Spiritual Care Australia Conference: June 2024

Spiritual Care Australia Conference: June 2024

Our Patterns of Creative Spiritual Care conference is the premiere event highlighting and supporting the work of pastoral care, spiritual care and chaplaincy in Australia.

Spiritual care highly values the importance of person-centered care. Our 2024 Conference theme: “Patterns of Creative Spiritual Care – Enriching the Journey to Hope” recognises the richness of creativity when attending to the person at the heart of our care. The use of sound and music, aromas, art and imagery, drama and role, embodiment and movement, language and story are all mediums through which we seek to engage with the other.

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Festival of Vaisakhi

Festival of Vaisakhi


Vaisakhi (also spelled Baisakhi) is a national festival and will be celebrated on April 14, 2023. Vaisakhi marks the solar new year according to the Hindu Vikram Samvat calendar. In India, this translates to evening, April 13. It is a harvest festival when all give thanks for the new crop and pray for prosperity in the coming year.

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Awe and dread: How religions have responded to total solar eclipses over the centuries

Eclipse as seen from a church roof

Throughout history, solar eclipses have had profound impact on adherents of various religions around the world. They were viewed as messages from God or spiritual forces, inducing emotions ranging from dread to wonder.

Ahead of the total solar eclipse that will follow a long path over North America on Monday, here’s a look at how several of the world’s major religions have responded to such eclipses over the centuries and in modern times.

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Pope Francis calls for Gaza ceasefire, release of all Israeli hostages in address on Easter Sunday

Pope Francis calls for Gaza ceasefire, release of all Israeli hostages in address on Easter Sunday

Pope Francis renewed his calls for the release of all Israeli hostages and a ceasefire in Gaza on Easter Sunday.

Pope Francis also called for “a general exchange of all prisoners between Russia and Ukraine” during his “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) address.

After Sunday’s Easter service he took to his open-topped popemobile to tour St. Peter’s Square.

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‘What would the Bible say’ about religious family violence, victims wonder

Emma ColindresThe author of a new paper by the Australian Institute of Family Studies says religious or spiritual abuse is more common than most people realise, is under-researched and often involves religious teachings being used to justify control, manipulation, coercion or other intimate partner violence, or to ridicule victims to destroy their confidence.
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Everything that matters: Marilynne Robinson’s book on Genesis teaches us how to talk about God

Marilyn RobinsonAustralians love a long weekend, and our longest long weekend is this week’s. I don’t hear anybody complaining about having Friday and Monday off, but Easter itself — apart from a few chocolate egg hunts — goes little marked now in Australia. Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday: these are like way markers on what used to be a main road but has been much quieter since they built that bypass.
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Vatican’s 2024 message for Ramadan encourages working together for world peace

Vatican logo

The Vatican Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue releases its annual message for the Islamic month of Ramadan, urging all religious believers to extinguish “the fires of hatred, violence and war, and instead light the gentle candle of peace.”

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“The trials of life bring you closer to the faith again”

Ramadan Calendar
‘There are 5.6 million Muslims in this country (Germany) and around half of us fast, so it’d be nice not to have to explain ourselves again every year,’ says Inas Ali Zeidan (image: Robert Haas)

Finding your way back to yourself and to God, doing good, appreciating the community: four Muslims in Germany explain what the fasting month of Ramadan means to them and why they would rather not have to keep explaining themselves over and over again!
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Kindness, humility and equality: how the Sikh tradition of Sewa can transcend cultural boundaries and foster unity

Sikh tradition of Sewa

At the core of Sikhism lies the philosophy of selfless service, known as Sewa.

Sewa is a principle that transcends religious boundaries and holds universal relevance. The philosophy encourages individuals to engage in acts of kindness, compassion and service without expecting anything in return.

While deeply embedded in Sikh tradition, people of all backgrounds can adopt the principles of Sewa to enhance their day-to-day lives.

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Letter to my Muslim and Jewish Sisters and Brothers in Australia

St Columbans Mission Society LogoThe Director of the Columban Centre for Christian-Muslim Relations has written a letter to Muslim and Jewish sisters and brothers in Australia standing in solidarity with all victims, Israeli and Palestinian, Jew, Muslim, and Christian.
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From esotericism to embodied ritual: Care for Country as religious experience

Care for Country as religious experienceIn an academic paper, it is shared that Aboriginal spiritual psychology begins from an appreciation of intentional and practical connection with the living systems of Country and kin. They draw on cases from Dadirri and other stories to describe Aboriginal contemplative practices as being conscious of our mutual vulnerability with the living cosmos.
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When is Ramadan and what are the rules around fasting? Here’s what you need to know …

ramadan is a month of fasting

Muslims around the globe will begin observing the holy month of Ramadan from Monday, a period of deep spiritual reflection and celebration.

The month of Ramadan will see Muslims fast and pray before breaking their fast at sundown alongside family and friends.

Here’s a look at what the ritual means, the importance of fasting, and why the date alters from one year to another. We’ll also talk about “When does Ramadan 2024 start in Australia?”

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Supporting kids in Ramadan: Practical tips for parents

Supporting kids in Ramadan: Practical tips for parents

Muslim children typically aren’t expected to fast during Ramadan until they reach puberty. But kids often want to start earlier because they see everyone else abstaining from food and water from sunrise to sunset — followed by their community gathering to break their fast together — and they want to participate!

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The keeper of the Vatican’s secrets is retiring. Here’s what he wants you to know

Prefect of the Archivio Apostolico Vaticano, Bishop Sergio Pagano The Vatican has been trying for years to debunk the idea that its vaunted secret archives are all that secret: It has opened up the files of controversial World War II-era Pope Pius XII to scholars and changed the official name to remove the word “Secret” from its title. But a certain aura of myth and mystery has persisted — until now.
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Pope Gregory XIII gave us the leap year – but his legacy goes so much further

Pope Gregory XIIIPope Gregory XIII (7 January 1502 – 10 April 1585), born Ugo Boncompagni, was the head of the Catholic Church from 13 May 1572 to his death in 1585. He is best known for commissioning and being the namesake for the Gregorian calendar, which remains the internationally accepted civil calendar to this date. Pope Gregory was the one who created the Leap Year, and February 29th which comes every four years.
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ABC’s House of Gods: a bold and compelling exploration of contemporary life in an Australian imam’s family

ABC’s House of Gods

House of Gods is a gripping new Australian TV drama. It reveals the inner workings of an imam’s family and community, and the corrupting effects of power, ambition and secrets on family and faith.

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Parliament House: World Interfaith Harmony Week Lecture

World Interfaith Harmony Week logoThe Canberra Interfaith Forum and Religions for Peace Australia will host the annual World Interfaith Harmony Week Lecture at Parliament House, Canberra. The Guest Speaker will be Dr. Pal Dhall, International speaker and presenter on Human Values with experience integrating ethics and human values of mankind’s religions to create harmony and peace in society and culture. This event will be available on Zoom, on Wednesday 28th February from 5pm.
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