Catholics for Renewal


Events 2018

Western Spirituality  in the Pub
Clerical Abuse: the human cost to survivors/victims

Fr Kevin Dillon AM PP

7:30 pm, Wednesday, 28th November
Club Italia, Furlong Rd, St Albans between Sunshine Hospital and the Western Ring Road

“For more than two decades, Father Kevin Dillon has spoken for those who can’t speak out and acted for those who are crippled, particularly those affected by church-related sexual abuse… With strength, courage and perseverance, Father Dillon has publicly advocated for and privately counselled more than one hundred survivors and helped them to rebuild their lives. In 2013, he established Lifeboat Geelong to provide practical and pastoral support for victims of church-related sexual and child abuse. Humble and faithful to his priestly calling, Father Dillon’s work goes above and beyond the call of duty and his advocacy has at times been in conflict with the church hierarchy. A man of integrity, intelligence and fortitude, his actions have served to strengthen the resolve of many and to help pave the way towards healing, hope and justice.” - From 2016 VIC Senior Australian of the Year Nominee blurb.
Come along by yourself or with a group of friends!

Be open to having your thoughts expanded or challenged by the evening of conversation, which begins with our speakers, followed by conversation around tables and then by open forum across the room. The room opens off the Bistro area.

Support the club that supports Western SIP by dining there beforehand from 6.00 p.m. Dine on a table with other Western SIP participants by notifying us at by the day before and we will book tables for all of us. Early arrival allows time to order and enjoy your meal before moving into the room we use, which is off the Bistro area. We aim to start at 7.30 p.m. and finish by 9.00 p.m.

An Evening with John Allen Jr - FLYER

CC Public Forum Flyer HERE
An ecumenical conversation on the task of rebuilding and renewal after the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.  27-29 August 2018, Melbourne
An ecumenical conversation on the task of rebuilding and renewal after the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
27-29 August 2018, Melbourne

At a time when Australia’s churches are still in an early phase of absorbing and responding to the findings and recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, this two-and-a-half-day symposium aims to begin an inclusive, ecumenical and interdisciplinary conversation about the task of cultural change and renewal that lies ahead.

There are significant questions that need to be taken up in light of the Royal Commission’s final report:
  •     What are the theological implications of the child sexual abuse crisis and indeed the theological learnings to be gained from the Royal Commission?
  •     How do we support those who have been harmed, confront the damage that has been caused within the ecclesial community, and rebuild trust?   
  • How do we build ecclesial communities and ministerial practice marked by health and integrity?    What are the neuralgic issues that need to be faced and addressed, and how can resistance to change be confronted positively and transformed for the good of the ecclesial community?   
  • What questions require further research?    In responding to the Royal Commission, what can the various Christian faith traditions learn from each other?

This conference aims to bring together a broad cross section of voices: church leaders, academics, people in religious and pastoral ministry, representatives of Church agencies, together with those who rarely get a voice, including survivors of abuse and their supporters, members of the laity, women, and church reform groups.In order to promote a broad level of participation, attendance is free, and is inclusive of lunch and morning and afternoon tea.

Where: Melbourne City Conference Centre333 Swanston Street, Melbourne 3000 (cnr Little Lonsdale St).WhenMonday 27 August, 9.00am–5.00pmTuesday 28 August, 9.00am–5.00pmWednesday 29 August, 9.00am–1pm‘Health and Integrity in Church and Ministry’ has been curated as a conversation to be held over three days. Attendance at the complete conversation is strongly recommended.

