The Opal and the Pearl by Mark Patrick Hederman OSB

Event: Helder Camara Public Lecture: The Opal and the Pearl by Mark Patrick Hederman OSB

Where: Newman College, Melbourne University

When: Thursday 18 May, 5pm – 6.30pm 

Cost: Free entry

Further information: Opal and Pearl_flyer MAY 18

Two kinds of perfection: Exploring a Christian spirituality for our times

the-opal-and-the-pearl_mark_patrick_hederman_1_2With seven billion human beings on one planet we need a new ethics guiding us in our way of relating to one another sexually.

Picking up on President Michael D. Higgins’ call for a new Irish ethics, Glenstal monk Mark Patrick Hederman in his latest book, The Opal and the Pearl examines sexuality in the lives and writings of Joyce, Iris Murdoch and Yeats and delivers a searching critique of the Catholic Church’s monosexual stance.

The message of artists has been consistent: ‘we cannot be reduced to any formula. We have to accept the blood-and-guts reality of what we are. We need to be human, fully human and any ethics must provide for us as such.’

In this literary tour-de-force, Hederman critiques Catholic teaching on sex and stresses the need for an ethics of sexual behaviour outside the very specific and particular demands of heterosexual marriage. ‘Now that we have legislated gay marriage and accepted the fact that sexuality does happen for reasons other than procreation; now that we also recognize that some of the most heinous sexual crimes have been perpetrated within the ‘sanctity’ of marriage; it is surely time to take a more comprehensive approach to the ethics of sexual behaviour.’

Mark Patrick Hederman OSB has been a monk of Glenstal Abbey in Limerick for over 40 years. Formerly headmaster of the school, he has just completed eight years as Abbot. He has a doctorate in the philosophy of education. He studied in Paris under Emmanual Levinas and has lectured in philosophy and literature in America and Nigeria as well as Ireland, and was a founding editor of the cultural journal The Crane Bag.

Newman College Presents: Pope Francis Fellow 2017 Program 

UnknownA seminar for priests, chaplains and all those interested in accompanying others on the spiritual journey.

Friday 19 May, 10am – 3pm; Newman College, Melbourne University

Guest speaker Mark Patrick Hederman OSB

This is a free event. RSVP requested for catering purposes.

Contact Br Mark O’Connor FMS (Pope Francis Fellow) on 0429 694 707 or

Caring for the soul_flyer

Pope Francis Seminars, Short Courses and Helder Camara Lectures 2017 Program

For enquiries and to RSVP, contact:
Br Mark O’Connor FMS (Pope Francis Fellow) 0429 694 707 • All events are free but bookings are essential.