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VINEYARD

May 2009

Newspaper of the Diocese of Killala

Issue 37

New NUI course for Newman Institute - Education centre sees launch of new courses - Finishing touches put to state of the art premises HE Newman Institute has progressed to the next step in its educational development after securing a National University of Ireland accredited Diploma Course – and the new addition, together with a whole plethora of services offered by the Institute, will soon be carried out in the centre’s new premises. The currently-running Diploma in Applied Theology (Pastoral Studies) delivered by the Newman Institute in association with St Angela’s College, is accredited by the National University of Ireland, Galway and runs for two years on a part-time basis. A huge coup for the Institute, it marks a new frontier in the educational services of the centre. Director, Fr Muredach Tuffy, told Vineyard: “This is certainly an important step for adult education, and for the theology faculty of the Institute. The course is designed to contribute to the theological and spiritual development of the participants and equip them with a vast knowledge of pastoral ministry in a wide range of contexts. It is a practical course that has the huge benefit of being accredited by a National University while still being provided here in the Killala diocese,” he said. The course will now be offered alongside the Foundation in Counselling, a one-year part-time course which has earned a very impressive reputation locally. “The Foundation course is one of the best known here and I think that is because it serves as the cornerstone in the Counselling Department in the Institute. All graduates seem to take the maximum from it, as a life tool as well as a significant step in their academic career,” said the Director. Explaining the basis of the course’s accessibility, he added: “It is a wide ranging syllabus which touches on everyday issues and really gives participants a unique opportunity to explore counselling theories and skills, as well as looking at how they might manage their own personal and work lives better. It has a really practical approach and takes the form of lectures, discussions and group work. Anyone can take on this course as it has real, everyday value, for every participant,” said Fr Tuffy.

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NEW PREMISES And the academic side of things is not the only positive for the Ballina-based centre of learning, as the Newman Institute is currently gearing up for the big move to its new premises adjacent to St Muredach’s Cathedral. The state-of-the-art purpose built development will accommodate diocesan and academic centres where students can enjoy the freedom of study areas, conference rooms, class areas, oratory and a comprehensive library resource to carry out their course work. In the pipe-line for over five years, the new premises will open its doors in the coming weeks, with all courses and services moving from the original location at Barrett Street. Director, Fr Tuffy, said the move now sees a long-term plan come to fruition. “This is something that the Institute has being working towards for a long time and the construction process itself has being going on for over two years, so it is great to see it finally coming together. It will certainly provide the kind of space and facilities necessary to carry out study in a relaxed and student-friendly atmosphere. At this stage, we are all looking forward to getting the final touches in place to enjoy our new home,” he said. Anna-Marie Flynn

Minister for Education and Science, Batt O’Keefe, opens the €4m extension at Jesus and Mary Secondary School, Gotnor Abbey on April 22. Principal, Geraldine Ruane, thanked the order of Sisters of Jesus and Mary for bequeathing their historic building for the purposes of education to the community of Crossmolina since 1912. “This is a very special occasion for the Province and the school. Long may the great work of education continue well into the future,” said Sr Mary Mulrooney on behalf of the order.

Vineyard Guide to safeguarding returns children launched elcome to the first edition of the relaunched Vineyard. The newapaper, published by Killala Diocese, has been re-introduced after an absence of several years. Vineyard was first published under the guidance of Bishop Thomas Finnegan, and subsequently, Bishop John Fleming and edited by Fr Brendan Hoban. From its very first edition, it was a highly-acclaimed publication that continued to grow and develop over the years. In doing so, it became a relied-upon chronicle of all events and happenings within the diocese of Killala. Since Fr Hoban’s decision to retire from the post of editor in 2006, the publication had temporarily ceased. It now returns under Editor Anna-Marie Flynn and Production Manager, Claire Tighe, both of the parish of Backs. In keeping with tradition, there is a copy of Vineyard printed for every home in the diocese. We hope you enjoy this edition and welcome any future submissions to Vineyard Office, Newman Institute, Cathedral Close, Ballina or vineyard@newmanii.com.

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HE Bishop of Killala has published the revised edition of the diocesan guidelines for the protection of children and young people in the diocese. ‘Safeguarding Children and Young People in the Diocese of Killala – 2009’, was launched by Dr John Fleming in recent weeks. Bishop Fleming described the latest edition of the guidelines as ‘another important step’ in the continuous commitment of this diocese regarding its youth. Speaking to Vineyard, he said: “These guidelines are designed to ensure that all young people, while in the care of the Church and its agencies, are respected, cherished and guaranteed a safe space for their activities.” The latest guidelines are the result of close collaboration between several parties including the Diocesan Child Protection Committee, the Health Service Executive (HSE); the National Board for Safeguarding Children and the Council of Priests. “All of these parties have worked tirelessly for the past number of years to help create a safe environment for children and I want to acknowledge and thank them for constant advice and support,” added Bishop Fleming.

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Under the new directives, all church personnel will have to undergo child protection training and vetting. This is an administrative process and it is proposed that it will be centralised in Galway for the six diocese of the west. From a Garda point of view this is a considerable undertaking and it is understood it will take some time to effect. “This vetting procedure is hugely important. It will commence with the bishops of the six western dioceses, followed by the priests and then by other church personnel,” explained the bishop. The new Killala diocesan publication comes on foot of the revised guide issued by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church ‘Safeguarding Children: Standards and Guidance Document for the Catholic Church in Ireland.’ To coincide with the new guidelines, Bishop John Fleming has published a revised version of the Diocesan Child Protection Policy, which will be placed on the notice boards in the churches, together with a Diocesan Policy for Altar Servers. A code of behaviour for children has also been issued. Copies of all are available at the Diocesan Office. SEE PAGE 14


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