To register to attend for the three days, simply click on the 'Register Now' link, select Monday 27 August, and then select the Three-day Conference Delegate ticket option. This will ensure your name is on our guest list for the duration of the event. We strongly recommend that you register early, as space is strictly limited.       Full details HERE        Downloable programme HERE    
Constructive Theology
A series of lectures around Australia by Joe Bessler, July 2018
The visit to Australia of Professor Joe Bessler* provides an opportunity for a wide range of people interested in  contemporary biblical scholarship and theological thought to benefit from an outstanding scholar. Joe is Professor of Theology, Phillips Theological Seminary, Tulsa Oklahama, and is presenting the following series of lectures in Australia:

July 7 Brisbane  "The Rise and Fall of the Christian Myth and A Change for the Better - Theology in the Modern and Contemporary Periods."   (Merthyr Rd Uniting Church, New Farm) 
July 10 Perth "The Rise and Fall of the Christian Myth...." (Floreat Uniting Church) -
July 11 Perth  " Speaking Christian in a Non-Christian World" (Floreat Uniting Church)
July 12 Perth  "How Theology can lead us into the Future. Details" (Wembley Downs Uniting Church).
July 20-21 Melbourne "Justice with or  without God: The priorities of progressive theology"  (Ewing Memorial Centre, Cnr Burke Rd & Coppin St. East Malvern)
July 25 Newcastle "Theology in the Age of Trump", Adamstown Uniting Church, 7:30pm
July 27-28 Sydney "Theology in the Age of Trump"  (Pitt St. Uniting Church)

The Melbourne Lecture series comprises the following components:
- The Many Ways This World Matters: Constructing Progressive Theologies
- What if God is not the Primary Topic of Theology
- From Parables to Power: Imagining Our Theological Proposals
- Like Scales Falling From My Eyes: Learning to See Differently

Flyer and registration form for the Melbourne lecture series HERE
Flyer and registration form for the Sydney lecture series HERE
* Professor Joseph A. Bessler is the Robert Travis Peake Professor of Theology at Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Bessler specializes in the discipline of Constructive Theology. Co-Author of Law and Theology: Cases and Readings (Carolina Academic Press, 2005) and author of A Scandalous Jesus: How Three Historic Quests Changed Theology for the Better (Polebridge Press, 2013), he enjoys cross-disciplinary conversations that open up theological questions in new ways. In a new book project, Moving Words: How Theology Proposes to Lead Beyond God (Polebridge/Wipf and Stock), Bessler looks at the overlapping, rhetorical character of political and theological discourse, arguing that theology’s proposal structure enables the discipline to expand and grow in new and unexpected directions. He has worked closely with the Westar Institute, both in the latter years of the Jesus Seminar and in the beginnings of the God Seminar.
Download Fatima Measham Flyer HERE
Download Flyer HERE  for this 16 May address by Fr Frank Brennan
Events 2017
Download Flyer HERE
Download Flyer HERE
Download Flyer HERE
MELBOURNE, 7 September
Bookings essential. Melbourne $25 p.p.    Limited Numbers
Bookings at:    Melbourne FLYER
SYDNEY, 9 September
$15 per head. Tickets available through

TryBooking     Sydney FLYER

Today the Church is challenged by a series of scandals: the sexual abuse of children by clergy and religious, the cover-up of this abuse, the indifference to the victims, and more recent  attacks on Pope Francis from within the Church. These scandals have impacted severely on the People of God. What then keeps the remaining faithful, just 10% of all Catholics, engaged and constant in the practice of their faith?
Richard’s presentation will reflect on the background to these  scandals  and  address  the  question  of  continued belonging  and  the  possibility  of  renewal,  noting  the commitment  of  the  Australian  bishops  to  convene  a national plenary council in 2020.

Dr. Richard R. Gaillardetz is the Joseph Professor of Catholic Systematic Theology at Boston College and is currently the chair of the theology department.
He received his Ph.D. in systematic theology from the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Gaillardetz has published numerous articles and has authored or edited 13 books. Some of his more recent books include: Go into the Streets! The Welcoming Church of Pope Francis
(Paulist Press, 2016) and An Unfinished Council:  Vatican II, Pope Francis, and the Renewal of Catholicism
(Liturgical Press, 2015).
Jesuit College of Spirituality
We are extremely excited to announce that Rev Dr Ai Pham SJ (Dean of Studies at Jesuit Theological College) will be sharing his knowledge over three seminars commencing 27th July.  These are open to the general public.  Further details can be found in this flyer.

