News archive 2015

Bishop John Fleming welcomes first students of The Newman Institute to graduate with degrees

“Adult faith formation is a vital element in the future development of our Catholic faith.  Without it many people will fail to discover the richness of our Catholic tradition; through it, an energetic Catholic faith can become a feature of life in Ireland in the future” – Bishop Fleming

Today six students of The Newman Institute, Ballina, Co Mayo will graduate from Saint Angela’s College, Sligo, with degrees recognised by the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG). They will be awarded the degree Bachelor in Theology and Community Involvement at a ceremony in Sligo.

This is the first time in the history of The Newman Institute that a university degree from an Irish university will be awarded in Ballina. Speaking after the conferring ceremony, the Bishop of Killala and Chancellor of The Newman Institute, Bishop John Fleming said: “Today history has been made. I congratulate our six students and wish them well as they receive their degrees. This is a first for Ballina. For the first time, students living in our community have been able to access third-level education without having to go to one of the university towns in our country. I take this opportunity, therefore, to encourage people who are interested in following in their footsteps to contact The Newman Institute to ensure that this most welcome development can continue in the future.”

Bishop Fleming continued, “I am particularly happy that the degree course taken by our students is in the area of theology. Adult faith formation is a vital element in the future development of our Catholic faith. Without it many people will fail to discover the richness of our Catholic tradition; through it, an energetic Catholic faith can become a feature of life in Ireland in the future. Enrolments this year did not reach the target set by Saint Angela’s and NUIG but I am hopeful that this ceremony will encourage others to explore the many opportunities now on offer at The Newman Institute.

“Many people in the diocese worked hard over many years to see this dream come true. On this important and special occasion, I remember them and thank them,” Bishop Fleming said.

Notes for editors

· The Newman Institute is a charitable organisation, working in conjunction with the Diocese of Killala, in the west of Ireland. A core aim of The Newman Institute is to provide an opportunity for people to learn more about their faith through accredited and non-accredited faith formation courses. It is hoped that The Newman Institute will be able to play its part in addressing the ongoing need for Adult Religious Education and Faith Formation in the diocese and beyond. Please see www.newmanii.com

· The Diocese of Killala has a Catholic population of 38,067, consisting of twenty-two parishes and forty-eight churches. The patron of the diocese is Saint Muredach, whose feast day is celebrated on 12 August.

For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678

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