Courses, Echoes

Educational courses must be viewed in the light of the emphasis given by the Synod Fathers to the total and ongoing formation of the lay faithful.

After having described Christian formation as “a continual process in the individual of maturation in faith and a likening to Christ, according to the will of the Father, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit”, they have clearly affirmed that the formation of the lay faithful must be placed among the priorities of a diocese. It ought to be so placed within the plan of pastoral action that the efforts of the whole community (clergy, lay faithful and religious) converge on this goal”. (Christifidelis Laici 57).

In addition to the Adult formation courses held in the parish each year, the Parish provides an opportunity for further formation through hosting two further programmes which are run by professional bodies. The Maryvale Theological Institute Birmingham and the Pastoral and Matrimonial Renewal Centre (PMRC) in Australia. Both programmes are run in collaboration with the Diocesan departments of Catechesis and Pastoral Affairs.

THE MARYVALE INSTITUTE CERTIFICATE IN CATECHESIS

Approved by the Catechetical Office of the Sacred Congregation for the Clergy, Rome

Introduction:
Westminster Archdiocese, in collaboration with Maryvale Institute, is offering the people of the archdiocese the chance to join this unique programme,a distance-learning course spread over two-years, designed for those who are concerned to spread the faith more effectively. It therefore prepares catechists and parents for mission in the home, school or parish by forming them in the fundamental tasks of catechesis, that is, promoting knowledge of the faith; liturgical education; moral formation and a life of prayer.
This is a learner-centred course, designed for busy people. The programme includes reading specially prepared coursebooks with activities which reinforce learning and offer guidelines for practical work.
Its appeal is broad and students are numerous, including parents, grandparents, teachers and youth, active catechists as well as those interested in helping more in the parish.
Ability, experience, age and background is very diverse. Some focus on the catechetical formation of their own children or grandchildren, others who are already parish catechists may work with children, young people or adults, be involved in children’s liturgy groups, groups for sacramental preparation or RCIA.
Students who are already catechists benefit from a systematic doctrinal formation as well methodological guidance serving as on-the-job training as they pursue their catechesis in an ongoing way.
This vocational course aims, above all, to foster in participants and in those they catechise, an ongoing conversion of heart and mind to Christ in the light of God’s loving Word.

The programme:

encourages personal development
by deepening the student’s relationship with Christ through a deeper commitment to prayer, worship and spiritual development;
by inspiring the student to enter even more deeply into the life and faith of the Church,
seeking growth in that faith which is ‘living, explicit and productive, through formation in doctrine and the experience of Christian living’ Canon 773
develops a knowledge and understanding of the Catholic Faith
by encouraging students to study the Church’s own documents in order to develop a familiarity with the teaching of the Church in the areas of doctrine, liturgy, moral life and prayer;
fosters catechetical skills
by raising confidence to transmit the Faith in a variety of settings, especially the parish;
by engaging in the planning of catechetical sessions;
by developing skill in the application of various methodological principles
The course will be hosted here at Ealing Abbey with Study Days on Saturday 10th February, 19th May and 7th July. Marianne Cuthbertson, Catechetical Co-ordinator will work in collaboration with the Maryvale Institute and Anthony Curran Diocesan Catechetical Adviser.

PASTORAL AND MATRIMONAL RENEWAL CENTRE

The Celebrate Love Seminar is a non-residential, marriage enrichment, weekend retreat which aims to enrich Catholic marriage and to empower couples to live more passionately and intimately for the sake of the mission of the Church. The seminar is facilitated by a team of married couples who are able to bring practical experience to an extensive body of understanding of the dynamics of marital relationship. The seminar is specifically targeted for couples looking to further enrich or ‘rekindle’ sound relationships. Celebrate Love promotes a healthy, celebratory attitude to sexuality, and makes clear the linkage of sexuality to the spirituality of the sacrament of matrimony.
The seminar is very practical, giving couples the tools to identify and change attitudes and behaviours that detract from the magnificent vision that God, and the Church, calls couples to live. The seminar draws together the insights of some of the most experienced international relationship educators and the vision of marriage espoused in John Paul II’s Theology of the Body for a practical and effective renewal experience.

Celebrate Love is an initiative of the Pastoral and Matrimonial Renewal Centre (PMRC) in Australia. The seminar was first introduced to Australia in 1992 and has since had over 800 couples attend. The newest initiative of the PMRC is “Embrace: Preparing to Live in Love”. This is a parish-based marriage preparation programme that is facilitated by Mentor couples over six sessions. Celebrate Love is used with excellent results as a formation experience for those preparing for other ministries such as marriage preparation (including Embrace) and family ministry.

The course will be hosted here at Ealing Abbey. Marianne Cuthbertson, Catechetical Co-ordinator will work in collaboration with Edmund Adamus, Director of Pastoral Affairs in the Diocese of Westminster.