"we need no wings to go in search of God but have only to find a place where we can be alone and look upon God present within us."

Teresa of Avila

STILLNESS & SILENCE

The Carmelite Centre Melbourne seeks to provide a contemplative space to facilitate spiritual journeys and personal growth with many different programs and services. One of the distinctive attributes of The Carmelite Way is Stillness & Silence. Three weekly events offer an opportunity for Stillness & Silence.

 

Tuesday afternoon Meditation
Thursday evening Meditation
Friday morning Lectio Divina.
 

Tuesday Afternoon Meditation

2020 Reflection Morning: Introduction to Meditation.

This reflection morning will introduce a way of Christian contemplative meditation using Centering Prayer. Centering Prayer works with the heart. It’s a surrender method, a practice based on letting go of thoughts as they arise, deepening a relationship with God. There will be time to practice this method, have discussion on the experience, and time set aside for personal reflection.

Please book via the website site. Cost: $20 (Go to the Events tab and scroll to find the event.)

2020 Weekly Tuesday Afternoon Meditation (except in school holidays, month of September, and Cup Day on 3rd November)

This program draws on the Christian tradition of meditation from the heart centre, using themes from spiritual writing and scripture, to help us experience beyond limited intellect, the total mind we call Heart, deepen a way of being in God’s Presence.
It is an invitation for all with an open heart who are seeking to bring unity and wholeness into their daily life, whether or not
from a Christian background.

The one hour sessions offer an opportunity to experience:
– how meditation practice can enable us to bring contemplation into every aspect of our lives
– how to be still and become calm to give us a reflective space from which to act
– how to harness our breath, center our thoughts, and bring peace and well being to our lives
– a place where we can share with others the deepening relationship, which comes through meditation, with that central part of our lives.

Please book via the website site. Cost: $5 per session (Go to the Events tab and scroll down to the date you want to book.) In the Malone Room, 214 Richardson Street, Middle Park. (First door on the left when you enter from Richardson Street.)

Listen to Peter Thomas’ podcasts Introduction to Meditation (click on podcast below to listen to each episode). If you benefit from the podcasts and would like to contribute to future podcasts, please donate here.

 

Thursday Evening Meditation

Experience the benefit of meditation as a way of bringing peace, harmony and joy to your life.

Meditation is a way to assist us to live a ‘mindful’ life to enhance our day-to-day awareness by living in the present moment.

A community of very ordinary people meets in the Malone Room (first door on the left hand side, inside Carmelite Hall entrance) on Thursdays at 7.00pm. Cost: $5.00 [214 Richardson Street, Middle Park]

Friday Morning Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina, a Latin term, means “divine reading” and describes a way of reading the Scriptures whereby we gradually let go of our own agenda and open ourselves to what God wants to say to us. In the 12th century, a Carthusian monk called Guigo, described the stages which he saw as essential to the practice of Lectio Divina. Whether individually or in groups, Guigo’s description remains fundamental.

Lectio Divina is an authentic source of Christian spirituality recommended by the Carmelite Rule. Carmelites practise it every day, to grow in the surpassing knowledge of Christ. In this way to put into practice the Apostle Paul’s commandment: “Let the sword of the spirit, the Word of God, live abundantly in your mouth and in your hearts; and whatever you must do, do it in the name of the Lord.”

A group meets each Friday morning for Lectio Divina in the Lady Chapel at Our Lady of Mt Carmel Church in Middle Park at 9.30am (after 9:00 Mass.) If you are interested and have any questions please call the Carmelite Centre on 03 9690 5430 or contact us online.

Download Lectio Divina for each day of this month here.

 

LIFE CONVERSATIONS: SPIRITUAL DIRECTION

The Carmelite Centre Melbourne seeks to provide a contemplative space to facilitate spiritual journeys and personal growth.

Spiritual Direction is a series of conversations about your life in the light of your faith or values. The focus is on your spiritual journey through the day to day experiences of your life. These conversations assist discernment of what is life-giving for you, and what is binding you or holding you back from becoming all you have the potential to be. With greater clarity and self-knowledge you can then choose the way forward on the spiritual journey with greater freedom.

The conversation may begin with an overview of what’s going on in your life – the joys and sorrows and challenges. Through talking and listening together the broad sweep may begin to focus on a deeper level. The content of this focus may be a surprising and helpful revelation. Or the session may begin with a particular aspect of your life that you want to talk about.  It’s your time so it’s up to you.

