"Life is not so much beginnings and endings as it is middles, middles that don't measure up -- and our happiness depends on how we come to terms with the pale reflections of our dreams. (Paul D. Zimmerman, "Middles and Muddles," review of film "Sunday Bloody Sunday," Newsweek, September 27, 1971, 106)

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Courses Outline - 2018

 Aquinas Logo

Aquinas Academy is pleased to advise its Courses Outline for 2018.
All Courses are held at Aquinas Academy, Level 5, 141 Harrington Street, The Rocks and include class notes.
Upcoming Courses are:

t Pope Francis and the Primacy of Mercy: A Biblical Defense of Amoris Laetitia
Presenter: Robert Tilley, PhD 
When: 3 Wednesday mornings, 10am - 12noon, March 7; 21; 28
Cost: $108/person

t Film Lectio I:  Jean Vanier and the Gospel of St John
Presenters:  Marie Biddle RSJ, MA, MTh & Michael Whelan SM, PhD
When: 3 Wednesday evenings, 6pm - 8pm, March 7 - 21
Repeated: 3 Thursday mornings, 10am - 12noon, March 8 - 22

Cost: $30/person 

 

t Focusing: A Way Towards More Reflective Living
Presenters: Merilyn Mayhew and Sue Burrell
When: 4 Tuesday mornings, 10am - 12noon, April 17 - May 8
Cost: $144/person

t Living! Not just Coping:A Contemplative Psychology for our Times

Presenter: Catherine Hammond BS in Ed, MA, MPh
When: 4 Wednesday mornings, 10am - 12noon, May 2 - 23
Cost: $144/person

t Developing Your Own Spirituality I
Presenters: Michael Whelan SM, PhD & Marie Biddle, RSJ, MA, MTh
When: 4 Thursday mornings, 10am - 12noon, May 17 - June 7
Cost: $144/person

t Beyond Hypocrisy: Saving the West from Itself
Presenter:  Winton Higgins PhD
When: 4 Tuesday mornings, 10am - 12noon; June 12 - July 3
Cost: $144/person

t Film Lectio II: To be Advised
Presenter: Marie Biddle RSJ, MA, MTh
When: 3 Wednesday mornings, 10am - 12noon, June 13 - 27
Repeated: 3 Wednesday evenings, 6pm - 8pm, June 13 - 27
Cost: $30/person 

tMusic and Transformation Through the Hero’s Journey
Presenter: Patricia Hamilton, ALCM School of Music and Performing Arts
When: 4 Wednesday mornings, 10am - 12noon, July 11 - Aug 1
Cost: $144/person

t Developing Your Own Spirituality II
Presenters: Michael Whelan SM, PhD & Marie Biddle, RSJ, MA, MTh
When: 4 Thursday mornings, 10am - 12noon, Aug 2 - 23
Cost: $144/person

t Praying the Psalms: “Still full of sap, still green”
Presenter: Bernard McGrath OSB
When: 4 Tuesday mornings, 10am - 12noon; August 7 - 28
Cost: $144/ person

t Film Lectio: To be advised
Presenters: Marie Biddle RSJ, MA, MTh & Michael Whelan SM, PhD
When: 3 Wednesday mornings, 10am - 12noon, Sept 12 - 26
Repeated: 3 Wednesday evenings, 6pm - 8pm, Sept 12 - 26
Cost: $30/person

t Development, Social Justice and Globalisation

Presenter: Joffre Balce M.Sc. Industrial Economics
When: 4 Tuesday mornings, 10am - 12noon, Sept 4 – 25 (dates to be confirmed)
Cost: 144/person

t The Poetry of Grace IV
Presenter: Michael Griffith, PhD
When: 4 Wednesday mornings, 10am - 12noon; Nov 7 - 28
Cost: 144/person

t Developing Your Own Spirituality II
Presenters: Michael Whelan SM, PhD & Marie Biddle, RSJ, MA, MTh
When: 4 Wednesday evenings, 6pm - 8pm, Nov 7 - 28
Cost: $144/person

t Days of Silence and Solitude
When: To be advised
Where: “Nazareth”, Colo Heights
Cost:
$50/person



Policy re payment of fees: Aquinas Academy maintains its policy that no one should be prevented from pursuing courses of their choice simply because they cannot afford to pay the fees.  If you have difficulty with the fees, offer an affordable donation.

Special concession price for those who cannot attend all sessions: $40 per session.

