A first retreat

Regular readers of mine will know that I’ve helped to run a retreat for mothers at a Catholic retreat centre. For some of the women it was the first spiritual retreat they’ve gone to since their school retreat that was part of the religious education program at Catholic high schools. These are great but are not…

Need to rest?

Simcha Fisher writes in The Catholic Weekly this week, about the need to take breaks to stay in a good emotional and mental place. Resting, she says is, “completely necessary to our well-being, and to our ability to keep on working. Observing the Sabbath is actually one of the commandments – one that busy, modern people of…

Doubts and growth in prayer and life

A few months ago, speaking with a friend, I tried to explain my sense of loss of intellectual conviction about the most important beliefs that have so far underpinned my life and identity. At a deep level I seemed to be truly fed by the rituals of Catholic faith, it’s tradition, its people and the…

Carmelite spirituality for mothers, a retreat

I had this idea about three years ago that it would be wonderful to take a group of women out with me for a weekend at what I affectionately know of as ‘Carmel’ – especially those mums with young children and babies who really need a break from their homes and families in order to…

The once-a-year habit that keeps me sane

My happy place has undulating hectares of tall, golden grass marked by wire fences and wide, welcoming gates, generously dotted with cow-pats and little shrubs, clusters of tall eucalypts, and a tranquil dam that shelters a family of black swans and other birds, frogs and crickets.

I’m doing a humility experiment this October – want to join me?

I know we’re not there yet, but let me sing October’s praises for a sec. It is just the BEST, firstly because it’s mid-spring in Sydney, which is always glorious and a little taster of heaven. I also have a significant birthday this October (yes, that’s code for ‘I’m turning 40’), my husband and I…

Why I Won’t Tell My Kids They Can be Whatever They Want

Image by Bruno Cordioli/Flickr* “What would you like to do when you grow up, kids?” I asked our children the other day. Work as a basketball player, a vet, a detective, a teacher, and a lolly shop owner were answers I got back from the older three. “I want to be an adult when I…

Peace, judgement, culture of life

My column published recently in The Catholic Weekly   I’ve been following lately an excellent book study on the Interior Castle by St Teresa of Avila run by author Connie Rossini on her blog Contemplative Homeschool. I highly recommend this Doctor of the Church’s teachings on prayer and the nature of spiritual growth. Like with…

Three points to ponder from a retreat with Fr Jacques Philippe

Popular Catholic author and retreat director Fr Jacques Philippe has just completed a round of speaking engagements in Sydney giving retreats and talks at a variety of events held over ten days. I attended his retreat day for women held at Notre Dame University, along with around 300 others from all over the city and elsewhere who had heard about…

What to do when envy strikes

Popular international speaker Leah Darrow is visiting a gathering of women in a house in Arcadia in outer Sydney’s north west. I’ve been invited by a friend but I’ve also been commissioned to write an article on Leah. The former New York model chats over lunch while her husband Rick watches their first child, one-year-old Agnes, play with my younger children…

Parents the first educators when it comes to faith

From The Catholic Weekly column: Joachim was finishing up his breakfast the other day when he suddenly looked up as if all inspired and said in a rush, “You know Mum, I used to think Jesus was just a statue in the church, just a dead statue, but then I went to Kindergarten and learned all…