8th– 11th MARCH, 2019


Janssen Spirituality Centre

22 Woodvale Road – BORONIA, Victoria



A quote by Thomas Keating

We are delighted Chris Morris will join us again this year as our key-note speaker for the Saturday morning. Chris’s Ph.D. studies have been on the writings of Bruno Barnhart. He is Associate Lecturer at the Catholic Theological College and Head of Department, Dept. of Pastoral and General Studies. Chris is committed to the contemplative life and has a young family. Those who were present last year would remember the gift he was to the week-end retreat. It will be wonderful to welcome Chris back with us and reflecting upon this year’s theme: Consenting to God’s Presence and Action Within

Sr. Helen Duffy (Melb), Frances Cassidy (Melb) and Sarah Marrinan (Melb) will facilitate the remaining input sessions speaking to their own experiences relating to the theme of the retreat. Each bring a wealth of experience and gifts to share with us.


The retreat will foster a contemplative atmosphere in an ecumenical and inter-faith setting. There will be ample opportunities for personal reflection, times of silence and communal meditation practice.


Retreat & National Meeting

8 - 11 March 2019

Live-in - $280;

Live-out - $200




Live-in - $205

Live-out - $150



11th March




To request booking forms contact:

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Tel. (03) 9762 6625


Residential places are limited. Registration of Expressions of Interest due before 15th February 2019. Confirmation of places to be advised by 18th February 2019.

Meet our new director

The Society of the Divine Word has appointed Fr. Thien Nguyen to be the fifth director of the Janssen Spirituality Centre. Fr Thien specialises in Comparative Theology of Religions and has been involved in interreligious dialogue and cross-cultural relations in Australia for over two decades. He is also interested in working with young people and photography. 

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New superior general of the Society of the Divine Word

New superior general of the Society of the Divine Word named, comes from Indonesia




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                         
July 4, 2018

Contact: Father Modeste Munini SVD
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Nemi, Italy -- On July 4, 2018, the capitulars of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) gathered at the Centro Ad Gentes in Nemi, Italy, for the 18th General Chapter, today elected Father Paulus Budi Kleden SVD as the 12th Superior General of the Society of the Divine Word.

Father Kleden was born in Indonesia in 1965. He joined the Society of the Divine Word in 1985. He made his first profession of vows in 1987 and perpetual vows in 1992. He was ordained a priest in 1993. He studied theology in San Gabriel, Austria. He was first assigned to Switzerland from 1993 to 1996, then in a formation house in Ledalero, Indonesia. He was member of the Provincial Council in the ENDE (Indonesia) Province from 2005 to 2008. In 2012, he was elected general councillor. He will continue in that capacity until he assumes the office of the superior general in a few months.

Fr. Heinz visiting JSC

The Janssen Spirituality Centre warmly welcomed Fr. Heinz Kuluke, the Superior General of the Societry of the Divine Word, to visit the Centre in the morning of the last Saturday, 21 october 2017. The staff, volunteers and friends shared with Fr. Heinz their experiences that they have had at the Centre. Fr. Heinz thanked each and all for their collaboration with the staff and their dedication to this “very unique ministry and missionary endeavor” at the Centre. The gathering went on for two hours with many stories over a “Cuppa” and a great variety of home-baked cakes and delicacies prepared by many good hands. This special visit of Fr. Heinz reaffirmed the commitment that the SVDs and SSpSs have made at this Centre since its opening in 2008.


Farewell to Fr. Nick

On Saturday 14 July 2018, the community of Janssen Spirituality Centre (JSC) and friends farewelled Fr. Nick who has finished his ministry as the director of JSC after his six years of dedicated services.

In his reflection given at the farewell prayer service, Fr. Nick shared that his six years at the Centre was a challenging, yet enriching time. He was assigned to this ministry without much preparation for the tasks required. However, with his open mind and heart he has become tremendously enriched as he journeyed along. Fr. Nick thanked all the JSC staff members and friends who have supported him with his tasks and asked everyone to pray for him as he is undertaking new ministries elsewhere in the SVD Australia Province.

After his reflection, many of the staff members and friends shared their personal experiences that they had of Nick. It was a touching moment to hear from many who expressed how Nick has toughed their life and their hearts.

We concluded with an Australian BBQ and with tasty multicultural food, drinks and deserts prepared by many hands. It was a heart-warming farewell event in a mid-July cold Winter day.

JSC 2018 19

Fr Nick shared his experiences and thanked JSC staffs and friends 


Nick farewell 1

Di presented a shawl to Fr. Nick on behalp of the Shawl Prayer Group 


Nick farewell 2

Fr Aloysius presnted a token of gift to Fr Nick on behalf of JSC community 


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Fr Nick with JSC friends 


Nick farewell 5

Fr Nick's Farewell Mass at St Joseph's Parish, Boronia 


Nick farewell 3

Fr Nick with parishioners of St Joseph's 



UN Refugee Agency - Welcoming the Stranger



This document is available in other languages in the PDF file listed lower on the page.

A core value of my faith is to welcome the stranger, the refugee, the internally displaced, the other. I shall treat him or her as I would like to be treated. I will challenge others, even leaders in my faith community, to do the same.

Together with faith leaders, faith-based organizations and communities of conscience around the world, I affirm:

I will welcome the stranger.

