Jane Deegan, the new Head of Parish Catechetics for the Archdiocese, began work earlier this month.

Jane is based at the Maryvale Institute, the Archdiocesan department responsible for adult formation and catechetics, but will spend most of her time out and about in the diocese, providing support, formation and advice to parish catechists and clergy.

In addition, she will shortly be relaunching the popular 'Sowing the Seeds' courses which Sister Gillian ran for many years around the deaneries of the diocese, and which provide parishioners with basic scriptural and doctrinal formation, as well as an introduction to the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Jane will also be developing guidelines and policies to ensure that there is consistency of practice across the diocese, and that the role of qualified catechists is properly recognised.

Jane’s career was originally in the law, and she worked as a solicitor for a number of years before becoming a full-time mum and housewife after she married Jonathan in 1991.

Their three children are all now grown up.

Jane has extensive experience both of receiving formation in the faith and sharing it with others. Her own formation included over 28 years from one of the New Movements in the Church, and she also completed, in 2009, the Maryvale MA and studied many of the modules from the BA Divinity degree.

She has served as a parish catechist and course presenter, and was an associate member of Maryvale’s staff, alongside her other role as the coordinator for a marriage enrichment programme.

Jane and her husband also prepared many couples for the sacrament of marriage in the Westminster Diocese, and she has written a CTS publication explaining Catholic teaching on Marriage, Separation and Divorce.

More recently Jane completed an MSc in Psychology from the Divine Mercy University (USA) which presents psychology from a Catholic worldview and amalgamates the discipline with philosophy and theology.

Fr Edward Clare, the Director of Maryvale, welcomed Jane to her new role in the diocese.

“Jane brings great commitment and many years of practical experience to the role," he said.

“Giving sound formation in faith to lay people remains a priority for the Church today, and I am confident that she will build on the solid foundations established over many years by Sr Gillian by giving encouragement and support to all those involved in the vital work of parish catechesis at all levels.”

Jane will be spending the first few months getting to know clergy, catechists and others around the diocese, and will be delighted to visit parishes and deaneries. She can be contacted at [email protected]