Celebrating Mercy


Christian Meditation


Cultural Diversity


Enneagram for 2020

Ecumenism & Interfaith

Evening events



Intergenerational Forum

International Day of the Older Person
Ignatian Spirituality



Muffin Meetings / Morning Events



Afternoon Retreat

One Day Retreats / Reflection Days

Weekend Retreat


Four Day Retreats

Five Day Retreats


Spiritual Direction / Companioning


Tikanga Maori

Treaty of Waitangi



God’s Voice Within

One of the legacies of St Ignatius of Loyola is his insight into the movements of the heart. As a companion of many who sought him out, he showed them how to access God’s Voice Within through listening to the wisdom of the heart. He had learned to discern the voice of the True Spirit amidst the other voices in his heart. He wrote the principles down and they are now known as the Rules for Discernment.

This talk will give a taste of the fundamentals of
St Ignatius’ teaching on discernment.

Facilitator            ADRIANA JANUS

Date                    Wednesday, 5 August, 10.30am -12.30pm

Fee                      $15 incl. morning tea


“The presence of God is all around us,is always embracing us.” Thomas Keating

Set aside a day to be still, to be consciously aware of the presence of God in our lives and all creation.

Through silence, reflection and prayer we will reflect on how God who is ‘Presence’, is all around us in the ordinary everyday experiences of life.

Facilitator              CATHRYN WILES-PICKARD rsm

Date                      Tuesday, 11 August, 10.00am -3.30pm

Fee                        $35
Please bring your lunch, tea/coffee is provided.


Presenter - to be confirmed

Two hours of spiritual refreshment on various topics, with a morning tea muffin included.  Please call us closer to the date or see our website, Facebook or
e-newsletter for more information.

Date              Wednesday, 12 August, 10.30am-12.30pm

Fee                Koha/Donation


The Spirituality of Justice

Throughout history, prophets, contemplatives and mystics have had an active concern for the poor and disadvantaged. This participatory workshop explores the themes of presence and deep spirituality that can be found in activism and justice, as well as takeaway contemplative tools for practice and response. It will be especially valued by those concerned for social and environmental justice, and who are exploring where spirituality, activism and praxis meet. 

Date           Thursday, 20 August,  9.45am-3.30pm
Fee             $45
Please bring your lunch, tea/coffee is provided.


Behold - joining Moses at the Burning Bush

We invite you to “turn aside” for a few hours, leaving behind the demands of daily life.  Be present to something that is going on for you: space to behold whatever that is. It is also time for you to Be and to Hold the particular invitation of God to you. This sensory day will include a tasty lunch. Bring a stone - yes, a stone; your journal and writing materials, suitable clothing if you want to go outdoors.  All other resources are provided. 

Date           Sunday, 23 August, 9.30am-4pm
Fee             $70 incl. lunch


The Presence of the Holy in Images

Twice in the history of the Church (c. 600 AD and c. 1520 AD) there were periods of destruction of sacred images, on the grounds that venerating them was idolatory (worshipping idols). This illustrated lecture looks at the issues involved and the types of artworks. Iconoclasts vs Iconodules. 

Presenter  Fr MERV DUFFY sm
Date       Wednesday, 26 August, 7.00-9.00pm
Fee         $15



Practising Dreamwork Skills (3 hrs each)

These workshops are open to people who have previously attended an introductory workshop and

seek to improve their skills. Each session requires 3-6 participants, each bringing a dream for the others to

work with, coached by Margaret.


Date           Friday mornings, 10.00am-1.00pm

                   28 August, 30 October, 4 December

Fee            $45.00 per session.
                  Booking essential.


Praying the Old Testament with Ignatius of Loyola

Many of us are familiar with imaginative prayer when praying with the Gospels, but we struggle with praying the Old Testament texts. Somehow the cultural and historical divide is too much of a barrier. This retreat is an attempt to tap into the riches of Old Testament spirituality through praying with the texts in an Ignatian style. Participants commit themselves to four weeks of about 45 mins of daily prayer and a weekly meeting.

Week 1:                   1 September
Knowing God and ourselves in relationship  

Week 2:                                  8 September
Remaining faithful in-the-midst of imperfection and disappointment                                         

Week 3:                                 15 September
Owning our darkness and re-discovering God’s grace and power                                                                             

Week 4:                                 22 September
Committing and persisting with God’s call   

Week 5:                                 29 September              
Review, reflection on the way forward and close of the retreat.

