In 2005 Father Neil Vaney spoke at the Eucharistic Convention about his desire and intention to open the Catholic Discipleship College here in Auckland, New Zealand. The following promotional blurb advertised the talk that year.
Father Neil Vaney, SM, is a lecturer in Christian ethics at Good Shepherd College, New Zealand’s seminary. He has been working tirelessly for several years to launch a Catholic Discipleship College in New Zealand based on the incredibly successful John Paul II Bible School in Radway, Alberta, Canada.
“I was there for two weeks in 2002 and was hugely impressed at the highly committed and skilled young Catholics they were turning out for mission in the Church in the world.”
Father Neil is certain that we must launch a similar college in New Zealand to reach our youth who are becoming more and more isolated from virtually all community commitments. In his report on his visit to the “stunningly successful” John Paul II Bible School, Fr Neil wrote:
“A prayer routine of three hours a day (including Mass) and deep commitments to the Sacraments (I have heard more confessions in the last 10 days than in the previous 10 months in New Zealand) also marks the place…”
“…I was struck by the warmth and faith of these young people, their hugs, laughter and mutual ribbing freely given but within a clear framework of no dating or romantic attachments…”
“…A young woman from Brazil (22) adopted by a Canadian family in 1992, told of her childhood from age 4-11. After seeing her mother murdered and chopped up by her stepfather, she was then subject to repeated physical and sexual abuse by him and his friends for the next six years. Escaping, she was put in a Catholic orphanage. She was touched by God at Mass and so began the long process of deliverance from her stepfather and adoption in Canada. Her last year of transformation at JPII saw her grow from a fearful, timid thing, quivering at the mere approach of any male, to a strong, dignified and powerful witness – quite miraculous in the deepest sense of the word.”
Father Neil will talk about his dream of launching this type of Catholic Discipleship College in New Zealand With God’s grace, and the support of Convention go-ers, surely this can happen!
Fr Neil holds an MA from the University of Canterbury, an STL from Gregorian University in Rome, and a PhD from the University of Otago. He has written articles for a variety of publications and has contributed to five previous books, including Catholic Dictionary of Social Justice, and Human Rights and the Common Good. In 2004 Fr Neil’s book Christ in a Grain of Sand was published.