Tuesday, February 23, 2016

2016 Upcoming Events

Dream Matrix with Susan Pollard rsj 

Saturday, 23rd April, 10.00am to 4.00pm

An Introduction to Dreamwork: with a reflective exploration of Carl Gustav Jung’s approach to understanding dreams and their impact on our lives. This will be followed by an exploration of the relationship between dreams and prayer through Scripture, myth, literature and dream    material from clinical practice.

Cost: F $35 or C $25 BYO Lunch
Registrations Close: Friday, April 15 – infosa@sosj.org.au
Mary MacKillop Centre Adelaide (Bethany)
4 High Street, Kensington 5068

River Flows Through You with Susan Pollard rsj 

Wednesday, July 27, 7.00pm to 9.00pm

At the source of the longest river, the voice of the hidden waterfall   TS Eliot, Little Gidding
Individuation and Mysticism: a perspective informed by snippets from the life and writings of St Teresa of Avila, St John of the Cross, St. Mary MacKillop and Fr Julian Tenison Woods.

Cost: F $25 or C $15
Registrations Close: Wednesday, July 20th – infosa@sosj.org.au
Mary MacKillop Centre Adelaide (Bethany)
4 High Street, Kensington 5068 

The Sacred Circle with Susan Pollard rsj

Friday, November 4th, 7:30pm                         

Cost: Members $6; non-members $12

Exploring the Mandala as a Path of Awareness and Dialogue, we will take up the symbol of the ‘sacred circle.’  We will see how the cycle of ‘quaternary’ appears in life and in dreams and make reference to Jung’s Compass of Psychological Types as individuals travel on the way of individuation:

There is no light without shadow and no psychic wholeness without imperfection.  To round itself out, life calls not for perfection but for completeness; and for this ‘the thorn in the flesh’ is needed, the sufferance of defects without which there is no progress and no ascent (CW 6: 208)

Dr Susan Pollard is a Jungian analyst in private practice.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

New Look at Chastity

Celibacy and Soul: Exploring the Depths of Chastity
by Susan J Pollard

A review by Katrina Brill, RSJ

“Celibacy is not for everyone. It frees you for love, for vulnerability, for surprise, for unanticipated friendships. It’s not an end in itself,” explains one of the 28 sisters, nuns, monks, brothers and priests who participated in Susan Pollard’s research into the experience of living the vow of celibate chastity.

Interweaving every chapter are the “real-life” experiences of the participants. This gives the impression of a dialogue between the participant voices and the content Susan Pollard draws from mythology, mysticism, philosophy, literature, Christian spirituality and analytical psychology. Looking at celibate chastity through the window of these different strands and of archetypical images makes this book different from other books I’ve read on chastity. While at times I was almost overwhelmed by the language of mythology and psychology, the author constantly lured me into encountering new insights in the experiences.

The underlying theme of Celibacy and Soul is that celibate chastity is an evolutionary process. The book itself is structured to reflect the transitional times of the “four movements” in the path to maturity. The author calls for a re-visioning of the vow of chastity as a journey of ongoing intimacy with God and with others, rather than of having virginity as an exclusive goal. With Diarmuid O’Murchu she suggests celibacy is a “vow of and for relatedness.” One participant put it this way: “My heart has been stretched, moulded and shaped and I became celibate. It has been a process of becoming celibate over the years. It is a process in which something happenedtome...Iguessitisa freedom to love.”

Susan Pollard is a Sister of St. Joseph living in Adelaide. She is a Jungian analyst trained in Zurich and practises in South Australia. She has lectured for 20 years on analytical psychology and religion. Her book came out of her own struggle to understand her commitment to celibate loving and a desire to hear others’ experience. She acknowledges that some survey participants were disenchanted but she chose to focus on those who find meaning and contentment in celibate chastity.

This book will have particular interest for women and men Religious. It may also have appeal for those who live a celibate life by choice or circumstance. I believe this book will be affirming and helpful for many striving to live celibate chastity meaningfully.

Celibacy and Soul
Exploring the Depths of Chastity
by Susan J. Pollard
ISBN: 978-1771690133
order from:

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Exploring Some Jungian Themes with Susan Pollard


The ‘Breath of Life’:
‘Soul Substance’ is an archetype,
a collective idea, that recurs universally

The delicateness of the life breath comes home as we encounter death and gift of life. In Hebrew Scripture, the "breath of the power of God pervades everything” (Wisdom 7:24-25).  In this workshop we celebrate this gift of life!


When: Thursday, May 14 , 2015
Where: Bethany @ Mary MacKillop Centre Adelaide
4 High Street, Kensington SA
(Street parking only)
Time: 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Cost: $20 or $15 unwaged/concession
Please register: by Friday, May 8 **

✢ ✢ ✢ ✢ ✢ 

Exploring the Archetype of
‘the Journalist’ and the Art of Journaling

The ‘journalist’ the archetype and complex of ‘the story-teller’ ... “whose business is to record a mood as it comes, as exactly as possible, knowing that life is flux and the mood must change” (May Sarton, At Seventy: A Journal). In terms of analytical psychology with the help of a variety of inner and also outer voices from literature, memoir and film, we will take up and reflect on what Jung termed ‘the Individuation’ process.