If you are interested in finding out more about Spiritual Direction or making an appointment, please contact the Carmelite Centre by calling 03 9690 5430 or email us. You will be put in touch with a Spiritual Director to arrange a suitable time to meet.

When can Spiritual Direction be helpful?
Spiritual Direction can be particularly helpful if you feel a need for change in your life in response to a calling to a deeper spiritual life; or feel stuck and dissatisfied in your spiritual journey; or when you are dealing with difficult circumstances; or when you feel a desire to talk at a deeper level than day-to-day conversations allow; or have a persistent yearning for a more intimate relationship with God. Speaking about what’s happening, receiving the undivided attention of another, focused on what matters to you, can in itself be most helpful, supportive and encouraging on your spiritual journey.

Is Spiritual Direction different from counselling?
The main focus in Spiritual Direction is your spiritual journey. The main focus of counselling is problem solving. Both deal with the concrete reality of your experience of life and both encourage deepening self-knowledge. In counselling such self-knowledge serves the purpose of dealing with the problem or on-going difficult life situation. In Spiritual Direction such self-knowledge enables greater freedom to respond to the fullness of life to which God is calling you, that is, to more fully become the unique person you are created to be. With an appropriate counsellor, counselling can certainly facilitate this journey too without being the primary focus.

How are Spiritual Directors trained?
The qualification of ‘Spiritual Director’ is through a Graduate Diploma which involves both theory and practice. Spiritual Directors themselves receive regular Spiritual Direction and also Professional Supervision.

Who are the Spiritual Directors?
Bernadette Micallef has been working as a Spiritual Director at The Carmelite Centre since 2012. She has a Bachelor of Theology and a Graduate Diploma in Spirituality (Spiritual Direction) and equivalent to a Graduate Diploma in Spirituality (Carmelite Studies).  She is married with three sons (and a daughter-in-law and two grandchildren!) and has been a member of the Carmelite Order since 1991.
Damien Peile is The Carmelite Centre Pastoral Adviser. Damien is available as a Spiritual Companion and draws on his professional qualifications in counselling and theology as well as his many years experience and commitment to supporting others on the spiritual journey.

Can I get to Middle Park by public transport?
No. 12 Tram from Collins St to stop 135 (on Mills Street) then 220 m walk down Richardson Street.
No. 96 Tram from Bourke St to stop 129 (on Canterbury Rd) then 450 m walk down Wright Street.

PASTORAL SUPERVISION

Pastoral Supervision with Damien Peile

Pastoral Supervision provides professional and personal support to people working in Church ministry. Offered in a trusting and confidential setting, the benefits can include improved workplace relationships, renewed sense of vocation, clarity of roles, support and managing stress.

For many years I have worked as a spiritual mentor, counsellor and social worker. During this time, I have met with many people working in Church communities including ministers, pastoral workers, students of theology and volunteers.  Among the many issues arising in our conversations are:

  • The need to gain greater balance between the demands of ministry and home life.
  • A lack of professional development in ministry – I sometimes feel unskilled in my ministry with some current clients
  • A feeling of isolation in ministry and a lack of teamwork with the result resulting in feelings of burnout

In a culture of ‘quick fixes’ with pressure to succeed in the work place, little time is left to step back, and reflect and ponder on what is being done or why it is being done. My approach to supervision includes contemplative practices such as stillness and silence, prayer and meditation.  I have found that these practices add a rich source of inquiry to the thinking mind in dealing with problems in ministry, by creating a space to take time out to reflect and ponder on what needs attention.

Pastoral supervision is for

  • Clergy and ministers
  • Chaplains in hospitals, schools, universities, prisons, aged care or other
  • Employees of church organisations
  • Teachers in church managed schools
  • Carers and volunteers working in Church based organisations
  • Students of theology

What happens in the pastoral supervision process?

