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.
Compass, Episode 1: Confess
Is the need to confess an imperative all humans share?
Kumi Taguchi reveals what confession looks like today; the Sacrament of Reconciliation in the Catholic tradition and a secular urban confession offered on street corners.
This programme was originally broadcast on Saturday 3 March 2018. Click here to view
Introduction to the Enneagram Course
Saturday 17 March
The Enneagram is an amazing and ancient tool that joins together psychology and spirituality to help us understand our true self – our essence. It allows us to identify the repeated patterns of behaviour in our personality type that prevent us from reaching our full potential as the human being that God created us to be. The Enneagram is also very useful in helping us to understand the many dimensions of both our personal and professional relationships.
To find out more about this Course click here
Cupich says 'Amoris Laetitia' changes how church teaches families, by learning
Pope Francis is calling the global Catholic Church to make "an enormous change of approach" in how it relates to families and to renounce heavy-handed ways of implementing doctrine, recognize that teachings can develop over time, and better respect the insights of laypeople, said Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich.
In a speech ... the cardinal reflected on the pope's 2016 apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, calling aspects of it "nothing short of revolutionary." Read more
Courses Outline - 2018
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 Focusing: A Way Towards More Reflective Living
Presenters: Merilyn Mayhew and Sue Burrell
When: 4 Tuesday mornings, 10am - 12noon, April 17 - May 8
The gift and power of emotional courage
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
Conscience, hope and the double bind
Michael Whelan SM
One of the most wonderful gifts one human being can give another is the sense of realistic possibility. The presence of faith, hope and love tends to do this for us – especially when we are young and vulnerable. When others – typically parents – communicate faith in us, hope for us and love no matter what, it can awaken a realistic sense of our own dignity and worth and allow us to engage the world with some confidence and honesty. It tends to engender in us a life-giving sense of possibility, preparing us for adulthood ...
Course: Focusing - A way towards more reflective living
Listening to your body can change your life. Aaffien de Vries, Focusing Trainer
Sue Burrell/Merilyn Mayhew
Registration closes 3 April
Starts Tuesday 17 April
Father Michael Whelan and Sister Marie Biddle, in the Aquinas course Developing Your Own Spirituality, say, “Jesus comes to us disguised as our life.” They encourage us to pay attention to what is happening in the present moment, to pause and consider how to respond. They recommend the body-based awareness practice of Focusing as a key way to become present and pay attention to the movement of Spirit in our lives, and to know ourselves and others more intimately.
Course: Living! Not just Coping
A Contemplative Psychology for our Times
Starts Wednesday 2 May
Based on the classic by psychiatrist Gerald May, this course will explore the implications of being willing rather than willful in living life to the full – not just ‘getting by’.
* Willingness: openness to surrender to a reality greater than oneself;
* Willfulness: setting oneself apart from the deepest reality in an attempt to master one’s own destiny.
Illustrating the way a willing attitude can change one’s whole outlook, we’ll turn to some outstanding women and men to see how they approached challenges and dark periods in their lives:
Spiritual Practices and Attitudes 4 – Four Practices
Notes by Michael Whelan SM
The primary question – and ultimately the only question – God asks of us is, “Will you let me love you into freedom?” Jesus is the embodiment of that question. There is a graciousness about people who have heard that question in their depths. Their lives are liberated and liberating.
The Dominican priest, Meister Eckhart (1260-1327), writes:
“This above all else is needful: you must lay claim to nothing! Let go of yourself and let God act with you and in you as He will. This work is His, this Word is His, this birth is His, in fact every single thing that you are.”
Gospel for the Fifth Sunday in Lent (18 March 2018)
Gospel Notes by Michael Whelan SM
Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.
“Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die. (John 12:20–33 – NRSV)