'Children need more opportunities like this to get out what’s going on for them on the in-side. It’s very healthy for them to have time when they are not doing or watching something on a screen.'Staff (England)

“I am a Catholic Priest. Would it be possible to meet someone of your team?"

“Dear brothers and sisters,” wrote Fr. Michael Scharf, back in May 2013. “I am a Catholic Priest in the Archdiocese of Vienna, responsible for founding a ministry within the Catholic Church that teaches children how to live a life of prayer and discipleship.

I know the 24-7 Prayer movement and a friend of mine shared about the Prayer Spaces in Schools. I am pretty much interested in starting prayer spaces in Catholic schools within our Diocese. I will be in London soon. Would it be possible to meet someone of your team during this days?”

Michael and Phil Togwell met in a coffee shop in London a few weeks later and they talked about how prayer spaces could work in Austrian schools. Neither of them had any idea of what was about to happen though…

Forward-wind four years… there have been around 100 prayer spaces in Austrian schools so far – in both Catholic schools and state schools - and more than half of those have taken place in the last year. The interest is growing, fast.

Last week, Phil travelled to Salzburg for a day (?!) to meet with Michael, and with Franz Greisberger who leads Katholische Jugend Salzburg. Franz’s teams call their prayer spaces ALIVE! and they’ve been hosting them all over Salzburg – watch this video of ALIVE! at the Futurespirit Festival.

Phil, Michael, Franz and some of Franz’s team had a great time discussing how to move from ‘addition methods/strategies’ to ‘multiplication methods/strategies’ – our aim is to serve, support and equip those getting started with prayer spaces in schools right across the country.


Posted on 27th March 2018

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