My faith teaches that compassion, mercy, love and hospitality are for everyone: the native born and the foreign born, the member of my community and the newcomer.

I will remember and remind members of my community that we are all considered “strangers” somewhere, that we should treat the stranger to our community as we would like to be treated, and challenge intolerance.

I will remember and remind others in my community that no one leaves his or her homeland without a reason: some flee because of persecution, violence or exploitation; others due to natural disaster; yet others out of love to provide better lives for their families.

I recognize that all persons are entitled to dignity and respect as human beings. All those in my country, including the stranger, are subject to its laws, and none should be subject to hostility or discrimination.

I acknowledge that welcoming the stranger sometimes takes courage, but the joys and the hopes of doing so outweigh the risks and the challenges. I will support others who exercise courage in welcoming the stranger.

I will offer the stranger hospitality, for this brings blessings upon the community, upon my family, upon the stranger and upon me.

I will respect and honor the reality that the stranger may be of a different faith or hold beliefs different from mine or other members of my community.

I will respect the right of the stranger to practice his or her own faith freely. I will seek to create space where he or she can freely worship.

I will speak of my own faith without demeaning or ridiculing the faith of others.

I will build bridges between the stranger and myself. Through my example, I will encourage others to do the same.

I will make an effort not only to welcome the stranger, but also to listen to him or her deeply, and to promote understanding and welcome in my community.

I will speak out for social justice for the stranger, just as I do for other members of my community.

Where I see hostility towards the stranger in my community, whether through words or deeds, I will not ignore it, but will instead endeavor to establish a dialogue and facilitate peace.

I will not keep silent when I see others, even leaders in my faith community, speaking ill of strangers, judging them without coming to know them, or when I see them being excluded, wronged or oppressed.

I will encourage my faith community to work with other faith communities and faith-based organizations to find better ways to assist the stranger.

I will welcome the stranger.

Founding Principles

The call to “welcome the stranger,” through protection and hospitality, and to honor the stranger or those of other faiths with respect and equality, is deeply rooted in all major religions.

In the Upanishads, the mantra atithi devo bhava or “the guest is as God” expresses the fundamental importance of hospitality in Hindu culture. Central to the Hindu Dharma, or Law, are the values of karuna or compassion, ahimsa or non-violence towards all, and seva or the willingness to serve the stranger and the unknown guest. Providing food and shelter to a needy stranger was a traditional duty of the householder and is practiced by many still. More broadly, the concept of Dharma embodies the task to do one’s duty, including an obligation to the community, which should be carried out respecting values such as non-violence and selfless service for the greater good.

The Tripitaka highlights the importance of cultivating four states of mind: metta (loving kindness), muditha (sympathetic joy), upekkha (equanimity), and karuna (compassion). There are many different traditions of Buddhism, but the concept of karuna is a fundamental tenet in all of them. It embodies the qualities of tolerance, non-discrimination, inclusion and empathy for the suffering of others, mirroring the central role which compassion plays in other religions.

The Torah makes thirty-six references to honoring the “stranger.” The book of Leviticus contains one of the most prominent tenets of the Jewish faith: “The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens; you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Leviticus 19:33-34). Further, the Torah provides that "You shall not oppress the stranger, for you know the soul of the stranger, having yourselves been strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 23:9)

In Matthew’s Gospel (25:35) we hear the call: “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me…” And in the Letter to the Hebrews (13:1-2) we read, “Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.”

When the Prophet Muhammad fled persecution in Mecca, he sought refuge in Medina, where he was hospitably welcomed. The Prophet's hijrah, or migration, symbolizes the movement from lands of oppression, and his hospitable treatment embodies the Islamic model of refugee protection. The Holy Qur’an calls for the protection of the asylum seeker, or al-mustamin, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, whose safety is irrevocably guaranteed under the institution of Aman (the provision of security and protection). As noted in the Surat Al-Anfal: “Those who give asylum and aid are in very truth the believers: for them is the forgiveness of sins and a provision most generous.” (8:74)

There are tens of millions of refugees and internally displaced people in the world. Our faiths demand that we remember we are all migrants on this earth, journeying together in hope.


In December 2012, UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres organized a Dialogue with faith leaders, faith-based humanitarian organizations, academics and government representatives from countries around the world on the theme of “Faith and Protection.” As the High Commissioner noted in his opening remarks, “…all major religious value systems embrace humanity, caring and respect, and the tradition of granting protection to those in danger. The principles of modern refugee law have their oldest roots in these ancient texts and traditions.” At the conclusion of this landmark event, the High Commissioner embraced a recommendation for the development of a Code of Conduct for faith leaders to welcome migrants, refugees and other forcibly displaced people, and stand together against xenophobia.

In response to this call, from February through April 2013, a coalition of leading faith-based humanitarian organizations and academic institutions (including HIAS, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Jesuit Refugee Service, Lutheran World Federation, Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, Religions for Peace, University of Vienna Faculty of Roman Catholic Theology, World Council of Churches, World

Evangelical Alliance and World Vision International) drafted “Welcoming the Stranger: Affirmations for Faith Leaders.” The Affirmations, which have been translated into Arabic, Chinese, French, Hebrew, Russian and Spanish, inspire leaders of all faiths to “welcome the stranger” with dignity, respect and loving support. Faith groups around the world will use the Affirmations and supporting resources as practical tools to foster support for refugees and other displaced people in their communities.