said simply: ‘You’ve all got it!’ It is only by walking together that we can grow in our relationship with Jesus Christ.

The young people were prepared over the course of a year by Fr Dushan Croos SJ. The program began by emphasising the importance of a relationship with God through prayer. The candidates were invited to discover what resonated with them about the Catholic faith. As they grew together they underwent the common experience of being born afresh as a little Church here in Manchester, one which resonated with the life of the Gospel. The program was conducted in a prayerful atmosphere whilst approaching catechetical themes with openness and sensitivity. Fr Dushan had only arrived in his new mission as a university chaplain just before the start of the academic term. As an alumnus of the University of Manchester, he has very quickly begun to feel at home after his stint working with young adults in London.

The bishop has recently spearheaded a Diocesan listening process that has deepened and continued the fruit of the global synod. It has heightened everyone’s awareness of the Holy Spirit at work our lives. Just the day before Pentecost, the first summary meeting of that process was held. It was noted that the number of responses was strongly weighted towards young people. This was certainly true at Manchester Universities’ Catholic Chaplaincy, where a large number students engaged  in the process through of listening sessions held through pre-existing groups. These responses are now being fed into the apostolic planning of the Jesuit mission in Manchester.

Photo by Nico Smit on Unsplash

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