Welwyn Garden City (UK)
Young people from Word of Life groups in Belfast, Dublin and from University College Dublin made their way to the ‘Centre for Unity’ in Welwyn Garden City, on the outskirts of London, for the annual Focolare Regenerate event.
The event, now in its sixth year, saw its numbers double from last year as around ninety young people from the Netherlands, Finland, Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland came together for the occasion.
All over Europe the event was followed online as talks were streamed live through the internet. In fact, at its peak, as many as twenty-eight laptops were linked to the event and joined in the discussion.
This year “Regenerate” took the theme of happiness as its focus point. Bishop Brendan Leahy from Limerick, the key speaker, led the group in questioning the difference between happiness and joy and between happiness and sorrow. The programme was interspersed with workshops, break-away group discussions as well as large feedback sessions in order to interrogate the subject most fully. The youth had the choice to attend lectures on happiness and psychology and happiness and economics by Angela Manning and Fabio Tufano respectively.
As well as questioning the meaning of the word ‘happiness’, the weekend presented the very practical ways in which we can look for, work for and, indeed, find happiness. It reinvigorated those attending to return home living the Focolare spirituality anew in the pursuit of a very real and shared happiness.
You can still watch part of the Happiness discussion online at: