the year’s beginning

Jan 31, 2024


One month ago today I was beginning 2024 at the annual Hearts Aflame gathering in Marton, along with 150 young Catholics aged between 18 & 35.

Since it’s inception in 1992 over 2200 young people have taken this ten day opportunity to deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ within the Catholic Church, supported by an intensive daily timetable of prayer, liturgy, lectures and spiritual conversations, along with a lot of fun and good company.

It was a privilege to spend three days at this year’s gathering and I was delighted to be asked to give lectures on Liturgy and Life. I’m not sure who snapped the picture of me at work but I certainly seemed to be passionate there about some point I was making. But with the enthusiastic group I was reflecting with it was easy to teach passionately!

The Hearts Aflame website accurately promotes the event as an opportunity to learn and to discern, alongside others and in the days since I have had conversations with several who have made a new commitment to learning about faith, to discerning the call of God, and to seeking out the good friendship that Jesus offers to those who are open.

Have a look at the pics on the HA Facebook page at this link to get a sense of the beauty of the gathering.

The book of Food For Faith reflections continues to sell well. Click on the image below to order your copy or contact me directly. I’m grateful for the encouraging response, and I’m very challenged by those who have asked for a second book. As time and resources allow I will get to work!

As January continued I enjoyed a reflection day with the teachers in one of our Christchurch primary schools, then a three day Parish Mission with the people of Ponsonby / Herne Bay in Auckland.

With the beginning of this new month there are a couple more parish missions and preparation for retreats with religious communities throughout the year.

It’s just two weeks until we begin the daily Lenten reflections (Ash Wednesday 14 February). Sign up to receive these daily Lenten emails from FFF at this link.

The daily Lectio Divina has now been a feature for almost three years, and the Homily Studio is nearing the same landmark with weekly 30 minute conversations.. Hear this week’s reflection on the scriptures for next Sunday at this link. If you would like to receive these links as a daily / weekly email you can subscribe at this link, or with a search on any podcast platform.

One less-known corner of the Food For Faith mission is the Prayer Wall where you can post in a word or two with your initials (or anon) your intention, and you can tick when you pray for the intention of another giving them notice of your prayer. Visit the Prayer Wall at this link.

Thank you for your ongoing prayer and support for the FFF mission.


1 Comment

  1. Thank you so much for your Food for Faith book, which I’m still enjoying 7 weeks after receiving it.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Posts

a friend within

a friend within

Let’s learn both from Anton’s life and from John’s reflection to seek more passionately the ultimate relationship

a thin place

a thin place

Awareness of Thin Places has become a sabbatical theme for me.

Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi

Orvieto is a beautiful Italian hill-top settlement where all roads lead to the magnificent medieval Cathedral.

growing young

growing young

A simple experiment will give a more personal experience of the life that is on offer.