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what do you think
God is asking of us
at this time in Australia?
In 2020, we will have a Plenary Council about the future of the Catholic Church in Australia. It has been 80 years since this last took place. This is a wonderful opportunity to engage people in conversations about God and the Church.
Around Australia people are being invited to engage in reflective discernment and discussion about God and the future of the Church in Australia. There are a number of facilitator and discussion guides available to download and use locally.
We are grateful to the parishes, groups and individuals around the Archdiocese who have already begun the Plenary process. Let’s keep the dialogue going. If you need assistance in hosting a listening and dialogue session, contact us at the Archbishop's Office for Evangelisation.
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HAPPENING AROUND MELBOURNE
Wednesday 6 February 2019 ---
Calling all LGBTIQA+ Catholics, Christians and the broader LGBTIQA+ community, family, friends and supporters to come along for a safe and inclusive conversation. This listening and dialogue process provides an opportunity to come together as a group to spend time thinking and talking about personal experiences of faith, life and church. Following this session, a submission will be made on behalf of the LGBTIQA+ community by Acceptance Melbourne, a community for LGBTIQA+ Catholics.
The session will be facilitated by Kevin Meese (Catholic Mission) and Mary Ryan (Archbishop’s Office for Evangelisation). Other key collaborators include Ro Allen (Victorian Commissioner for Gender and Sexuality), Kaye Bradshaw (Collective Impact), Teresa Ma (Acceptance Melbourne), Bishop Mark Edwards OMI (Auxiliary bishop of Melbourne) and Fr Kevin McGovern (St Cecilia’s Parish, Camberwell South).
Four-week guide to the Plenary ---
The first stage of preparation for the Plenary Council 2020—the listening and dialogue phase—concludes on Ash Wednesday (6 March). There's still time to get your response in!
This short 4-week guide offers some suggestions for how a parish may invite a response to the Plenary Council question including sample notices for the bulletin, Plenary posters and weekly Plenary prayers of intercession.
Templates for Plenary posters and flyers ---
To help parishes spread the word about this national initiative, a number of promotional materials, prayers, bulletin notices and discussion points have been prepared. They include
Plenary pull-up banner designs (4 options)
Plenary A3 posters (3 options)
Plenary A5 flyer templates (4 options)
...and more! Click the link below to download these free templates.
Need-to-know Facilitation Skills
Key to the listening and dialogue conversations is the role of the Facilitator, who guides the process and ensures everyone has their say.
of CatholicCare Melbourne discusses important aspects of the Facilitator's role -- offering tips that will help encourage open, honest sharing. Rhyannon stresses that the Facilitator's role includes three things: 1) Engaging the group; 2) Managing the group, and; 3) Knowing how to close the group.
Inviting families into the Plenary conversation
Matthew MacDonald is the Director of the Life, Marriage and Family Office in the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne. In this video, he reflects on the exciting opportunity to enter into dialogue with others about the future of the Catholic Church in Australia. Matthew also discusses the timeliness of this invitation, and how it might enable the Church to find new ways to support young people and families in these changing times.
Archbishop Peter Comensoli on Listening and Discernment
As Archbishop Peter A Comensoli describes in this video, the invitation to participate in this Plenary process is something many of us are already familiar with -- especially in our family relationships where listening is so essential. He also talks about discernment as an invitation to look more and more like Jesus -- in whose image we are made. He asks, "What does God want us to look like? How might we flourish in looking more and more like the image that God has made us in?"
Fr Kevin Lenehan reflects on spiritual discernment in leadership
Rev. Dr Kevin Lenehan is Associate Dean (Post-Graduate and Research) at the Catholic Theological College in Melbourne. Here he discusses some of the challenges of exercising Christian Leadership in a pluralistic society like Australia, and how we need to "learn again the skills of spiritual discernment within our faith tradition." A timely message as we venture through this listening and dialogue phase of the Plenary Council 2020.
Cathy Jenkins, Coordinator for Melbourne's participation in the Plenary Council 2020
The last time the Catholic Church in Australia held a Plenary Council was more than eighty years ago -- much has changed since! Cathy Jenkins, Director of the Archbishop's office for Evangelisation and Coordinator for Melbourne's participation in the Plenary Council 2020, reflects on the significance of this national invitation to listening and dialogue:
The Art of Listening: In prayer and to each other
The first phase of the Plenary Council 2020 is the
Listening and Dialogue
phase. In this video, Michelle and Trevor D'Souza, parishioners of St Mary's Greensborough, reflect on the art of good listening -- in their own prayer lives and in their marriage of 25 years.
Fr Dishan Candappa responds to Plenary2020
"What do you think God is asking of us at this time in Australia?"
That is the question being asked around the country in preparation for the Plenary Council 2020. Here, Fr Dishan Candappa, Parish Priest of Gladstone Park provides his reflections...
Parish Priest Fr Hien Vu
Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB, President of the Plenary Council, is inviting people around the country to embark on this important time of listening and prayer. Parish Priest Fr Hien Vu has translated Archbishop Costelloe's message for the Vietnamese community here in Melbourne:
The Archdiocese is committed to the safety, wellbeing and dignity of all children and vulnerable adults.
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