The last time the Catholic Church in Australia held a Plenary Council was in 1937. It has been more than 80 years since we gathered all of the Church together and much has changed. In 2020, we will have a Plenary Council about the future of the Catholic Church in Australia. What are we called to do? Who are we called to be? How do we need to change?
Inviting the People of Melbourne onto the Journey
A team of Church leaders met in Melbourne on Tuesday 5 June to begin planning the first stage of the journey to the Plenary Council 2020 for the Archdiocese. Leading the group were Lana Turvey-Collins, the Plenary Council Facilitator, and Cathy Jenkins, Melbourne’s Plenary Council coordinator from the Archbishop’s Office for Evangelisation (AOFE).
Among the attendees were Sherry Balcombe (Coordinator, Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Victoria), Kevin Meese (Director, Catholic Mission in Melbourne), Tina Mattei (Editor, Melbourne Catholic), Paul Zammit (Director Pastoral Services, CatholicCare), Mary Ryan (Coordinator, Adult Faith Formation, AOFE), Tiffany Davis (Assistant Director, AOFE), Rev Dr Brendan Reed (Chair, AOFE Advisory Group; Parish Priest of Deepdene/Balwyn and Camberwell Parishes), Rev Mark Reynolds (Member, AOFE Advisory Group; Parish Priest of Surrey Hills & Wattle Park Parishes), Rev Hien Vu (Member, AOFE Advisory Group; Parish Priest of Flemington & Kensington Parishes) and Jacqui Giuliano (Coordinator, Parish Leadership Support, AOFE).
A Plenary Council is the highest formal gathering of all local churches in a country and it has been 80 years since the last one was held in Australia. The council presents an opportunity for the Catholic community in Australia to listen to and converse with one another and, guided by the Holy Spirit, to consider the future, role and relevance of the Catholic Church in Australia.
‘The Plenary Council process opens for us an opportunity to engage people in conversations about God and the Church,’ said AOFE's Cathy Jenkins. ‘All around the country people will gather and develop a habit of dialogue as we reflect upon the question: “what do you think God is asking of us in Australia at this time?”’
'Further details specific to the Melbourne Archdiocese will be available from the first week of July,’ added Cathy.
The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has prepared a range of prayers and resources to assist with the Plenary Council, and these are available to download below: