Course: Unmasking Violence - Reimagining the Gospel with René Girard
Susan Connelly rsj, PhD
Starts 10am Wednesday June 12
René Girard has been called "the new Darwin of the human sciences". His insights into the origins of violence are sheer gift to our modern world.
This course will be an exploration of some of his thought, with personal and global application. It will investigate aspects of human imitation which show how we are all interdependent.
Days of Solitude and Silence 2019
Next Date: July 27
Aquinas Academy has a place of solitude and silence called "Nazareth". It is situated 75 minutes from the Sydney CBD at Colo.
We organize special days on which we take small groups there for a few hours of solitude and silence.
Course: Laudato Si’ - Care of our common home
Starts 10am Thu August 1
The Pope’s 2015 ground-breaking encyclical about the current ecological crisis, Laudato Si’, sought a wide readership both inside and outside the Catholic Church. Not only has it succeeded in this endeavour, it has received strong praise from influential commentators from many diverse backgrounds. For instance, Robert Manne – one of Australia’s leading public intellectuals and a secular Jew – calls it ‘one of the most important documents of our era’.
Course: Restorative Dialogue - The Explicit Practice of Relationships
Terry O'Connell OAM
Starts 10am Tues Aug 6
In this series of talks, you will be invited on a ‘journey’ to discover how restorative dialogue helps build and sustain healthy relationships. Estrangement and separation often result from our inability to deal with vulnerability. By understanding the ‘why’ of relationships, the ‘what’ we do to strengthen those relationships becomes more purposeful.
Restorative dialogue focuses on harm and relationships, rather than blame and consequences. It involves conversations about inclusion, respectful challenge and learning. Its explicit nature helps us to better understand self and others.
Course: The Mystics - Pathfinders to the Spiritual
Sr. Patty Andrew osu
Starts 10am Tue Sept 3
Three sessions will be presented by Sr. Patty Andrew osu, featuring several men and women from the Christian mystical tradition who have illuminated the mystical path for those seeking a heart understanding of the divine.
The first session will offer a brief introduction to the nature of mysticism. It will then explore the mystical heart of Francis of Assisi and his desire to be continuously in the presence of the crucified one. Following this we will visit the mystical writings of Hildergard of Bingen and enter these through her frequently used Latin word “Viriditas.” Such a word for Hildergard conveys vitality, fecundity, fruitfulness, verdure, abundance and growth.
Course: Developing Your Own Spirituality, Unit IV
Idealizations & detachment, social presence & obedience
Starts 10am Thu Sep 5
(Repeated 6pm Thu Nov 7)
In Unit IV – the final Unit in this Course – we will pay particular attention to four major issues in spirituality: Idealization – a psychological process whereby we pursue an image of the way things should be rather than a conversation with the way things are; detachment – a subtle but profound disposition that comes to us as a grace when we learn to receive it; social presence – all spirituality is essentially and irrevocably social, never merely private, always focusing our lives on building and maintaining living relationships, in other words, community tending; obedience – attentive listening, facing what must be faced, submitting to the truth of experience no matter what, is the stuff of any life of substance.
Course: The Holy Spirit in the Gospel of St John
Dr Robert Tilley
Starts Wednesday Sep 25
John’s Gospel is often styled the ‘sacramental Gospel’ in that it has much to say about baptism and the Eucharist. And yet the odd thing is that this is the only Gospel not to include the words of the institution of the Eucharist, instead it includes an account of Jesus’ promises to the Apostles. Chief among these promises is that of the sending of the Holy Spirit.
But this sending, the Apostles are told, is dependent on Jesus ascending to the Father. Then, when He comes, the Holy Spirit will glorify the ascended Jesus and make Him truly and really present in the Apostolic Church.
Course: The Poetry of Grace V
Sacred Silence in T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets with a special focus on “Little Gidding”.
Starts Wednesday Nov 6
This four part seminar series will explore the ways in which poetry seeks to express the inexpressible. In T.S. Eliot’s own words from “Burnt Norton” ( the first of the four quartets):
Words move, music moves
Only in time; but that which is only living
Can only die. Words, after speech, reach
Into the silence. Only by the form, the pattern
Can words or music reach
The stillness, as a Chinese jar still
Moves perpetually in its stillness.