"When leaders in various fields ask me for advice, my response is always the same: dialogue, dialogue, dialogue. It is the only way for individuals, families and societies to grow, the only way for the life of peoples to progress, along with the culture of encounter, a culture in which all have something good to give and all can receive something good in return. Others always have something to give me, if we know how to approach them in a spirit of openness and without prejudice. I call this attitude of openness and availability without prejudice, social humility, and it is this that favours dialogue. Only in this way can understanding grow between cultures and religions, mutual esteem without needless preconceptions, respectful of the rights of everyone. Today, either we stand together with the culture of dialogue and encounter, or we all lose, we all lose; from here we can take the right road that makes the journey fruitful and secure." (Pope Francis, Address to leading members of Brazilian society, Saturday July 27 2013, reported online by Official Vatican Network.)

Courses

Film Lectio I - Romero

 JRomero2
Starts 10am Wednesday March 27
Repeated 6pm Thursday Mar 28

The recent beatification of Óscar Romero, has drawn new attention to the gap between public perception and reality regarding this popular but controverted figure in El Salvador’s turbulent history. The first feature film from the Paulist Fathers’ moviemaking division, John Duigan’s Romero tells the true story of Latin America’s best-known and most revered modern martyr.

Oscar Arnulfo Romero y Goldamez, Archbishop of El Salvador, was assisinated in 1980, a man whom John Paul II described as a "zealous pastor who gave his life for his flock."

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Course: Developing Your Own Spirituality, Unit III

Remembering & anticipating, imagining & feeling

JMarieWEB201401JMichael Whelan 2
Starts 10am Thu May 2
(This is a repeat of the March Course)
In Unit I we focused on some general principles underlying the development of a healthy spirituality. In Unit II we began to focus more on particular concrete facets of spirituality. In Unit III we will continue to do that. We often hear the advice: “Forgive and forget”. Why might this be very bad advice? What is the relationship between the past and the future in shaping the human journey?

What place do images, symbols and rituals have in human thriving? Can we think well without imagination being a crucial part of the process? What part do feelings play in our becoming fully alive? What happens when we do not integrate our feelings into our daily living? What happens when we do integrate our feelings in our daily living?

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Course: Mysticism - Plain or Flavoured?

JTom Ryan
Thomas Ryan SM PhD
Starts 10am Tue May 7

What exactly is meant by ‘mysticism’ and ‘mystics? Often the words are associated with special people having special experiences of the divine. Alternatively, what did Karl Rahner SJ mean when he said over 50 years ago that ‘the Christian of tomorrow will either be a mystic—someone who has “experienced” something—or nothing at all’?

This four-week seminar considers these two questions. The first week taps our Christian tradition about a proper understanding of ‘mysticism’ and ‘mystics.’ The next three weeks, using passages from their writings, explores what we can learn from two 20th century authors about mysticism and the presence of God at work in their lives.

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Film Lectio II - A Human Search and The New Creation in Christ

JBede Griffiths
Starts 10am Wed May 22
Repeated 6pm Wed May 22

Born into English middle class in 1906 and Oxford educated, Bede Griffiths OSB was a brilliant religious scholar and prolific author. This film tells his story, from his experiment with communal living in the English countryside, to his decision to become a Benedictine brother, and his creation of a meeting place for East and West at an ashram in Southern India. It was there he spent his last 37 years as a Catholic monk living as a Hindu holyman.

He wrote many books widely viewed as spiritual classics, including The Golden String, Return to the Center, A New Vision of Reality, and The Marriage of East and West.

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Course: Restorative Dialogue - The Explicit Practice of Relationships

JTerry OConnell
Terry O'Connell OAM
Starts 10am Tues Aug 6

In this series of talks, you will be invited on a ‘journey’ to discover how restorative dialogue helps build and sustain healthy relationships. Estrangement and separation often result from our inability to deal with vulnerability. By understanding the ‘why’ of relationships, the ‘what’ we do to strengthen those relationships becomes more purposeful.

Restorative dialogue focuses on harm and relationships, rather than blame and consequences. It involves conversations about inclusion, respectful challenge and learning. Its explicit nature helps us to better understand self and others.

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Course: The Mystics - Pathfinders to the Spiritual

JSr. Patty Andrew
Sr. Patty Andrew osu 
Starts 10am Tue Sept 3

Three sessions will be presented by Sr. Patty Andrew osu, featuring several men and women from the Christian mystical tradition who have illuminated the mystical path for those seeking a heart understanding of the divine.

The first session will offer a brief introduction to the nature of mysticism. It will then explore the mystical heart of Francis of Assisi and his desire to be continuously in the presence of the crucified one. Following this we will visit the mystical writings of Hildergard of Bingen and enter these through her frequently used Latin word “Viriditas.” Such a word for Hildergard conveys vitality, fecundity, fruitfulness, verdure, abundance and growth.

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Days of Solitude and Silence 2018

WEB Nazareth 05

Next Date: To Be Advised

Aquinas Academy has a place of solitude and silence called "Nazareth". It is situated 75 minutes from the Sydney CBD at Colo.

We organize special days on which we take small groups there for a few hours of solitude and silence.

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