Formation for Mission

Formation for Mission (FFM) is a team of diocesan volunteers all passionate about helping the baptised members of Christ to fulfil their mission of evangelisation by offering formation.


One of FFM’s main task is to offer support for catechists and to provide for catechetical formation throughout the diocese.


The Team is currently organising events and courses aimed specifically at catechists but also widely open to all baptised adults. The team is also involved in finding and promoting good catechetical and training resources.


Wednesday Gospel Webinar


Group study: Unlocking the Sunday Gospel
in the light of the Church’s teaching

Every Wednesday, 7 to 8 pm


Register here


Find Out More

“The definitive aim of Catechesis is to put people not only in touch but in communion, in intimacy, with Jesus Christ: only He can lead us to the love of the Father in the Spirit and make us share in the life of the Holy Trinity.”

From St John Paul II, Catechesi Tradendae 5











To register on any of the events below please fill in this form


If you need assistance, you may email ffm @


Diocesan Day for Catechists – 14th October 2017

Our annual diocesan event is once more taking place in Portsmouth Cathedral, with a Mass of thanksgiving for all diocesan catechists celebrated by Bishop Philip Egan. The theme of the 2017 diocesan day is Holy Scripture and the keynote speaker is Fr Richard Ounsworth, OP. Lunch is provided.


When: 10 am to 4 pm

Where: Portsmouth Cathedral (Bishop Crispian Way, Portsmouth, PO1 3HG)


To register please fill in this form



Diocesan Day on Children’s Liturgy of the Word - 4th November 2017

A day for everyone involved in Children’s Liturgy of the Word to pray, receive formation, discover resources and share practice together. Bring a packed lunch.


The day will start with Mass at 9.30 am in the church.


When: 9.30 am to 3 pm

Where: St Bede’s Basingstoke (Popley Way, Basingstoke, Hampshire. RG24 9DX)


To register please fill in this form



Past Events

15th October 2016 - Diocesan Day for Catechists

On Saturday 15th October, the feast of St Teresa of Avila, we celebrated a wonderful Year of Mercy Jubilee for Catechists at the Cathedral. Bishop Philip led the pilgrimage through the Holy Door for around 100 Catechists from across the Diocese and gave a talk on Evangelising Catechesis. After an uplifting Mass, the bishop presented the Maryvale Certificate in Catechesis to five students who had successfully completed the course and also the Bachelor of Divinity with First Class Honours to Sister Mary Catherine, OP. After lunch, the Catechists had the opportunity to take part in two workshops to assist them in useful skills for their ministry within the Diocese.


 Homily (pdf)   Talk pdf 



  Download Talk (mp3)



 Gallery of photos




“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and then you will be my witnesses not only in Jerusalem but throughout Judea and Samaria, and indeed to the ends of the earth.”

Acts 1:8








Formation for Catechesis

Essential Catechists Training : Aldershot, 15th September-14th October


At the request of parishes, the Formation for Mission Team offers 5 sessions of essential training for all parish catechists.: ‘We are all witnesses

The 5 sessions are run over 5 weekly evenings in the parish.
The sessions cover:

1. What is catechesis? An introduction to the ministry of catechesis
2. Proclaiming the Good News : Jesus Christ at the heart of catechesis
3. The Faith of the Church : Discovering the sources of our faith
4. The Word of God : Opening the treasure of Scriptures
5. Methods and Resources : a joyful work of charity
A diocesan certificate is awarded upon completion of the 5 sessions.

To find out details about the next training or to arrange for training to take place in your parish (with your parish priest’s approval), contact :

Certificate in Parish Mission and Ministry (CPMM): Alton, 28th October 2017, 24th February 2018, 28th April 2018

A one-year, part-time, distance-learning course offered in partnership with Maryvale Institute and the Diocesan Diaconate Department.

This course is open to everyone involved or interested in any parish ministry, and is not restricted to catechists alone.

The Certificate in Parish Mission and Ministry (CPMM) course consists of six modules, to study at home and three study days held in Alton. It contains:

3 Mission Modules of guidelines on being a missionary disciple,based on Evangelii Gaudium
   Module 1: The Mission of the People of God
   Module 2: The Parish: Theological Foundations
   Module 3: The Parish: Missionary Mandate

- 3 Ministry Modules for the practical care of the youth, the elderly,the sick, the vulnerable and families in the parish.
   Module 4: Ministering to Families
   Module 5: The Ministry of Compassion
   Module 6: Ministering to Young People

Assessment of each module is through an essay – 1200-1500 words and a practical reflection.     Successful completion of the course will result in a Certificate in Parish Mission and Ministry – a Level 3 award. Cost: £675

To find out more details and to register:

Certificate in Catechetical Studies (CCS): Alton, 28th October 2017, 24th February 2018, 28th April 2018

A one-year, part-time, distance-learning course offered in partnership with Maryvale Institute and the Diocesan Diaconate Department.
This course is open to everyone involved or interested in giving reasons for the hope they have through catechesis, philosophy and theology.
The Certificate in Catechetical Studies (CCS) consists of six modules to study at home and three study days held in Alton. The modules cover:

- Introduction to Catechesis
- Methods of Catechesis
- RCIA Catechesis
- Introduction to Philosophy
- The Church
- Mary in the Mystery of Christ and the Church

A written assignment is submitted for each module, comprising of an essay of 1500 words and an outline plan for a catechesis session.

Successful completion of the course will result in the award of a Certificate in Catechetical Studies – a Level 3 award. Cost: £675

To find out more details and to register:


Maryvale Certificate in Catechesis (MCC): Chandler’s Ford, 18th November 2017, 17th February 2018, 5th May 2018

A two-year, part-time, distance-learning course for anyone interested in developing his or her own faith for the sake of explaining it to others.

