"True wisdom, as the fruit of self-examination, dialogue and generous encounter between persons, is not acquired by a mere accumulation of data which eventually leads to overload and confusion, a sort of mental pollution. Real relationships with others, with all the challenges they entail, now tend to be replaced by a type of internet communication which enables us to choose or eliminate relationships at whim, thus giving rise to a new type of contrived emotion which has more to do with devices and displays than with other people and with nature. Today’s media do enable us to communicate and to share our knowledge and affections. Yet at times they also shield us from direct contact with the pain, the fears and the joys of others and the complexity of their personal experiences. For this reason, we should be concerned that, alongside the exciting possibilities offered by these media, a
deep and melancholic dissatisfaction with interpersonal relations, or a harmful sense of isolation, can also arise." (Pope Francis, Laudato Si’, #47.)

 

 

Nazareth

The Place

Aquinas academy - nazareth  

Aquinas Academy has established a place of solitude and silence. It is located on the Colo River about 75 minutes drive from the heart of Sydney.

The name of the property is “Nazareth,” recalling the particular significance Nazareth had for Fr Jean Claude Colin, the founder of the Marist Fathers. Fr Colin drew inspiration from the thought that Nazareth nurtured Jesus for almost thirty years, preparing him for his mission. At Nazareth we find Mary, the mother of Jesus, waiting upon the Lord: “You see before you the Lord’s servant, let it happen according to your word” (Luke 1:38). Fr Colin was accustomed to “place himself there,” at Nazareth, when he faced a difficult decision or a particularly challenging moment.

 

The Dwellings

   
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At “Nazareth” there are two dwellings.

One is called “La Neylière,” after a place in France where Fr Colin found time to meditate and deepen his experience of contemplation. “La Neylière” is normally used to accommodate groups who go to “Nazareth” for the day but do not stay overnight.

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The second dwelling is called “Mary MacKillop Hermitage.” In using this title, we recall the spirit of St Mary of the Cross, recognising her extraordinary contribution to the building of this nation. Mary MacKillop - as she is more famiiliarly known in Australia - epitomises the contemplative in action. “Mary MacKillop” hermitage is normally used by individuals who wish to stay at “Nazareth” for a time.

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One of the features of “Mary MacKillop Hermitage” is an icon of St Mary of the Cross, painted by Australian iconographer, Michael Galovic. This icon was commissioned by Brian and Dympna Whelan to the memory of their son Martin (1/12/1951 – 3/11/1952).

Power and telephone are connected to both dwellings. There is also hot and cold running water, refrigerators, cooking and eating utensils, flush toilets, heating and cooling, a small library of books and DVDs, comfortable beds and armchairs and plenty of opportunities to walk in the Australian bush, sit under a tree and meditate by the river.

Visitors are asked to bring their own sheets and towels and food and take all rubbish with them when they go.

Availability

   
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We hope that many people will benefit from this Marist place of solitude and silence.

“La Neylière” is available mainly for groups. Please contact us if you would like to use it for a group day of solitude and silence. We recommend no more than 12 people go there at one time.

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"Mary MacKillop Hermitage" is available as follows: Overnight – $30 single or $40 twin share with special rates for clergy and religious – please inquire. Individuals may stay for up to 30 days – inquire about special rates for extended stays.

     

   Contact: T 02 9247 4651 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.