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Scripture & Spirituality Conference 2021

“To love, is to be transformed into what we love. To love God is therefore is to be transformed into God.”
St. John of the Cross

Introduction

This year’s conference focuses on St. John of the Cross and his life changing teachings of how love can transform each and everyone of us.
Through six thought provoking talks, each of us can learn how to become beacons of light to greater reflect Christ and offer hope to a world in much need of healing.
This year, we have been blessed with 6 renowned speakers, authors and experts, who will help bring St John’s teachings to life and transform how we grow in our love and spirituality.


Six Life Changing Online Talks

New Vision for Our Times: Transforming and Recreative Love in the Romances of St John of the Cross read with Fratelli Tutti of Pope FrancisDr Mary Stevens

The love of God creates and recreates. This truth is beautifully expressed in the teaching of the 16th century Spanish mystic, St John of the Cross whose works illuminate the call to union with God in Christ and the Gospel imperative to love our neighbours. In his latest encyclical Fratelli Tutti, Pope Francis encourages us similarly, to bring to bear the contemplative and mystical gaze of love on the world and from there to work for its rebuilding. This lecture will draw together insights from John’s Romances and Fratelli tutti in order to indicate ways in which we may follow transformative grace from contemplation to mystical involvement in the world.

Being Changed by Love: The Essence of the Dark Night – Fr Iain Matthew, OCD

We shall look at some texts from The Dark Night which speak of how the suffering and darkness of the night are the result, not of God’s absence, but of God’s loving closeness: God’s love transforming the person. John of the Cross holds out the hope that we need not be forever locked in circles of selfishness and self-protection; that there is the possibility of loving others as Jesus loves us. 

The Light for My Path: The Word of God and Saint John of the Cross – Fr Piotr Nyk

Pervaded by the illusion of the virtual world and depressed by the pace of the modern life the mankind seeks the sense of life. In that desire humanity turns to various spiritual schools and traditions like a blind groping in darkness while Jesus Christ – the only Word of God is the reliable light on the road. Saint John of the Cross convinced himself of this trough his mystical experience. In the study I will show the role played the Word of God in the life and teaching of Saint John. Some Examples of his ingenious interpretation of the Bible will illustrate it. 

Wholly in Love: St. John of the Cross on Every Disciple’s Desire for Union with the Beloved – Dr Susan Muto

“In this presentation I will meditate upon: “…the twilight of sensual and spiritual deprivation, through the midnight moments of pure faith, to the dawn of union with God and communion with others. With prayers on our lips, with God’s word in our minds, with courage in our hearts, we follow the Beloved from this earthly existence to the banquet prepared by him from the beginning of time to the fullness of eternity.”


In the Footsteps of John of the Cross: Following the Pathway of Creation to Union with God in Love – John Magdalen Suenram, OCD

All of us have a gnawing fear of the future because the effects of the climate crisis are becoming ever more evident and already affecting our lives.  John of the Cross tells us that Creation is the vehicle that God has given us to ascend to Truth and Beauty and Communion in Love with the Incarnate Christ. Creation is likewise a central vehicle for the beginning and the furtherance of contemplative experience. Perhaps this is a time for mystical activism.

With Stillness. From Silence. Towards Wholeness: The Ethical Insights of Pope Francis for Human Healing After Covid-19 – John Dalla Costa

Long before the pandemic – before the contagion, death, uncertainty, unemployment, and hunger from the Covid-19 virus – Pope Francis summoned the Church to serve as a “field hospital” for humanity’s anguish. With his encyclicals and social teachings, Francis has underscored our creaturely dependence on nature, and our shared fragility as embodied beings. He has stressed that it is impossible for humans to be healthy if imprisoned in sick structures, or left to inhabit a sick earth. From the depths of his prayer, Pope Francis has also marked out distinctive ethical trajectories to engage the moral demands of this moment. He both reinforces the core principles of Catholic Social Teaching, and adds new dimensions to incite urgency and relevance. Drawing on the encyclicals, homilies, and exhortations of Pope Francis, this presentation will define and give scope to the ethical renewal he beckons.

