Archived News Item

Encounter in the Bunyas

The Sisters in the photo (inset) are: Back Row – Kay O’Neill RSM, Mary Tinney RSM, Helen White RSM, Margaret Schofield RSM, Ann O’Regan RSM, Esther Dowling RSM and Front Row – Margaret Adams RSM, Barbara Broad RSM and Mary Nivard Smith RSM.


In May, at the invitation of Mary Tinney RSM, 17 women gathered in the magnificent Bunya Mountains National Park in south-east Queensland for an ‘Encounter in the Bunyas’. 


There were nine Sisters of Mercy, three Presentation Sisters, one Good Samaritan Sister, three Sisters of St Joseph and two lay women. We came from Adelaide, Mackay, Bundaberg as well as the local area.


Mary’s passionate commitment to the environment over many years led to her setting up Earth Link and ultimately to receiving a Ph.D from the Australian Catholic University. Her thesis was ‘When Heaven and Earth embrace: how do we engage spiritually in an emerging universe?’. This provided the framework for our ‘encounter in the Bunyas’. The group who gathered were so thrilled and grateful for the inspiring reflective material Mary presented over six days together. The beauty of the Bunyas provided a perfect setting for our reflections.


The material and the time to wander and wonder led to inspiring sharing sessions. Being guided through the forest by the local indigenous rangers was instructive and full of wonder. We experienced a deepening awareness of the incredible, beauty, oneness and interconnectedness of all life. In our sense of being bonded with each other we also knew we were embraced by the forest, wallabies the birds and all life.


Being so grateful for Mary’s inspiration to lead this retreat, we would encourage Sisters to invite Mary to share with any interested group.


Messages to:  Mary Tinney RSM