Cardinal Pell flies in to launch Buckfast’s evangelisation centre
Cardinal George Pell will celebrate Mass at Buckfast Abbey, Devon, for the official foundation of the School of the Annunciation next week.
Monday, 8th September, the nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, has been selected as the date when the newly-founded Centre for New Evangelisation will be formally
Cardinal Pell was named by Pope Benedict XVI as one of the Synod Fathers for the Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelisation held in Rome in October 2012.
This year the Australian cardinal was appointed by Pope Francis to be the Prefect of the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy, meaning he is responsible for controlling the budget of the Holy See and the Vatican. Cardinal Pell also serves as one of eight cardinals appointed to lead internal reforms of the Catholic Church.
Mgr Graham Bell will also fly in from Rome as an official representative of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelisation in support of this new initiative for evangelisation in the UK.
The visit by Cardinal Pell to the School of the Annunciation, which is situated within the precincts of the Benedictine abbey, coincides with an unexpectedly large number of applications for the two-year, part-time, distance-learning Diploma in New Evangelisation developed by Dr Petroc Willey, a consultor for the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelisation.
Dr Caroline Farey, the director of studies, said: “When we set our target of 20 students we knew that it was unrealistic but we also knew the quality and relevance of the course content for evangelisation in today’s world. Now we have over 30 students.”
The formal foundation of the School of the Annunciation also follows the first series of summer schools in New Evangelisation which have been hugely successful – and which have fuelled interest in studies for the Diploma, which will begin this month for the first time.
Dr Andrew Beards, academic director, said the summer sessions marked “a blessed and incredibly auspicious beginning” to the School of the Annunciation’s academic work.
“A good number of students who came on these short courses were inspired to continue with us,” he said. The courses helped students understand the relationship between philosophy and Christian faith.