An Introduction to Sanctuary

The Discovery of Wonder


  • Julie Leibrich



Chaplaincy, meaning, spirituality, spiritual journey, spiritual sanctuary


This article is a personal reflection of the author’s life and spiritual journey using a number of personal stories. It addresses multiple themes including the concept of sanctuary – what kind of experiences illuminate what sanctuary is, and how we can protect our own inner sense of sanctuary. It also discusses the relationship between mystery meaning and miracle, which can lead to experiences of sanctuary. A former Mental Health Commissioner with the New Zealand Government the author was one of the keynote reflective addresses at the national Spiritual Care Australia Conference held in Melbourne in May 2016. An earlier version of this essay was presented as a paper at the conference.

Author Biography

Julie Leibrich

Julie Leibrich is an author and former Mental Health Commissioner, New Zealand Government (1996–2000).


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—(2015) Sanctuary: The Discovery of Wonder. Dunedin: Otago University Press.

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How to Cite

Leibrich, J. (2016). An Introduction to Sanctuary: The Discovery of Wonder. Health and Social Care Chaplaincy, 4(2), 207–224.