At early meetings the following is covered:

  • Brief introduction about the nature of pastoral supervision
  • A definition of pastoral supervision
  • Understanding & Preparing for supervision
  • Confidentiality & Disclosure information
  • A Supervision Agreement is developed covering short and long term goals
  • Agreement on ongoing sessions

Benefits of Pastoral Supervision – what others say

 It was a joy to be listened to with deep respect and regard, no matter how trivial or serious.  There were many mountain top and valley experiences. Thank you Damien for guiding me to develop a deeper more authentic relationship with our God. It’s a gift in this busy complex and beautiful world. Susan

I had conversations with Damien regarding discernment and vocation and found the experience extremely helpful. Damien helped me find clarity and confidence going forward. Wendy

 A quiet space to contemplate and reflect on work and life’s challenges.  Michele

 I have been seeing Damien for some time and I have appreciated every meeting.  His deep listening, his wise responses and his understanding of the challenges and graces of human life all combine to be such a gift to me.  I value the sacred space he provides where I can share what is on my heart and continue to grow as a loved child of GodJohn

Damien is warm and welcoming. He is a ‘companion on the journey’ providing a safe place to talk through the highs and lows of my spiritual quest in work and life. He encourages open, frank and non-judgemental dialogue.  Suzanne

My meetings with Damien are a spiritual blessing as I ponder how God had been at work in me.  Sometimes the preparation for our meetings illuminated God’s activity in me and then there would be the questions Damien would ask that required deeper thinking to appreciate God’s work with me and the challenge to move on in the Spirit.  Damien helped me to clarify and validate my walk with Jesus. Philip

FAQ’S

What issues or concerns do people bring to pastoral supervision?

Anything is appropriate that arises from the actual experience in ministry including vocational questions, time management, establishing boundaries and communication skills. It is helpful for the supervisee to bring along a goal or statement such as:

  • In my ministry at the moment, I feel…
  • This specific pastoral incident has occurred and I need to discuss it…
  • I want an outcome regarding …

How is pastoral supervision different from spiritual direction or counselling?

The goal of pastoral supervision is reflection on one’s work-practice. It is a forum to reflect and review workplace ministry practice in order to find new learnings and insights. This process helps build an accountable and professional ministry as well as a more satisfying one. Counselling addresses the mental and emotional well-being of people and spiritual direction focuses more on one’s relationship with God. There are overlapping processes in Spiritual Direction, Counselling and Pastoral Supervision but that doesn’t take away from the distinction between them.

Supervision and confidentiality

In most instances, pastoral supervision is completely confidential. In situations where the supervisor identifies potential abuse or other actions requiring further exploration, a discussion with the supervisee takes place with a view to information being shared with the employer organisation. The supervisor is guided by the legal and ethical standards of the profession.

Contact

Contact Damien for further information on 041950341 or [email protected]
Damien is also available for skype meetings.

Listen to Damien’s podcast on pastoral supervision

THE CARMELITE LIBRARY OF SPIRITUALITY & MYSTICISM

Located within the Carmelite Centre precinct the Carmelite Library of Spirituality and Mysticism provides a unique resource for students of religion, theology and spirituality throughout Australia. With its wide membership which includes graduate and post-graduate students and researchers, clergy and lay people, the library is a popular resource centre for all things spiritual.

Philip Harvey (Librarian) and assistants Susan Southall and Tim Hennessy provide care and support in the Carmelite Library, home to many hundreds of books, arguably one of the largest collections of theological and spiritual books in the nation. You are most welcome to visit the Library to browse. You can also become a Library member and borrow from our extensive collection.

Check out the library website.          There's also a library blog.

The Carmelite Library is a member of the Australian and New Zealand Theological Library Association Ltd. This Association seeks to foster the study of theology and religion by enhancing the development of theological and religious libraries and librarianship.

 

The Carmelite Library of Spirituality & Mysticism

Library Opening Times

Tuesday: 12 midday – 8.00pm
Wednesday: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Thursday: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Friday: 9.00am – 5.00pm

Library Contact Details

Phone: +61 (03) 9682 8553
Fax: +61 (03) 9699 1944
[email protected]

 

 

The Carmelite Institute of Britain and Ireland (CIBI) Program

CIBI is a collaborative initiative of the British and Irish Provinces of Carmelites and the Angelo-Irish Province of Discalced Carmelites. CIBI is currently offering students a postgraduate programme - Master's of Theology (Carmelite Studies) accredited by St. Patrick's College, Maynooth. At under-graduate level there are three programmes available :

  • Certificate in Spirituality (Carmelite Studies)
  • Diploma in Spirituality (Carmelite Studies)
  • Baccalaureate in Theology (Carmelite Studies)

The Discovering Carmelite Certificate Programme is an initial level programme offering a foundation in various aspects of Carmelite studies. For more information, please visit the CIBI website.