The Xavier Centre offers theological formation opportunities for lay persons, religious and clergy across Australia.

Ranging from short courses, certificate and bachelor opportunities, (awards) postgraduate coursework programs, professional doctorates and research degrees, international study tours, and a wide range of tailored professional learning and in-service opportunities.

Providing for multiple points of engagement, and across any variety of delivery modes, these opportunities directly support pastoral leaders, associates and planners, healthcare, educational and welfare professionals, leaders of Diocesan agencies and all who contribute to religious and parish life.

Framed by an engagement with scripture, theology, spirituality, supervision and leadership, the Xavier Centre provides a context for individuals and communities to reflect on faith and service.

Past event: Reflections on power and authority in today’s Church

Professor Richard Gaillardetz, Joseph Professor of Catholic Systematic Theology, Boston College

Download the flyer

As the Church in Australia moves towards the 2020 Plenary Council, this day-long intensive offers a space to explore the nature of power and authority in the Catholic Church as envisioned by the Second Vatican Council with theologian and ecclesiologist, Professor Richard Gaillardetz.

Open to parishioners, minsters, religious and theology students, we will explore the notions of synodality, magisterium, sensus fidelium, dogma, doctrine and theology to seek an informed understanding of Church belonging and leadership.

The day will have sessions of teaching, small group sessions and plenaries, to allow the questions and implications of the presentations surface, and to create a space for dialogue and growth in understanding on these essential themes for the present and future of our Church.

About Professor Richard Gaillardetz

Richard R Gaillardetz is the Joseph Professor of Catholic Systematic Theology at Boston College and is currently the chair of the theology department. He previously held the Murray/Bacik Chair in Catholic Studies (2001-11) at the University of Toledo and prior to that he taught for ten years at the University of St Thomas Graduate School of Theology at St Mary’s Seminary in Houston, Texas. Professor Gaillardetz received his MA and PhD in systematic theology from the University of Notre Dame. He has published numerous articles and authored or edited 14 books. Most recently he published a newly revised and expanded edition of his popular book, By What Authority? Foundations for Understanding Authority in the Church (Liturgical Press, 2018). He has also published, An Unfinished Council:  Vatican II, Pope Francis, and the Renewal of Catholicism (Liturgical Press, 2015). He has received the Sophia Award from the Washington Theological Union for theological excellence in service of ministry and in 2018 he received the Yves Congar Award for theological excellence from Barry University.  

Professor Gaillardetz was a delegate on the US Catholic—Methodist Ecumenical Dialogue from 2001 to 2005 and served as president of  the Catholic Theological Society of America in 2013-14. He is a much sought after national and international lecturer. He and his wife Diana are the parents of four adult sons.

Contact the Xavier Centre

For further information about the Xavier Centre, and any of our upcoming events and initiatives, please contact Dr Maeve Heaney, Director, Xavier Centre for Theological Formation.

View Dr Maeve Heaney's contact information


Have a question?


We're available 9am–5pm AEDT,
Monday to Friday

If you’ve got a question, our AskACU team has you covered. You can search FAQs, text us, email, live chat, call – whatever works for you.

Live chat with us now

Chat to our team for real-time
answers to your questions.

Launch live chat
Visit our FAQs page

Find answers to some commonly
asked questions.

See our FAQs