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by Anna Maria Dupelycz, Catechesis Advisor, 'Learn From Me' programme contact


On Saturday 23rd October, 8 parishioners from the diocese of Westminster were formally awarded the certificates they had successfully completed in a virtual graduation ceremony from the chapel at Maryvale Institute, Birmingham.  The certificates were presented by Archbishop John Wilson.  These courses are part-time, distance learning courses, ranging in length from 6 months to 2 years.  The courses are now delivered online since the pandemic began.  Students are funded through one of 4 pathways: 

·       totally self funded, 

·       totally parish-funded, 

·       part parish and part bursary, or

·       part self and part bursary.  

The bursary is made possible by a grant from The Cardinal’s Appeal.  These certificates are to help equip lay people to be more effective and confident ministers and missionary disciples in their own parish communities, with a consideration of leadership roles in the future.

Certificates and the parishes in which the graduates serve

Catechesis in Marriage and Family

 North Finchley

Certificate in Parish Mission and Ministry

Hemel Hempstead West


Parsons Green

Bunhill Row/Moorfields

St Albans

Maryvale Certificate in Catechesis

Finchley, Church End

Here are some comments from students about their experience of the courses:

Certificate in Parish Mission and Ministry

“There is always much curiosity in me about many aspects of Catholic faith and practice; reading and attending a variety of literature and workshops are how I spend much of my free time.  Doing it academically, though, has not really been my style: the last time I wrote an essay was when I was doing my GCSEs, and RE was my worst subject back then! 

Strangely, I quite quickly decided to register myself onto the Certificate in Parish Ministry and Mission course, once I heard about it.  The topic was attractive to me as a parish volunteer, as was an opportunity to do some studies with more rigour for a change.

Pope Francis’s challenging and joyful vision for the Church, as set out in Evangelii Gaudium, was inspiring.  It reminded me of the way that Christians are called to work with God and in God’s time.  Although this part of the course was the one I found the hardest to work through, I reaped many good insights in return.  I am now looking forward to be able to work and serve more effectively with others in the parish community! “ 

“I have just completed the course for a certificate in parish mission and ministry, through the Maryvale institute. I decided to do this course because I wanted to learn more about the practical side of running a parish, and after attending the open day I learnt that this course is very practical.  Before starting the course, I was already a catechist for children's liturgy.  As I progressed through the course, the parish started to feel more and more like home because the course leads to you to discover ideas and movements that you might not have been aware of and, therefore, find yourself engaging more in parish life, and everything that I was already doing made the studying come alive for me.  Also, my understanding of Catholic teaching and principles deepened, which gave me more confidence when delivering a children's liturgy.  The reading itself is fascinating.  I felt as though I was being made privy to all of the little secrets of life.  There is so much wisdom to be learnt from the reading. The three study days are so valuable.  I found myself looking forward to them because not only are they fun and interesting but you get to meet so many people and most likely will make friends.  You will also find out how everybody else is getting along and realise that with any struggles or victories you go through you are not alone.  Distance learning was definitely new for me, but there is plenty of support and with the invention of zoom, you can discuss anything with your tutors at any time.  I have loved participating in this course and I definitely want to maintain links with Maryvale institute through other courses and zoom groups and meetings.  Maryvale now feels like another family to me.” 

“The course has been most interesting and has enabled me to see how the teaching of the Church can be realised in practice in the life of my own parish.”

Maryvale Certificate in Catechesis

“I still have lots to learn. It has definitely been a challenge to fit in the reading required and produce the essays but I am very pleased that I took part in the course. I can now relax and read the various extra books that were recommended through the course. 

The Zoom sessions that the Agency hold are great, thank you. I found, I felt isolated doing the distance learning and being able to catch up with others doing distance learning as well was a comfort."


We extend our congratulations to these parishioners who volunteer in their respective parishes for their hard work and perseverance in achieving their goals.  I hope they serve as a small encouragement for us all to consider some form of 'lifelong learning', particularly if we find ourselves in or considering lay leadership roles in our parish communities.  

Please do contact me for more information or a chat about formation opportunities on offer. or 020 7798 9026.