Flyers are also available for our upcoming units for Semester 2.  If you are interested in enrolling in any of the units please do not hesitate to contact me.

  • DS9109J    Key Meditations and Rules in the Spiritual Exercises – Monday 17th to Friday 21st July (Guest International Lecturer – Rev Dr Pavulraj Michael SJ)
  • DS9132J/DS9139J   Organisational Transformation and Ignatian Spirituality – Weekly throughout Semester 2 commencing 1st August (Available as an online unit also) – Lecturer – Sr Therese Carroll.
  • DS9116J    Peer and Group Supervision – Monday 11th to Friday 15th September (Dr Carlos Raimundo)

Katica Buccheri, Registrar – Executive Assistant to CEO, Jesuit College of Spirituality, 175 Royal Parade Parkville  VIC  3052. Direct:  +61-3-9448-8272, Main:  +61-3-9448-8276
Cardijn Community Australia.

Some upcoming events in Melbourne that might be of interest.

Symposium 29th July 2017: ‘Promoting Lay Formation, Cardijn and the YCW in Australia’
It is a thought-provoking program of short presentations on a range of themes, including lay and clerical YCW chaplains and leaders, and methods of YCW formation, that should be of interest to a contemporary church in need of grass-roots lay leadership. There are also some interesting presentations on new applications of Jocism in church and community today.  FLYER

Bishop Robert McElroy
San Diego’s Bishop McElroy, who earlier this year delivered a powerful speech on the need to 'disrupt and rebuild' economies using 'See Judge Act' and Catholic Social Teaching, is visiting Melbourne.  He will speak twice at the Newman College Pope
Francis Fellow 2017 Program:

Friday 23rd June, 5 pm: 'Listening to Pope Francis: Challenging Nationalism, Market Rule & Overconfidence in Technology’.  FLYER  

Saturday 24th June 10 am: ‘Pope Francis and the Common Good: Where is Our Society Going?"  FLYER
Spirituality in the Pub

8pm Wednesday 7 June 2017


The Pumphouse Hotel, 128 Nicholson Street Fitzroy (opp. Carlton Gardens) Street parking available

If “the truth shall set you free”, what effect does the opposite in communication and behaviour from public leadership have on fostering trust, respect, justice and compassion in the community, let alone confidence in our institutions?

Dr Peter Frost is exceptionally well qualified to lead on this topic. Until recently Victoria’s Deputy Auditor-General, he has been Deputy Vice-Chancellor at RMIT University, Special Advisor for Public Sector Reform in London at the Commonwealth Secretariat , with experience in thirty-three countries, and Program Director for the Asian Development Bank, among other posts. His Ph.D is in Public Policy and Education from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

The PUMPHOUSE HOTEL provides a spacious and comfortable atmosphere. Meals available from 6.00pm –7.30pm. Remember: Support the Pub that supports SIP – Dine at the Pumphouse!        Flyer HERE

Helder Camara Public Lecture

The Opal & the Pearl:  Two kinds of perfection

Exploring a Christian spirituality for our times

Thursday 18 May, 5pm - 6.30pm Newman College, Melbourne University

Mark Patrick Hederman OSB has been a monk of Glenstal Abbey  in Limerick for over 40 years. Formerly headmaster of the school,  he has just completed eight years as Abbot. He has a doctorate in the philosophy of education. He studied in Paris under Emmanual Levinas and has lectured in philosophy and literature in America and Nigeria as well as Ireland, and was a founding editor of the cultural journal The Crane Bag.        Flyer HERE


Underground Cathedrals

A Spirituality for the 21st Century

Tuesday 30 May,  6-7pm

Christ Theatre, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne

Other times, dates and Locations for  Brisbane, Sydney, Warragul, Adelaide & Perth in the flyer HERE

Pope Francis Fellow 2017 program
Newman College Presents

Pope Francis & Caring For The Soul

A seminar for priests, chaplains and all those interested in accompanying others on the spiritual journey.

