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Faber CIS - Brisbane QLD

Visit the Faber website - for information about our programs and up to date information on what is happening.

Contact us

John Reilly SJ, Director
Faber Centre of Ignatian Spirituality
PO Box 721, Toowong DC, Qld 4066.

Tel: 617 3368 2450
Fax: 617 3368 2486



Faber Centre, the newest centre of the Centres of Ignatian Spirituality throughout Australia, was launched in Brisbane on 4th August 2006 and nestled in the luxurious grounds of at St Paul’s Theological College, Banyo.

Faber is named after Blessed Peter Faber (1506-1546), one of the first companions of Saint Ignatius at the University of Paris (1528-1534) and the first among them to be ordained a priest.

The Faber Centre of Ignatian Spirituality under its founding director, Fr Chris Gleeson sj, began offering a variety of programs in 2007 based on Ignatian Spirituality and adapted to the different needs of people.

Four pioneers of the Spiritual Exercises in Queensland actively shared in the first activities of Faber - Fr John Drury sj, Sister Delphine O’Shea mss, Mr John Borger, all recently deceased, and Fr Vince Hurley sj who continues as a Faber member and who is also National Secretary in Australia of the international Apostleship of Prayer.

The amalgamation of St Paul’s Theological College with ACU Theology at the end of 2008 meant that Faber had to vacate its wonderful home at Banyo and find a new location.

The Sisters of the Sacred Heart and Stuartholme Girls School came to our rescue and offered us a new and larger home in Brisbane in a spacious section of their property at Freer’s Farm in the former Freer’s Potato Chip Factory in Bardon close to Toowong.

Faber moved to this new location in February 2009 which was officially opened in April as the new site of Faber Centre of Ignatian Spirituality in Queensland.  It is in a beautiful rainforest setting at the foot of Mt Coot-tha, opposite the Slaughter Creek Falls Picnic area.

During retreats and quiet days, participants can wander the walking tracks around the Falls area, taking in the majestic beauty of Australian gum trees and ancient rock formations while listening to the songs of the birds and the sounds of water trickling over silent stone.

Since no overnight accommodation is available at the Faber Centre, all Faber residential retreats are offered at the archdiocesan Santa Teresa Spiritual Centre, formerly the Cenacle Retreat Centre, which after enlargement and restructuring was officially opened by the Brisbane Archdiocese in October 2009.

All Faber offerings derive from the understanding that St lgnatius Loyola wrote the Spiritual Exercises and began to give them to others while he was a layman, and that Ignatian Spirituality belongs to everyone. 

In January 2011 after laying a firm foundation for the new Faber Centre Fr Chris moved to a new appointment in Melbourne and Fr John Reilly sj who worked with him from the beginning was appointed the new director of Faber.

A team of now 20 qualified spiritual directors at Faber, mostly part-time lay persons, continues to offer multi-modal retreats, spiritual direction and accompaniment, pastoral formation programs, seminars and workshops, and outreach programs, always adapted for people in different situations and their diverse needs.

Faber Team Members:

John Reilly SJ (Director) has worked most of his Jesuit life overseas in India and in different countries of East Asia and the Pacific, directing formation programs in theology, scripture, and spirituality, and lately in Australia for the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference as National Director for priestly life and ministry.

Angela Botti fdcc is a Canossian Daughter of Charity and has spent most of her life in Adult Faith Formation. She trained in the Jesuit School at CRD, Boston. Since 1998 has been giving Ignatian Spiritual Exercises in their different forms, particularly 8 Day Directed Retreats and the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life, and giving Spiritual Direction.

Larry Cox was born in Canada, worked in Air Traffic Services across Canada, Papua New Guinea, and Australia, is chair of the Chaplaincy Department (all faith groups), and team leader of the Catholic team at the RBWH. Supervisor of pastoral care training for the Multi-faith Academy for Chaplaincy and Community Ministries. He is Co-chair of the National Committee of Companions in this Ignatian Ministry.

Steve Cunningham is married with four grown up children and has an extensive business background. He is a Companion in the Ministry of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises. Steve’s particular interest is in promoting Ignatian Spirituality to those people and communities beyond the metropolitan areas.

