Afterglow: A Focus on the Catholic Parish Summit

Sending disciples. Equipping leaders. Launching transformation.

Jacqueline Marie | June 20, 2024

On June 12th-14th hundreds of priests and parish leaders descended on Harrogate, UK for the Catholic Parish Summit.  A global conference focused on parish renewal, attendees and DR staff were left joyfully reeling this week from the inspiration, connection and empowerment that happened over the three days. The keynotes, panels, and breakout sessions all offered a vision of a renewed Church that is missionary and apostolic at its core, equipping leaders to cast off their parishes into mission — focused on bringing people to Jesus. 

As attendees make their way home across the UK, Europe, North America and some even as far away as New Zealand, many have reached out to share their stories of what the Holy Spirit began renewing in their hearts last week.

Sister Mary Magdalen with Father Paschal and Father Stephen

“After an incredible, inspiring and encouraging Catholic Parish Conference, I can say that I have returned with a renewed encounter with the Holy Spirit, full of new ideas, plans and hope for the future of my parish…I am really excited for this new chapter we are about to enter.”

-Priest, CPS attendee

“I will not miss a chance anymore to show God’s love to someone through kindness, healing and prophetic words (writing this after having just evangelized my taxi driver)…we started talking how God still heals today because God loves us. He (the taxi driver) shared his story and how difficult things have been for him. As we arrived at my place he said ‘I used to pray. Things were actually better when I prayed… I don’t know why I have stopped doing it’ …I ended up praying for him and felt how the Holy Spirit was filling the taxi with his peace and love”
-Elisa, CPS attendee

"I definitely got zapped with the gift of joy - I have not been able to stop smiling since I got home!"

“The adoration following general session three with Sister Miriam, just blew my mind. As Christ passed by my seat I felt total awe.

Finally on the second day I bumped into a few people who I’d briefly met the day before. Each said “Hello – I see you’re still smiling”. I had no idea that I was smiling! It dawned on me that all the angst that I felt towards my parishioners perceived inertia/apathy and resistance to change prior to coming had gone. I was refreshed at the prospect of going back and acting as a catalyst for change. I was totally convinced that the Holy Spirit would do the hard work and stick with me.

After my first night’s sleep at home I woke with a clear plan in my mind which I have submitted to my priest who seems enthused with my ideas which he is going to reflect on…I feel we are on the brink of trying something new and looking forward to seeing the results.”

-CPS attendee

“It’s been a wonderful experience…I’ve now seen an inspiring vision of a church I want to be a part of. One that demonstrates the love of God I’ve personally experienced and want others to know about too. I’ve heard and met inspiring people and I want to go forward to transform and encourage others.”

-CPS attendee

“I was amazed at the number of bishops, I was amazed at the number of priests, I just did not think there would be so many – that stunned me actually…that just gives a huge amount of hope, there is hope! And it looks like the Lord is doing something.”

-Father Keith, CPS attendee