01 Apr 2020

Delegates named for Plenary assemblies

The Southern Cross newspaper – April 2020

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Plenary delegates named, assembly postponed  - click here


Four South Australians who represent the diversity of the Catholic Church have been named as the Archdiocese’s lay delegates to attend the fifth Plenary Council of Australia.

Plenary Council president Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB wrote to more than 250 Catholics across the country last month calling them as delegates. The first of two assemblies to be held is scheduled to take place in Adelaide in October.

The delegation from the Adelaide Archdiocese includes Archbishop-elect Patrick O’Regan, Administrator Delegate Fr Philip Marshall and lay representatives Maddy Forde, Monica Conway, Ian Cameron and Julian Nguyen.

01 Mar 2020

Plans progress for historic Council

The Southern Cross newspaper – March 2020

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Preparations are ramping up for the first assembly of the historic Plenary Council 2020 to be held in Adelaide from October 4-11.

The Plenary Council Steering Committee, chaired by Lana Turvey-Collins, met in Adelaide last month for two intensive days of planning.

More than 350 participants, including delegates, advisers and observers, are expected to attend the Plenary Council which will be the first of its kind to be held since the second Vatican Council. The last Plenary Council held in Australia was in 1937.

01 Nov 2019

Spotlight on Plenary Council

The Southern Cross newspaper – November 2019

The Plenary Council, which kicks off in Adelaide next year, is a “remarkable event” which has significance for the whole Church, not just Catholics in Australia, says Archbishop Mark Coleridge. Speaking on the ABC religious affairs program Compass, Archbishop Coleridge said that “people in Rome know that many others around the world are watching what’s happening Down Under”.

“I don’t want to overblow the thing at all but nonetheless many are watching, and Rome knows that,” he told host Geraldine Doogue.

“And Rome itself is intensely interested in what we’re doing.”

The first stage of the Plenary Council will be held from October 4-10 in Adelaide.

25 Sep 2019

Writing and Discernment Groups draw on Church's talent

CathNews September 26, 2019


Seventy people from across the country – including a dozen bishops – will serve on the six Discernment and Writing Groups that will help the Plenary Council build towards its first session in October 2020.

As part of “Listening and Discernment”, the second phase of preparing for the Council, Discernment and Writing Groups will have the important task of preparing papers for consideration by Council delegates.

 190925 - Plenary Council 2020 - Writing and Discernment Groups draw on Church's talent.pdf

01 Sep 2019

Adelaide visit part of Plenary Council 2020 preparations

The Southern Cross newspaper – September 2019

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The Bishops Commission for the Plenary Council and its Executive Committee have met in Adelaide for the first time, 14 months before the Council’s opening session.

The first of two sessions of the Plenary Council will be held from October 4-10 next year in Adelaide.

01 Aug 2019

Plenary report published

The Southern Cross newspaper – August 2019


The final report of the Listening and Dialogue phase of the Plenary Council has been published and is now available to the public. Prepared by the National Centre for Pastoral Research, the 314-page report provides insights into the 17,457 submissions received from May 2018 until March 2019.

01 Jul 2019

Plenary themes announced

The Southern Cross newspaper – July 2019

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The Plenary Council 2020 has moved into its next phase of preparation with the announcement on Pentecost Sunday of the National Themes for Discernment that emerged from a historic process of listening to the voices of more than 222,000 people. Almost 17,500 submissions, from individuals and groups of all sizes, addressed the Plenary Council’s central question: ‘What do you think God is asking of us in Australia at this time?’

12 May 2019

Themes for Plenary to be released

The Southern Cross newspaper – May 2019

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The themes for the historic Plenary Council 2020 will be announced on Pentecost Sunday, June 9, as part of the launch of the listening and discernment phase of the Council. The National Centre for Pastoral Research (NCPR) is conducting qualitative and quantitative analysis of the submissions received during the Listening and Dialogue phase to identify key themes.

16 Apr 2019

Plenary listening to 222,000 voices

The Southern Cross newspaper – April 2019

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Plenary Council 2020 president Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB says he and his fellow bishops have been “amazed” by the engagement of people across Australia in the Council’s opening stage. The Plenary Council’s Listening and Dialogue phase ended in March, concluding a period of almost 10 months for people to share their stories and consider the question ‘What do you think God is asking of us in Australia at this time?’

