Sunday, December 30, 2007

Good News about Catholic Education

Moving out of the sanctuary for a while, I was very pleased to see this on the Independent Catholic News site. Congratulations to bishop O`Donoghue and to his chairman of his education committee, the dynamic Fr Luiz Ruscillo. The document can be found here. I sincerely hope it will become a model for the rest of the country.

LANCASTER - 30 December 2007 -

Vatican welcomes Bishop O'Donoghue's Fit For Mission schools document

Bishop Patrick O'Donoghue of Lancaster Diocese(UK) has received the endorsement of the Congregation for Clergy, Rome, for his recent teaching document, 'Fit for Mission? Schools'. The Congregation further express the hope that it will become 'an example for other Dioceses in the country in their implementation of the General Directory for Catechesis and the Catechism of the Catholic Church in their individual ecclesiastical jurisdiction'.

Archbishop Mauro Piacenza, Secretary for the Congregation for Clergy, has sent the Congregation,s congratulations to Bishop Patrick O'Donoghue for his 'courageous examination of the state of evangelisation and catechesis in the diocese of Lancaster's schools and colleges' - among other things, and for developing a positive programme for action in harmony with the General Directory for Catechesis and the other operative Magisterial documents.

Furthermore, Archbishop Mauro Piacenza wrote in his letter of 15 December, 'The Congregation is especially pleased as your pastoral plan is precisely that which was called for in the "General Directory for Catechesis after the release of the "Catechism of the Catholic Church'.

The Dicastery wished the Bishop well in the implementation of the Fit for Mission? Schools programme, which will be developed throughout the diocese during 2008. In the New Year, the diocese,s Education Centre will facilitate and co-ordinate further consultation and implementation of the action plan among primary and secondary schools, and colleges. This will culminate in a diocesan conference in November 2008 to discuss the progress of Fit for Mission? Schools over the year.

Bishop Patrick is most encouraged to receive the support the Congregation for Clergy for Fit for Mission? Schools. He said: "To be honest, I have been overwhelmed by the positive response! Before Christmas, my office was inundated with congratulations, enquiries, and requests for copies of Fit for Mission? Schools from within the diocese, from around the country and internationally".

The Bishop's Office in Lancaster has received requests from the United States, Canada, Australia, France, and Malta.
Source: Lancaster Diocese


Anonymous said...

Isn't he just wonderful! i must write & thank him..

Anonymous said...

You might be interested in ‘True Source of the Sodality Spirit’.

It is available at:

God bless you!

Fr Michael Brown said...

Jackie, the more I read of it, the more I marvel at it. I think he`s just become my favourite English bishop. They even have the EF Mass at the cathedral from time to time.

Alnwickian said...

'A model for the rest of the country'? Are you joking? Have your read the section on liturgy and music? Not one mention of teaching and using Gregorian Chant in the liturgy. Not one word instructiing that it must be ensured that the pupils (and teachers) should be able to sing together in Latin the Ordinary of the Mass.

This is just the same old rubbish.

Fr Michael Brown said...

Alnwickian I couldn`t disagree more. If you think this is the same old rubbish then I assume you are not familiar with the other old rubbish. No it doesn`t say that children should be able to sing the ordinary of the Mass in Latin but there are quite a few other things that are important in Catholic education which it does mention and it acknowledges the realities of the current situation. As for music there is this on p.36:
Pupils should learn of the immense contribution of the Church to music and how all the great composers have, for example, composed settings of the Mass: Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn, Schubert, and so on.

I think you could fit chant in there. hOwever my admiration continues unabashed with this document and I must try and get a hard copy to read more easily. I`m going into our diocesan office today as I go back to work at the tribunal and may ask our education service if they have a copy.

Alnwickian said...

Fr mb
When the children of your school sing their first Haydn or Schubert Mass, I hope to be invited...

Fr Michael Brown said...

I think Haydn or Schubert would be more the area for the secondary school but you`ll be glad to know that the children of St Stephen`s school, Longbenton, are making good progress with Mass XVIII. Their next school Mass is on the first Friday of February at 10am. You are very welcome.

Anonymous said...

Fr Michael, the reaction of the H&N education service would be interesting. When this document first became available down here, the episcopal reaction was hardly enthusiastic, "too prescriptive...pre-Trent never mind pre Vat II...our schools aren't in the state his clearly are...etc...".

Anonymous said...

So, Fr Michael, what response did you get from the H&N educators?

Fr Michael Brown said...

None as yet. The office isn`t really open until next week.

Anonymous said...

I am glad to report that there will be a regular Extraordinary Form Mass at Lancs Cathedral every 4th Sunday at 12.15 starting in Feb.

We hope these will be sung Masses - I understand a former member of the Schola Gregoriana of Northumbria (who have sung at your Brinkburn Mass, Fr Brown) has been approached and asked to organise the chant.

Fr Michael Brown said...

Lancaster seems to be the place to watch. I learnt recently that no Lancaster seminarians are sent to Ushaw. I thought that was rather interesting information.