The call to holiness doesn’t mean being “weird and fanatical”, but giving “a quieter witness to our faith in the circle of our own family and friends” in our everyday lives, Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury told young people last week.

Bishop Davies was preaching on the final day of Youth 2000, an annual five-day prayer festival at the Marian shrine at Walsingham.

He told Catholics aged 16 to 35: “We are never meant to stay in a field, to remain permanently at a prayer festival. We are now called to return to wherever our lives are lived.” He said that the “world needs the witness of your youth”.

One lesson that young people could draw from the 2016 Olympics was to “be inspired” to be more than “armchair” observers, he said. A Catholic should instead strive be a “real participant in a mission much greater than Olympic gold”.

Bishop Davies encouraged them to seek grace in their struggle for holiness by regularly going to Confession and adoring and receiving Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist, and he urged them to become better acquainted with the Gospel.

“The ancient world was first converted, not so much by the preaching of bishops, but by the daily witness of Christians in every walk of life who wanted to quietly share their faith often in quiet ways with those around them.”

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