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Veteran Catholic educator to leave Maryvale

Dr Willey announced his resignation from the institute today

The acting director of a leading Catholic college has announced he is stepping down and said that other staff have also “made a similar decision”.

Dr Petroc Willey, of the Maryvale Institute based in Birmingham, wrote to students this morning explaining that he will be leaving his job for personal reasons.

In his letter to students, Dr Willey, who is also a consultor of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelisation, wrote: “I am writing to let you know that for personal reasons I will soon be leaving Maryvale. A number of other staff here have also made a similar decision.”

Dr Willey continued: “Some of you I have known for longer than others but this letter is an opportunity to let you all know of the happiness and profound satisfaction that has come from my time here over more than twenty years.

“I am writing separately to thank the Sisters, staff and faculty for all that they do for the Institute in its work of formation, the level of pastoral care they provide, and the gift of self that characterises the work of so many staff and their families.

“I have been deeply moved during my time here by the sacrifices of money, time and resources that so many students – clergy, religious and lay people -make in order to learn the faith here, and it is with joy that I have watched friendships develop out of a common love for the Church and her mission.”

On Tuesday the trustees of the Institute released a statement which thanked Dr Willey “for his service of the Church over more than twenty years at Maryvale,” adding that “the Trustees respect Dr Willey’s decision to resign for personal reasons and wish him well for the future.”

The statement also announced the appointment of Fr Edward Clare, a priest of the Archdiocese of Birmingham and currently director of Maryvale’s Department for Parish and Family Catechesis, to succeed Dr Willey as Acting Director of the Institute.

Upon his appointment, Fr Clare wrote a letter to students at the college in which he said that their “studies will not be jeopardised by (Dr Willey’s) departure”

“The Trustees have asked me to take over the position of Acting Director of Maryvale. Since September I have been a member of the full-time staff of Maryvale, with particular responsibility for parish and family catechesis, and I have met a number of you who have attended the residential weekends and study days over that time,” he wrote.

“I realise that many of you will be surprised and saddened by Petroc’s decision to resign from Maryvale, and I am writing to you now to reassure you that the future of the Institute remains secure and that the continuation of your studies will not be jeopardised by his departure, or that of any other member of staff.”