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.
Information Evening: Pilgrimage to India, February 2017
Photo: Bede Griffiths
Aquinas Academy, Tuesday 5 July 2016 at 6pm
After three successful pilgrimages to India led by Fr Michael Whelan SM, Marie Fonseca is now organising a fourth spiritual tour, "Abide in My Love" with Sr Valda Dickinson RSM as Chaplain. Tour dates are 7 - 28 February 2017.
New Canadian and US laws revive euthanasia debate
On 9 June 2016, California will complete the west coast coverage of laws in the USA permitting physician assisted suicide for any mentally competent adult who is suffering 'an incurable and irreversible disease that has been medically confirmed' and which will 'within reasonable medical judgment, result in death within six months'. Read more ...
‘Between Politics and Apocalypse’
René Girard’s Reading of Global Crisis
‘Politics can no longer save us,’ according to René Girard, the French Catholic theologian who died on 4 November 2015. What did he mean? In a paper delivered two days after Girard’s death, Michael Kirwan SJ explored Girard’s ‘apocalyptic’ vision of a world in crisis and a planet in danger of becoming a ‘scapegoat’. In such a framework, how does the refugee become ‘the central figure of our political history’? Read more ...
Becoming Stillness - Richard Rohr
Another gem by Richard Rohr. An introduction given in Norwich Cathedral, UK. Fr. Richard Rohr is a Franciscan priest of the New Mexico Province and founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is also the author of numerous books, including Everything Belongs, Adam’s Return, The Naked Now, Breathing Under Water, Falling Upward, Immortal Diamond, and Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi. See YouTube video.
Interview with journalist and author Nathan Schneider
“On Being” host Krista Tippett and author and activist Nathan Schneider discuss social justice and the role of religion in social justice movements during the Interfaith Lecture on Friday, August 8, 2014 in the Hall of Philosophy. See YouTube video.
The Art of Making Connections: Philosophy between vision and common sense
Christian faith is made ‘not just philosophically cogent but intensely relevant and reasonable’ in two recent books which exemplify the craft of the philosopher. Michael Barnes SJ celebrates Fiona Ellis’ God, Value and Nature and Rupert Shortt’s God is No Thing. Read more ...
God is three and God is one
On Sunday (22 May), we observe the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. The Trinity can be a ‘dauntingly abstract concept ‘, says John Moffatt SJ, but it is important for us to use words and images, as far as we can, to explore the truth that it represents: ‘the single origin of all things is in essence relationship’. Read more ...
"Spotlight", the movie
A Reflection by Michael Whelan SM
“There's no higher compliment to pay this steadily riveting, quietly devastating take on investigative journalism than to say Spotlight gets it right.” So wrote Peter Travers in Rolling Stone, November 4 2015.
A Reflection by Michael Whelan SM
Forgiveness is absolutely necessary to human existence. Without it we fall into despair and chaos. Behind all the hatred and violence in the world – writ large in wars, writ smaller in personal and local strife – you will find lack of forgiveness. This reveals a deep ambiguity in human existence. Hamlet lays it out in his characteristic way: “What a piece of work is man!
Gospel for the Thirteenth Sunday (26 June 2016)
Gospel Notes by Michael Whelan SM
When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him; but they did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem.