Plenary Council 2020
Listen To What The Spirit Is Saying
In October 2020, the Catholic Church in Australia will gather for the first Plenary Council to be held since the second Vatican Council. In 2018, 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.
More than 222,000 people participated in listening and dialogue encounters and contributed 17,457 submissions during the first stage of preparation for the Australian Plenary Council.
In late 2018, Damascus College Year 11 and 12 students as part of early start were invited to participate in these listening sessions. Their submissions were part of the 222,000. Blaise Mulrooney was one of those. Blaise was contacted by the organising group because her response was representative of the thoughts of many young people. She agreed to allow her name and photograph to be used on the website, https://plenarycouncil.catholic.org.au/
The National Themes for Discernment are inspired by the data and call us toward the future. As we move into this second stage of preparation for the Plenary Council, we continue to seek the wisdom of the Holy Spirit.
The six National Themes for Discernment invite people to reflect, to pray and to consider how God is calling the People of God to be a Christ-centred Church in Australia 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.
Archbishop Costelloe said: “We will take the opportunity to reflect carefully on the National Themes for Discernment and share our reflections and conclusions with the Plenary Council’s Facilitation Team and the Executive Committee, based on our own prayerful discernment and pastoral experience.”
Ms Turvey-Collins said those reflections and conclusions will be supplemented by a period of several months, beginning in August, when people across the country will again be asked to engage locally with the Plenary Council process.
“This discernment process will involve establishing working groups for each National Theme for Discernment. People in faith communities across Australia will also be called to participate locally in their own communal Listening and Discernment encounters,” she said.
“The fruits of what is discerned during this time will shape the agenda for the first session of Plenary Council in October 2020.”