The Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea, in collaboration with the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy, are delighted to announce details of a special program focused upon Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si and the 8th Work of Mercy, Care for our Common Home.
Set in the evocative grounds of Rahamim Ecology Centre in Bathurst NSW, in the company of some of Australia’s most prominent theologians, educators and practitioners, this five-day residential experience offers you a unique opportunity to encounter, reflect on, and be moved to action by the Gospel of Creation announced by Pope Francis.
Animated by a praxis model of theological reflection and experiences of ecological spirituality, you are invited to:
bring new questions to biblical and theological understandings of creation
engage with and develop projects and practices that are aligned with contextual need
be nurtured by the simple beauty and deep joy of being “in place” in Bathurst
allow the natural world to foster experiences of communion and community through ritual, prayer, creative expression and imaginative action.
At the Rahamim Ecology Centre, you can appreciate a voluntary simplicity that finds its expression in basic but comfortable rooms. Inspired meals are prepared from fresh, seasonal, site-grown produce, or produce sourced from local, organic and ethical producers. You can relish the quiet of the countryside and views of the world-famous Blue Mountains, as well as take excursions to regional sites of beauty. Learn more about the Rahamim Ecology Centre using the following links:
Students in other ACU programs should consult their course rules and/or course coordinator for information regarding eligibility and credit points.
Other students enrolled at different institutions are also eligible to apply for credit towards their study.
If you are not currently enrolled in an award program, you may still undertake this program for academic credit, which may be applied to a relevant course in the next few years.
*Admission requirements and conditions will apply. If you elect to participate in this program for academic credit, you will required to complete the relevant assessment tasks.
Participation only: $2,140 (incl. GST)
Participation with academic credit: $2,330* (incl. GST)
Costs are inclusive of daily vegetarian meals (excluding breakfast).
*This cost is inclusive of the normal 2018 unit fee.
You can fully immerse yourself in this experience by choosing to live-in, which includes accommodation and breakfast at the Rahamim Ecology Centre.
You will need to contact the centre directly to make your own accommodation arrangements. More details will be provided during the register your interest process. Please note, accommodation is limited, so you are encouraged to contact the centre as early as possible.
All interested participants are invited to complete an expression of interest. You will be asked whether you intend to apply for university credit, and also asked to pay a deposit of $340.
Once your expression of interest (including your deposit) has been received, we will contact you directly to confirm and finalise your place in the program, including processing any formal enrolment for academic credit. We will also provide you with accommodation details to begin the process of securing accommodation, should you wish to choose the live-in option.
Reverend Denis Edwards is a Professorial Fellow in Theology at ACU and a priest of the Archdiocese of Adelaide. His teaching is primarily in the areas of God and Trinity, Christology, Ecclesiology and the Theology of Faith and Revelation. He has been engaged in the dialogue between science and religion and is a contributor to the developing field of ecological theology. His most recent book is Christian Understandings of Creation: The Historical Trajectory (Fortress Press, 2017).
Professor Elaine Wainwright rsm
Elaine Wainwright is Professor Emerita of the University of Auckland where she established and was Head of the School of Theology/Department of Theology from 2003-2014. She is a New Testament scholar of international renown, and has recently published Habitat, Human and Holy: An Eco-Rhetorical Reading of the Gospel of Matthew in the Earth Bible Series. Elaine is a Sister of Mercy of the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea.
Academic Coordinator: Sr Ann-Maree O’Beirne rsm
Ann-Maree O’Beirne is a Sister of Mercy of the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea. She lives in Bathurst and is currently enrolled in the PhD program at ACU through the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy. Her thesis topic is Graced Encounters of an Ecological Kind: Exploring an Ignatian Motif, and she is being supervised by Professor Denis Edwards and Professor Dermot Nestor. Ann-Maree has a long association with the Rahamim Ecology Centre, with the community of Bathurst and with ACU.
Practitioner: Ms Sally Neaves
Sally is the Eco-Education Coordinator at Rahamim Ecology Centre, where she integrates environmental education, spirituality and advocacy. Her ministry involves designing earth literacy programs and contemplative place-based practices for reconnection and imaginative action for our times. Her background includes studies in ecological theology, philosophy and spirituality.