Locals participate in International Formation Program in England and Italy
Twenty six participants from Australia joined with participants from England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland in the inaugural ‘Forming Leaders International Formation Program’ in London and Rome/Assisi in July.
The program was offered by the Australian Catholic University Faculty of Education and Arts in collaboration with the La Salle Academy for the first time.
The program included two units from the Graduate Certificate in Education: Leading the New Evangelisation (LNE), conducted in London and Rome/Assisi, during the mid-year school holidays (ACT/NSW).
It was open to Australian Catholic educational and Church leaders. The program provides a unique opportunity to form current and emerging educational and Church leaders in an international context, experiencing a rich variety of formation experiences across two weeks.
The twenty-six member Australian cohort consisted of 23 participants and three team members. The Team leaders consisted of Br David Hall, Mr Peter Woods and Archbishop Christopher Prowse.
In total, 10 participants came from the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn, 11 from the Diocese of Wollongong and two came from Melbourne and Townsville.
An overview of the program and key formation experiences included:
WEEK ONE: Monday July 8 to Sunday July 14 – LONDON
EDNE601 Creating Centres of the New Evangelisation: Catholic Schools and Youth Ministries
1. Orientation and School Visits
- Arrive and orientation to St Mary’s University
- Visiting key Catholic historic formation places in London including Westminster Cathedral. Included a presentation from the Catholic Education Service of England and Wales and the Diocese of Westminster on vision and formation strategies for Catholic schools in England/Wales. In the afternoon, visited Tyburn Convent where pilgrims from all over the world visit the Shrine of the Martyrs.
- Investigation of lead schools in Westminster Diocese. Primary and Secondary schools will be visited with presentations from staff and students on formation and mission initiatives.
2. International Faith Formation Leadership Program conducted at St Mary’s University, Twickenham. The Australian cohort joined teachers and leaders from St Mary’s University and England/Wales, Scotland and Ireland to complete EDNE601.
Lectures and other learning activities were conducted in partnership with St Mary’s University in an international learning community. A joint certificate of Catholic Formation between ACU, St Mary’s University and Catholic Education Service England and Wales was awarded at the end of the Program.
WEEK TWO: Sunday July 14 to Sunday July 21 – ROME and ASSISI
EDNE600 Faith Formation and the New Evangelisation
1. ACU Rome Campus. Lectures focussed on key outcomes of this unit and included excursions each day to a variety of places, including the Vatican Museums, the Basilica of St Peter’s, St Paul outside the Walls, the rooms of St Ignatius and other religious places of significance.
2. Assisi Retreat Experience. The two week program concluded with a retreat experience conducted in Assisi. This provided a further opportunity for teachers and leaders to engage in faith formation that nurtures spiritual growth and an understanding of evangelisation and mission.
For ACU students, the program was offered as the two units from the Graduate Certificate in Education: (Leading the New Evangelisation).
The units can also be completed as audit. The program is open to leaders in Catholic Schools (Principals, Exec Leaders, REC’s, Mission Leaders) and Church ministry leaders. This program, of two units is open to enrolment by individual students, as well as cohorts organised by dioceses and other Catholic employing authorities.
Mr Peter Woods
Coordinator of the Program
Director, Teacher Formation Programs, ACU La Salle Academy
Inspiring, enthusing, challenging and thought provoking. Those words come to mind when I reflect upon the last few days…I have learnt about the importance of witnessing to the faith and we talk about our encounters with Jesus Christ in an intentional and purposeful way with our staff and students.
Michael Exton Principal St Ignatius College Geelong
The main part about it has been the way it has bought people together from different parts of the world…this has meant something quite special. From a catholic leader’s point of view in a school it has been really exciting to see a joined up and organised vision for how we might be able to deliver more effectively formation for the pupils we work with and our staff. I feel encouraged and excited about the whole experience.
Stuart McPherson Principal Worth School, England.
This whole experience has been totally transformational. I have been involved in Catholic education for 40 years and this has made a fundamental change in my life and has reinforced the wonderful joy of being a Catholic educator…I feel fully connected to the universal Church and the good news that the Holy Spirit is working and moving amongst us all.
Joan McCombe Diocese of Down and Connor Northern Ireland
It has reignited in me my faith and that’s been due to the company of wonderful people, great sessions and speakers who have all been superb.
Paul Neves Headteacher, JFK Catholic School
Highlights were Tyburn convent, Mass and reconciliation at Twickenham, Archbishop being with us, David Hall’s and Peter Wood’s lectures, Rome and Assisi in its entirety. I calculated that over the time I was away I attended Mass ten times with exposition, benediction, reconciliation, vespers, renewal of baptismal promises, etc. My spiritual fuel tank was very low when I left Australia, I was literally running on empty and it was not until I had all these experiences where I realised how low it was. I was so nourished by the experiences prepared for us. I am so captivated by the four dimensions of the Church – one, holy, Catholic, apostolic – it will stay with me until the end of time – the justice and mercy arms of the Church is so much part of my work as a Principal. Visiting each of the basilicas has been imprinted on my memory. Truly amazing!!!
Gaye McManus Principal Trinity College Goulburn
The LNE (London and Rome) program was a wonderful experience to be formed in the faith, exploring the New Evangelisation, what that means for the renewal of the Church and to be renewed in my own personal faith journey. The Masses in Rome at three Basilicas was an amazing experience with the Mass at St Peter’s crypt being profound. The Assisi retreat was moving and renewed my faith. The trip has opened the doors of the Church to me and I am grateful for that opportunity.
Brad Cooney St Clare’s College Canberra Principal
It was a fantastic few days together, seeing where the Holy Spirit is leading us in the New Evangelisation today. Speaking about kerygmatic Catholicism that enlivens young people and draws their faith out in full measure. Learning about how youth can evangelise youth. Learning about what does it mean to be a chief evangeliser in your school. I wanted to personally endorse this, I learnt so much and made some contributions and I came back full of hope and aware that God doing something new. I think this Program is on the cutting edge that the Holy Spirit is doing in the Catholic world at the moment. Why don’t you think about joining the next formation School?
Archbishop Christopher Prowse Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn