Several representatives from Luton and Dunstable parishes attended this conference in Northampton about evangelising – spreading the good news of Jesus – which is the key mission of Bishop David.

Fr Simon Penhalagan (St Martin de Porres) was the host for the day and reminded those present of St Peter’s words:

“Simply reverence the Lord Christ in your hearts, and always have your answer ready for people who ask you the reason for the hope that you all have.” (1 Peter 3:15)

The conference opened with prayer via song led by Fr David Donoghue.

Bishop David emphasised the importance of every Catholic evangelising by saying that this conference on Mission was his happiest day, since his inauguration as a Bishop.

He mentioned that attendance at Mass had been declining for forty years and that every Catholic was called to help reach out to non-Catholics. He said that when we leave this world and we go before the throne of God we will be asked what we did to reach out to non-Catholics.

He added “Making Missionary Disciples together” was the role of every Catholic, and that Jesus was a missionary Messiah and we should think, feel and act like Jesus.

Bishop David stressed that we all need to bring others in to a personal relationship with Christ. He added Jesus is our best friend, hence we should be proud to introduce him to others.

In the afternoon Dr Maria Heath gave a challenging and thought provoking speech which included these gems:

*           Be alert to the opportunities to evangelise – pray that God will give you the confidence to evangelise whenever an opportunity arises.

*           Mother Theresa sums up evangelisation as one beggar showing another beggar where the bread of life is.

*           Ask yourself “What have I done to share my faith with others this week?

The conference was held at the new St Thomas Centre, behind Northampton Cathedral and was a truly inspirational day.