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Outlined below are the program offerings that Encounter the Heart offers. Each program can be tailored to suit local needs.

Train the Trainer

EH 1 The Student Retreat: Master Class

The Student Retreat Master Class is a two day Professional Development opportunity aimed at upskilling professionals in the school setting to more effectively facilitate the local school student retreat. Please see the Encounter the Heart Calendar for the dates of these programs in 2024.

The Student Retreat Master Class will;

  • Examine the psychological processes at play within the student retreat
  • Look at the strengths of varying types of retreat; the twilight retreat, the street retreat, the theme retreat and more
  • Examine best practice in the retreat setting
  • Introduce participants to the key elements that make up a effective school retreat; ritual and symbol, ice-breakers, story sharing, witness, silence and meditation, group work and more
  • Provide participants with access to key resources for the retreat setting
  • Invite the sharing of participant wisdom and experience

Dates: the Retreat Master Class will be offered two times during 2024. Each offering is a two day Professional Development experience to allow time for the skills and insights to go to greater depth.

The dates are;
February 26th and 27th.
July 15th and 16th.
Register via email to

EH2 Service Learning: Master Class

The Service Learning Master Class is a two day Professional Development opportunity aimed at upskilling professionals in the school setting to more effectively engage with Service Learning. Please see the Encounter the Heart Calendar for the dates of these programs in 2024. This Professional Development opportunity will:

  • Examine the psychological processes at play within Service Learning
  • Identify the key processes for LEARNING within Service Learning
  • Examine Models of Service Learning
  • Grow awareness of the importance of concepts for effective Service Learning
  • Looking at Service Learning programs
  • Introduce possible Service Learning curriculum mapping strategies
  • Look at reflection upon experience models and best practice
  • Examine the role of direct experience, the mentor, the ideological (theological) framework and critical thinking for transformational change

Dates: The Service Learning Master Class will be offered two times during 2024. Each offering is a two day Professional Development experience to allow time for the skills and insights to go to greater depth.

Dates: The dates are;
March 4th and 5th.
October 8th and 9th.
Register via email to

Whole staff Professional Development

EH3 professional development - the school retreat

This one day program aims at upskilling the whole staff in the skills necessary to effectively facilitate the school retreat. While there is value in an outside professional assisting in the facilitation of the school retreat it is ultimately more effective if the local community does the facilitation. Based upon the principle that everyone has something personally and professionally to offer within the school retreat context the day will identity the key elements of an effective retreat, the psychological processes at play and then support local staff in identifying what they could contribute in this space. This Professional Development day can be tailored to meet local needs (whole staff, RE faculty, Campus Ministry etc).

EH4 Professional Development – Service Learning

This whole staff Professional Development day targets the whole staff as agents of effective Service Learning. The truly effective school builds upon the partnership between transformational relationships and curriculum initiatives / experiences framed by the core values of the community all leading to a transformational culture. This PD day looks at the role Service Learning plays within this dynamic either through ‘heightened’ experiences (deliberately targeted experiences that directly address a particular value linked to service) and ‘normative’ experiences that weave the core values of the community through it’s day to day life.



Many schools operate from a particular charism. If Jesus and his Gospel is the diamond, each charism is a face of the diamond. The charism is not the diamond itself but merely a unique (and gifted) insight into or lens of engaging with the person of Jesus and the Gospel. This Professional Development offering would normally take five hours over a day. The details of the day are negotiated with the local community reflecting their particular needs.

While Br Damien is an Edmund Rice Christian Brother his personal experience of both charism and the Religious Life enables him to have privileged insight into the world of charism beyond his own.

EH 5 Charism

Core to this Professional Development day will be an engagement with the Gospel of Jesus as experienced by the founder or founding persons who first lived and articulated the communities ‘face of the diamond’. The PD day engages with a belief that our call is to;

  • Know the story (knowing – as well as we can – the seminal stories that are at the heart of our community)
  • Tell the story (find a multitude of ways to share the heart stories of our community – even though we may not feel worthy of the telling or know the story itself well – it is in the telling that its gift is released)
  • Become the story teller (each community will have those members who grow into the core story – they personify it – they become the ‘story teller’)
EH 6 Spirituality for the every day

Spirituality for the every day is the central program offering from Encounter the Heart. Like all our programs we encourage people to engage with Encounter the Heart to massage this program offering to meet local needs. Many teachers and other professionals in faith based communities are looking for a core articulation of the spirituality and theology central to what they do and seek to be.

Based upon the work of Fr Henri Nouwen, ‘Spirituality for the every day’ introduces us to a simple incarnational spirituality that mirrors the pascal mystery. This Professional Development day will, through the use of ritual, story and small group work introduce participants to a language and concepts that will empower them to be more effective disciples of Jesus in their place of mission and ministry. The central elements of this day are;

Encounter with God – the choice to come as guest – coming as guest to the innate dignity of the other, knowing it is holy ground – coming as guest to the story which is that person’s journey – from this space choosing to be deeply present. Our presence says to the other, “you are beautiful, you are lovable, you are unique”! From this space of presence our hearts will open in compassion. The compassionate heart will be truly and deeply free.

EH7 Leadership Team Retreat

Leadership teams, be they a hospital, a school, a parish or business are busy people. This retreat offers time out and time away to pause and reflect. Normally this retreat would be an overnight experience and much bonding and sharing will happen in the after dinner space. The content of this experience would normally be crafted in consultation with the team itself prior to the retreat. Common themes would be goal setting, ‘check-in’ (how are we going), affirmation and renewal of a sense of mission focus.

Br Price’s ability to bring a strong focus on community and personal beliefs and link them to everyday practice is powerful, and he does it in an engaging and interesting presentation.

Andrew – Head of Faculty St Laurence’s College, Brisbane

I have worked in and out of Christian Brothers associated schools for a number of years and heard the stories and history of Blessed Edmund Rice and the Brothers. Brother Damien brings to life the spirit of Edmund Rice. His pedagogy of passing on the stories communicated the animating spirit of Christ and his Gospel showing how it was and is alive in Edmund’s and the Brothers’ ministry.

Daniel MacKillop College, Hobart

Encounter the Heart facilitated by Br Price is poignant, deeply spiritual, awakening and engaging. Br Damien presented a 3 hour twilight in Term 4 at the end of the day and all were engaged as we experienced the concept of ‘guest’ and what that means for us in our vocation as teachers. I experienced so many ‘ah ha’ moments. Gratitude to Br Damien for his wisdom, for bringing the Edmund Rice story to life and for prompting us to reflect deeply on the impact we have.

Lisa Clairvaux MacKillop College, Brisbane

Brother Damien Price provided an opportunity for the staff of St Ursula’s College to relate to the message of Jesus in a very personal way. Using story and movement, staff deepened their understanding of the compassion shown by Jesus and were able to connect this to the Ursuline charism and our role as educators in today’s world. This day had a profound impact and staff continue to talk positively about the experience.

Mary St Ursula’s College

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