When: Wednesday, September 23
Time: 7.00pm - 9.00pm
Where: Bethany @ Mary MacKillop Centre Adelaide 4 High Street, Kensington SA
(Street parking only)
Cost: $20 or $15 unwaged / concession
Please register: by Friday, September 18**

* SUSAN POLLARD—a Sister of St Joseph—graduated in 2000 as a Jungian Analyst from the CG Jung Institute, Zurich. She works in private practice as a Jungian Analyst in Adelaide.
** REGISTRATIONS: Phone 08 8130 5900 OR Email: infosa@sosj.org.au

Monday, March 2, 2015

Celibacy and Soul Book Launch

On Saturday, 14th February, after the South Australian Regional Day we were invited to attend the launch of Susan Pollard’s book, ‘Celibacy and Soul.’

A large group of Sisters, colleagues, friends and of course, members of Susan’s family gathered to rejoice with her on this remarkable achievement. As we gathered in Bethany drinks and nibbles were shared to the strains of music provided by a group of Susan’s musician friends.

Published by Fisher King Press this book challenges and encourages us at the same time. It is an honest, open and courageous exploration of the living of a celibate life in today’s world. Mary Cresp introduced the book and took us on a brief walk with Susan through it pages. Mary told us ‘there is much to treasure in this book’ and proceeded to illustrate this fact with references throughout. She reminded us that scandal about sexual abuse in Church circles has caused ‘great disillusion and hurt to many of our brothers and sisters.’ As Mary pointed out Susan reminds us that it is the “right time …to try to bring to light another side of celibate love that needs to be told” Susan then pro- ceeds to do just that, often using quotations from religious from around the world. This gives the book a real immediacy and integrity.

Susan reminds us of the love which brings us to a celibate love and points out some of the implica- tions of such a love. As one interviewee points out, “Celibate love is essentially generative: it includes kindness, faithfulness, hospitality, patience, joy and caring for others”, “it is a lifelong learning that leads eventually to profound meaning and spiritual joy.”

To conclude the formalities, Susan thanked all those who have supported her along the path to this joyful day. She pointed out that the Daughters of St Paul had kindly agreed to sell books on the day and that she would sign them. With Mary Cresp and all those present I join in congratulating Susan on the publication of this timely and beautiful book which in itself is a tribute to her professional approach, her scholarly research and her ability to explore a subject which we have all too often kept in the background. We congratulate you Susan and pray that the Spirit of love will imbue those who read and learn from this very special publication.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Celibacy and Soul: Exploring the Depths of Chastity

Review by Dr. Brendon Stewart

Celibacy and Soul. Exploring the Depths of Chastity
Susan J. Pollard

Most Saturday afternoons I spend time waiting to have my groceries checked out at my local friendly supermarket. While waiting I can easily indulge my social research interests by reading and at times skimming through the journals that bring us the latest circumstances detailing various marriage breakdowns and the unabashed sexual arrangements of some celebrity.

What could I make of a book, recently in my hand that was suggesting celibacy and chastity could be imagined as passionate and beautiful? Susan Pollard near to the beginning of her Prelude makes clear that consenting to the way of celibate love is about a sense of rightness for her and she finds herself happy as a celibate. She is quick to say that what she is writing about is not high on the popularity list of erotic tales and yet it is a fascinating and radical choice about how one might choose to live as a sexual person. Yes, a sexual person, for the author, her celibacy is not some strange neurotic twist of body hating, sex fearing timidity, which saw her flee to the convent but rather an aesthetic, sensuous and psychologically deep choice that will tell the story of her love.

Along with being a Sister of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart, Pollard is a Jungian analyst and clinical psychologist with a professional practice that takes her into the secular world. The book references Jung often enough especially by way of his emphasis on the Greater Self who is the Other within every person. It is this Other, this Other within, that Pollard is attending to and she writes of the transformative potential of celibate love as she engages this archetypal relationship.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Celibacy and Soul: Exploring the Depths of Chastity


Celibacy and Soul: Exploring the Depths of Chastity is for women and men who have chosen to live into celibate chastity. It is also for those people who live celibate love, and though not vowed to a religious calling, know the way of celibate love as their path. You may find yourself celibate not by choice or you may hope it is a temporary stage. Perhaps life interrupted your plans with the death of a loved one, the loss of a relationship , the situation of illness, the trauma of abuse, or you simply didn’t settle with the desired partner and you want to find meaning in your life as a celibate person. Celibacy and Soul  is also useful for those in the helping professions, as the work of a therapist asks a celibate kind of loving that can be catalyst for change in both clients and practitioners.

Product Details
Paperback edition: 230 pages (estimate) Index, Bibliography
Publisher: Fisher King Press; First edition (Jan 15, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN 10: 1771690135
ISBN 13: 978-1771690133