8 Easy Ideas to Make Halloween Make Sense

Halloween is growing in popularity in Australia, presumably thanks to the influence of American culture. It’s time to reclaim All Saints and All Souls Days as meaningful and fun celebrations for us, too, because Halloween makes way more sense if it is honoured as the evening before these powerful days. The below ideas is what …

3 Crucial Elements for Effective Catholic Retreats

These 3 vital elements combine to ensure your people ‘Experience Wellbeing’ on your faith formation retreat. Firstly, begin with the pastoral needs of the participants. Secondly, match their pastoral needs with Catholic theological anthropology and Catholic spiritual practices. Thirdly, match their pastoral needs with evidence-based wellbeing strategies for individuals and groups. Retreat participants thrive when …

Kindergarten student John and his mum Flonnie in Katundu one of Project Kindy kindergartens in rural Malawi, Africa

Jesus Provokes us to Love His LIVING Relatives, the Poor

To draw closer to Jesus, get to know and offer support to His living relatives, the poor, who are walking the earth in our time! Hi, my name is Donna Power and I’m from the Brisbane-based charity, Project Kindy.  We fundraise for kindergarten children in extreme poverty in rural Malawi, Africa, providing them with daily …

halloween children's activities

11 Halloween Children’s Activities to put the Holy back into Secular Halloween

What are your feelings about Halloween? It’s been a dilemma for me to work out how to adjust to the relatively new and mostly secularised Halloween culture in Australia.  As kids we always went to Mass for All Saints and All Souls Days but here in Brisbane, Australia, in the 80s and 90s we never …

praying the rosary stimulates the vagus nerve to relax the body

Rosary Exhales Hold Key to Health – Research Finds Vagus Nerve Most Calm when Praying Hail Marys

This is fascinating to those of us who love empowering others with evidence-based wellbeing strategies. Here is scientific evidence to show why we FEEL so grounded, relaxed and calmer when we pray the Rosary. When we pray the Hail Mary out loud with our long, slow exhales, we are breathing at the most ideal rate …

leading the mission in catholic schools religious life of the school faith development essay lonergan ACU shadows of leadership

Leading the Mission: To Be One Who Casts Light and Confronts Shadows in Leadership

This is one of my final assignments for the ACU course in Leading Mission in Catholic Organisations. It gives you some insight into my ongoing development as an authentic person, retreat facilitator and follower of Jesus. I share this to offer you some fellowship and confidence as we all grow in understanding and skills as …

Free Animation for Faith Formation

Below is one of my original ‘Videoscribe’ animations. Please feel free to share it with your students, staff and families. Videos make great prayer resources to add to your faith formation tool kit as you build a Catholic Ethos in your community. “Jesus Brings Those on the Outside to the Inside” In just over 4 …

Guided Meditations

Noble Gospel Values Meditation (8 minutes 32 seconds) This guided meditation for whole-person wellbeing takes the listener through the following 4 steps: Bringing to mind your Noble Gospel value that you have prioritised for yourself  Cultivate a practice of gratitude Pray for others with compassion Visualise yourself living out your immediate goals in line with …

10 Reasons the Rosary is a Great Prayer for School or Home

Praying the Rosary is a chance to slow down, appreciate, find your anchor point and become aware of God’s love for you. This is a particularly powerful prayer for individuals, families and communities during hard times. It is one way to build an integrative spirituality, where our soul is energised and well-directed. The Rosary engages our senses and is excellent and engaging classroom prayer activity.

how to know your retreat is catholic for your catholic school students or staff

Cultivating a Catholic Ethos in Retreats

You know your retreat is Catholic when it offers life-giving, empowering Catholic faith formation for a broad range of participants. In this article, I will discuss three overarching hallmarks of the Catholic ethos of faith formation, “Catholic Theological Anthropology”, “Whole-Person Engagement” and “Formation Capacities” and how faith formation retreats can be developed and evaluated accordingly by either internal or external facilitators. By the way, this article serves to inform and develop me as much as those I am hoping to encourage as I am still learning the art of faith formation facilitation.

soul is like a campfire

Why Virtue Ethics is so Empowering in Retreats

The goal of Christian faith formation retreat is to assist the participant to grow in discipleship with Jesus and in community with others so she/he is closer to living a fulfilling life of love.  Virtue Ethics with a Christian perspective is a very helpful in my work as a retreats facilitator because it engages retreat …