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.
Bellarmine in perspective (and the Galileo affair)
On 17 September we celebrate the feast of a Jesuit theologian who was a key figure in the Counter-Reformation. St Robert Bellarmine is perhaps best known for his dealings with one Galileo Galilei, whom he warned off teaching the Copernican ideas that would later underpin astronomy. However, Vatican astronomer Br Guy Consolmagno SJ takes a closer look at the interaction between the theologian and the scientist and finds that there was more to the Galileo Affair than meets the eye. Read more ...
Pope Francis among other disruptive leaders
Evaluations of Pope Francis usually contrast him with his predecessors. When engaging in politics, however, he faces the same challenge as they did. He must first strengthen the Catholic Church in its faith, and so influence national and international relationships by persuasion and diplomacy. His distinctive contribution will come through the way he embodies and commends his personal faith.
Pope John Paul II did this through Read more ...
Benedict had trouble with arguments in Humanae Vitae
Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI was among those who were dissatisfied with Pope Paul VI's 1968 teaching prohibiting Catholics from using artificial birth control, according to interviews that have formed the basis of a new book, reports NCR Online.
In the new book, published in Italy on Friday, the Pope Emeritus says that while he agreed with the conclusions Paul drew in the encyclical Humanae Vitae, he had trouble with the argumentation. Read more ...
Overseas Course: Holy Listening
10-21 July 2017
I (Cathy Holling) recently attended a course in Contemplative Prayer, called “Holy Listening”, at Sant Anselm, Rome. We spent two weeks studying Spirituality, Lectio Divina, Prayer, The Rule of St Benedict and Spiritual Accompaniment.
Our days revolved around prayer. Lauds, Mass, Matins, Vespers, interspersed with classes, meals and visits down to the sights and sounds of central Rome and it’s gelato bars.
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.
Biblical models for leadership
The votes for the leadership of the Labour Party in the UK and the presidency of the USA are both imminent, and so we can expect plenty of discussion about authority and governance over the coming weeks on both sides of the Atlantic. But what does good leadership look like, be it political, ecclesial or otherwise? Nicholas King SJ looks for answers to this question in the bible.
Wherever you look these days, politics seems to have mislaid its comfortable predictabilities. Read more ...
A Reflection on Jesus’s Leadership
What qualities do we look for in a good leader? How can we become better leaders ourselves? Thinking Faith invited Thomas Shufflebotham SJ to guide us in a prayerful reflection on just three of the innumerable qualities of Jesus that any good Christian leader should seek to emulate.
It is striking that in the Spiritual Exercises Ignatius attaches virtually no adjectives to Jesus. Read more ...
Marist Presence 3: Nazareth
Notes by Michael Whelan SM
In December 1967 – about a year before Thomas Merton was accidentally electrocuted by a faulty fan while attending a conference in Bangkok – he gave a retreat to a group of contemplative nuns at the Cistercian Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky. What he said in that conference nearly fifty years ago is as fresh and relevant now as it was then:
Presence is what counts. It’s important to realise that the Church itself is presence and so is the contemplative life. Community is presence, not an institution.
Gospel for the Twenty Seventh Sunday (2 October 2016)
Gospel Notes by Michael Whelan SM
The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” The Lord replied, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.
“Who among you would say to your slave who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here at once and take your place at the table’? Would you not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, put on your apron and serve me while I eat and drink; later you may eat and drink’? Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, ‘We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!’” (Luke 17:5-10 – NRSV)