On Saturday last 27 students received their award of the Certificate in Catechesis from the Maryvale Institute in the Archdiocese of Birmingham, England following completion of a two-year programme of study offered in a partnership between the Diocese of Cork and Ross and the Maryvale Institute. The awards were presented by Bishop John Buckley of Cork and Ross and Bishop William Crean of Cloyne in Saint Michael’s Church in Blackrock, Co Cork.
The course was supported by Rev Dr Charles Kiely Director of the Cork and Ross Pastoral Development Office and Sr Karen Kent OSU, Coordinator of Pastoral Development in the diocese. The ceremony was attended by Rev Edward Clare, Director of the Maryvale Institute and Ms Marie Cooke, Director of Further Education at the Institute who was the course tutor.
The award ceremony was followed by a Mass of Thanksgiving which included the Rite of Commissioning of Parish Catechists. Twenty five Parish Catechists were commissioned for parishes in Cork and Ross and two for the Diocese of Cloyne by their respective bishops into this new voluntary ministry. They will take up their new ministry in the coming weeks which will focus on preparation with parents whose children are preparing to receive the sacraments. Over time it is hoped the ministry will expand as it responds to individual parish needs.
This award ceremony and commissioning was the first to be held in an Irish diocese and was a response to a need for trained lay people to be available in parishes to work in partnership with parish clergy in the handing on the faith.
Plans are currently being formulated to offer the course again commencing in the spring of 2017 – information will be available after Easter from the Pastoral Development Office in the Diocese of Cork and Ross.