Many people have experienced life changing events and moments at The Carmelite Centre Melbourne. Here are some comments, stories and feedback of their spiritual journeys to inspire and encourage you.

Mt Macedon Bushwalk

“The thing that made the most impact was the beauty, silence and peace of the environment. It was a magnificent day!”

“The companionship was great too -meeting new people and those who had crossed my path before but I hadnt seen for a long time.”

“Just being out in the bush and the peace it provided.”

“Damien and Irene, your gentle, warm and genuine welcome and leadership during the day.”

“I enjoyed the day, company was very good, enjoyed walking & talking, location was beautiful & not too far away, in that the walk had been previewed Damien & Irene you were well informed, access to bus at midway point allowed some to not feel they had to soldier on which was really good.”

“As a first time ‘pilgrim’, the strongest impact was the gathering together from many corners, geographical and not, all of us ready and willing to walk together.”

“Damien & Irene’s kindness of course! You both were very kind to us and well organised too!”

Everyday Retreat

“Opportunity to take part in a retreat before Lent. It was great to be able to have the time to concentrate upon prayer without distractions.”

“Fr. Jim’s patience in listening to a total “stranger” like me!”

“The inner quietness and the knowledge of God’s love within me rather than it being ‘out there somewhere!’. My focus prayer is repeated through the day and no doubt with me for life.  :-)) ”

“The opportunity to discuss issues on a one-to-one basis.”

“Most important was the One-on-One Session each day. The everyday retreat was an accessible way for us to plan in to our day.  I think we are very fortunate to have access to so many  ‘Events and Services’, The Library, The Carmelite Family and 2 Beautiful  Churches.”

“Mainly the approach of handing the responsibility over to me, the participant. Thus the role of the spiritual companion as mostly one of listening to my experiences and reflections, gives one the motivation to do the work during the day, and not just drift along… ”

“Making the space in my life for retreat time … and having someone to observe me and walk with me through the week.”

Meditation Workshop

“The Dalai Lama DVD was really inspiring!”

“Having a relaxed mind through meditation does require some work.”

“The great services & kindness from Yvonne! She was very good & everyone really appreciated for her help on the day! Thanks, Yvonne!”

“The practical open manner of Peter in presenting the various modes of meditation.”

“I found the idea of lighting a candle helpful and of watching the flame while I meditate. I’ve also reduced the time I was meditating last year to 15-20 min max for a while, as I’d been struggling with 30 minutes. In addition, I’ve decided on a specific spot and time, for the moment.”

Jesus on Screen

“The chance to compare the views of Jesus over the decades, it is amazing how the events of the times shaped how the film makers depicted the person of Jesus. Hearing the discussion led by the facilitator was amazing!”

“Hi Irene and Damien, thank you for such a wonderful day on Saturday! Fr. Peter Malone was so inspiring and loved his story telling. I liked the fact that I could come to a workshop for the whole day – more workshops of this duration would be much appreciated.”

“Peter Malone’s knowledge and command of his subject including facilitating discussion.”


“I benefited a great deal from Charles’ sessions not least because he is a kind and compassionate man. The idea of living in the now has helped me immensely in caring for my 95 year old mother who is now very disabled in a home. It has helped me not become consumed with this issue.”

“The concept of this breath, this moment. Not living in the past or present – living in the now.”

“I would love to have a follow up session once a month. It is difficult trying to keep up the momentum by yourself and there is so much more to now and practice. I would do this whole course again.”

“Excellent teacher created a spiritual experience.”

‘The Carmelite Way’ Pilgrimage November

“Just wanted to once again say a big ‘Thank You’ for making the walking pilgrimage happen. It was a lovely mix of solitude and camaraderie for me, and has been very restorative. I wish you every success in all the ventures of the Carmelite centre.”

“The response at the end showed everyone appreciating it so much.”

“Thanks once again for organizing a wonderful weekend pilgrimage. My soles may be wounded and sore, but my soul is refreshed.”

“Thanks for the nice week end we have spent together in Warburton. On Friday when I joined the group, it was for me an “unknown world” but as soon as I was welcome by Damien, I just felt that I was “really at home”. I have made new friends immediately and I was impressed by the warmth hospitality / simplicity / respect for each other and the Carmelite spirituality during the whole week end.  Also it was very nice to meet Sr Rosemary, Br Angelino and Martino. On Sunday the mass at the Sancta Sophia Meditation Community was great and meditative, thanks also to Ken and Kathleen for their warm welcome and the great BBQ on that day. Last but not the least my thanks to Denis who accompanied us on this bushwalk as our spiritual leader.”

“Thank you once again for organising such a joyous and spiritually enriching weekend. Fr Dennis was a very relaxed religious leader, and Ken and Kath were quite an inspiration. I think I did learn to relax a bit more and just let things happen, so it was really beneficial to me, as well as enjoying the walk. Even though I had a blister by the end of the second day and didn’t complete the walk on Sunday, that was my fault for only wearing one pair of socks whilst walking nearly 20ks on the first day. ”

“Isn’t it amazing the way life just gets in the way once we’re back in the “real world”. Thank you so much for the opportunity to join such a beautiful pilgrimage – so beneficial on so many levels! Many thanks for all your hard work of organisation, it paid off! I am so grateful to you and thanks to the group who made the days so enjoyable.”

“Very many thanks for a wonderful opportunity to walk the Warburton Trail.  I enjoyed all aspects of the weekend and thankyou for organising such an event.”

“Look forward to participating in future events.”

“Thanks Damien and Irene for organising this Pilgrimage, it has been a wonderful experience and I enjoyed every minute, the spectacular walks in perfect weather, the spiritual input, the comaradarie with the group ending with that beautiful mass in a amazing setting. Feel very blessed to have had this experience……….. ”

“Thank you so much for the opportunity to take part in the inaugural pilgrimage. It was such a wonderful weekend, mostly due to your hard work and planning. And for you to be able to organise such fabulous weather, put the icing on the cake. 🙂 ”

“And as much as I enjoyed the walking through the beautiful countryside, the part of the weekend that will stay with me longest was the chance to meet some wonderful and inspirational people, including yourselves. I never cease to be amazed by some peoples capacity  and willingness to give to others and felt humbled to be in the presence of so many of these people on this walk. I was also very appreciative of the hospitality shown by Ken and Kathleen and the community at Sancta Sophia.”


“Thanks for helping with how I need to be active to achieve meditation/relaxation. And Meme’s marvellous personality that brought  warmth to the five hours and of course her knowledge.”

“I would like to say ‘Thank You’ for the excellent meditation course. Meme did a great job. Thank you also very much for the delicious lunch.”


“Welcoming atmosphere, lovely food, comfortable and peaceful environment, gentle leadership and a lovely bunch of participants made for a very enjoyable and fulfilling day. Thank you!”

“Angela is a sensitve listener with a gift for bringing people’s experiences to the group in a light way.”

“Love the experiential nature of the day.”

“I thought it was a great idea, using the richness of an ancient celebration to take stock of where I sit at the moment in the context of my life.  I would certainly come to similar retreats.”

“There are always lots of interesting things at the Centre – thank you!”

Spiritual Direction

“The process of Spiritual Direction has enabled me to grow in self knowledge and to see and understand how my life is guided and supported by a loving God. Through the supportive presence of my Spiritual Director, listening without judgement or criticism, I am experiencing a deepening in spiritual awareness that would not otherwise be possible.”