A Centre of Formation for the New Evangelisation has been established in the grounds of a Benedictine abbey in England.
Catholic education experts have established the centre, called the School of the Annunciation, at Buckfast Abbey in Devon, UK, thanks to the generosity and collaboration of Abbot David Charlesworth of Buckfast, and the monastic community.
The New Evangelisation stresses the need for all Catholics to be equipped to spread the Gospel and bring people to encounter the truth, beauty and dignity of Christianity and the Catholic worldview in an increasingly secularized society.
New Evangelisation involves engaging honestly with the genuine questions people today have about the cogency of Catholic faith. Above all the task is to bring others to encounter the life-transforming message of Christ and His Church.
“Following on the success of 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,” Abbot Charlesworth said. “May Our Lady of Buckfast bless this new venture.”
Bishop Mark O’Toole of Plymouth said he was “delighted” to welcome the initiative and “grateful” for the generosity of Buckfast Abbey in providing its location 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,” he said.
The School of the Annunciation will begin by offering a Diploma in the New Evangelisation as well as short Summer Schools.
Dr Andrew Beards, the Academic Director, said the new school comprises 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,” he said. “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 twenty-first century culture.”
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