top of page

The Dominican Institute for Spirituality (DIS)

Mission Statement

The Dominican Institute for Spirituality

is a ministry of the Dominican Sisters of Western Australia

which provides spiritual and faith formation programs

to persons who are intentional about their relationship with the Trinity, self and others, including all creation.

The Institute provides programs for

a) School Staff PD Days and Retreats;

b) Parish Formation programs and retreats, and

c) While grounded in the Roman Catholic tradition,

also welcomes the opportunity to minister to peoples of other denominations and faiths.

The Dominican Institute for Spirituality is a "centre without walls" which means that the presenters are available to travel wherever there is a need for adult spiritual and faith formation. Travel is not confined to WA!


"To Praise, To Bless and To Preach"

True to the tradition set by Saint Dominic de Guzman, we "go out to all the world" to announce the Good News through the presentation of programs, retreats, and spiritual direction.

The Institute maintains strong connections with other institutes of adult spiritual and faith formation, such as Catholic Institute (WA), and the Centre for Faith Enrichment, an agency of the Archdiocese of Perth.

The Director of the Institute is Margaret Scharf OP, who returned to WA in 2012, after more than 17 years in USA, mostly working at the Center for Spiritual Development, a ministry of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Orange, California. Margaret travelled to many US States, including Alaska and Hawai'i. Since her return to Perth, Margaret has travelled to the Solomon Islands to offer retreats and formation programs to the Dominican Sisters, as well as lead Youth faith formation programs for the Diocese of Auki. In 2017, Margaret will join a team of Sisters of St Joseph of Orange and travel to Tanzania to present an intensive formation program for women Religious who are training to be spiritual directors.


Margaret Scharf OP, D Min, MA (Spirituality), M Ed (Religious Studies), Grad. Dip Arts Intercultural Studies (Aboriginal major) is a member of the Dominican SIsters of Western Australia. Margaret has a background in Education, being both a primary teacher and principal. She also coordinated the Dominican Sisters' Motor Mission, based in Morawa, and travelled about 800 kms per week, teaching Religious education to Catholic children in State Schools from Pre-Primary to Year 10, and offered the Sacramental programs in her region.

From 1987-1989, Margaret was the director of the Catechetical Centre for the Diocese of Gizo, Western Province, Solomon Islands, and again, she travelled the Western Province training Catechists, swapping the car for a canoe!

From 1990-1994, Margaret returned to Geraldton Diocese to be a Teacher and Principal at Wandalgu Catholic Primary School, Tardun, situated on the farming property of the Pallottines, which provided both boarding opportunities and Catholic education to Aboriginal children.

From 1995 to 2012, Margaret lived in the United States of America, during which time she studied at Gonzaga University and the Graduate Theological Foundation, Indiana, and was 16 years at the Center for Spiritual Development in Orange, California. Margaret offered programs in Spirituality, Scripture, Theology, Faith formation, and retreats. She was also the Supervisor of the three-year Art of Spiritual Direction, a formation program for training spiritual directors. For her Doctoral work, Margaret designed a radically new formation program for supervisors of spiritual directors, and presented courses to potential supervisors.

For MANY years, Margaret has been a composer/songwriter of contemporary liturgical songs, with publications on sale in Australia and USA. Her songs have also reached the shores of the Solomon Islands, and Ireland! In May 2016, Margaret was the Liturgist/Musician for the triennial gathering of the Dominican Sisters International in Rome, and wrote the theme song, as well as other ritual songs in multiple languages.



bottom of page