On September 22nd, the Vatican announced the appointment of Dr. Caroline Farey of the Maryvale Institute as a participant at the forthcoming Synod on “The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith,” to be held later this month in Rome. She joins a select group of international experts that already includes Dr. Petroc Willey, also of Maryvale and a Consulter to the Pontifical Council on the New Evangelization. Our archdiocesan office of evangelization and Catholic formation asks for everyone’s prayers for a successful Synod, thank God for His generosity in calling two such wonderful members of Maryvale’s leadership staff to be represented at this historical event.
It’s no accident that the Holy See singled out Maryvale for its work in the transmission of the faith. That’s why the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas has partnered with Maryvale so as to make their dynamic adult education courses more widely available in the United States.
Dr. Farey is in charge of catechetical formation at the Maryvale Institute with special interests and qualifications in philosophy and art. She received her doctorate from the Lateran Pontifical University in Rome. Maryvale was the first Catholic home of Blessed Cardinal Newman, and Dr. Farey has the exceptional privilege of having her office in one of Newman’s own rooms there. Among her many writing credits is her hugely popular series for teaching and learning the faith through art in the critically acclaimed catechetical journal The Sower.
I was recently blessed to chat with Dr. Farey regarding a Maryvale course for which she has a particular passion. That course is entitled “Art, Beauty, and Inspiration from a Catholic Perspective.” While this course would be great for artists, Dr. Farey is very clear one does not need any special artistic abilities or training to benefit from this course, as she aims to bring together theology and art so as to renew individual Catholics, our Church, and our contemporary culture. Is this important? Well, it is to the Pope! Listen to what he had to say over a quarter of a century ago in the book entitled The Ratzinger Report:
“The only really effective apologia for Christianity comes down to two arguments, namely, the saints the Church has produced and the art which has grown in her womb. Better witness is borne to the Lord by the splendor of holiness and art . . . than by the clever excuses which apologetics has come up with to justify the dark sides which, sadly, are so frequent in the Church’s human history” (pp. 129-30, original emphasis).
I encourage readers to visit our Maryvale page for more information not only on this amazing course but on the broad array of programs to help prepare a new generation of catechists ready to embark upon a new evangelization.