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.
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 ...
Premiere of award winning film ‘Cast from the Storm’
By: Amnesty International Australia
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 ...
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.
Reflection - Useless things
Action-packed summer adventures are all the rage, but there’s a lot to be said for a ‘less is more’ approach to holidays, says Sr Teresa White. A clear diary can be an opportunity to see and hear what we overlook or ignore in our everyday lives – there’s no such thing as wasted time if that time leads us closer to God.
It is only when we are not being practical and concentrate on useless things that we move out and find the world is opening out. (Ernesto Cardenal)
Concentrating on useless things... It’s what people used to do when they went on holiday. Read more ...
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 First Sunday (21 August 2016)
Jesus went through one town and village after another, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few be saved?” He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able. When once the owner of the house has got up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then in reply he will say to you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’