Check the Aquinas website for Courses, Reflections and interesting articles and events  www.aquinas-academy.com

For registration please contact Aquinas Tel: 02 9247 4651,      Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please register BEFORE the date the class starts

The gift and power of emotional courage

JSusan David 2

Psychologist Susan David shares how the way we deal with our emotions shapes everything that matters: our actions, careers, relationships, health and happiness. In this deeply moving, humorous and potentially life-changing talk, she challenges a culture that prizes positivity over emotional truth and discusses the powerful strategies of emotional agility. A talk to share. Hear more

Cardinal Kasper: The controversy surrounding ‘Amoris Laetitia’ has come to an end

JCardinal Walter Kasper
The controversy regarding Amoris Laetitia has come to an end, according to German cardinal Walter Kasper. What is more, he has affirmed that the admission of remarried divorced persons to the sacraments in individual cases is, in his view, the only correct interpretation of the post-synodal apostolic exhortation.
Writing in an op-ed for the German language section of Radio Vatican, the prominent prelate asserted that “with the official publication of the letter from Pope Francis to the bishops of the Buenos Aires region, the painful dispute over the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia is hopefully over.” Read more

On New Year’s Eve, Pope Francis delivers his ‘silent majority’ speech

JPope Francis NYE
ROME - A pope is also the Bishop of Rome, and every once in a while, Romans expect to hear something special from their shepherd. On Sunday Pope Francis delivered, offering a New Year’s Eve homily expressing gratitude for his own Roman flock - although in terms, however, which will have resonance well beyond the Eternal City. 

In effect, this was Pope Francis’s version of the famous 1969 “silent majority” speech by U.S. President Richard Nixon, suggesting that the concerns of ordinary people aren’t necessarily reflected in the rattle and hum of media coverage. Read more

Let's remember what Christmas is actually about to counter the stress and sadness

Simon Smart
JChristmas Prayer
A psychologist friend told me recently that she and her colleagues are always overbooked at this time of year.
Make a note, if you need some time on the therapist's couch in December you'll need to get in early.
Conversations with friends this week certainly evoked a sense that, even when cognitive behavioural therapy isn't part of the mix, gritting teeth to endure the festive season is. Often rueful jokes about in-laws or wayward brothers mask a profound sadness that life hasn't turned out the way we'd hoped.
How did this happen? Where did the magical Christmases we enjoyed as children go? Read more

On not quenching the Spirit

Nicholas King SJ
JLords Parayer

Pope Francis’ concern about the wording of the Lord’s Prayer has generated plenty of debate, and if that makes us more attentive to the working of the Spirit then we should embrace it. However, we ought not to be seeking a perfect translation, says Nicholas King SJ, with support from this Sunday’s second reading. ‘The function of the divine Word is to set us free, not enslave us.’

You have to be careful about words. There have been ruffled feathers in the past week because the pope indicated a certain dissatisfaction with the Italian translation of the Lord’s Prayer, ‘do not lead us into temptation’, indicating that the God whom we address as ‘Father’ could not possibly do such a thing. Read more

With remembrance goes compassion: Manus

Andrew Hamilton
JManus Refugees

In 'Epic', Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh mused on the relative importance of world and local contemporaneous events — Chamberlain's meeting with Hitler in Munich and a bitter local dispute about a patch of land.

'I have lived in important places, times / When great events were decided, who owned / That half a rood of rock, a no-man's land / Surrounded by our pitchfork-armed claims.'

This poem came to mind when the refugees on Manus Island were forcibly evicted from their quarters. In Australia it was a small event ... Seen through the eyes of the refugees it was a large event, Read more

What brings a Jesuit pope to Asia?

The seeds of the pope's interest in the region and his missionary zeal were sewn by the former head of the Order, Pedro Arrupe.
JPedro Arrupe

One of the biggest influences on Pope Francis remains relatively unexplored — Pedro Arrupe, the Superior General of the Jesuits who appointed Jorge Bergoglio as Provincial of the Jesuits in Argentina at the fairly tender age of 36. Though he described the appointment as "crazy," the now pope, who served as Provincial from 1973-79, was set on a path of leadership by someone who was to shape his imagination in ways that almost daily are reflected in his ministry as the Bishop of Rome, including the priority he gives to Asia. Read more

The war against Pope Francis

JPope Francis washes feet

Pope Francis is one of the most hated men in the world today. Those who hate him most are not atheists, or protestants, or Muslims, but some of his own followers. Outside the church he is hugely popular as a figure of almost ostentatious modesty and humility. From the moment that Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio became pope in 2013, his gestures caught the world’s imagination: the new pope drove a Fiat, carried his own bags and settled his own bills in hotels; he asked, of gay people, “Who am I to judge?” and washed the feet of Muslim women refugees.

But within the church, Francis has provoked a ferocious backlash from conservatives who fear that this spirit will divide the church, and could even shatter it. Read more

Threat to religious tolerance from 'modern elites'

JDyson Heydon

The Hon Dyson Heydon (centre)
In a stinging attack on “modern elites”, former justice of the High Court Dyson Heydon AC QC has condemned attempts to exclude religion from Australian public debate.