Anne Dawson OSU has a background in education and has developed and taught courses in spirituality in the Christian tradition and in contemporary spirituality.  Has a special interest in women’s spirituality, and in providing opportunities for people to access retreats and formation courses through the Faber Outreach program.

Gerry Ellis is a trained physiotherapist. She is married to Chris and they have four adult children and nine grandchildren.  Her special interests are the Thirty Week Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius in Daily Life, shorter Prayer Days and Retreats offered in parishes, and to bring people of all faith backgrounds into a deeper relationship with God.

Cecilia Formby was born in England and migrated to Australia in 1973 with her husband and two small children. Has six children and two long term foster children, and many other short term foster children. Did the Spiritual Exercises more than 25 years ago, guided by a Good Samaritan Sister. Completed the Arrupe Program in Queensland. Is interested in general spiritual direction.

Clive Hamlin is a semi retired insurance broker. He has been trained as a giver of the Spiritual Exercises in the Queensland Arrupe Programme. Clive has a special interest in the giving of retreats in daily life. He is also involved with a group of men who conduct parish based weekend retreats.

Catherine Hefferan RSM is a Sister of Mercy. Has a background in General Nursing, with qualifications in Midwifery and Psychiatry/Counselling. Is a Bachelor of Theology, Master of Ministry, and certificate from Institute for the Study of Human Sexuality (U.S.A.). Worked for women with psychiatric disabilities. Has a special interest in the writings of Teillard de Chardin SJ. Has worked in Australia and P.N.G. 

Ann Hoare is the Manager of the Faber Centre, has a long association with Ignatian Spirituality through Christian Life Community, and is a member of its National Executive. Ann has conducted a number of art and Ignatian spirituality programs and is training as a spiritual director in the Arrupe Program.

Kerry Holland is a practising artist and a giver of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises as a member of the Faber CIS team. She is interested in the interaction of prayer and creative processes; particularly within the dynamic of the full Spiritual Exercises.

Vince Hurley SJ has been a lecturer in Spirituality at Pius X Seminary, Banyo, and has introduced many people to the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius in both Queensland and New South Wales. He is currently Australian Director of the Apostleship of Prayer.

Dale Keenan has a background in education, theology, information technology, is a member of the National Arrupe Team, has a Graduate Diploma in Theology, and is studying guided imagery and music.  She is especially interested in expanding opportunities for lay people to uncover the jewels of Ignatian Spirituality.

Elizabeth Kerr is married, the mother of eight adult children and a grandmother. She has a theology degree with a special interest in spirituality for women and its integration into family life. She enjoys giving one on one spiritual guidance and the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius in daily life.

Ken Robertson is a cradle catholic whose life has always been involved in and influenced by catholic schools, parishes and the many ministries in his local church communities. Over the last eight years Ignatian Spirituality has been for him a life-changing experience.           

Peter Shakhovskoy has a background in engineering, communications technology and management. He is married with five adult sons and also has a Grad Dip in Ministry and a Masters in Theology. He has been involved in giving men’s retreats nationally in Australia and NZ over 8 years. He also presents the Soul Space retreats in the Brisbane Archdiocese and is co -founder of Men Alive.

Maria Shelley is married with 8 adult children. Spent 18 years in Papua New Guinea, teaching and after ongoing training became a catechist. Continued as a catechist in Australia for over 20 years. Became a member of CLC, and after doing the Spiritual Exercises did further study and formation in Ignatian Spirituality.

Denise Sullivan is a mediator and counsellor and has been giving the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises since 2008.She has a BA(LLB) and Master of Counselling degree, and trained as a giver of the Ignatian Exercises through the Arrupe Program in Brisbane.

Peter Webb is married to Christine and they have seven children and two grandchildren. Both were formerly members of the CLC. Peter is a Catholic high school teacher. He completed the Arrupe Program in Brisbane under three Ignatian heroes of the past, Fr John Drury SJ, Sr Delphine O'Shea MSS and Mr John Borger.

Min Wullems is a computer consultant who builds custom software. As a giver of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises, he is interested in providing people with the opportunity to further their personal relationships with God.

Website design and implementation by Brendan Marett.