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.
A society that forgives wins
Almost all public conversation quickly turns to transgressors. At the Olympic Games competitors growled about proven and suspect drug users. Many people believed that all Russian athletes should have been excluded from the games. They wanted people found to have used drugs named, shamed and shunned.
This insistence that transgressors should definitively lose their good name and the right to participate is not confined to sport. It is found also in controversy about penal policy, and particularly in the populist cry to lock criminals up and throw away the key. The 'three strikes' policy, by which in some states of the USA offenders can be sent to prison for 25 years or life for a relatively minor offence, is a dramatic example. Read more ...
Premiere of award winning film ‘Cast from the Storm’
By: Amnesty International Australia
6 September, Cremorne
Join us for the national premiere of Cast from the Storm, an award winning Australian documentary that tells a tender story of transformation, acceptance and belonging. It brings you into the lives of ordinary teenagers with extraordinary stories – and the theatre program that gives them a voice. Asfar, Maryam and Wiam face the usual challenges of navigating high school – with one difference. They were forced to leave their home countries and everything they knew behind.
Watch the moving film trailer or Read more ...
Women Deacons & Subsidiarity in a Fragmenting Church
Nearly three weeks after the Vatican’s announcement of the commission on women deacons, we still do not know much about its agenda or schedule. Nor do we know what it might result in: a report, a study, a recommendation to the pope? Will it be made public? But even if the commission does result in a female diaconate, does it necessarily mean there will be women deacons throughout the Catholic Church?
This is one of the interesting questions arising from my reading of America’s editorial in favor of a female diaconate. Read more ...
A solution to our refugee crisis
Illustration: Jim Pavlidis
There are two powerful arguments about the plight of the refugees dying a slow death in the offshore processing centres Australia has established and which it maintains on Nauru and Manus Island.
The supporters of the present policy argue that we cannot bring these refugees to Australia because to do so would act as a signal to people smugglers, allowing their trade to begin again.
Those who hold this view point to the experience following the Rudd government's abandonment of the policies of offshore processing and naval turn-backs. Read more ...
US Lutherans recognise agreement with the Church
The largest Lutheran denomination in the US has approved a declaration recognising “there are no longer church-dividing issues” on many points with the Church, reports the Religion News Service. The Declaration on the Way was approved 931-9 by the 2016 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Churchwide Assembly held last week in New Orleans.
ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton called the declaration “historic” in a statement released by the denomination following the vote on August 10.
“Though we have not yet arrived, we have claimed that we are, in fact, on the way to unity. Read more ...
Course: Who are you Jesus? Where are you Jesus?
23, 30 Aug, 6 Sept
These three seminars will build on the two questions above - 'Who are you Jesus?' 'Where are you Jesus?' Scripture texts will be suggested as a follow up in prayer after each seminar.
In the first seminar, the 'who' builds on Thomas Aquinas' phrase, 'Jesus is our wisest and dearest friend'. In the 'where' section, we use stories of real people whose lives and actions reveal something of the goodness and beauty of the Risen Jesus present in the world.
Courses: Enneagram Personality Type
1-6 &/or 8-9 October 2016
The Enneagram is a powerful and dynamic personality system that describes nine distinct and fundamentally different patterns of thinking, feeling and acting. Two different courses will be conducted in Randwick in October 2016.
Conference: The Renaissance of Marriage
21-22 October 2016
The National Marriage Conference in October 2016 will explore the themes of Pope Francis' recent exhortation, Amoris Laetitia. The organizers are eager to engage in conversation with all those who work with couples and families, including clergy, marriage educators, counsellors, teachers as well as couples themselves.
Marist Presence 2: The Church-being-born
Notes by Michael Whelan SM
A good place to start is with the statement that lit the fire in Fr Colin’s heart. Fr Jean Claude Courveille shared with Colin and some other seminarians words he said he had ‘heard’ on 15 August 1812 in the cathedral of Le Puy: ‘Marie dans l’église naissante et à la fin des temps’. He attributed those words to Mary. The French is generally translated as “Mary in the newborn Church/the Church at its birth and at the end of time.” There are various versions. We should note, however, that ‘lÉglise naissante’ literally means ‘the Church in the process of being born’.
Gospel for the Twenty Second Sunday (28 August 2016)
One Sabbath, when he went to dine at the house of a ruler of the Pharisees, they were watching him carefully.
Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the places of honor, saying to them, “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”