by SUE SECONI
After 11 years as director of Hearts Aflame, Brendon Malone from Christchurch is resigning.
Although sad to be leaving and unsure what lies ahead for him, he believes this annual national Catholic summer school enjoys a very positive future.
“It is flourishing,” he said.
The new director for Hearts Aflame is Jemma Brunton from Wellington.
“I see my role as one of being the guardian of the spirit of the whole summer school,” she said.
The co-director is Anna Surrey from Auckland, who also lectures at the summer school on liturgy.
All three are past students of Hearts Aflame.
Nga Tawa Anglican Diocesan School near Marton was again the venue for the 2015 Hearts Aflame.
The gathering, which started on January 2, attracted more than 100 young adults from throughout the
country and from Australia.
A wide range of lectures ranged from Church history and the lives of the saints to moral theology and Scripture.
The day’s timetable was set around daily Mass and the prayer of the Church, small group discussions and time to “hang out”.
Mentors, lecturers, priests and religious were always available for more personal discussions.
“Each year, the leadership team gathers to pray and discern as we look at our topics, material and themes,” Ms Brunton said.
“We listen and reflect on what Pope Francis is currently telling the world and Church, or what messages and teachings come from World Youth Days,” she said.
The team fundraises about $14,000 over and above what comes in from registrations.
Each participant pays $495 for the 10 days.
The leadership team is not paid but volunteers its time and gifts.
They don’t want any young adult to feel excluded because of lack of finances.
“The team has a number of generous donors and some parishes do offer sponsorship,” Mr Malone said.
When the announcement was made that Archbishop John Dew is to be a cardinal, all the students gathered in the huge gymnasium and produced a selfie-video congratulating him and assuring him of their love and support.
This has had more 700 views so far on their website.
by SUE SECONI