" Have you ever seriously reflected what those words mean, a God to be made man, and to die for thee? "
St. Alphonsus Liguori
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" Okay, I’ll admit, it was the Matt Damon grin that got me. However, that wasn’t his purpose when, early this year, Paul Murphy took to the Bishop Eton pulpit to announce the new youth ministry he was opening to young adults in the parish.

 

For all the novelty that an unfamiliar face in the pulpit might possess, that person also has to convince the congregation they are worth listening to. In sporting parlance, they need to win the crowd over. Paul did that. And he achieved it not just by flashing a smile redolent of a certain film star.

 

 If the initial response was positive, Paul has since managed to hold, and then build on, an encouraging level of interest. Between March and July, more than 50 young adults participated, at one point or other, in the group’s twice-monthly meetings, normally held on a Tuesday evening.

 

The core focus of the meetings has been prayer and spiritual reflection. Any attending social activity is a pleasing corollary to the main event. There is a sincerity of purpose; the sole gimmick is guest speakers.

It is not only the uptake that is uplifting. What immediately appealed to me about Paul’s mission in Bishop Eton, St Mary’s and beyond was its underdog aspect: here was somebody willing to stand up and be counted. Thankfully his initial message fell on sympathetic as well as maybe sceptical ears – and it is to his credit that Paul has since taken other young Catholics with him in making similar acts of faith."

 

(Patrick, Young Adult Group)