Facilitator              ADRIANA JANUS
Fee                         $75

In the Chapel, Cecilia Maher House.
Tuesdays, 1-29 September, 7.00-9.00pm


Grief & Loss

Universally, grief is accepted as a natural human condition that a person will experience at some point in their life.  The death of a family member or other significant person in one’s life is typically a highly stressful and disruptive life event.  Gaining an understanding of how grief is manifesting itself in one’s life has the potential to assist in integrating grief and loss into our daily lives.  A film will be shown followed by a facilitated discussion.  There are two sessions (see Thursday, 5 May). You can come to one or both sessions.


Date              Wednesday, 2 September, 10.30am- 12.30pm
Fee                $15 incl. Morning tea


Exploring ancient rock-hewn churches in Ethiopia

A terrifying walk along a ledge, two hundred metres up the cliff, leads to a small wooden door set in the rock face. Inside, carved out from the stone columns, arches and domes, all painted in a vibrant Byzantium style. Nic Birt relates the pilgrimage experience of visiting ancient rock-hewn Ethiopian Orthodox churches in Tigray province, as well as the mystery of Sheba's palace and Ark of the Covenant.

Presenter  NIC BIRT 
Date    Friday, 4 September, 7.00-9.00pm
Fee             Koha/Donation


Journey and Fruits of Christian Meditation  

“The way of pure prayer is a journey centred in Christ.” Laurence Freeman

“We should not judge the value of our meditation by “how we feel.” A hard and apparently fruitless meditation may in fact be much more valuable than one that is easy, happy, enlightened and apparently a big success.”  Thomas Merton          
We will explore the questions:

  • How can we best understand this journey?

  • What are the stages of the journey?

  • What happens in the process of Meditation?

Facilitator        CATHRYN WILES-PICKARD rsm

Date                Saturday, 5 September 2020
Fee                  $35  
Please bring your own lunch. 
Tea and coffee provided.
It is preferable for participants to be familiar with the teachings of Christian Meditation (see 16 May for Introduction to Christian Meditation 101)


Facilitator       Fr MARK CHAMBERLAIN

This opportunity of prayer will make use of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola and offer opportunities to deepen our relationship with God. Drawing from the resources of Ignatian Spirituality we will value our own experience of Jesus in this retreat, and so be refreshed for mission.

Date              Sunday, 6 September, 7.00pm to Friday, 11 September, 1.00pm

Fee                Early bird $530 (before 3 Aug)

                        $570 (including $60 non-refundable deposit)

Residential, all meals included.


Living our lives as holy lives

A presentation followed by the opportunity to have a conversation with our everydayness and Ignatian Spirituality.  To appreciate prayer, as a becoming present to the Presence. Our lives matter and the way we choose to live them out more so.

Fr Mark Chamberlain is a priest of the Dunedin Diocese and is currently the pastor of the Dunedin North Pastoral Area. He is Chaplain to Dunedin Public Hospital, Mercy Hospital, University of Otago and the Otago Polytechnic. For many years he has been offering Spiritual Direction in the Ignatian tradition and engaged in Retreat Ministry.  He is a Giver of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola and is part of Ignatian Spirituality New Zealand.

Presenter      Fr MARK CHAMBERLAIN

Date              Wednesday, 9 September, 7.00-9.00pm

Fee                $20


The Cloud of Unknowing  

This classic work was written in the Middle English of the 14th Century by an anonymous older monk for a younger one who was ready to begin contemplative prayer.  You are invited to enjoy it in the scholarly but eminently readable translation of Carmen Acevedo Butcher.  What has it to say to us? Plenty, if our prayer is beset with distractions and we want to move beyond words and images!


Date       Wednesday, 16 September, 10.30am-12.30pm

Fee         $15 incl. morning tea


The Caring Flame

The flame of altruism is by its very nature more vulnerable to burn-out. In this muffin meeting, Lila O’Farrell will integrate knowledge from contemplative wisdom with contemporary psychology and neuroscience to consider both the meaning and sustenance of our “healing presence.” Experiential and informative, this talk will appeal to all those who use the vessel of the self in service of the other.

Presenter      LILA O’FARRELL

Date              Friday, 25 September, 10.30am-12.30pm

Fee                $15 incl. morning tea

RETREAT DAY with Fr Chris Skinner sm

Truly Present, Truly Blessed

Fr Chris Skinner is a Marist priest with a passion for singing and song writing.

