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Laetare – Encounter Jesus through the Joy of Lent

This day is sacred to the Lord your God. Do not be mournful, do not weep. For this day is sacred to our Lord. Do not be sad: the joy of the Lord is your stronghold. (Neh 8:9, 10)

On Sunday, March 12, St Finbar’s RC Church celebrated ‘Laetare’. ‘Laetare’ takes its name from the Latin word which means ‘Rejoice!’ It marks a relaxation of the penitential character of the Lenten season in the anticipation of the Joy of Easter. Laetare gives us hope and encouragement as we slowly progress towards the Paschal Feast.

In these pandemic times, many of us, especially our young adults, are faced with several challenges, not only in their personal lives but spiritually, with feelings of hopelessness, as they try to understand the purpose of their lives.

To speak to the youth of the ‘Joy of Lent’ may seem strange, but if you pay attention to our young adults, there is a profound disconnect between faith and what they experience through popular culture and in cyberspace.

The event’s Master of Ceremonies, Stephan De Gale, helped focus on bringing young adults together, to immerse fully and engage actively in the spirit of Church.

There were words of inspiration and encouragement by various speakers, including Fr Luciano Labanca, Nunciature Secretary – Deputy Head of Mission of the Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See.

There was also Fr Peter Aduaka, who assists at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and St Francis, Belmont, along with dynamic Youth Leader Sherese Baptiste from Our Lady of Assumption, South Oropouche, who shared personal motivational testimonies of her spiritual journey.

Various parishes from within the Northern Vicariate contributed with uplifting meditative songs. These parishes included St Mary’s, Mucurapo; Our Lady of Lourdes, Maraval; and the Church of the Assumption, Maraval.

The programme closed with an awe-inspiring Eucharistic Adoration led by Fr Labanca, with meditative music accompaniment conducted by Sr Kathleen Joseph OP and friends, which was truly moving and deeply contemplative as one immersed themselves in quiet time with our Lord.

“There are two types of people in the world, those who wait for things to happen and those who make things happen” said Fr Urban Hudlin OP.

This is the beginning of our outreach to young adults. We continue to ask the Holy Spirit through the intercession of Our Blessed Mother to guide this work of reacquainting young adults with the faith and may they find the peace they seek therein. —Fr Urban Hudlin OP and Laetare Organising Committee