Cecilia Rogers

Visio Divina – Movie (Netflix): The Railway Man

September 2021 – Our film review by Peter Malone msc this month is:  The Railway Man.

Love your enemies. Easier said, not often done. One man who did was Eric Lomax, even though it took 50 years. He is The Railway Man (Thai-Burma Railway) of this film of a true story, based on Lomax’s autobiography. Continue reading

Our Latest News…

Emmaus Supervision Program 2022/23
We are excited to launch our Emmaus Supervision Program!  This program has been developed in response to the demand for professional supervisors in individual ministry – priests, chaplains, spiritual directors, spiritual health workers, pastoral carers etc. It is a program for the formation of competent, experienced professional supervisors. The program draws on the encounter of the two disciples with Jesus on the road to Emmaus.

Emmaus is studied part-time over eighteen months.  It comprises a number of four-day intensives (in the Victorian school holidays) and 2 x 14-week seminars, followed by monthly gatherings to continue supervision input and practice. The program begins in February 2022 and concludes in June 2023. For information, visit our Emmaus webpage.

Applications invited for:  Director,  Heart of Life
On the retirement of Emeritus Professor Paul Beirne, effective 31/12/21, applications are invited for the position of Director, Heart of Life Centre for Spiritual & Pastoral Formation. The initial term is for three years, and will commence on 1/1/22.  Applications close on 10/9/21 and the position description is available by emailing our secretary, Susanah.

Taster Session, 11 September 2021, 9.30am-11am AEST
Our recent Siloam Taster Session was a great success and we were blessed to meet many fellow pilgrims, some of whom are considering studying our Siloam Program in 2022.  We have decided to hold another Taster Session in mid-September, giving attendees the opportunity to briefly learn a bit about Heart of Life before breaking into groups for an experience of either the Siloam Program, the Emmaus Supervision Program, or Let the Heart Listen. To book for the Taster, please click here.

Alumni – Invitation to Facilitate a Reflection event in 2022
We are now planning our 2022 Program of Events and invite our Alumni to consider whether they wish to present a reflection event at Heart of Life (via Zoom or in-person Covid-permitting) during 2022. To make submissions easier, we have put together a form to complete for your event. We invite graduates to complete the form and submit it to us by email – before 10 September 2021.

Applications invited for:  General Office Assistant
Due to Heart of Life’s growth, we are adding a General Office Assistant to our administration team. We envisage this person assisting us on Mondays 9am-3pm with potential for Tuesdays as well. This staff member will be needed for work during school terms only, ie they will not be required to work during Victorian school term breaks. For the position description, please contact us by email.  Applications close on 28/8/21.

Visio Divina – Movie (Netflix): Gran Torino

August 2021 – Our monthly Visio Divina offering from Peter Malone Missionaries of the Sacred Heart – Australia is Gran Torino.
Something of a spirituality of growing old and perspectives changing. Clint Eastwood’s once-Dirty Harry detective is now a widower, Walt, retired in suburbia, discovering the Hmong neighbours that he does not understand but becoming involved in their troubles, taking a stand against thugs, defending these new friends with more than tolerance, giving his life for their safety. In his westerns, Clint Eastwood includes a great deal of Christ-like self-giving in death.

Continue reading

August 2021 – What We’ve Been Up To…

Siloam 2022
We continue to receive interest from prospective candidates for next year’s Siloam Program.  A Taster session will be hosted by Rita Malavisi rsj, Marlene McGrath and Clare Shearman on 14 August 2021, via Zoom from 9.30am-11.00am AEST. (Whilst we had hoped to see some participants in-person, due to the likely extension of the Covid restrictions, the Taster session will go ahead via Zoom only.) We look forward to seeing all the people who have registered. This will be an experiential opportunity, and will enable participants to get a sense of what following the call to spiritual direction through Heart of Life means. For further details or to book click here.

Note that we’ll be repeating the Taster on Saturday 11 September 2021 – we’ll have more information soon.

Mindfulness & Meditation via Zoom – Drop in during August
With the success of our Mindfulness & Meditation Tuesday night series in July, we have extended this Tuesday night offering until 24 August 2021. Join us for one or more sessions of this centering and relaxing practice. Our qualified meditation teacher leads us in one hour of meditation and mindful self-compassion practice on Tuesday nights from 7.30pm-8.30pm via Zoom. To participate, pop us an email or call 03 9890 1101. Cost: $12.50 per session.

What Graduates and Current Students are Saying about Siloam
Past and present Siloam students are sharing their experiences of Siloam through a series of short videos that are viewable on YouTube. Click here to listen to a brief account of graduate Jovito Dales’ experience.

Heart 2 Practise (H2P) – ‘Spiritual Direction on the Margins’
H2P (our 2020 Alumni Program) hosted a thought-provoking professional development lunchtime session that attracted additional participants. Liz Lee, of Vision and Action, inspired us with her experience of working with those on the fringes of society. Liz herself was compelled to action when she read an article by Paula Ferris, which commented that spiritual directors need to “recognise that practicing addicts, still in their addiction, are not good candidates for spiritual direction, as is the case with any person suffering with untreated mental health issues.” Liz begged to differ, and has gone on to develop her spiritual direction ministry in prisons and with those who have no place to call their home. She also has big dreams for the future of this ministry. We are hoping she will come back to Heart of Life and run a longer session for us in the future.

