As the Master of the Order recalled in his recent letter to Pope Benedict XVI, the Order is called to "take its place in the 'new evangelization'". With this in mind and in this Year of Faith, the Dominican-run University chaplaincy in Edinburgh which serves three of that city's four universities, recently hosted a 'Nightfever'. 'Nightfever' is a youth initiative that began in Cologne at World Youth Day in 2005. The Blessed Sacrament is exposed in a candle-lit church with gentle live music playing, and, then, pairs of 'missionaries' are sent out into the streets of the city to invites passers-by to come in and light a candle. The task is to be gentle "fishers of men", putting out into the deep of our world, to invite people into a church so that they can discover God's love and peace emanating from the Eucharist. Throughout the night, young people are also in the church praying and adoring the Blessed Sacrament, because it is the Lord alone who will move hearts; the task of the 'missionary' is just to bring people to him.
On 22 February 2013, the Dominicans in Edinburgh opened their newly-built chapel to 'Nightfever'. Scores of students from the chaplaincy went out into the streets of Edinburgh on a cold night, and brought over 60 people into the warmth of the chapel. A good number of people said they were only going to light a candle, but when they came in, they discovered a tangible presence of God, and some stayed for over an hour. The friars and students all testified to an "amazing" feeling of God's holiness and the power of prayer in the chapel, an experience that can only be likened to places like the grotto at Lourdes. As Jacob once said at Bethel: "Surely the Lord is in this place... How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven" (Gen 28:16f).
We pray that the work that the Holy Spirit has begun, and the stirring of his grace in so many hearts through 'Nightfever' will bear fruit.
More photos of Nightfever in the chapel of St Albert the Great, Edinburgh can be seen on their Facebook page here.