MC asks: “Do you know anything about Paula D’Arcy and the Gift of the Red Bird book.She is doing a retreat in my diocese and I just wanted to know if this is New Age.”
I have not read the book, Gift of the Red Bird, and cannot comment upon it, however, I can say that Ms. D’Arcy has many close associations with members of the New Age and Catholic dissident population such as Joyce Rupp (supporter of women’s ordination and promoter of the goddess Sophia) and Richard Rohr (published a variety of questionable teachings).
Paul D’Arcy is a former psychotherapist who endured a tragic accident in 1975 which took the life of her husband and only child. She was three months pregnant at the time. Much of her ministry has to do with grief counseling, but New Age philosophies are very much a part of her work, such as her work in the popular neopgan “women’s rites of passage.”
On this website listing some of D’Arcy’s “favorite topics,” we find her explaining her work in “honoring the feminine” as “a time for women to explore the Maiden, Mother and Crone passages in her journey.” (Crone is a popular Wiccan term for “old woman”.)
It’s also disturbing to note that her Red Bird Foundation has played host to Womenspeak conferences which feature New Age gurus such as Jean Shinoda Bolen MD. Bolen calls herself a “Jungian” analyst and says there’s a “soul purpose” to life. “Be centered, and archetypes, dreams and synchronicities provide depth and direction,” she writes on her website. “As one phase of life shifts into the next, energy becomes free to take on something that is personally meaningful . . .”
Sherry Ruth Anderson was another questionable workshop presenter at the 2010 Womenspeak which D’Arcy hosted. She is the founder of the Feminine Wisdom School which is dedicated to helping women access their innate wisdom, to calling upon “awakened beings” for support and guidance, and to cultivating a deeper intimacy with the divine presence “however each person understands this.”
That attendees are coming away with warped ideas about the role of religion in one’s life is evidence by this woman who attended a Womenspeak conference where she learned that people shouldn’t identify themselves by race, culture or religion because this can be the source of “a potential rift.”
I could go on and on but I think you get the idea – stay away from Paula D’Arcy.