Delivering the inaugural PM Glynn lecture in Adelaide on Tuesday evening, Mr Heydon referred to Patrick McMahon Glynn’s contribution to the Australian Constitution, notably for ensuring the words “humbly relying on the blessing of Almighty God” were included in the preamble. “Those words reflected what the elite of the Federation generation saw as fundamental,” Mr Heydon said in his address entitled Religious ‘toleration’ in modern Australia: the tyranny of relativismRead more

How forced migration defined Francis' papacy

JForced Migration

From the very first moments of his pontificate, Jorge Bergoglio signalled a departure in style from that of his immediate predecessors. His taking of the name Francis, his eschewing the full papal vestments, and his appeal to the masses gathered in Saint Peter's Square below to pray for him, before imparting his own blessing, all indicated a more personal, pastoral style.
Francis, most commentators agree, was elected on his perceived ability to address the need for reform of a Roman Curia increasingly beset by paralysis, inefficiency and scandal. It soon became apparent, however, that he saw this reform as a subset ... Read more

An Ecumenical Day of Prayer for Creation

JCreation2

Today, September 1, the Church celebrates the Day of Creation with a message from the pope drafted jointly with Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople.
Peace on January 1, Youth on Palm Sunday, Vocations the Fourth Sunday after Easter...Each of these world days sprinkled throughout the Catholic Church year is the occasion for a message from the pope to the faithful.These messages are often published several weeks in advance so that communities will be able to prepare, ....The only exception to this rule is the brand new World Day of Prayer for Creation launched by Pope Francis in 2015 ... Read more

How beauty is the true goal of leadership

Jleadership-lincoln

The ideals which have always shone before me and filled me with joy are goodness, beauty, and truth.” ~ Albert Einstein

At a leadership seminar that I recently ran for senior students from twelve schools, one of the more intriguing conversations I became engaged in was with an obviously sincere young Muslim man. He told me that in a discussion with his peers on the essential objective of leadership, he had provoked bewilderment, and not a little laughter, by suggesting that it was beauty.

As he tried to find the words to articulate his conviction,  Read more

Seamus Heaney: ‘Walk on air against your better judgement’

JSeamusHEaney

On 30 August 2013, news of the death of Nobel Prize-winning poet, Seamus Heaney, was met with sorrow around the world. He was universally admired for his kindness as well as for his poems, which ‘gaze into the reality of the world and see its mystery’. On National Poetry Day, Edel McClean pays tribute to the life and work of a man whose death, according to his fellow poet, Don Paterson, ‘seems to have left a breach in the language itself’. Read more

Review: God Is No Thing (Rupert Shortt)

An excellent response to New Atheism
JCreation

Some high-profile atheists insist on arguing against propositions that no serious Christian writer would endorse. This (book) is a spirited corrective, argues Rowan Williams, covering the origins of the universe to the use of the Bible.

In one of his letters, CS Lewis repeats the story of an earnest atheistical school teacher instructing her young charges that all forms of animal life derived from the higher apes, under the impression that she was teaching them Darwinism. The anecdote is probably too good to be true, but it is a reminder that in any decently reasonable argument it helps to know what exactly it is that is being attacked or defended. Read more

 

Spiritual Pilgrimage to India (2018)

Information evening 6pm, 12 September 2017

JOne Heart  One Soul

Marie Fonseca (Spice Odyssey) is organising her 6th Christian spiritual pilgrimage to India “One Heart and One Soul” from February 19 – March 10, 2018.
The highlight of this pilgrimage will be a four night meditation/yoga retreat with daily mass led by Fr. Joe Pereira (Mumbai), in Goa. The pilgrimage also includes attending a Mass at St. Teresa of Kolkata’s Tomb and visits to some of her homes.

Read more ...

Breaking the family legacy of silence over the Third Reich

JAlexandra Senfft

Nearly 70 years after being executed as a war criminal, the memory of Third Reich ambassador to Slovakia, Hanns Ludin, continues to weigh on his descendants. His granddaughter Alexandra Senfft has broken the family silence.

The room at the Literaturhaus Foundation in Munich, the prosperous Bavarian capital, is packed for a debate hosted by the Institut für Zeitgeschichte.The institute was founded in 1940 to promote research on the National-Socialist dictatorship with respect to the memory of Germany’s Nazi past contained in family histories.

Don’t ignore family history. Read more

The fear conundrum

JFear

How much fear do we want? Enough of it preserves our lives. Too much of it diminishes our lives. Currently, the balance is skewed by an overload of fear. Anxiety, its clinical name, is in epidemic proportions.

In favour of the measure to monitor social networks, it can be argued that it can significantly improve security agencies’ ability to deal with terrorist organizations. The claim is that intelligence agencies that monitor the networks, in many cases, can protect their territory from terrorist attacks. For instance, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), ... Read more

Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism in the USA: A surprising ecumenism

JBook-of-Genesis-465x310

In God We Trust. This phrase is printed on the banknotes of the United States of America and is the current national motto. It appeared for the first time on a coin in 1864 but did not become official until Congress passed a motion in 1956. A motto is important for a nation whose foundation was rooted in religious motivations. For many it is a simple declaration of faith. For others, it is the synthesis of a problematic fusion between religion and state, faith and politics, religious values and economy. Read more

Flannery O’Connor’s ‘Sacred Monstrosity’

Jflannery

Flannery O’Connor, who died on 3 August 1964, was a celebrated but divisive author whose stories are notorious for both their violence and their religiosity. Can her work speak to modern readers, or is it necessarily of her time? Michael Kirwan SJ considers this question, with a little help from James Joyce, René Girard and Quentin Tarantino. Read more. 

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