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DISCUSSION GUIDES

Around Australia people are being invited to engage in reflective discernment and discussion on the question being posed to us, “What do you think God is asking of us at this time in Australia?”
 
The Plenary National Facilitation Team has prepared some great discussion guides for groups to use. Get a few of your friends and family together at a time and place that suits you. Additionally, your local parish or Catholic school, your Catholic workplace or the local Diocese might host an evening and invite people along. 
 
 
The Role of the Facilitator
The Plenary Council’s first stage of preparation is the "Listening and Dialogue" phase, which goes from now until Ash Wednesday 2019. During this time, people will have the chance to get together a group of friends, family, fellow parishioners or colleagues and share their experiences of faith, life and the Church. Key to these conversations is the role of the Facilitator, who guides the process and ensures everyone has their say. In the video below, Rhyannon Elliott (Acting Manager, Marriage & Relationship Education Unit at CatholicCare Melbourne) discusses some important aspects of the Facilitator's role -- offering tips that will help encourage open, honest sharing. 
 
 

REFLECTION VIDEOS

Inviting families into the Plenary conversation

The first phase of the Plenary Council 2020 is the Listening and Dialogue phase where together, we are on a journey of listening to God by listening to one another. In this video, Matthew MacDonald (Director of the Life, Marriage and Family Office in the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne) reflects on how this exciting opportunity to enter into dialogue might enable the Church to find new ways to support families in these changing times. He also stresses the importance of listening and learning from the enthusiasm of our young people---particularly in our own families.
 
 
 

Archbishop Peter Comensoli on Listening and Discernment

The Plenary Council’s first stage of preparation is the "Listening and Dialogue" phase, from Pentecost 2018 to Ash Wednesday 2019. During this time, people will have the chance to gather with friends, family and fellow parishioners to share their experiences of faith, life and the Church.
 
As Archbishop Peter A Comensoli describes below, 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 the importance of discernment as we approach the Plenary Council 2020. "Discernment is about my experience of the Holy Spirit and that of the community. ... We go into this Synod not knowing what the future holds for us and yet it's in faith that we walk into that future."
 
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. It is a time to listen to God in prayer but also to listen humbly to others. 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: