The Aquinas Academy
The Aquinas Academy was set up under the auspices of the Australian Province of the Marist Fathers by Fr Austin Woodbury SM in March 1945. The Academy began as a centre for the study of Philosophy and Theology in the Thomistic tradition. For some twenty-nine years it continued in this capacity under Fr Woodbury's guidance, in premises at the back of St Patrick's Church, Gloucester Street, in The Rocks (Sydney, NSW). For a short while the Academy offered a License in Philosophy under accreditation from the University of St Thomas in Rome. Since its inception, a number of qualified priests, religious and laity have been part of the lecturing staff. The Academy was one of the pioneers of Catholic adult education in Australia.
Since 1975, the Academy has increasingly focused on general adult education in the faith. Perhaps the most popular of the programs mounted was the Christian Growth Program, offering basic education in theology, morality, psychology and spirituality.
Courses Outline - 2020
All Courses held at Level 5, 141 Harrington Street, The Rocks, Sydney.
Writing Your Life I: A Freeing Journey
Presenter: Catherine Hammond BS in Ed, MA, MPh
4 Tuesday mornings, 10am – 12noon, February 4, 11, 18, 25.
Cost: $150/person (Including class notes)
Developing Your Own Spirituality I: Mystery and Freedom, Participation and Possibility
Presenters: Michael Whelan SM, PhD & Marie Biddle, RSJ, MA, MTh
4 Thursday evenings, 6pm – 8pm, February 6, 13, 20, 27
Cost: $150/person (Including summary notes)
⧫ Film Lectio I: Woman in Gold
"Comments on" and "Response to" Michael Whelan's Book Review
See Article "Problem-solving has Little to Offer in the Face of Evil" on this website
Comments on Michael Whelan’s Review of the book: Abuse and Cover-Up: Refounding the Catholic Church in Trauma (Orbis Books, 2019), by author Gerald A. Arbuckle, SM.
I am grateful to fellow Marists Michael for his review and to Tom Ryan for his Response that are on this website. They have tried to engage my book seriously. I offer a few reflections in light of their interchanges.
Course: Writing Your Life (I) - A Freeing Journey
Catherine Hammond Bs in Ed, MA, MPh
Starts Tuesday 4 Feb
Have you always meant to write down your life’s key moments for your children? Perhaps also for grandchildren, other family members and friends? If you don't do it now, when?
What a freeing discovery it can be to look back over your life and your family history! New understanding, a fresh outlook, perhaps renewed gratitude – these are just some of the personal benefits that may result.
Course: Developing Your Own Spirituality
Unit 1: Mystery & Freedom, Participation & Possibility
Starts 6pm Thurs 6 Feb
The aim of this course is to assist participants to develop an approach to everyday living which will promote a well-grounded personal spirituality. Spirituality is first and last about relationships – with God (however you name God), yourself, other people and the events and things of the world. Spirituality is never private though it is always personal. It begins by listening effectively – “with the ear of the heart” as St Benedict says – to what is going on.
Course: Film Lectio I - Woman in Gold
Starts Wednesday 12 Feb
Woman in Gold is a 2015 biographical drama film directed by Simon Curtis and written by Alexi Kaye Campbell. The film stars Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds, Daniel Brühl, Katie Holmes, Tatiana Maslany, Max Irons, Charles Dance, Elizabeth McGovern, and Jonathan Pryce.
The film is based on the true story of Maria Altmann, an elderly Jewish refugee living in Cheviot Hills, Los Angeles, who, together with her young lawyer, Randy Schoenberg, fought the government of Austria
Course: Thomas Aquinas on Faith
Rev Dr Andrew Murray sm
Starts 10am Tues 3 March
In his treatment of the virtues in Summa Theologiae I-II qq. 55-67, Thomas divides them into the intellectual, moral and theological virtues. The theological virtues are faith, hope and charity (see 1 Corinthians 13:13). Although a less agreeable term in English, they are so named because their object is God (Theos), they are infused by God, and they are made known to us by Divine Revelation (q. 62, a. 1).
This course (the first of three in the series)
Conscience and our journey towards adult Christianity
Notes by Michael Whelan SM
revealed to us by our conscience;
and our conscience insists on preserving that order.
Human beings ‘show the work of the law written in their hearts.
Their conscience bears witness to them’ (Romans 2:15).
And how could it be otherwise?
All created being reflects the infinite wisdom of God.
It reflects it all the more clearly, the higher it stands in the scale of perfection.”
Problem-solving has Little to Offer in the Face of Evil
A Book Review
Michael Whelan SM
Gerald A Arbuckle SM, Abuse and Cover-Up: Refounding the Catholic Church in Trauma, Orbis Books, 2019, footnotes, index, 226 pages, pb.
Two preliminary comments
The first comment arises from my own experience of appearing as a witness, together with Fr David Ranson, at the Royal Commission on the afternoon of Monday 6 February 2017. Read full Review
Spiritual Practices and Attitudes 10 - Eucharist: Bread of Life
Notes by Michael Whelan SM
The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (2002) goes to the heart of the Church’s teaching on the Eucharist:
The sacrificial nature of the Mass, solemnly asserted by the Council of Trent in accordance with the Church’s universal tradition, [Ecumenical Council of Trent, Session 22, Doctrina de ss. Missae sacrificio, 17 September 1562 : Enchiridion Symbolorum, H. Denzinger and A. Schönmetzer, editors (editio XXXIII, Freiburg: Herder, 1965; hereafter, Denz-Schön), 1738-1759.] was reaffirmed by the Second Vatican Council, which offered these significant words about the Mass: ‘At the Last Supper our Savior instituted the Eucharistic Sacrifice of his Body and Blood, by which he would perpetuate the Sacrifice of the Cross throughout the centuries until he should come again, thus entrusting to the Church, his beloved Bride, the memorial of his death and resurrection.’
Gospel for the Fourth Sunday of Advent (22 December 2019)
Gospel Notes by Michael Whelan SM
Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.” When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife (Matthew 1:18-24 – NRSV).