Day One Programme Schedule: Saturday 10th July.


1:00 pm Breakout rooms open for discussions

2:00 pm      Welcome and Introduction

2:10 pm Opening Prayers

2:20 pm       Introduction of Keynote

2:25 pm      Keynote: Iain Matthew, OCD
“Being Changed by Love: The Essence of the Dark Night” 

3:15 pm     Coffee Break (10 minutes)

3:35 pm     Introduction of Keynote

3:40 pm     Keynote: Susan Muto, PhD

“Wholly in Love: St. John of the Cross on Every Disciple’s Desire for Union with the Beloved”

4:30 pm     Break (30 minutes)

5:00 pm     Introduction of Speaker

5:05 pm     John Magdalen Suenram, OCD
“In the Footsteps of John of the Cross: Following the Pathway of Creation to Union with God in Love. “

5:50 pm     Break

6:00 pm     Workshops / small group discussions (optional)

6:30 pm     Panel Discussion
Chair: Professor Peter Tyler (St Mary’s University, Twickenham)
Susan Muto, PhD
Ian Matthew, OCD
Vincent O’Hara, OCD
Claire Sillince
John Magdalen Suenram, OCD

7:15 pm      End of Day One of Conference – Breakout Rooms Open for Discussion

Day Two Programme Schedule: Sunday 11th July.

1:00 pm      Breakout Rooms Open For Discussion

2:00 pm      Welcome and Introduction

2:10 pm      Opening Prayer

2:20 pm Introduction to Keynote

2:25 pm      Keynote: John Dalla Costa
“With stillness. From silence. Towards wholeness: The Ethical Insights of Pope Francis for Human Healing After Covid-19”

3:15 pm     Coffee Break (10 minutes)

3:35 pm Introduction to Keynote

3:40 pm     Mary Stevens, PhD
“New Vision for Our Times: Transforming and Recreative Love in the Romances of St John of the Cross read with Fratelli tutti of Pope Francis.”

4:30 pm     Break (30 minutes)

5:00 pm     Introduction to speaker

5:05 pm     Piotr Nyk, OCD
“A Light for My Path: The Word of God and Saint John of the Cross”

5:50 pm     Break

6:00 pm     Workshop/Small Discussions (optional)

6:30 pm     Break – Breakout rooms open

Teresa’s Four Waters: In Word, Image and Song
An Evening of Celebration of Carmelite Spirituality through Word, Music & Art


Please join us for a relaxing evening sharing in Carmelite spirituality through music and art. We hope you will come away from this evening
event enriched by the special commissioned beautiful music from a world acclaimed composer and feel inspired to develop your own
prayer life with God after seeing Sr. Sa Ra’s iconic art and photo exhibition.
You can learn more about Sr. Sa Ra Lee and her art here.

You can find more information about Sr. Claire Sokol and her music here

This event is stand-alone but also part of the Scripture and Spirituality Conference.

Evening of Reflection Schedule: Sunday, 11th July 2021

7:00 pm      Welcome and Introduction of the Evening Programme

7:05 pm      Presentation of Sr. Sa Ra and Sr. Claire Sokol

7:10 pm Video presentation of Teresa’s Four Waters in Word, Image and Song

7:50 pm      Break (10 minutes)

8:00 pm      Reflections with Sr. Sa Ra and Sr. Claire Sokol on their work

8:30 pm      Feedback and shared thoughts from the audience

8:45 pm      Shared Silence, Benediction & Close of Conference / Evening

Registration Options

Full Package

You will be registered for both days, all 6 of conference talks as well as the Evening of Reflection for a discounted price.
£90

Day One and Two Talks

You will be registered for all our daytime conference talks
£70

Day One Talks Only

You will be be able to attend the day one event with 3 talks
£40

Evening of Reflection

You will be registered for our Evening of Reflection.
£25

Day Two Talks Only

You will be be able to attend the day two event with 3 talks
£40