Schools Team
This month, a team of four spiritual directors representing Heart of Life will facilitate workshops at a staff spirituality day for a high school in Point Cook.  This is the first of such initiatives being led by Rita Malavisi rsj, our Spiritual Liaison Manager.  If you are interested in working with Rita and our spirituality-in-schools work, please contact her via email.

With the Royal Commission recommending that everyone in individual ministry be the recipient of supervision, and the scarcity of trained supervisors on the ground, Heart of Life:

  • continues to offer individual and group supervision;
  • will soon launch its professional supervision program – the Emmaus Supervision Program – to train experienced practitioners in the art of supervision using the experiential Heart of Life methodology.
  • is compiling a list of accredited supervisors who can be approached for group or individual supervision (for publication on our website);

Please email us if you are interested in finding out more about any of these aspects of supervision.

Our fellowship on Facebook is growing! We hope that our page is informative and educative. Please continue to Like our page, follow us and share the good news of what is happening at Heart of Life with others. Find us on https://www.facebook.com/HoLMelbourne

Visio Divina – Movie (Netflix): Evil Angels / A Cry in the Dark

July 2021 – Movie review by Peter Malone msc

A 1988 film, a challenging examination of conscience. It takes its audience back to Uluru, 1980, the disappearance of Azariah Chamberlain, a landmark piece of Australian history. The title was Evil Angels (echoes of the religious overtones and prejudice against Adventists). But, it sounded like a tough Bikie actioner to American ears, so overseas, it became ‘A Cry in the Dark’ and is now on Netflix under this title. It won many Australian Film Institute awards, the Catholic Office prize, and Best Actress for Meryl Streep in Cannes. Older audiences can watch the film again, perhaps amazed at the community divided for and against Lindy Chamberlain’s guilt, her media image, nastiness against Adventists, the trial, witnesses, evidence and its inadequacy, the verdict, imprisonment, exoneration, innocence. So, for younger audiences perhaps new to the story as well as older audiences, a challenge to harsh judgments, harmful, superficial gossip, at the expense of truth. See the trailer here.

Visio Divina – Movie (Netflix): Babette’s Feast

June 2021 – Movie Review by Peter Malone msc

We should never refuse an invitation to attend Babette’s Feast. A wonderful experience. This time the invitation comes from Netflix. Set in a 19th century Jutland village (and winner of Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, 1988), in a close community Protestant parish, now bequeathed by the pastor to his two unmarried daughters, disappointed in love. They have welcomed a refugee chef from Paris, Babette. When Babette wins the lottery, she immediately and spontaneously pays for a lavish feast, best quality food and wine shopping, relishing cooking former dishes. The community is ageing (rivalries and bickering). Their Puritanical spirituality suggests they attend but eat without enjoying. But, they succumb, wine rejoicing the heart, Babette happy, admission of hurt, forgiveness and reconciliation, everyone moving out into the square, joining hands, a dance of life. No doubt that this is a Eucharistic film, Eucharist as a divine banquet, union through generous self-giving.  See the trailer here.

July 2021 – Our Latest News…

‘Siloam’ Taster Session, Saturday 14 August 2021, 9.30am-11am
(In-person & Zoom event)

We are planning a taster session for the 44th Siloam Program for the Formation of Spiritual Directors that will begin in 2022. This will be held at our Centre in Malvern as well as via Zoom on Saturday 14 August from 9.30am-11am AEST. The event will be an opportunity for a gentle exploration of the Siloam Program and who we are at Heart of Life. Book here to attend. Feel free to encourage others to join with us. Continue reading

June 2021 – What’s Happening at Heart of Life…

Looking for Candidates for the 44th Siloam Cohort to Study in 2022

Over 75% of Siloam candidates come to Heart of Life because they have been recommended by our network.  THANK YOU!  We will be advertising for our 2022 cohort throughout July. This year, we will be offering a series of on-line Continue reading

1968: A Reflection in Four Parts

Part I: Preamble

In 1965, I was faced with a challenging decision. In 1964, I had successfully completed my Senior exams at Downlands College, Toowoomba, and I found myself looking at two life choices, viz., whether to enrol in an Arts/Law degree at the University of Queensland, or to join an Order of priests and brothers to train as a missionary and to work among the poor and the powerless in one of the 55 countries around the globe in which the Order was involved. I chose the latter.

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The Story of Emmaus – The Awareness in the Breaking of the Bread

Two disciples leave Jerusalem on a seven-mile journey to the village of Emmaus. Their demeanour is downcast as they reflect on the life of Jesus of Nazareth in whom they had placed such faith and hope until his untimely, brutal death snatched him from them. On their journey they are joined by a third person who responds to their confusion and despondency by contextualising the life and death of Jesus in the spread of salvation history.

As the three draw near to Emmaus, the stranger prepares to move on, but the two companions press him to stay and share an evening meal. During the meal, ‘he took bread, said the blessing, broke the bread and handed it to them’. Immediately their eyes were opened and they recognised him. Then Jesus vanished from their sight.

The two disciples immediately abandon their journey and return to Jerusalem—the location of Christ’s life, death and resurrection—where they joyfully share with Peter and the disciples the story of what happened on the road and how they recognised Jesus ‘in the breaking of the bread’.

In other words, the disciples return to the heart of the matter–to the place where life, death and resurrection intersect and hope and transformation blossom.

Heart of Life’s Emmaus Supervision Program draws directly on this encounter.