Welcome to the Academy of the Annunciation (AoA)
at the Bournemouth Oratory
Be Transformed by the renewal of your mind
Meet our lecturers and Trustees at a virtual interactive open evening when you can find out more about our courses. CLICK HERE to find out more.
AoA’s courses, whether delivered by way of live video conferencing, onsite conference (when permitted), or blended / distance learning, are designed to form and educate students to be truly mission-ready – for the parish, the diocese, and the world. Focused courses are offered at various levels on the Sacraments of Initiation, Catechesis & Evangelisation, Discipleship & Prayer, Apologetics & Reasons for Faith, Spiritual Theology, and various Scripture Studies.
Forming Evangelists, Catechists, and Formators “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 Spirt and make us share in the life of the Holy Trinity.” (St John Paul II – Catechesi Tradendae *5).
Some feedback from our students
“I have been on various courses with the AoA for the past year and can’t praise the Doctors’ highly enough. They are very clear in their teaching and presentation on complex aspects and their knowledge is unsurpassable. They are very patient and inspiring. They encourage questions and debate to ensure the lesson has been understood. I have learnt a tremendous amount and have embarked on the 1 year course. Nothing is too much trouble for them and they will provide support on a personal level.” – Student in Bournemouth
“I was uncertain whether to sign up to the 1 year course as I feared that my knowledge would be too basic. However, I have found the first few sessions fascinating and not daunting thanks to the brilliant way in which the Doctors ‘unpack’ the Faith and sometimes difficult readings. My confidence in talking to others about my Faith is ever increasing and I know it will be more so as I advance. I am not a Catholic but I am seriously considering converting.” – Student in Bournemouth
“I just wanted to say THANK YOU for today’s session!!!! IT WAS AMAAAZING!!! I am absolutely speechless from what you were talking about today! So very incredible! I almost feel like I am getting graces to understand deeper as you speak! I had a few of those strong…I don’t know what to call it…those moments of awe and unworthiness from getting that understanding or knowledge, where things are just clear like with a click of a finger!” – Student from Portsmouth Diocese
“I was not sure what to expect with a Spiritual Formation course. I thought it may be all about feelings and how to pray. Instead it focuses on the hidden part of us, our soul. Through understanding our soul, we can more fully participate in discipleship and to know and love God more intimately. I am thoroughly enjoying this course and our excellent tutors make the complex accessible. It is proving beneficial to my prayer life already.“
A student studying our 2 year St John Diploma : Spiritual Formation course
“The Spiritual Formation course is excellent. The course takes us through the scriptural foundations and logic that supports the teaching of the Church. It expands our understanding of the richness of the Church’s teaching which helps to strengthen my faith. The course also equips me in delivering talks and courses within my diocese and parish. I am more confident and knowledgeable in this and in ministering to Catholics and others, including evangelising. The teaching is very accessible but is rigorous. The learning is consolidated by having to submit short essays which are returned with comments. I am from an engineering and business background and this new area of learning is exciting.”
A student tudying our 2 year St John Diploma : Spiritual Formation course
“Thanks for the awesome lectures! I especially loved Tuesday since I am in need of improving my arguments when faced with challenging people!”
Medical Doctor & Pathologist in Los Angeles, California
“I wanted to thank you for the great gift you gave to our community with the study day last Saturday! …… It is so refreshing, especially in our day and age, to have people like yourselves who can expound the Church’s teaching with clarity and fidelity. We felt the programme was very well structured in terms of the length of each session and the time you provided for people to make comments and ask questions, which gave it all a very friendly feel.”
Mother Superior of Religious Sisters in London (UK)
CLICK HERE for more feedback from our students
Newman Catechetical Certificate : Reasons for Faith
Nine months Certificate course
Starting 11th January 2021
Catholics often have a profound sense of the faith; but equally often, they have difficulty explaining the reasons for their faith (and their hope) when asked questions or when challenged.
This programme will equip students with the basic principles needed to begin making this kind of preparation and is designed to help catechists, parents, parish workers, and anyone interested in giving reasons for our Catholic faith.
CLICK HERE to find out more about and to register for this course.
To join a virtual interactive open evening to meet our lecturers and Trustees and find out more about this course CLICK HERE
St John Diploma: Spiritual Formation
Two year Diploma course
Starting 29th September 2021
“Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few” [Jesus (Mt 7:13-14)]
Meditating on these words of Jesus, St John of the Cross (Doctor of the Universal Church) had studied diligently the Summa Theologiae of the great St Thomas Aquinas. This two-year programme focuses on the teaching of these two Doctors, along with the teaching of two other Doctors of the Church, St Teresa of Avila and St Therese of Lisieux.
CLICK HERE to find out more and to register for this course.
During this “Year of the Word: the God who Speaks” the Bishops of England & Wales call us all to “Listen afresh to the Word of God, as did Our Blessed Lady at the Annunciation”, and St John Henry Newman (Founder of the English Oratories) called for ” … a Laity … who know their Religion, who enter into it … who know their Creed so well that they can give an account of it … (who) understand how Faith and Reason stand to each other”.
The Academy of the Annunciation (AoA) is a direct result of the prayers of St John Henry Newman (Cannonised in October 2019 by Pope Francis). Launched at the start of the “God Who Speaks: Year of the Word”, and in response to Bishop Egan’s vision in inviting The Oratory to the Diocese of Portsmouth to be a “focus for formation in the Catholic Faith for the New Evangelisation, a powerhouse of prayer, and a hub for the community”.
The Fathers and Brother of the Bournemouth Oratory in Formation welcome Dr Christina Pal and Dr Denise Oliver to work with us in responding to these calls, and welcome students to engage with the Faith, live it, and proclaim it, in a waiting world.