This course (MCC) includes practical aspects of catechesis, as well as a solid foundation in key areas of theology and spirituality.


Twelve modules are studied over two years, introduced in 6 study days:

Year 1
Introduction to Catechesis
Foundations of Faith
Jesus the Christ
Introduction to Church History
The Church
Ways of Praying
Year 2
Old Testament
New Testament
Liturgy and Sacraments
Life in Christ
Mary in the Mystery of Christ and the Church


A written assignment is submitted for each module, comprising of a short essay and an outline plan for a catechesis session.

The study days are held in Chandler’s Ford. An annual retreat day is also offered for the students of the MCC course.


Successful completion of the course will result in the award of a Certificate in Catechesis – a Level 3 award. Cost: £675 each year


To find out more details and to register: Help to cover the cost can be available from Living our Faith Fund.


The Formation for Mission team offers personalised, on-going support and tutorials for all diocesan students enrolled in the Maryvale courses.

All certificates are awarded during a ceremony at Portsmouth Cathedral, taking place during the annual Diocesan Day for Catechists.



    1. House on the Rock: seasonal and topical resources for faith-sharing groups, to be held over 6 meetings. More details
    2. Anchor: 3 simple parish-based courses on the sacraments of Baptism, Confession and the Eucharist. More details
  • Maryvale RCIA Module: This module (1 course book) is intended for catechists involved or intending to be involved, in RCIA in their parishes. The module provides a solid foundation for understanding the different catechetical, pastoral, and liturgical dimensions of the RCIA process based on the Rites. Methods for communicating and planning effectively and for using the key sources for developing RCIA catechesis are given, as well as an explanation of the different responsibilities of those involved in RCIA and of how to equip oneself to meet these responsibilities. This module can be studied according to different formats, on your own or as a group of RCIA catechists, over a few meetings. If you are interested, contact
  • Ascension Press Scriptures Courses: DVDs and Course books are available for loan to your parish, to set up your own Bible study group. These courses are beautifully presented and easy to follow. Several parishes in the diocese have followed at least one of these. The most popular is the gateway study "Unlocking the Mystery of the Bible". Over 8 weeks, participants discover the narrative story in the Bible and how all the books relate to each other.  See below under ‘Resources’ for a list of all the courses available. For more details, email:
  • Echoes: 11 sessions to train your parish catechists. This short course can be held in your parish or deanery, and aims at discovering the sources of our faith. If interested, contact ffm @
  • Science and Faith: We recommend to you the first English edition of an internationally successful Catholic internet-based course on the dialogue between Science and Faith. For more information, see the website here:
  • The Maryvale Certificate in Catechesis (MCC) is starting on 18th November 2017 in Chandler's Ford. This 2 year course offers a comprehensive but accessible formation for catechists, strengthening and deepening both Faith knowledge and Catechetical method. The full details for this course can be downloaded here.  If you are interested to join or wish to know more about the course, or have access to funding, contact Sr Veronica Brennan More information can also be found on the Maryvale website:
  • MA in Pastoral Theology from St Mary ’s University, Twickenham
    Download poster
  • MA in Catholic Applied Theology from Maryvale Institute

Funding is available for these courses from the Living our Faith fund under certain conditions. If you want to apply for funding or wish to have more details, check the Living our Faith page and email ffm @





In our Cathedral Discovery Centre, you can browse and order some of the resources below for your parish. Contact the Discovery Centre: cdc @ Download our Resource Evaluation Tool to help you evaluate the content of catechetical resources. This tool lists essential truths of our Faith that should be present in some form in catechetical resources, in a way adapted to the age of the participants. Where they are not evident in resources, these elements can be supplemented by catechists and/or by using complementary resources.
This evaluation tool is limited to the content of resources. The method of catechesis, varying according to resources, is open to choice according to audiences and circumstances.


The list of resources below is not exhaustive and will be updated regularly, to help catechists in the Catholic diocese of Portsmouth. These are recommended among a variety of other good resources.



The Catholicism series and The Ascension Press Scripture studies are available for use thanks to the Hampshire Downs Parish. If you are interested in finding out more, contact parishstudies @


Ascension Press Scripture studies available from the Hampshire Downs Parish

Unlocking the Mystery of the Bible (8 sessions)
The Bible Timeline (24 sessions)
T3: The Teen Timeline (8 sessions age 14-18)
Encounter (8 sessions age 11-14)
Psalms: The school of Prayer (11 sessions)
Prophets: The messengers of God’s mercy (10 sessions)
Exodus: Called to freedom (10 sessions)
Matthew: The King and his Kingdom (24 sessions)
Acts: The spread of the Kingdom. (24 sessions)
First Corinthians: The Church and the Christian community (11 sessions)
Galatians: Set Free to live (8 sessions)
James: Pearls for wise living (11 sessions)
Revelation: The kingdom yet to come. (11 sessions)
Mary: A biblical walk with the Blessed Mother (8 sessions)
Follow Me: Meeting Jesus in the Gospel of John (8 sessions)
Ephesians: Discover your Inheritance (8 sessions)


“The fire of the Spirit is given in the form of tongues and leads us to believe in Jesus Christ who, by his death and resurrection, reveals and communicates to us the Father’s infinite mercy. On the lips of the catechist the first proclamation must ring out over and over: “Jesus Christ loves you; he gave his life to save you; and now he is living at your side every day to enlighten, strengthen and free you.”

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium 164


Sr Hyacinthe Defos du Rau OP, Dominican Sisters of St Joseph, St Dominic’s Priory, Shirley Holms Road, Lymington, SO41 8NH. Tel. 01590 681 874.

  • email:  ffm @  

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