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Dean of Maryvale, Dr Birute Briliute, Delivers Paper to
Vatican Conference on Catechesis

Dr Briliute delivering her paper

Following on from the success of Maryvale Institute's online conference, 'Dynamic Continuity:' Exploring the New Directory for Catechesis, earlier in 2021, Institute Dean, Dr Birute Briliute, was deeply honoured to be invited to address a meeting between the Heads of the Episcopal Commissions for Catechesis of the Episcopal Conferences of Europe, convoked by The Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization. The assembly, which met 16-18 September 2021 at the Old Synod Hall in the Vatican, planned to discuss the theme Catechesis and Catechists for the New Evangelisation.

Following the publication of the new Directory for Catechesis in 2020 and Pope Francis' establishment of the lay ministry of catechists through the apostolic letter Motu proprio in May 2021, the Pontifical Council sought to listen, reflect and discuss these developments with catechesists from the Church in Europe. On the second day of the meeting, Dr Briliute delivered her own considerations, The Catechist in the Light of 'Antiquum Ministerium,' drawing up upon her practical experience as catechist, religious educator and pastoral theologian, in addition to her academic experience as former Director of the National Catechetical Centre in Lithuania and, currently, Academic Dean and Director of Research at Maryvale Institute. She reflected that 'the recognition of the importance of the role and the vocation of catechist in the Church is a remarkable milestone in the contemporary history of the Church.' Citing, Motu proprio, Dr Briliute exmphasised the Holy Father's comment that 'the reception of a lay ministry such as that of Catechist will emphasise even more the missionary commitment proper to every baptised person, a commitment that must however be carried out in a fully 'secular' manner, avoiding any form of clericalisation.' Reinforcing this, she concluded that, 'being lay catechists, we must recognise our secular vocation to evangelise and catechise. Lay catechists have always been and should remain an active part of the missionary Church.'

Access full text: Dr Birute Briliute, The Catechist in the Light of 'Antiquum Ministerium'.

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Reflecting on the experience, Dr Briliute commented that 'it was an immense honour and privilege awarded to the Maryvale Institute and to me as the Dean requesting us to address the Vatican Symposium of Pope Francis which is his awakening call to all our Catholic congregations and Christians and which will be heard and acted upon. We believe and hope that our Further and Higher Education programmes will afford and facilitate an avenue and conduit for catechesis to continue to be alive and enriching in both spiritually and practically in the current world.


In addition to her role as Dean of Maryvale Institute, Dr Briliute is Programme Director for the Licence in Divinity: Pathway in Catechetical Sciences and Research Degree in Catholic Studies (MPhil and PhD) programmes. For enquiries to either course:

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