Catholic Education and the New Evangelisation - 17th May Conference

The Department of Theology & Religious Studies at Mary Immaculate College Limerick is to host a major conference, the fourth in the McAuley Conference series. The theme is Catholic Education and the New Evangelisation.

This one-day symposium, taking place on Thursday May 17th, will consider Pope Benedict’s initiative for the renewal of faith in Europe, under the auspices of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelisation, and its implications for Catholic Education in Ireland.

It is the Pope’s hope that the new Pontifical Council will “promote a renewed evangelisation” in countries where the Church has long existed “but which are living a progressive secularisation of society and a sort ‘eclipse of the sense of God’.” Ireland now falls into this category, as even most recent events make clear. This timely conference will explore realistic ways in which this project can inform the second-level Catholic Education context in Ireland.

Speakers will include: leading Italian theologian, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, the first President of the newly constituted Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelisation; Dr Eugene Duffy, Conference Convenor and lecturer with the TRS Dept. at MIC; Dr Gareth Byrne, Head of Religious Education at Mater Dei Institute of Education and Principal Writer of Share the Good News: National Directory for Catechesis in Ireland; Sr Marie Céline Clegg IBNM, former Principal of Loreto College, Swords, and now a member the Board of Directors of Loreto Education Trust, with particular responsibility for Boards of Management and the provision of a support service for Loreto schools; acclaimed speaker and writer Dr Ron Nuzzi, Director of the Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program in the Alliance for the Catholic Education at the University of Notre Dame and Dr Kerry Greer, founding member of the Psychology Department at MIC.

While considering Catholic Education broadly, the conference will be of particular interest, among others, to second-level teachers, principals, members of boards of management, trustees and patrons.

Discussions and reflections will be facilitated throughout the day allowing participants the opportunity to engage with the speakers. Opportunities will also be provided to discuss and explore ways in which to support and develop the Catholic ethos within the second-level sector.

The conference is part-funded by the St Stephen’s Green Trust (a funding agency for Catholic charities), The Tablet (a UK-based weekly Catholic newspaper) and The Pastoral Review (an international pastoral journal).

The conference is being hosted in association with the MA in Christian Leadership in Education, a two year programme offered by the TRS Department at MIC in association with CEIST (Catholic Education, an Irish Schools Trust), which comprises five Catholic Religious Congregations engaged in post primary education (Daughters of Charity, Presentation Sisters, Sisters of the Christian Retreat, Sisters of Mercy, Missionaries of the Sacred Heart).

The programme, which is also being subsidised by the St Stephen’s Green Trust, which provides a sponsorship of €2000 over the two years, will lead to a professional qualification with a strong theology component for those working in the education sector such as school principals, members of boards of management, members of trusts established by the various denominational bodies in Ireland, etc.

Applications for this programme are currently being invited. Click here for full details.

Places, for what promises to be an interesting and thought-provoking conference, are limited and booking is essential.

For further information:

Contact: or Tel: 061-204962

For full programme details & registration form visit the website