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Jan De Volder
As the Islamist group Boko Haram is said to be surrounding the city of Maiduguri in the latest stage of its campaign of violence against Christians and Muslims alike, an expert on the country considers why the authorities are powerless to halt its progress
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Young people need to find silence away from the noise of social media in order to encounter God, the archbishop in charge of new evangelisation has said.
Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evanglisation, said in a time where young people are bombarded by noise and distractions, there is still a “deep desire” for silence and a personal encounter with Christ.
“Today there is so much noise, with social media, we don’t understand the value of silence,” he said. “We go away from it, from ourselves. In silence though, we encounter ourselves, and God. There is a desire for silence, desire for spirituality, [amid] the problems of society. If we take time in silence we find the answer to this desire.”
He was speaking at Invocation 2014, a national discernment festival to encourage young people to consider their vocation, held in Birmingham at Oscott seminary from Friday 4 July to Sunday 6 July.
Archbishop Fisichella also spoke of the upcoming synod on marriage and the family and the lack of formation among young people.
“You hear of children coming to make their communion and they don’t know how to make the sign of the cross. This is an issue we face, a challenge,” he said. “This is something we have to change, it is at the root of faith in the family. It is the same with education, and our schools. These are the ways faith is passed on, how we evangelise. It is a challenge, and a question we will look at, at the synod.”
Invocation 2014 included a series of talks and prayer events with Masses celebrated by Cardinal Vincent Nichols and Bishop Terence Drainey of Middlesborough, and a candle-lit procession with the Blessed Sacrament.