Retreat to reflect on the heart of creation

4 May 2021
'The spirit of the Lord is upon me' by 2021 Senior Australian of the Year and Indigenous artist and elder, Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr Baumann. Image: Supplied


Parishioners in the Diocese of Parramatta are invited to explore the Ignatian understanding of Creation and the sacredness of all life as a gift through the works of the 2021 Senior Australian of the Year and Indigenous artist and elder, Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr Baumann.

Jesuit and Ignatian Spirituality Australia are hosting a reflection day on the heart of Creation on Sunday 23 May from 9am to 3pm at the Winbourne Function and Retreat Centre, Mulgoa.

Drawing on the work of Miriam-Rose, who as well as being a renowned Australian artist and tribal elder is an educator and Aboriginal mystic, the retreat will use imagery, story and creative ways to explore our experience of the gift of creation.

Sue Martin, one of the facilitators of the reflection day, explains that the Diocese is home to the largest population of Indigenous people of any region in Australia, so it is important to listen to their voices more authentically in 2021.

“For me, caring for creation, seeking a deeper connection to country has been part of my life story for a very long time,” Sue says. “With a strong social justice influence from my family, I have always sought new ways to build First Nations awareness in my life.

“A mantra I keep dear to me from April Bright is: ‘If you don’t care for country, country will not care for you’.”

2021 Senior Australian of the Year Dr Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr Baumann AM, Aboriginal activist, educator and artist. Image: Salty Dingo/Supplied

Catholics in the Diocese of Parramatta have shown they are keen to connect with Aboriginal spirituality and community.

At St Madeleine Sophie Barat Parish, Kenthurst, they are involved with the aunties at Baabayn Aboriginal Corporation through their annual hamper Mass and through their participation in the Baabayn Homework Club.

In our Diocesan schools, the Jarara Indigenous Education Unit works with Indigenous students and their families to promote the importance of culture and history by building cultural awareness.

“All around us, to right and left, in front and behind, above and below, we have only to go a little beyond the frontier of sensible appearances in order to see the divine welling up and showing through” – Pierre Teilhard De Chardin, The Divine Milieu.

At the retreat, parishioners will have the chance to take some time to nourish and revitalise themselves amidst the tranquillity and beauty of creation. There will be time to wander, relax, sit, listen and reflect on their journey with God and share with others.

The retreat will be facilitated by Sue Martin, Mary and Mark Diggins from Jesuit and Ignatian Spirituality Australia’s Being with God in Nature Ministry.

The retreat costs $90, with morning tea provided, but BYO lunch.

To book, visit For more information, contact


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