Faith and Formation


Catholicism is the most ancient and enduring Christian Church.  Jesus established his Apostles under the authority of St Peter to go and proclaim his love to the world.  Today the Catholic Church continues this same mission guided by the Bishops, who are the successors of the Apostles, and under the leadership of the Pope, who is the successor of St Peter.

The Catholic Church believes that Jesus becomes truly present in Holy Communion and that we encounter God in a special way in the sacraments of the Church. At Clifton Diocese, we live this Catholic faith and invite you to come and experience our joy in the Lord Jesus.

For Catholics, “The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.” Through the words of Consecration spoken by the Priest, Catholics believe that our Lord Jesus becomes truly present in the Eucharistic or Holy Communion. The Bread and Wine become Christ’s Body and Blood. Why do we believe this? Because Jesus tells us in John 6:55: “… my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink,”

The Mass is the most important prayer for Catholics. Within Clifton Diocese, there are daily Masses and the opportunity to receive Jesus in Holy Communion. It won’t cost you anything, but this most profound gift from God is available, whenever you come to Mass.

‘Go out to the whole world and proclaim the good news’

In our diocesan guidelines, Called to be a People of Hope, Bishop Declan asks us if what we are doing is deepening prayer, enabling communion, strengthening mission. The Department for Adult Education and Evangelisation seeks to support our diocesan community at all levels in living out this invitation. The department seeks to support the Church’s mission to evangelise and to proclaim the Gospel, encouraging parishes in all they do to welcome others into the life of their community as well as nurturing the faith and prayer of those who seek to understand their faith in a deeper, richer way.

The department supports the process of RCIA in our diocesan community, offering opportunities to renew and re-energise this process of welcome and initiation, providing support for Sacramental preparation and formation, as well as seeking to engage our diocesan community by supporting parishes in all that they do to preach the Gospel and allow those who hear its message to live it in the ordinariness of their lives.

Recognising that formation is a life-long process, the Adult Education department focuses on deepening the faith of our diocesan family so as to grow in confidence to bring that faith to others.

The department works to form and nurture the Catechists of our diocese, support deanery and parish pastoral councils, provide opportunities for prayer and recollection, draw our diocesan community together in liturgical celebration as well as work closely with those responsible for the on-going formation of our priests, those who work closely with our young people, and those who are engaged in the formation for the permanent diaconate in our diocese.The department has also produced a number of guides to support parishes in implementing our diocesan pastoral guidelines, Called to be a People of Hope.

Lectionary based Catechesis – a useful tool for the RCIA in the parish (available from the Adult Education Office)The department is there to support our diocesan community, our parishes and its people. If there is anything you feel we can be of service with, please do not hesitate to contact us.

The department has also produced a number of guides to support parishes in implementing our diocesan pastoral guidelines, Called to be a People of Hope.

These can be downloaded by clicking on the links below:

Everyday Evangelisation:

This handy little guide was created some time ago in another diocese and given out as part of their journey through the new evangelisation. It has been re-presented in the hope that these simple, uncomplicated, and every day ways may help each one of us appreciate the ordinary ways we can live out the Gospel.

You can download the leaflet to give out to others here or just open the pages below:

Ongoing and Continuing Formation

‘Ongoing formation is not merely in-service training. It is all that will help priests and deacons to grow and mature emotionally, spiritually, intellectually and to care for themselves physically. It is also all that will help them develop and improve those personal and professional skills which are necessary for the successful exercise of their ministry’.

The Ongoing Formation of the Clergy – Committee for Ministerial Formation, 1994

The diocese commits itself to supporting our priests in their ministry, nurturing them spiritually, academically, pastorally and, of course, as a human being.

Each year, our priests are given an array of opportunity to allow them to participate in something that will support them in their priestly ministry, draw them together fraternally with other priests working in the diocese, and send them away (hopefully) nourished for the ministry that draws on their gifts and their service.

OGF invites our priests to participate in days of study, in days of recollection, in opportunities to meet socially with brother priests, to celebrate the Prayer of the Church and the Sacraments together, moments of pilgrimage and retreat, and moments to celebrate and reflect upon priesthood.