The Heartworks group gather regularly to share a meal, pray, reflect and catch up on each other’s lives.
Heartworks recognises the importance of continual questioning in order to strengthen and shape the faith and beliefs of its members.
Ours is a spirit of family
and a spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood,
formed by kindness and understanding,
by compassion and mutual forgiveness,
by gentleness, humility and simplicity,
by hospitality and a sense of humour.
[Constitution #32 of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.]
The Heartworks Group is a strong and thriving group of people, who meet in the Heartworks building (an old converted laundry) on the St Mary’s Towers property in Douglas Park. The group has formed intimate close relationships with each other, with a real openness and willingness to bring new members into the group. The Heartworks building and the St Mary’s Towers property is a very homely place, where members can escape the busyness of everyday life. It is a place where we can stop and reflect, or just clear our mind and relax.
The group grew out of the work of the MSC Lay and Professed Council and the MSC spirit forms an important basis for the group. This group was originally intended as a way to reach out to those students leaving the MSC high school, Chevalier College. However, the group quickly broadened into a much wider community involving people from Sydney, Canberra, Wollongong, Southern Highlands and surrounding areas with a focus on young adults. During the organic growth of this group we adopted part of the MSC constitution as our own: “Ours is a spirit of family and a spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood, formed by kindness and understanding, by compassion and mutual forgiveness, by gentleness, humility and simplicity, by hospitality and a sense of humour.”
The Heartworks group gather on the first Friday of each month to share a meal together, pray, reflect and catch up on each other’s lives. The simple nature of sharing a meal together should not be overlooked, as it is during this time that light-hearted conversations allow for a mixing of ages and backgrounds, ensuring everyone feels welcome and a part of the group. During the reflection the group often work through a guided discussion, in which members are free to express their opinions openly and without judgement. Heartworks recognises the importance of continual questioning and challenges members to think outside the ‘norm’. It is through questioning and looking at issues through a fresh perspective that our understandings, beliefs and faith are ultimately shaped and strengthened.
True to the original aim of the group, Heartworks holds post-school retreats for those year 12’s graduating from Chevalier College, providing them not only with a retreat after a potentially stressful schooling year and the ability to take stock before entering into a new phase of their life. But more importantly providing them with the knowledge that there is a way for them to remain connected with the MSC spirit that has been so prominent throughout their schooling lives, when and if they want it, as well as a group of young adults willing to share in their journey together.
Heartworks also run retreats for the wider young adult community bi-annually. The purpose of these is twofold. The primary aim is to provide young adults the opportunity to take part in a retreat which renews spirituality and provides guidance. These retreats are run by young adults, for young adults in a relaxed environment with the freedom to come and go as needed. Secondarily, these retreats provide a way to advertise to young adults what Heartworks is about, so that those who might be interested in participating more regularly can find out more about the group.