WelCom News
A newspaper for the Wellington and Palmerston North Catholic Dioceses

A spirituality of ecology

Jim Dooley sm

An ecological spirituality of relationships will be the topic of two workshops visiting US lecturer Sister Patricia Irr osf will present in Wellington and Christchurch.

Sister Patricia is a member of the Franciscan Sisters of the Province of Wheaton, Illinois. She is an experienced spiritual director and lecturer at the Institute for Spiritual Leadership, Chicago, which conducts a training programme for spiritual directors from around the world, including many from New Zealand.

Spirituality is essentially relational. Sister Patricia says that an ecological spirituality calls us to a radical relationship with God within our own selves, to relationship with one another, and to a relationship with the world that mirrors God’s presence to us at all levels of life.

‘It calls us to see the interior of each person filled with a fecundity of grace that is waiting to be imagined into life,’ she says.

Sister Patricia will present a one-day workshop entitled ‘The Beginning of the Good News: A Spirituality for Today’. The Good News begins with the story of Jesus, but there is no tidy ending.

In today’s world, with its concerns about environmental issues and protection of the ecology, with the escalation of international crises and institutional and personal impasse, people need an inner compass of relationship, to the core of their being, to find greater authenticity in their lives. This workshop will be held at Connolly Hall, Hill St on Sunday 10 September.

The second workshop is a two-day workshop for those who offer forms of accompaniment as spiritual directors, supervisors and counsellors.

In this workshop. Sister Patricia will reflect on the words of John’s gospel, ‘I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly’.

When the spiritual director or counsellor comes together with a client in conversation, there is a field of energy which surrounds each individual and which intersects as a matrix of connection.

It is in this energy that the Spirit of God works to free each individual, surprise them and call them to the fullness of life. The relationship is sacramental. The spiritual directors’ workshop will be held at Emmaus Retreat Centre, Thorndon, Mon – Tues 11-12 September.

Sister Patricia visited New Zealand in 1996 and offered training workshops for spiritual directors. Registration for both Wellington workshops can be made with Emmaus Retreat Centre, which will host them, phone 472 2734.

In Christchurch, they will be held on 15-16 and 17 September, hosted by Rosary House Spiritual Life Centre, phone 03- 3791298.