The Catholic Church in Australia has gathered for the first Assembly of the Plenary Council held since the second Vatican Council. The entire People of God in Australia began preparing for this historic moment by listening to God, by listening to one another’s stories of faith in 2018. The First Assembly gathered from October 3 – 10 online.
THE JOURNEY SO FAR: BISHOP PAUL REFLECTS – READ MORE, also reports from the First Assembly can be read as well.
Church’s need for inward and outward-looking focus: Fiona Basile speaks with Fr Kevin Lenehan about the Assembly and his experience……more.
The Agenda of the Plenary Council has been published. Read here.
SPIRITUAL CONVERSATIONS: THE PATH TO DISCERNMENT
A key component of the Plenary Council’s assemblies will help members to consider the 16 questions that make up the Council agenda.
Each day, some of those questions will be the focus of small group discernment, with about 10 members engaging in what is known as “spiritual conversations”. What are spiritual conversations? And how do they work? See here for more.
The First General Assembly of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia opened with Mass at 2pm AEDT from St Mary’s Cathedral, Perth on Sunday, October 3. The historic event will develop concrete proposals to create a more missionary, Christ-centred Church in Australia. Watch the live-streamed Mass and access other information on the Plenary Council website at www.plenarycouncil.catholic.org.au
Key moments during the First General will be live-streamed between October 3 and 10. They will include daily Masses, morning prayer for Plenary Council members and sharing of the fruits of discernment. All found at www.plenarycouncil.catholic.org.au or through the diocesan website www.ballarat.catholic.org.au
Technology in place for First Plenary Council Assembly
With much of the country back into lockdown, the first assembly of the Plenary Council, which was already going to be conducted online but with gatherings in several locations, has now moved to a wholly online experience. Given all the work that had been undertaken to deliver the assembly virtually, the shift to each member of the Council participating from their location does not represent a major change in planning. Read more.
Marie Shaddock and Felicity Knobel answer a few questions:
Continuing the Journey:
Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the original date of the Assemblies was changed, with the first assembly now being a mix of in-person and online delivery.
See the new Plenary Council Journey 2020-2022
The voices in Phase I, Listening and Dialogue inspired The National Themes for Discernment, which have served as guides as we went through Phrase II: Listening and Discernment. Click here for the six thematic papers.
Catholics all over Australia continue to participate in discerning with prayerful hearts and minds. Discernment will go on indefinitely.
Click here to access the new resource, the Reflection guide to responding to the Thematic Discernment papers. Click here to access “A Journey of Discernment: The Plenary Council”, a paper by Archbishop Timothy Costelloe.
More than 250 delegates were announced for the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia, including delegates nominated by dioceses, eparchies, ordinariates and a personal prelature. The delegates will represent those local churches at the celebration of the Council over two assemblies.
Assembly 1 will be held in Adelaide on October 3-10, 2021 and Assembly 2 will be held in Sydney on July 4-9, 2022.
In July 2020, as part of the ongoing journey for the Plenary Council, work commenced on the preparation of the instrumentum laboris, or working document, for the Council. Fr Kevin Lenehan is part of the instrumentum laboris writing team.
News from the Plenary Team
Listening and Discerning
In the Discernment phase of the Plenary Council we continue to seek the wisdom of the Holy Spirit.
People who participated in Listening and Dialogue were invited to reconvene in communal Discernment on the six themes.
How is God calling us to be a Christ-centred Church that is:
Missionary and Evangelising
Inclusive, Participatory and Synodal?
Prayerful and Eucharistic?
Humble, Healing and Merciful?
A Joyful, Hope-Filled and Servant Community?
Open to conversion, Renewal and Reform?
Thinking about Discernment:
What is discernment?
Sr Jacinta Rice has compiled a handout which could be of use to the questions around discernment and feelings.
The discernment process.
See here for the resources to the discernment process for each theme.
More information about the National Themes for Discernment and the plenary council is available at the following website
DIOCESAN PRAYER CARD
Bishop Paul has also provided “A Prayer for the Plenary Council”. These prayer cards have been distributed to parishes, school and agencies of the diocese. Futher copies are available from the Pastoral Ministry Office.
RESOURCES FOR PRAYER TOWARDS 2020
In the Diocese of Ballarat, we will have opportunities to gather in our local communities for prayer and dialogue, so that we might make our contribution to the plenary council. Gatherings to open the dialogue were held in local communities during the 2018 Easter season and Bishop Paul prepared a text for Evening Prayer and a text for a Penance Service as resources for these gatherings. This can still be useful and adapted by the community for use in their preparations.
Bookmarks have also been printed and copies are available from the Pastoral Ministry Office, email email@example.com or ph. 5337 7159.
In preparation for Plenary Council 2020, and suitable for Easter Season, Ascension, Pentecost and Confirmation the Diocese of Wollongong have shared a song, The Power of the Spirit. Lyrics, powerpoints and sheet music available.