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Sandhurst Scripture Talks 2023

The Acts of the Apostles
"Making decisions with the Holy Spirit"

In 2023, the Sandhurst Scripture Talk Series presented three online presentations by Scripture Scholars and experienced lecturers Dr Rosemary Canavan and Rev. Dr Brian Boyle. 

Join Rosemary and Fr Brian on a journey through the “Acts of the Apostles”, focusing on the elucidation of the Holy Spirit in the birth of the Church and the activity of the Holy Spirit in the process of discernment in the Council of Jerusalem.

These Scripture Talks aim to help us to reflect on the ways the Holy Spirit has been present in times of change for thousands of years, and how we continue to discern with the help of the Holy Spirit. By attending these online Scripture Talks you will gain a general understanding of Luke’s “Acts of the Apostles”, including knowledge of the literary genre, structure, author, intended audience and the key themes. There will also be panel discussions and the opportunity to ask questions. 

To view recordings, please contact the Chancery at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Read the Text 

To get the best from these Scripture Talks we recommend you read and become familiar with the relevant text.  It can be downloaded below. 

  pdf Acts of the Apostles (Chapters 1-5) (205 KB)

  default Acts of the Apostles (Chapters 14-15) (140 KB)


"Acts of the Apostles is the second literary work composed by Luke as an inspired writer. The first of these works is the Gospel attributed to him. Luke’s intention is to give an ordered account of the Ministry of Jesus and then, similarly, an account of the early Christian community. Luke presents both literary works as manifesting the power of the Holy Spirit.

Acts focuses principally on the preaching ministry of Paul and his strategies of establishing new Christian communities and staying in contact with them through his letters.  Acts has a distinctive literary genre in the New Testament canon, almost like a select history of the early Christian community. Its emphasis on discernment, prayerful reflection and, indeed, synodality makes Acts a topical and enjoyable work for study and reflection."   

Rev. Dr Brian Boyle 


"It was a moment that changed their lives for ever. After the marvel of the Resurrection and the appearances of Jesus, the Ascension was an ending, but it was also a beginning. No longer would Jesus be among them as he had been. The Gospel of Luke comes to a close and turning on the ascension event the Book of Acts begins.  The faithful have had instructions and we find them then, in a room upstairs in Jerusalem.  The eleven Apostles.  All these were constantly devoting themselves in prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus as well as his brothers.  

It's in this place, where they were all together, that the wind of change blew. The sound of a violent rush of wind, all together in one place, all of them were filled with the Holy Spirit. It was Pentecost.  This moment sets off a chain reaction that unfolds through the Book of Acts; it is the birth of the Church.

It is a marvellous fantastic journey of discovery and it’s a never-ending story ..."

Dr Rosemary Canavan 

Via Zoom 

Tuesday 9 May   7.00 - 8.30 p.m. 

An Overview of the Acts of the Apostles, presented by Rev. Dr Brian Boyle.

There will be an opportunity for comments and questions after Fr Brian's presentation. 

Tuesday 16 May   7.00 - 8.30 p.m. 

"Gathered in the Upper Room" [Acts 1:12-26] presented by Dr Rosemary Canavan. 

There will be a panel dialogue with Bishop Shane and time for small group conversations after Rosemary's presentation. 

Tuesday 23 May   7.00 - 8.30 p.m. 

"The Council of Jerusalem" [Acts 15: 5-29] presented by Dr Rosemary Canavan. 

There will be time for small group conversations and a panel dialogue with Dr Chris Cotter and Fr Brian Boyle after Rosemary's presentation. 


These scripture talks are eligible for maintaining accreditation for teaching in Catholic schools in the Diocese of Sandhurst. In other dioceses teachers should check with their education office. 


These talks are at no cost. 

Book online 

Please book all sessions directly through Trybooking.com.
You must book to receive Zoom details to access livestream.

Bookings are closed. Please contact the Chancery at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to view the recordings and receive study material,