Maeve Louise Heaney

Dr Maeve Louise Heaney VDMF, was born in Dublin, Ireland, and is a consecrated missionary of an institute of consecrated life called the Verbum Dei Community.

She has worked in various countries in over the years: Spain (Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia), England (Southampton and London) and Italy (Rome), both in collaboration with Diocesan initiatives in Higher Education Chaplaincy as well as in the field of spirituality, giving retreats and forming lay people for ministry. During this time, she worked extensively with music at the service of pastoral work and outreach, organizing Music and Word events and retreats with composers and musicians, as well as recording five CDs: I Believe in You, Stand and Nel Frattempo, Break the Crystal Frame, and her most recent, this year, Strange life. She has also ministered in formation within her own community.

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She completed her Bachelors in Theology at the Instituto Teológico Verbum Dei, San Pablo Apóstol, in Madrid. In 2004 she completed a Licentiate and Doctorate in Sacred Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, in the area of Fundamental Theology and Theological Aesthetics, where she also taught for two years, as well as at the Rome base of the Catholic University of Dallas. She was the Bannan Fellow at Santa Clara University, California for the academic year 2011-2012, teaching at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley. She is Director of the Xavier Centre for Theological Formation at Australian Catholic University, and is currently President of the Australian Catholic Theological Association (ACTA). She also serves on the formation team at the Holy Spirit Provincial Seminary of Queensland, in Banyo, as the Xavier chair for Theological Formation.

As a musician and composer, she develops her ministry and theological work together in the areas of evangelization, education and liturgy. Here lies one of her strongest interests: that of bringing together in theological thought and praxis, the realms of music, theology and spirituality at the service of lived faith and outreach to future generations. She is a regular presenter at theological and educational conferences and forums. Her publications include Music as Theology: What Music Says about the Word, Princeton Theological Monograph Series (2012), “Music’s Multilayered Subversion of the Word”, Literature and Theology (2017) 31 (2): 200-214, written in collaboration with Dr Roger Hillman; “Music and Theological Method: A Lonerganian Perspective. Theological Studies (September 2016); “Women’s Leadership in the Church: A Question of Imagination” in Sandie Cornish and Andrea Dean (ed.), in Still Listening to the Spirit: Woman and Man Twenty Years Later (Office for Social Justice of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference: Sydney, 2019); “A Hermeneutical Exploration of The Revelatory Text of John 4:1–42, In Performative Key”, Theological Studies (June 2020); and Light from Within: Lenten Program 2020 (Mulgrave: Garratt Publishing, 2020). In 2020 she released her 5th CD: Strange Life: The Music of Doubtful Faith, and her second book: Suspended God: Music and a Theology of Doubt will be launched on Oct 26th, 2022.

Verbum Dei Community

The Verbum Dei Community is an international ecclesial Institute of Consecrated Life of the Catholic Church. It was founded by Fr. Jaime Bonet in Mallorca, Spain in 1963. It received pontifical approval in the year 2000.

The Verbum Dei Community is constituted as a unique structure, formed by two branches of consecrated celibates – the female and male missionaries – together with the married branch of Missionaries. The Verbum Dei Missionary Family gathers and includes lay people of all walks of life who share their charism and mission.

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The Charism has at its core 3 dimensions that are intrinsic to how it understands its own life and the heart of evangelisation:

Prayer with the Word of God is an integral and vital part of the community’s daily life. “It is in this intimate dialogue with the Word, or prayer, that our calling and mission to preach the gospel is rooted. ( VDMF Constitutions #15).

Ministry of the Word 
Preaching the Word of God for us is transmitting God’s life that we receive in prayer. Essential to our mission is to enable others to do the same.
(2 Tim 2:2)

Witness of Life
Our aim is that our preaching is always accompanied by the witness of life that makes it credible.