Friday 19 May, 10am - 3 pm Newman College, Melbourne University

Guest speaker Mark Patrick Hederman OSB has been a monk of Glenstal Abbey in Limerick for over 40 years. Formerly headmaster of the school, he has just completed eight years as Abbot. He has a doctorate in the philosophy of education. He studied in Paris under Emmanual Levinas and has lectured in philosophy and literature in America and Nigeria as well as Ireland, and was a founding editor of the cultural journal The Crane Bag    Flyer HERE

This is a free event. RSVP requested for catering purposes. Contact Br Mark O’Connor FMS (Pope Francis Fellow) 
on 0429 694 707 or
Concerned Catholics ask Where to from here?
Extract from Statement by Concerned Catholics - of the Canberra-Goulburn Archdiocese, 13 April 2017
A group of concerned Catholics are holding a public meeting in Canberra on Thursday 27 April to explore how the Catholic laity in the Canberra Goulburn Archdiocese can have an effective role and voice in the administration and direction of their Church. They invite Catholics to join them in discussion.      Chair: Prof John Warhurst AO, Emeritus Professor Political Science ANU.    Panel: Hon Kristina Keneally, former Premier NSW, TV host Sky News, Director Gender Inclusion Macquarie Graduate School of Management, Marilyn Hatton, Convener Australian Catholic Coalition for Church Renewal, Francis Sullivan, CEO Truth Justice and Healing Council. It's at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture (ACCC), 15 Blackall St, Cnr Kings Av Barton. 7.00pm, for 7:30pm - 9.30pm.   Further details in Flyer HERE
Spirituality in the Pub

8pm Wednesday 3 May 2017

The Pumphouse Hotel, 128 Nicholson Street fitzroy (opp. Carlton Gardens) Street parking available

The Catholic Identity Project - What can it offer the Church in these troubled times?

The Catholic Identity Project -What can it offer the Church in these troubled times? We aim to practise respect for those of other faiths, and of no faith. But in a pluralist and increasingly secularized society, what is truly distinctive about our Catholic faith?

How can we present Catholic identity in a way that enables a free embrace (or rejection) of participation in the Church today, without descending into mere relativism? The Catholic Identity Project has been developed over recent years as a thoroughly researched means of addressing these questions.
Rev. Dr. Brendan Reed is a Melbourne parish priest. He is also a lecturer in Theology and Revelation, holding a licentiate from Rome’s Gregorian University. His Doctorate was on application of the Project to Catholic parishes. He will share his findings with us.

The PUMPHOUSE HOTEL provides a spacious and comfortable atmosphere. Meals available from 6.00pm –7.30pm. Remember: Support the Pub that supports SIP – Dine at the Pumphouse!

Flyer HERE
Book Launch
John N Collins, Gateway to Renewal
Reclaiming ministries for women and men

Thursday 4 May, 2017 (5.30 – 7.00)
The Swedish Church
21 St Georges Rd, Toorak, Vic.

Morning Star Publishing
rsvp 30 April:                                                        Flyer HERE

PROCEEDINGS, 5.30 – 7.00 PM Welcome by Deacon Katarina Olofsgård
  • Meeting the publishers – Hugh McGinlay
  • First short reading from the book – Carolyn Collins
  • ‘The crisis in ministry’
  • The Launch by Dr Claire Renkin, Head of  the Department of Christian Thought and History, Yarra Theological Union, University of Divinity
  • Second short reading from the book – Catherine Ferla
  • ‘Like flies in the soup’
  • Why the author went to the trouble – John N Collins
  • concluding with…- Bookshop, coffee, wine…

