One of the wonderful things about being a member of the Catholic Church is that it is a precisely that - Catholic, universal in the content of its message and in it's members. Catholics are present and witnessing to their faith on every continent the world over, and there's much that we can learn from one another when it comes to evangelisation.
What follows is an inventory of some overseas evangelisation initiatives that we've heard about.
O.L.S.E. - OUR LADY'S SCHOOL OF EVANGELISATION
This was set up in 2005 and the first year started in September 2006. The School caters mainly for young people aged 18-35, by providing a residential course of 35 weeks in Catholic Formation and Evangelisation Training and Outreach. Our mission is "Empowering Young Adults for Life and Mission".
THE 3 PILLARS OF O.L.S.E.
The 3 pillars of O.L.S.E. are:
1. The Prayer Life. (Daily Prayers include Mass, Liturgy of the Hours, Praise Sessions, Adoration, Rosary, Lectio Divina, Quiet Time)
2. The Academic Studies. See the modules below.
3. The Community Life. (Practicalities of living together like a family: cooking, chores, sports, outings etc which help character formation and service to others).
COURSE & ACADEMIC STUDIES
The next course starts on the 22 September and will finish in May 2009. The curriculum consists of 8 modules: Foundations in Theology; Spiritual Development; Scriptures; Sacraments & Liturgy; Christology; Church History; Morality & Ethics; Evangelisation Training including 1 month of Outreach to Secondary Schools and Parishes. For the last 12 months we have been discussing this curriculum with a College of National University of Ireland to have our course accredited with them in which case the students, on successfuly completing the 9 months here, will be awarded the Diploma in Applied Theology. It is highly probable we will get this as from this year. Teachings on discipleship and community living are given weekly apart from these 'academic' studies.
THE RESIDENTIAL ASPECT OF THE COURSE
Students attending O.L.S.E. are required to live as a Community within St. Michael's House because our mission is to give an overall spiritual and character formation and this could only be achieved through the interaction and dynamics of community living. We ensure that there is a very healthy balance of the 3 pillars/areas mentioned above. Each student is respected as an individual and personal pastoral attention and guidance is given by our staff members who are trained in accompanying students on their experience here.
Students have 2 weeks Christmas Holidays and 1 week Easter Holiday. Students are expected to go home during these breaks. After the first 6 weeks, students also have a weekend off every fortnight. Sunday is always a day off and free time is allocated daily.
The total fee for the course is €4,000 and this includes accomodation and food. Fees could be paid in 2 equal instalments. Students have to provide for their own personal expenses and we also recommend students to provide for buying at least 1 book from each module (8 books in total). Foreign students would need to provide for travelling to and from O.L.S.E. There are no transport or travelling fees during the year when doing outreach with the school.
We have excellent relations with the Archdioce of Tuam and the local Parish of Knock. We are very fortunate to be situated next to the National Marian Shrine of Knock and this is a marvellous exposure to our students. For the last 2 years it was the Archbishop himself, Rev. Dr. Michael Neary, who commissioned the students and gave them the mandate to go and evangelise during a special ceremony held in the School before the outreach.
Our Lady's School of Evangelisation Kilkelly Road, Knock, Co. Mayo Ireland.
Tel: +353 (0) 94 9388 245
Fax: +353 (0) 94 9388 473
Email: [email protected]