Friar from the Bronx comes to Brentwood Cathedral

 Fr Stan Fortuna, a founder member of the Franciscan Friars for the Renewal, jazz musician and speaker, will meet Confirmation candidates at Brentwood Cathedral this Sunday, 15 March.

In a packed afternoon, the young people who are to be confirmed at Pentecost will be received at the Cathedral by Bishop Thomas in a special service. They will then experience Fr Stan's unique blend of talk, rap and music in a session on 'Fanning the Spirit into a flame'. After refreshments Fr Stan will preside and preach at the Cathedral parish Mass, before undertaking a second question and answer session with young adults from across the Diocese.

Since the early 1990s Fr Stan, who is based in the Bronx, has travelled the world preaching to young people and was a main speaker at World Youth Day, Sydney, 2008. He offers a powerful message, with a very direct style, and he accompanies much of his preaching with music, from contemporary jazz to folk to reggae and rap. It is a unique style which delivers a powerful message of love, hope and unity and has appealed to many thousands of young people across the world. Fr Stan features on the Youth Café DVD and has also produced a DVD on the Eucharist, as well as numerous CDs. He works on the basis of voluntary donations and any profits go to his charity, Francesco Productions, which works with the poorest young people in the Bronx and in Uganda.

The Cathedral event has grown out of a mission Fr Stan is undertaking at Trinity High School in Woodford Green. It has been organised by chaplain Deidre Smith and is something of a coup for the school. She said: "I had heard Fr Stan speak on various occasions and had seen the impression he makes on young people through screening some of his Youth Café DVDs at school.

"They really listen intently to him. He is a very sound teacher with real empathy for young people. He gives them the truth, unwatered down, and his delivery is in touch with where they are."

At the two-day Trinity mission, he will talk to different sections of the school about the Eucharist and celebrate Mass with them. Deidre said: "The sessions are fully booked and there is an atmosphere of excited anticipation."

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Source: Diocese of Brentwood

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