REGISTRATION NOW OPEN FOR 2024-2025 REGISTRANTS
God’s Invitation — For Our Times
The School for Prophets aims to hear and heed God’s voice from within the tumult of this time. Practicing the prayer, study, and silent receptivity exemplified by the prophets, school-participants will examine the world as God sees it, and discern ways to speak God’s truth, for both what is needed and possible.
What does a Prophet do?
Aims of The School for Prophets
To prepare course participants — individually, and as a community — to exercise more fully their
Baptismal commission to serve as prophets to our world, and our Church.
‣ To grow in friendship with Jesus
‣ To learn from the example of prophetic figures in the bible and the Christian tradition
‣ To enhance the capacity for a life of witness to Christ — personally, and as a community
‣ To nurture the capacity for prophetic contemplation
‣ To develop a way of prophetic discernment
‣ To undertake both critique and creative visioning of our times through the lens of Catholic Social Teaching.
‣ To propose specific contributions towards prophetic witness in the world, and our Church
» Inspired by Scripture and the Living Tradition:
The curriculum draws on the experience of biblical prophets and saints from the Carmelite tradition. The Carmelite values indispensable to the prophetic commission – solitude, silence, community prayer, contemplation, collaborative work, presence, listening, discernment, welcoming, and integration – are at the heart of the programme.
» Applying Prayerful Enquiry:
The programme encourages a prayerful engagement with current social reality, fostering critical thinking from a spiritual perspective that addresses causes, and not simply effects.
» A Participative Model:
The frequent on-line sessions allow for building relationships and confidence in a community growing and learning together how to witness the movements of the Holy Spirit at this time.
» Catholic, Ecumenical and Inter-disciplinary:
Prophets operate at the boundaries between the religious and the social. This requires gathering input from a wide spectrum of sources, contemplating and processing these within the rich guidance of scripture and tradition, and making God’s presence and desires alive in the world.
» Communal Emphasis:
Learning and growing together in our prophetic calling and encouraging one another in the demands that prophetic truth-telling engenders.
» Led by a Religious and Lay Team:
Programme facilitators bring their insights and lived experience as lay and religious members of the Church to enrich the conversation with course participants.
» Creativity – Inspired and Inspiring:
Prophets not only tell truths that in God’s name must be spoken. They also conjure the latent potential for healing, wholeness, and holiness that reside in each human person created in the image of God.
Giving Complexity Its Due
▸ Learning from the prophets in scripture
▸ Praying and applying the Beatitudes
▸ Lessons from the margins
▸ Inputs from the social sciences
▸ Applying one’s gifts and talents to God’s call
▸ Listening to those in distress or despair
▸ Horizontal stretching: Embracing the creative push-and-pull between consolation and desolation
▸ Vertical Stretching: “Putting on Christ” to feel “for, with, and in Him” the agonies and hopes of the world
▸ Interior stretching: To discover in prayer one’s prophetic mission
▸ Daring to dream with the audacity of Christ’s incarnation
▸ Elevating human dignity, solidarity, and the common good in concrete ways
▸ Using the prophetic tools of poetry and story to incite conversion
Course Outline – Preliminary Schedule
|Scriptural Foundations for The Prophetic Vocation
|Growing in Contemplative Prayer to Hear God’s Whisper
|The Prophetic Grace Bestowed at Baptism
|Prophetic Saints and Their Example
|Catholic Social Teaching as Prophetic Praxis
|Posing Prophetic Questions
|‣ Lessons from the Biblical prophets
‣ Qualities, attributes, and patterns of prophecy
‣ The Beatitudes as a prophetic paradigm
‣ Prophetic theology and spirituality
|‣ Seeds of Prophetic Contemplation
‣ Invoking and attending to the Holy Spirit
‣ Spiritual and communal practices for Discernment
|‣ Prophetic gifts
‣ Prophetic calling
‣ Prophetic attributes and tools
‣ Prophetic responsibilities
|‣ Audacious vocations for the truth
‣ Creating communities of mission
‣ Transforming Church incarnating Jesus in time and place
|‣ Core principles from papal encyclicals
‣ Lessons from addressing ‘the signs of their times’
‣ Lay advocates who put in practice innovations based on CST
|‣ Taking to heart the questions Jesus posed
‣ The ethical art of subversive questions
‣ Honing critical thinking, and self-critical re
Sessions begins: 4:00pm (UK Time) ON SUNDAYS
|The Prophetic Vocation – Then & Now
|Introduction to the Biblical Prophets
|Encountering Jesus as Prophet
|Prophetic Qualities, Attributes & Challenges
|The Beatitudes as Prophetic Template
|Prophetic Prayer: Heeding Silence
|Forming a Prophetic Community
|Reading the “Signs of the Times”
|Discerning Prophetic Gifts
|Finding One’s Prophetic Voice
|Catholic Social Teaching, Applied
|The Ethical Art of Prophetic Questions
|Receiving & Serving the Holy Spirit
|Prophetic Contributions to the Church & Beyond
Course Structure and flow
▸The programme is designed as one ninety-minute on-line session every two weeks.
▸On-line sessions will begin on November 10th, 2024 at 4pm (UK time). There will be an open day session on November 3rd, 2024.
▸Each ninety-minute on-line gathering will involve 30 minutes of prayer, 30 minutes of instruction or guided reflection, and 30 minutes for questions and dialogue.
▸Participants will be invited to reflect with lessons learned about our current reality, to practice heeding the Holy Spirit in prophetic interpretation.
▸Commissioning will occur on June 8th 2025 – Pentecost Sunday.
▸Prophetic lessons and insights from the programme will be complied by participants (in a creative manner to be determined by them) to begin together the process of dissemination and dialogue.
(Fees can be paid either in full in advance or in easy monthly installments)
For further support towards the cost of the programme please send an email to:
Fr Alex Ezechukwu OCD
Please download our poster:
Please note, the deadline for enrolling is 5th November 2024
John Dalla Costa is an author, theologian, and ethicist. For over a decade, John taught ethics at the Schulich School for Business at York University (Toronto). Currently, he is a member of an interdisciplinary team at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), working to give dimension to the new economy Pope Francis has envisioned in his social teachings.
Alexander Ezechukwu, OCD is a Carmelite priest and serves as the prior of the Carmelite community at Boars Hill, Oxford. Fr Alex is a trained spiritual director with many years of pastoral experience in guidance in the spiritual life. He holds a Licence in Sacred Scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome.
Kelvin Ekhoegbe, OCD is a Carmelite priest and is involved in the retreat work at the priory. He holds degrees in Philosophy and Theology from The Dominican Institute, Ibadan and Institut Catholique de Toulouse (Catholic University of Toulouse), respectively.
Fr Liam Finnerty, OCD is a Carmelite priest and holds degrees in Theology and Social Work from Milltown Institute, Dublin and Glasgow University, respectively. Fr Liam has many years of experience in the retreat ministry and mentoring.
Formed in both the Ignatian and Carmelite traditions, Audrey Hamilton has been working in the field of spirituality for over fifteen years. Her most recent role was in Spirituality Outreach at the London Jesuit Centre (formerly Mount Street Jesuit Centre) but prior to that she combined a volunteering role on their spirituality team with full time employment in a busy commercial environment. Now retired, she assists the friars at Boars Hill with various spirituality programmes, as well as offering spiritual direction and facilitating contemplative prayer sessions.