Some of us spent all or much of the weekend at this year’s New York Encounter , sponsored by the Catholic movement Communion and Liberation. It’s an annual event and we’d recommend it for those of you in the area who might be able to come next year.

Among the highlights for me was the talk by Paul Bhatti, whose brother Shahbaz was assasinated, by his own body-guards, for his work defending Christians and other minorities in Pakistan. Paul, who was working in Italy as a doctor, returned to Pakistan to take up his brother’s position — and the risks he had taken. He told the story very simply, with an undramatic declaration of his faith in Jesus Christ, and stopped. We were reminded that there are extraordinary people in the world.

Other talks I much enjoyed (I could only get to the afternoon sessions) were the “witness” (aka testimony) of the Irish writer John Waters and a lecture on freedom in modern art by Francis Greene.

Much commended. Here is the Communion and Liberation site .

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