Adelaide to host Plenary Council in October 2021
Adelaide has been selected as the venue for the first of two historic national gatherings to consider the future of the Catholic Church in Australia. Adelaide will host the opening assembly of the historic Plenary Council from October 3-10 2021 with the second assembly to be held in Sydney from July 4-9 2022.
Two members of the Adelaide Archdiocese have been appointed to a committee that will work closely with the Australian Catholic Bishops Commission to prepare for the 2020 Plenary Council. Sarah Moffatt (acting chancellor) and John Lochowiak (manager of Aboriginal Services at Centacare Catholic Family Services) together with 12 others from around Australia have accepted an appointment to the Plenary Council Executive Committee.
The Council recently released six thematic Discernment Papers which have been distributed to parishes and communities for discussion.
Discernment for schools
A Plenary Council is the highest formal gathering of all local churches and is an opportunity for bishops and other representatives of dioceses and eparchies to discern what God is asking of us in Australia at this time. It has the authority to make Church laws based on the results of this.
The FIRST PHASE involved asking the question: What is God asking us in Australia at this time? Approximately 222,000 people participated in this dialogue phase and 6 themes emerged. Namely, how God is asking us to be a Christ-centre Church that is:
- Missionary and evangelising
- Inclusive, participatory and synodal
- Prayerful and Eucharistic
- Humble, healing and merciful
- A joyful, hope-filled servant community
- Open to conversion, renewal and reform
The SECOND PHASE involves further discerning these themes. We would like to involve staff and students in this process and have developed an alternative way to engage them in the phase 2 process.
How? Download the pdf below for information on how to encourage discussion, collect shared ideas and submit to the Plenary Council.
What have we accomplished together so far?
Plenary Council Journey in 2019
- March 6 – Ash Wednesday marks the close of the Listening and Dialogue stage.
- April / May – National Centre for Pastoral Research collates and analyses all responses. A draft preliminary National Report is developed, with emergent themes for the Plenary Council identified.
- June – Pentecost marks the launch of the next stage of preparation - Listening and Discernment - with the themes for national discernment announced.
- July – First meeting of Working Groups and local small group discernment to begin.
- September – Nominations open for the lay delegates of the Plenary Council 2020.
- October – National Centre for Pastoral Research will publish Diocesan qualitative reports.
- April 2020 – At Easter, draft Plenary Council papers discerned by the Working Group become available for download and discussion.
- October 4-11 2020 – The first session of the Plenary Council 2020 will be held in Adelaide on October 4 - 11, 2020.
- May 2021 – The second session of the Plenary Council will be held in Sydney.
Plenary Council Faciliators
Looking Back at the Listening and Dialogue Phase
Your Voice creates the Plenary Council 2020 Agenda
Adelaide will host the opening session of the historic Plenary Council in October 2020 with a follow-up session in an eastern state in early 2021. Now is the time for Catholics like you to help shape the process by taking part in a Listening and Dialogue session.
A Plenary Council is the highest formal gathering of all local churches and is an opportunity for the bishops and other representatives of dioceses and eparchies to discern what God is asking of us in Australia at this time. A brochure describing the process of the Listening and Dialogue process and how to feed into the national picture is attached below. We encourage you to consider hosting a conversation with those in your local community and have your voice heard.
Your online submission will help to develop the agenda for the Plenary Council in 2020.
For more info and to access resources visit the national website – click here.