Section Archive: It Occurred to Me

Learning to cultivate the gift of solitude

Solitude doesn’t just happen. Like a garden, it needs cultivating. It requires a tolerance for time spent alone, a tolerance for silence and stillness, writes Congregational Leader Patty Fawkner SGS.

Posted on: May 16, 2023

A precious encounter enables me to reclaim God as Father

I endeavour to avoid referring to God as Father, but the memory of a past experience has caused me to rethink my relationship with God as Father, writes Patty Fawkner.

Posted on: April 18, 2023

Saying Yes to the Voice will herald a better future for us all

Tanya Plibersek, my local federal member, recently invited her constituents to a Community Forum to discuss the Voice to Parliament. I was keen to attend, writes Congregational Leader Patty Fawkner.

Posted on: March 14, 2023

Remembering George Pell

Like many, I was stunned to learn of the death of George Pell last month. The polarising impact of this conservative culture warrior continues beyond the grave, writes Patty Fawkner.

Posted on: February 8, 2023

Celebrating the wonder and the mystery of Christmas

Christmas, the feast of the Incarnation, the feast which celebrates the Messiah coming into our messy word, is also a feast celebrating me and my humanity, writes Patty Fawkner SGS.

Posted on: December 20, 2022

In developing diversity competence skills we make space for difference

As the cultural environment is enriched by diversity and diminished by uniformity, so the glue that binds us together is honouring and understanding our differences, writes Sister Patty Fawkner SGS.

Posted on: November 15, 2022

Bearing witness is intrinsic to the path of reconciliation and healing

The First Nations Voice to Parliament is an opportunity for us to bear witness to the crimes, the cruelty and misguided policies of the past, writes Sister Patty Fawkner SGS.

Posted on: October 17, 2022

It takes courage for us to be loving critics

“Pity the leader caught between unloving critics and uncritical lovers.” These words were spoken by John Gardner, a senior government official in US President Lyndon Johnson’s administration, writes Patty Fawkner.

Posted on: September 19, 2022

Loving God, teach us the prayer of neighbour love

Through prayer, we stand in solidarity with our neighbour. When we pray the Our Father, we don’t fly solo, we pray it on behalf of humankind, writes Patty Fawkner SGS.

Posted on: August 16, 2022

What is it about women and the Church?

During the Second Assembly of the Fifth Plenary Council of the Australian Catholic Church, we learnt from experience that synodality is not for the faint hearted, writes Patty Fawkner SGS.

Posted on: July 19, 2022

Independents change the game through listening, dialogue and consultation

Following last month’s Federal election, are there lessons for the “official Church” in the rise of the independents who listened to the concerns of their communities, asks Patty Fawkner SGS.

Posted on: June 14, 2022

As Christians we are called to create a community of radical inclusion

A “preferential option for the other” is at the heart of the Gospel, and what it means to be Christian, while also offering a fresh way of thinking about love.

Posted on: May 16, 2022