By Fr Andrew Bullen SJ
Born in Old South Wales, at the age of thirteen Andrew Bullen was diagnosed with cancer, resulting in the amputation of his right leg. His family moved to Australia in 1964 and he finished his schooling at the Jesuits’ St Aloysius’ College, Sydney, New South Wales. He joined the Jesuits in 1967.
Along with the usual priestly training he finished an Arts degree at Monash University followed by an MA that focused on religious poetry in Australia. He was ordained priest in 1979, and worked in teaching, chaplaincy and educating young Jesuits. He served two terms as assistant to the Jesuit provincial, edited the spirituality magazine Madonna, and currently is parish priest of Our Lady of the Way, North Sydney.
His interest in literature has found expression in his poetry. As well as literature, he finds inspiration in the everyday objects of religion – scripture, saints, places of pilgrimage and religious art and artefacts – and in his own experience.
Andrew writes about the strangeness of life and of the exigencies and blessings of living with a handicap. He sings
of the gift of human frailty, by which we ‘learn that only the skills of gentleness / and tender humour … can meet the dark’. Humour is there aplenty, as well as loving observations of the everyday and of the exotic, and a delight in travel and in art. He has a long-time interest in the visual arts and in 2010 was one of the three judges for the Blake Prize for Religious Art.
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