This retreat day will be filled with music and invite us to be present to ourselves, present to one another and the various ways God is present to us.

Be refreshed and inspired through silence, prayer, sharing and song - savouring the presence of God in and around us. 

Presenter      Fr CHRIS SKINNER sm

Date              Saturday, 26 September, 10.00am-3.30pm

Venue             St Columba Centre, 40 Vermont Street, Ponsonby

Fee                $45 BYO lunch, MT & tea/coffee provided

CELEBRATING - International Day for the Older Person 2020

International Day of Older Person

Margi will start the day with information to broaden your general understanding of the changes that can be expected in your body as you age. As there are still no miracle lotions or potions to keep our bodies young, we will explore ways to make the best of what we have.  After a shared lunch, Jocelyn will offer everyone the chance to learn Tai Chi for Health (seated tai chi is also available). Ideal for beginners.


Thursday 1st October, 2020
Koha/Donation BYO lunch and a drink bottle.
Tea and coffee will be provided

6-Day Individually Guided Live-In Retreat - 2020

​“God in the ‘Now’ – of the Present Moment”

This will be a six-day guided silent retreat. During these days we will:

  • Explore the ‘Four Spiritual Pathways’ described by Matthew Fox as a way of being present to God
                  who is ‘Presence’ in all things.

  • Opportunity for daily group meditation.

  • Time for personal reflection and prayer.

  • Daily individual spiritual companioning will be available.

Facilitator      CATHRYN WILES-PICKARD rsm

Date              Sunday, 4 October, 7.00pm to Saturday, 10 October, 3.00pm

Fee                $540 + $60 non-refundable deposit at time of booking


“Francis, rebuild my house - for as you see it has fallen into ruin”

Eight hundred years ago, Jesus challenged Francis of Assisi to ‘rebuild my house’.  If Francis were alive today, might he, like Pope Francis, understand ‘my house’ as our endangered Earth?  This session will help us be present to creation as kin, calculate our carbon footprints, and discover which changes can make the most difference in living lifestyles truly respectful of God and creation. 

Presenter      MARY BETZ

Date              Tuesday, 13 October, 10.30am-12.30pm

Fee                $15 incl. morning tea


Songs of the Spirit

Taizé has a tradition of crafting meditative songs in rich four-part harmony. In a mellow atmosphere, we will learn and sing songs from Taizé and other spiritual traditions. 

Presenter  MAX MAXWELL

Date           Friday, 16 October, 7.00-9.00pm

Fee             $15

MEDITATION - Retreat Day 2020

Presenter        CATHRYN WILES-PICKARD rsm

“Silence is the essential human response to the mystery of God. Meditation is the way to silence, the way of silence.”   John Main

This Retreat Day is for those who are experienced in Christian Meditation as part of their daily prayer.
This will be a Day of Silence, contemplative prayer, input, and times for meditation.           

​Date                  Saturday, 17 October 2020                          


Fee                   $35  
Please bring your own lunch. Tea/coffee & MT provided


Presence in Unity – Ecumenical Day

The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Cor 12:13 that we were “all baptised into one body – Jews or Greeks, slaves or free”. It is in this spirit of peace and unity that God is truly present.
How does this speak to us as the Church of Christ in today’s context?
Join us for this opportunity to get together with Christians of different denominations to celebrate the fruit of reconciliation and harmony.

This event is organised in cooperation between Te Ngakau Waiora Mercy Spirituality Centre and St George’s Anglican Parish, Epsom.

Presenter     Fr KEVIN WALDIE sm & Rev JOSH JONES
Music           Sarah Hart & Rev Josh Jones

Venue           St Columba Centre, 40 Vermont Street, Ponsonby

Date              Saturday, 17 October, 10.00am-1.00pm

Fee                $20 incl. morning tea.



Practising Dreamwork Skills (3 hrs each)

These workshops are open to people who have previously attended an introductory workshop and

seek to improve their skills. Each session requires 3-6 participants, each bringing a dream for the others to

work with, coached by Margaret.

Date           Friday mornings, 10.00am-1.00pm

                   30 October, 4 December

Fee            $45.00 per session.
                  Booking essential.


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Te Ngakau Waiora Mercy Spirituality Centre is a work of Nga Whaea Atawhai Sisters of Mercy Aotearoa New Zealand.

Te Ngakau Waiora Mercy Spirituality Centre
104 The Drive, Epsom, Auckland, New Zealand
00 64 (0) 9 638 6238