For the curious: why the Swedish Church?
When you know it, why not?
The Swedish Church provides a charming environment.
The place has history: this was the home of Victoria’s first Governors.
Swedish pastors have provided pastoral care here for expatriates for over a century.
The current pastor is Vicar Gunnar Olofsgård, assisted by his wife, Deacon Katarina.
In the early ’90s Swedish theologians were the first to take the author seriously.
      Vicar Gunnar and Deacon Katarina know some of the Collins’ friends in Sweden.
This is a church within the Lutheran tradition, and has an ecumenical commitment.
We appreciate the opportunity to gather in this environment

Spirituality in the Pub

An initiative of Catalyst for Renewal


RoseMarie Prosser & David Timbs

Wednesday, 22 February, 2017 at 7.30pm

After a number of years in secondary schools and in the Catholic Education Office, Rose Marie has been lecturing in Practical Theology at YTU, a college of the University of Divinity, Melbourne.  She has a BTheol and an MTheol, and a PhD in chemistry. RoseMarie and her late husband Bob were Australian regional couple for Teams – a movement for married spirituality. She provides professional development for staff in Catholic schools and parishes. 

As a lecturer at Yarra Theological Union and Catholic Theological College, David lectured mainly in Pauline Correspondence, Exegetical methods and Biblical History. For fifteen years he taught Texts and traditions, Religion and Society, English and Australian History in Catholic Secondary Schools. Now retired, David has worked with Edmund Rice Refugee Service, teaching English language literacy whilst mentoring children in reading skills at a Catholic Primary School in Melbourne’s West. David also writes extensively in the areas of Church, Theology and Scripture and for the past seven years has been an active member of Melbourne -based Catholics for Renewal.
*The title of a recent book by lay theologian Massimo Faggioli

Separate adjacent room for SIP meeting

BOOKING FOR MEAL - PHONE HOTEL : 9598 7255 SPECIFY THAT BOOKING IS FOR SIP, SPIRITUALITY IN THE PUB GROUP Meals can be ordered individually from a large menu with a range of prices. All are welcome to gather for a meal from 6.00pm  OR join the group from 7.30 – 9.00pm for the presentation & conversation.
For further details contact VIN 9530 6004, FRANCES 9579 3920

Download Flyer Here

Spirituality in the Pub


Wed. 1st March 2017, 8pm
(opp. Carlton Gardens - Street parking available)
It seems to be becoming more common now to hear that we are in the midst of a “Gender Revolution”. What does this mean, and what are its implications for our experience and acceptance of the sexuality of others?    What is meant by gender dysphoria, how common is it, and what are the likely implications of it for a person’s mental health? Is it a recent phenomenon, or has it only recently been given attention? What are the ethical, psychological and medical Issues Involved in gender re-assignment?
Associate Professor Campbell Paul, our presenter, is a consultant infant and child psychiatrist at Melbourne Royal Children’s Hospital, and works with its gender service group.'

He appeared on the ABC’s Australian Story last year when the court gave permission to Georgie Stone to change her gender.

Flyer HERE
The Pumphpuse Hotel provides a spacious and comfortable atmosphere.
Meals available from 6.00pm - 7.30pm

Remember: Support the Pub that supports SIP – Dine at the Pumphouse!

Events 2016

Peter Wilkinson

Selecting Bishops – Is there a role for lay people?

Marian Centre,  Mother Of God  School, 66 Wilfred Rd, Ivanhoe East, commencing at 7.45pm sharp. 

Another Presentation by the Yarra Deanery (Neighbouring Parishes), Wednesday 5 October 2016


At this critical time for the Church in Australia a number of dioceses (6 as of 31 March 2016) are without bishops, and given Canon Law requirement that Bishops at the age of 75 submit their resignation to the pope for consideration, several Australian diocesan bishops are likely to be appointed in the not too distant future, including a new archbishop for Melbourne. What does this mean for us all?  

For the first centuries of our Church lay people and the general clergy were involved in the selection of bishops. Now, with the future of our church being seriously challenged, the question might be asked: is there some way that lay people today might add a their voice and discernment to the bishop selection process? Initiatives have started for the laity to play a part, but how likely is it that they will be welcomed and accepted? Why is wider participation in the selection process important? What are the possibilities and what are the facts? 

