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Trish McBride

A Closer Look at Forgiveness

In this workshop participants will explore the concept of forgiveness and its possible outcomes in some depth. They will use case studies, Scripture, small group work. Trish’s understanding and analysis is set out in a paper called ‘… as we forgive them’ – or not, published in her book Exploring the Presence: More Faith Patches (2011). The key focus is ‘What would Jesus do?’

As a spiritual director, counsellor, chaplain in a mental health context and former Womens’ Refuge educator, Trish has listened to many traumatised people wrestling with the subject of forgiveness, and often their guilt at being unable to do what they believe is necessary. Forgiveness is almost invariably presented in Christian settings as a given, a necessary response to harm done to one’s self, with an assumption that we all know what is meant by the word. A simplistic understanding of forgiveness can be actually harmful in some circumstances.

Desired outcomes:

  • Spiritual directors will have a more nuanced ability to be with people struggling with the topic of forgiveness,
  • a better understanding of the process of recovery from trauma, and
  • enhanced pastoral sensitivity.

Trish McBride (Wellington NZ)

Trish McBride, MA(Hons), Dip PMin, ACM, MNZAC, MACSD(NZ).  Trish has been a member of the NZ Association of Christian Spiritual Directors for almost 20 years and has worked as a chaplain in various contexts for a similar time. She was a deeply involved Catholic for most of her life, and later spent some years with Quakers, and ExAlt, a women’s spirituality group. She is currently a spiritual director, chaplain in a mental health context, counsellor/educator, and writer. Formal studies include Diploma in Pastoral Ministry (Catholic), and recognition as an Associate in Christian Ministry (inter-denominational). Passions include family (including 18 exquisite grandchildren), the well-being of women, nurturing her friendships, inter-spirituality, quilting, reading, swimming, and walking.

Writing: includes

Prize-winner, international Harriott Memorial Prize for religious  journalism, The Tablet (London) 1994.

Spiritual Direction with Women after Sexual Abuse by Clergy: Observations on the Spiritual Journeys of Some New Zealand Women Survivors, paper in Presence (SDI, March 2010)

Contributor of chapters to three Catholic Institute of Theology (Auckland) books. The latest of these, Journeying into Prayer: People and Their Pathways, to be published in March 2012.

Author of three books on own spiritual journey:

  • From the Shepherd’s Mouth: A Study of Sexual Abuse in the Church (1999)
  • Faith Evolving: A Patchwork Journey (2005, 2nd ed. 2007)
  • Exploring the Presence: More Faith Patches (2011).