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SDI Plants a "Gratefulness" Tree in Australia

Spiritual Directors International gives a Gratefulness Tree to Australia at Campion Retreat Centre


oak tree

From the opening prayer:

We celebrate with deep gratefulness the planting of an oak tree, as a symbol of gratefulness from Spiritual Directors International to Australia, to Mother Earth, to Melbourne’s hosting of the Parliament of the World’s Religions, “Make a World of Difference: Hearing each other, Healing the earth.” We celebrate the contribution that spiritual direction is making around the world and across traditions to build community capacity for compassion, peace, justice and to steward all of God’s creation.

On 2 December 2009, fourteen people gather for a tree planting followed by a beautiful reception at Campion Retreat Centre. Together we contribute dirt, water the tree, reflect upon what are we grateful for, and ask ourselves, "What do we want to grow in our hearts and in our world, how does planting a tree and offering spiritual direction?"

The Jesuit superior, Laurence Leonard, loved the gift of a tree because a 101 year old oak tree recently died and fell down. The trTree plantingee gift from Spiritual Directors International symbolizes new life in the public meditation gardens.

Liz Ellmann, executive director of Spiritual Directors International shared, "Vicki Clark, an Aboriginal woman I met during the Parliament, gave me a painted rock to include in the planting with her blessing. We shared what we are grateful for and what we hope will grow as a result of the Parliament and spiritual direction: PEACE."

May this tree, and our lives contribute to “make a world of difference.”

Tree planting in Australia


Kristen Hobby's picture
Submitted by Kristen Hobby (not verified) on

It was a delight to be part of the planting of this special tree here in Melbourne. I will look forward to visiting it each time I come to Campion. Thank you.

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