01 Mar 2019

Plenary moves to next stage

The Southern Cross newspaper – March 2019

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While Ash Wednesday on March 6 will mark the end of the Plenary Council’s Listening and Dialogue phase, preparations are already underway for the next stage in the journey towards 2020.

During Lent, the Plenary will join the Catholic community in prayerful preparation for Easter and at Pentecost (June 9) will launch the Listening and Discernment stage, at the same time announcing the national themes for discernment which have emerged from the Listening and Dialogue responses.

15 Dec 2018

What is God asking of the Church?

The Southern Cross newspaper – December 2018

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More than 21,000 voices have contributed to the first phase of the Catholic Church’s three-year Plenary Council process which will culminate in two large gatherings, the first to be held in Adelaide in October 2020. Topics frequently raised include leadership and governance within the Church, the place and role of women, the importance of young people, the living tradition, liturgy and music, the priesthood and other vocations, inclusion and welcome, the sacramental life of the Church, ecology and creation, and social justice.

01 Nov 2018

Facilitating the Plenary journey

The Southern Cross newspaper – November 2018

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Learning ways to help people have their voices heard in the Plenary Council ‘conversation’ was the topic of discussion at a gathering in the Archdiocese last month. More than 65 representatives from parishes, schools and Church organisations attended the information session on being a facilitator for the dialogue and listening phase of the Council.

01 Oct 2018

Blackwood community forum to discuss the big question

The Southern Cross newspaper – October 2018

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The Blackwood parish is casting the net far and wide to hear what local community members think the Catholic Church in Australia should look like in the future. As part of the ‘listening and dialogue’ phase in the lead up to the Plenary Council 2020, the parish is holding a community event on Monday October 29. The Plenary Council Forum is being held at the Blackwood Community Centre, rather than at the church, to encourage more people to attend.

01 Sep 2018

A true picture of Church

The Southern Cross newspaper – September 2018


Editorial – Jenny Brinkworth

At a time when many would say the Catholic Church is on the decline, it is interesting to note that the latest Census statistics show that the Catholic population in Australia has increased from 4.8 million to nearly 5.3 million over the past 10 years.

01 Aug 2018

Momentum building for Plenary Council

The Southern Cross newspaper – August 2018

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Thousands of people from across Australia have taken time in the two months since the Plenary Council 2020 officially launched at Pentecost to consider the future of the Catholic Church. In May, the Listening and Dialogue phase of the Plenary Council began, with resources created to help people across the country participate in a prayerful conversation to consider the question: “What do you think God is asking of us in Australia at this time?”

01 Jun 2018

Adelaide to host historic gathering

The Southern Cross newspaper – June 2018

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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. The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference announced last month that the celebration of the first session of the Plenary Council would be held in Adelaide in October 2020.

...In a special message for the Catholic community in Australia, Pope Francis said that he hoped “through patient dialogue and faith-filled discernment, the conciliar journey will confirm the Catholics in Australia in a spirit of fraternal unity and missionary discipleship”...

01 May 2018

Adelaide begins journey to Plenary

The Southern Cross newspaper – May 2018


The Adelaide Archdiocese has started its journey towards the Plenary Council in 2020 with the first strategy meeting involving key stakeholders being held last month. A range of groups within the diocese were represented at the meeting, which resulted in a number of ideas being put forward regarding ways of engaging people within the Adelaide Church.

...To be launched at the Pentecost Vigil on May 19 and continuing until Easter 2019, this process will enable people within the Church to discern together and reflect on their own faith experience, life experience and experience of Church.

01 Nov 2017

Journey to Plenary Council begins

The Southern Cross newspaper – November 2017

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Members of the Bishops Commission for the Plenary Council, the Executive Committee and the Facilitation Team met over two days, providing an opportunity to share stories and their hopes for the Plenary Council. They discussed the history of the decision to hold a Plenary Council, reaching back to the apostolic letter Novo Millennio Ineunte in 2000, through the Year of Grace in 2012, the royal commission which began in 2013, the election of Pope Francis in the same year and the Synods on Marriage and the Family in 2014 and 2015.

01 Aug 2017

Planning for future of Church

The Southern Cross newspaper – August 2017

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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 and John Lochowiak (above), together with 12 others from around Australia, have accepted an appointment to the Plenary Council Executive Committee. Ms Moffatt is the assistant director to chancellor Heather Carey and Mr Lochowiak is the manager of Aboriginal Services at Centacare Catholic Family Services.