Deacon Nick Donnelly’s Protect the Pope site has published the following announcement. This has to be good news for the Catholic Church in England:
A Centre of Formation for the New Evangelisation has been established by leading experts in Catholic education. Dr Petroc Willey, Dr Andrew Beards, Dr Caroline Farey and others, have established this centre, called the School of the Annunciation, in the grounds of Buckfast Abbey in Devon, UK, thanks to the generosity and collaboration of the Abbot of Buckfast, the Rt. Rev. David Charlesworth and the monastic community.
Dr Petroc Willey was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI a Consultor to the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation in 2012. The Holy Father also appointed Dr Petroc Willey and Dr Caroline Farey as advisors to the Synod on ‘New Evangelisation for the Transmission of the Faith’ held in the Vatican.
The School of the Annunciation will begin by offering a Diploma in the New Evangelisation delivered by experts in this exciting and newly emerging field of activity and reflection in the life of the Church. As well as the Diploma in the New Evangelisation, the School of the Annunciation is offering short Summer Schools. These provide a unique opportunity to study the Catholic Faith in the beautiful setting of Buckfast Abbey, sharing the monastic community’s life and prayer over long summer weekends in August.
The academic faculty of the School of the Annunciation includes: Dr Andrew Beards, Academic Director; Dr Caroline Farey, Director of Studies; Dr Petroc Willey, Reader in the New Evangelisation, and Rev Nick Donnelly, Director of Formation. The Academic Registrar is Miss Monica Massarella.
On the foundation of the School of the Annunciation Abbot David Charlesworth said:
“Following on the success of the Summer Schools in previous years, the foundation of the School of the Annunciation promises to be the next phase in Buckfast Abbey becoming a centre for authentic Catholic studies in continuity with the great Benedictine tradition stretching back over 1,500 years in our country. May Our Lady of Buckfast bless this new venture.”
Rt Rev Mark O’Toole, Bishop of Plymouth said:
“I am delighted to welcome this new initiative for the New Evangelisation at Buckfast Abbey, and I am grateful for the generosity shown by Abbot David and the Monastic community in providing it a home and direction. The Diocese of Plymouth looks forward to working with the School of the Annunciation so that the Gospel may more effectively be preached in our society.”
Dr Andrew Beards, the Academic Director, said:
“We have gathered together at Buckfast, a faculty of Catholic theologians and catechists who are experts in collaborative distance learning to create a unique experience in formation for the Church’s urgent mission of New Evangelisation. Our courses will be delivered through a creative mix of short residentials, e-learning and personal tuition. It is our hope that men and women in this country, and from around the world, will join us in this exciting new venture to take the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ into the heart of 21st century culture.”
The aim of the School of the Annunciation is to support the formation of lay people and religious in deepening their knowledge and appreciation of the Catholic Faith in this age of the New Evangelisation, in a manner which enables students to draw upon the riches of the Catholic theological heritage, rooted in the integral relationship of Scripture, Tradition and the Magisterium.
The School begins with five short summer schools in July/August 2014 to launch its work and give people an opportunity to taste the courses that the School of the Annunciation is offering. These 4-day summer schools provide a unique opportunity to study and discuss the Catholic Faith in the beautiful setting of Buckfast Abbey, sharing the rhythm of daily prayer of the resident monastic community.
Following this, a two-year, distance-learning Diploma in New Evangelisation is being prepared for the Autumn of 2014. This Diploma includes modules in Theology, Philosophy, Catechesis and Media; it is designed with two long weekends at Buckfast per year, plus home study supported by contact with tutors and use of online resources.
The Diploma is designed in such a way that sets of modules may be followed by groups of people interested in specific areas of study, such as, Philosophy and Catholic Faith, Theology, Catechetical Formation or Apologetics.
The School of the Annunciation is staffed by leading Catholic teachers in the field:
Dr Andrew Beards, Academic Director, is respected internationally in the field of Philosophy and the Catholic tradition. He has had over twenty years of experience in teaching seminarians, undergraduates, masters and doctoral students and is the author of many books and articles.
Dr Petroc Willey, Reader in the New Evangelisation. He was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as a Consultor for the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation, chosen as advisor for the Vatican Consultative body for Pope Francis on Catechesis, and was one of the few lay experts for the Synod of Bishops on the ‘New Evangelisation for the Transmission of the Faith’ in October 2012.
Dr Caroline Farey, Director of Studies, is widely known for her work in catechetics in accordance with the mind and heart of the Church. She was one of three lay women experts at the Synod of Bishops on New Evangelisation, and representing the catechists of the world she received the ‘Message for Catechists’ for the Year of Faith from Pope Benedict XVI.
Deacon Nick Donnelly, Director of Formation in the School of the Annunciation, is responsible for formation programmes and spiritual elements of the courses. He is a Deacon of the Lancaster Diocese, is a CTS author and holds an MA in Spiritual Formation.
Phone: 01364 645660
Please pray for the success of this new venture:
School of the Annunciation Prayer
Mary, Mother of the New Evangelisation, as you prayed continuously with the Church at the beginning (Acts 1:14) be united with us now in prayer. Help us to return to the school of Nazareth and to echo your words in the hour of the Annunciation: “let it be to me according to your word” (Lk. 1:38). Help us to rejoice in the wonder of the Incarnation and with you to treasure all these things and ponder them in our hearts (Lk 2:19). Obtain for us the courage to take our stand with you beside the Cross of your Son (Jn. 19:25) in the hour of Redemption. Guide us as we set out along all the ways of the earth to bring to our brothers and sisters the light of faith, hope and charity (Lk. 1: 39). All to the praise and adoration of the Most Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit both now and for ever. Amen.
(School of the Annunciation Prayer written by Rt. Rev. Mark Davies, Bishop of Shrewsbury Diocese.)