Today's theme at the Pastoral Congress was The Family and Hope.

By Ginevra Sproat (Oxford South Deanery)

Crossing the grass in beautiful sunshine we were heading for a lunch queue. On our way out of the gate we passed a familiar face who smiled as he passed us. I turned and realised that Cardinal Vincent Nichols had stopped and was talking to someone just behind us.

We waited a few moments and then he beckoned us forward and said hello. He admired the girls’ goody bags and compared the content of his own bag. He hadn’t collected any wristbands and Geni had 10!

I asked if he would mind giving us a blessing and he said he would be delighted. He gathered us all close and prayed that we would always be thankful for our family and that the Holy Spirit would guide and protect us during the World Meeting.

His Eminence then asked if we would like to take a photo and we jumped at the opportunity. He smiled and left us, though it took another five minutes for my heart rate to settle back down! A really moving and memorable experience on our final day at RDS.

WMoF, Dublin, 2018