Individual & Group Supervision

Supervision is an essential requirement for anyone involved in pastoral ministry. Heart of Life endeavours to uphold the integrity of this ministry by offering Individual or Group Supervision, where pastoral journeys are shared, and skills and sensitivity increased through professional guidance.

In 2022/23, Catholic Religious Australia recommends supervision be charged at $120-$150.  Heart of Life’s supervision fee in 2022 is $100 per session.

To arrange individual or group supervision with one of Heart of Life’s supervisors (a selection of which are listed below), email us or call (03) 9890 1101.

Heart for Life (H4L) Group Supervision Lunchtime Program

Monthly sessions from April to November 2023 – dates to be advised (Cost $200)

Group supervision is offered to those in individual ministry through the H4L program. The group will be supported by a Heart of Life Supervisor to provide professional group supervision as well as professional development. Topics are tailored to meet the needs and interests of the group, with guest speakers engaged as required.

The dates for the sessions will be advised at the end of 2022.  In the meantime, you can register your interest in being part of the group by contacting us on (+61 3) 9890 1101 or email

The H4L group may be joined at any time during the program (with a reduced fee payable).

Supervisors are also available through the following organisations:

Heart of Life Supervisors and Recognised Supervisors available for individual and group supervision:


paul-beirne-web-new Emeritus Professor Paul Beirne, MA, MDiv, DMin, PhD, Cert Spir Dir (Siloam),
Supervisor: Australasian Association of Supervision

Paul Beirne is a Recognised Supervisor.

Paul has been involved in spiritual direction and pastoral formation since 1977, and participated in the first Siloam Program for the Formation of Spiritual Directors in 1980. He was Director of Heart of Life from January 2014 until his retirement at the end of 2021.

Paul is an Emeritus Professor of the University of Divinity, and holds an MA in East Asian Studies from Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, a Masters in Divinity from Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, a Doctor of Ministry from Chicago Theological Seminary, and a PhD from the School of History, Philosophy, Religion & Classics at the University of Queensland. Paul has an academic and pastoral interest in the spiritual and mystic traditions of East Asian religions and the symbols immanent in these traditions.

William Brennan

Bill Brennan is a Recognised Supervisor.

Bill is a supervisor and has been a spiritual director for more than 20 years. He rejoins Heart of Life after having been a supervisor in the Siloam Program in 2006-2008. He was also a supervisor in the Arrupe spiritual direction formation program at Campion from 2008-2018.

Bill balances this contemplative heart space ministry with a long history as a community nurse working mostly with people experiencing homelessness. He acknowledges the central role of supervision for himself over the years as being the reason he was able to grow and experience much satisfaction in both ministries.

He feels called to support others in their own journey as a supervisor himself.

Teresa Fanning

Teresa Fanning is a Recognised Supervisor.

Teresa is a spiritual director and pastoral supervisor, having trained in the Ignatian tradition and taking out a Masters in Spiritual Direction in 2012.

She was born and raised in Ireland and moved to Australia in 1978. She is married with four adult children and seven grandchildren. She lives in Melbourne.

Teresa has a background in nursing and midwifery, and since taking out her MASD, has been involved in teaching and supervising students in formation to be spiritual directors and Givers of The Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola. Teresa finds this work most life-giving and it has become very much a part of her own spiritual journey.

Dean Mason

Dean Mason is a Recognised Supervisor.

Dean provides supervision to multiple professions and ministries. A qualified spiritual director and executive coach, Dean also has a background in business and not-for-profit leadership. His depth of experience and expertise supports a quality of attention that offers to foster freedom and growth in practitioners of any ministry or helping profession. Dean enjoys a mix of conversational, experiential and playful approaches for engaging with others and with what matters, in the work of supervision.

Nicole Rotaru, BA, GDEd, CPE, B Social Work, GD Arts Therapy, M Supervision (MIECAT), Cert Supervision (UD)

Nicole Rotaru is a Recognised Supervisor.

Nicole is a member of the Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea (ISMAPNG) formed in 2011. She was a member of the leadership team for the former Melbourne Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy, 2006-2011. She has over 45 years of experience working with adults and children in a range of settings including: education, palliative care, health, counselling/play therapy, refugee camps, development, safeguarding, spirituality and private practice.

Nicole values the place of supervision in her own professional practice. Gaining further insight into herself and exploring ethical issues have assisted her in encountering the people in her ministry. She remains committed to supervision and is passionate about offering both individual and group supervision that facilitates a deepening of insight and transformation. One of the delights of supervision has been encouraging the use of imagery, story, song and scripture as a way of deepening and expanding reflection on experience.

Clare Shearman, BA(hons), MBA, Grad Dip Spir Dir (Siloam), Grad Dip Supervision, Supervisor: Australasian Association of Supervision

Clare Shearman is Director of Heart of Life and a Supervisor.

Clare was appointed Director of Heart of Life from January 2022. She graduated from the Siloam Program in 2013 and has been involved in spiritual direction and managed two retreat centres since then. Clare is a professional supervisor, and in a spirit of collaboration between institutions, Clare works with students studying with the University of Divinity’s Professional Supervision Program.

Clare has held leadership roles in the corporate world as well as in large and small not-for-profit organisations. She considers herself extremely blessed to be working for the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (at Heart of Life) together with the rest of the Heart of Life team, in service of those who are seeking to nurture their personal spirituality and pastoral skills for the benefit of others.

Jo Sullivan, Grad Cert. Bereavement Counselling & Intervention, Grad Dip Professional Supervision, Supervisor: Australasian Association of Supervision, Member Transforming Practices Inc

Jo Sullivan is a supervisor and co-leader of the Emmaus Supervision Program at Heart of Life.

Jo is delighted to be a part of the formation team for the Emmaus Supervision Program at Heart of Life. Jo is also a professional supervisor in private practice and believes reflection on practice is an essential part of lifelong learning. Previously, Jo worked for 10 years (2011-2021) as a pastoral care practitioner at St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney, being part of the hospital multi-disciplinary team, supporting patients and families in their health journeys, life transitions, crises and end of life care.

From both personal and professional experience, Jo has an awareness of life’s realities and complexities, human vulnerability, change and loss, and draws on these experiences as a resource to uphold and support the human spirit – to promote life in all its fullness.

Jo has qualifications in grief and bereavement counselling, in Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) and is currently a CPE supervisor and educator in formation.

Jo loves walking by the ocean in the early mornings and being in the countryside when time permits. Jo’s four children and five grandchildren remind her of what is important in life.

Joan Wright Howie, BA, BTheol, Grad Cert Supervision, MA Spiritual Direction

Joan Wright Howie is a supervisor and course co-ordinator of the Emmaus Supervision Program at Heart of Life.

Joan is keen to foster interior freedom through her work as a Uniting Church minister and working as Head of Faith & Development at World Vision Australia. She is a spiritual director, professional supervisor and retreat leader with a passion for spiritual formation. She is an energetic, passionate contemplative who enjoys practising the presence of God in the midst of adventure. She is married to David and they share a house with their three young adult children. She has a dog called Kai who takes her for walks, a garden full of flowers and vegetables, and her happy place is swimming in the ocean.