Dr Patrick J Wright was born in 1942. He studied Veterinary Science and spent his working career as an academic and researcher of animal reproduction. He was always a man of faith and towards the end of his career he began exploring contemplative spirituality. He trained in spiritual direction at the Heart of Life Spirituality Centre. Diagnosed with cancer in 2010, he undertook theological studies to further integrate his experience of life, spirituality and theological frameworks, and completed a Master of Arts (Theology). Patrick died in 2015, after inviting his brother Anthony to help establish the Patrick and Anthony Wright Formation and Education Fund.
Anthony Wright spent his working life teaching Mathematics. He is a passionate chess player. In his retirement he volunteers at an aged care facility where he conducts quizzes to draw out and stimulate the residents, particularly those who are suffering loss of memory. Anthony is strongly committed to the Catholic Church and wants to see young people develop in their understanding of faith.
The Fund was established with $200,000 with the objective to advance and disseminate the scholarship of spiritual direction complemented by academic disciplines such as spirituality, theology and psychology. The funds will be entirely dispersed within five years, seeking to stimulate the development of spiritual direction within Australia.
Patrick was a researcher and questioning current thinking was often the beginning of new discoveries in the scientific world. He thought carefully about how he wanted this money to be used. The basis on which grants will be awarded can be found under Funding Criteria. He specified that priority be given to projects that promote original research and that aim to extend, challenge, and even destabilise current thought and practice.