Presenter, Dr.Peter Wilkinson, is a former Columban missionary priest who ministered in Australia and South Korea. After relinquishing his clerical ministry in 1976, he has worked in Multicultural Affairs, and lectured in Missiology at Yarra Theological Union, among other areas, and has a strong voice in reform of the Church. He has also managed his own company, being awarded in 2002 the Centenary Medal for his advocacy for small business.

For this Yarra Deanery event Peter will speak at the MOG School Marian Centre, at 66 Wilfred Rd, Ivanhoe East, commencing at 7.45pm. There is street parking and a public car park on the LHS of the Centre. Download FLYER    

Spirituality in the Pub, Wednesday 5 October "How can the Scriptures be Believed"  David Tracey

Richard Dawkins and many fellow-travellers reject religion on the grounds that the existence of God is “not provable”, and the Scriptures because they contain too many stories that are “just not believable”. Scripture scholars have developed radical new insights over recent decades, but many Christians hold fast to a literal interpretation of scriptural narratives even when they are seen to be contrary to human experience – such as the parting of the Red Sea in the Old Testament and the Virgin Birth in the New.

Could it be that both the nay-sayers and the convinced traditionalists are both wrong? Could it even be that both are making the same error? If so, what are they both missing, and how can we legitimately retain the Scriptures as a foundation for belief?

David Tacey, Emeritus Professor at LaTrobe University, is a public intellectual working across the fields of spirituality, religion, psycho-analysis, literature and Australian culture. Some of his fourteen books have been translated into Chinese, Korean, Spanish and French. He will provide challenging insights regarding the above questions, by explaining the themes in his latest book, Beyond Literal Belief: Religion as Metaphor, published by John Garratt Publishing in 2015. Come along and provide him with challenging feedback!

The PUMPHOUSE HOTEL provides a spacious and comfortable atmosphere. Meals available from 6.00pm –7.30pm.

Flyer HERE

Events 2016

An Evening with Massimo Faggioli on
“The Catholic Church and Francis in the International Situation Today”

Where: St Carthage’s Church Parkville

Address: 123 Royal Parade,

Parkville, Vic 3052

When: Thursday 21st July 2016 at 7:30 pm

Admission: $20.00

A great topic. Massimo is being brought to Australia by the NCP for their conference next month and It's believed that this will be his only public appearance in Melbourne.  A crowd is anticipated. As the flyer claims, Professor Massimo Faggioli is now regarded as one of the most significant commentators on the Catholic Church in the Post Vatican II era.  (Flyer here)

2016 Knox Public Lecture Invitation


To honour the founder of CTC,
James Robert Cardinal Knox, fifth Archbishop of Melbourne

Monday 16 May, 7.30pm
Archbishop Mark Coleridge Archbishop of Brisbane
From Wandering to Journeying: Thoughts on a Synodal Church

Journey and pilgrimage are important themes in Scripture and throughout Christianity. They provide a background for considering Pope Francis’ election in 2013, his decision to convene two Synods in 2014 and 2015, his proclamation of the Year of Mercy in 2016 and his recent publication of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia – seeing all these as part of a process which is far from over.
This gives a context for the recent proposal of the Australian Bishops to move towards a Plenary Council for Australia in 2020, seeing the preparation for the Council, its celebration and implementation as part of the same process, which seeks to make the Church more genuinely synodal in the way foreseen by Vatican II and treated more explicitly by Pope Francis.

VENUE: Catholic Leadership Centre
Corner Victoria Pde & Hoddle St, East Melbourne
RSVP: Wednesday 11 May 2016
E: or  9412 3304

Light Refreshments provided afterwards
Street parking available on Victoria Parade
Enter Centre via Victoria Parade

Events 2016

For background on the following event read an earlier report

Reform Groups meet in Limerick, April 13-16, 2015

by David Timbs, 12 May 2015