O’Shea Shield – inspiring!

Last weekend the annual O’Shea Shield Competition was held at St Bernard’s College, Lower Hutt.  Seventeen Catholic Colleges from the Wellington and Palmerston North dioceses participated in this wonderful event of Debating, Oratory, Scripture Reading in both Te Reo and English, Impromptu Speech, Religious Drama, and Religious Questions.

Congratulations to St Bernard’s, who won the 2017 O’Shea Shield Competition, and congratulations to them also for their very generous hospitality to us all, as hosts of this year’s event.

The theme of the weekend was “Living in Harmony with God’s Creation”, inspired by the Encyclical of Pope Francis, Laudato Si (On the Care of our Common Home).

The Religious Questions topic was based on “Amoris Laetitia” (The Joy of Love), the Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis from the two Synods on the Family.  Having sat through those two very long Synods in Rome, where thousands and thousands of words were spoken, I have often wondered how many would read the resulting document.  It was therefore a real honour to sit and listen to students of our Colleges respond so convincingly and with such understanding to questions about Amoris Laetitia.  They had reflected deeply on the writings of Pope Francis, were very aware that this spoke about married love, and time and time again spoke of how moved they were by his writings!

As they responded to the Holy Father’s reflection on St Paul’s Hymn to Love in First Corinthians they spoke about how they were trying to apply this to their lives today.  This was so gratifying and edifying to all
present.  Well done and congratulations.

Amoris Laetitia is worth reading, so rich in teaching, with much to reflect on for all of us.  It is about love, and all of us are called to love.

With every blessing

+John