2020 Plenary discussions

Catholic Voice Editor John McLaurin posed the key Plenary question to a number of folk in the Archdiocese and the feedback was interesting to say the least.

“The feeling of a number of community members is that God wants us to improve upon the faith formation and catechesis for all ages, and for our Church leaders to give and promote a clear presentation and explanation of what we believe, how we are to worship and why, and how we have to live that out as followers of Christ.” - Fr Christopher Blust FSSP, Traditional Latin Mass Community
“We believe God is asking us to identify and to learn from the mistakes and weaknesses of the past and to renew our commitment to the Church in the light of our recognition of failings. God is asking of us what he has always asked of us: that we live justly, love compassionately and walk humbly with him.” - Mike Cassidy, Chairman of the Catholic Social Justice Commission in the Archdiocese.
“We think that God is asking us to be fully active members in the life of the Church. To make a positive contribution so that our culture and spirituality is part of the Church and not just ‘brought out’ for special occasions. We need to feel fully accepted by the Church!” – Sally FitzGerald, NATSICC Councillor and Coordinator for the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry for the Archdiocese
“I think God is asking us first and foremost to come back to him both personally and nationally. We have lost our way morally in this country as witnessed by the vote last year for same-sex “marriage” and the current debates (and wins) on abortion and euthanasia. We need to turn back to God and our Christian roots and that means praying more, attending the sacraments and evangelising those who, through no fault of their own, have never been given a belief system.” - Nola Drum, Temora
“God is asking us to explore how all the faithful can contribute to strengthen our Church community in following Christ’s example and teachings. The wide range of issues raised by the participants with strength and thoughtfulness at the Listening and Dialogue sessions underlines the need for and value of a much more inclusive Church.” - Mark Metherell, Committee Member
“We in the St Vincent de Paul Society are concerned about the worsening plight of those who are homeless or are at risk of homelessness. We feel that God is saying to us in this context ‘Feed my sheep’. For Catholics a response to this call is putting our faith into action.” - Warwick Fulton, President of the St Vincent de Paul Society in the Archdiocese
“I think God is asking us evangelise more effectively by building a virtual Catholic world in social media, Television, Newspaper or Radio. – Roby Ray Joshua, Jesus Youth Community.
“A key message from the community is to listen to the voice of Holy Spirit and be courageous to proclaim the Word of God through what we do and what we say. This entails developing community groups that pray together and that are courageous enough to walk into the homes of the parishioners who may not be personally known to them. We believe there should be an increased focus to promote the importance of Holy Mass and vocations. The Mass is not a mere ritual but the powerhouse of Christian life.” – Sebastian Mathew and Ann Mary Joson
“Almost 2000 years ago, Jesus asked the apostles a question similar to the question He is asking of us today. Parallel to the settings 2000 years ago (MK 4, 35-41), in Australia the Church is also facing storms internal and external. As the apostles did on that sinking boat, we sometimes ask Jesus a bitter question, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” His response then and now is one of reassurance. After 2000 years, Jesus asks us today the same questions, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” Through the storms of faith, Jesus is repeatedly asking us to renew our faith in Him. Maybe He is using the storms to strengthen our faith. Maybe He is using the turbulent sea outside to help us create the calmness and tranquillity in our souls. Maybe Jesus is gently asking us if we could let Him again be the captain of our lives, our boat and our Church. - Thach Van Vietnamese Catholic Community in Canberra
“For many decades the Catholic Church has enjoyed a comfortable existence within Australian society. That sense of comfort has been disrupted by the shame of child sexual abuse and a growing distrust of all forms of institutions but especially Churches. The challenge for us is not to withdraw but to continue to reach out with good works to those in need and let our actions speak of the love of Christ for all.” – Chris Carlile, Couples for Christ – Canberra Chapter
“God is calling us to be an encounter with Jesus - entering into relationships of meaning and depth that provide opportunities for God to touch the lives of others. In Catholic Education, God is asking that we be centres of academic excellence, skills development and profound human love.” – Dr. Patrick McArdle, Australian Catholic University, Signadou Campus Canberra.
“God is always asking us to come back to him with all our heart. Pope Francis has just released Gaudete et Exsultate his Exhortation to holiness in today’s world. How can we bring back the majority of Catholic’s who no longer practice their faith? How can we live out our Baptismal vows to be a disciple to all?” - Paul Monagle, President of the Canberra chapter of the Australian Family Association


Plenary Council 2020: Parish Guide (pdf - 327.68 KB)


Plenary Council 2020: Frequently Asked Questions

The journey toward the Plenary Council will help us to prepare to listen to God by listening to one another. We invite all people to engage, to be a part of the listening and dialogue encounter in the next two years.
>> Read more


Listening and dialogue must be grounded in prayer

Trusting this preparation process to God is something that I find is both easy and hard to do. It’s easy in the sense that I have deep faith that the Holy Spirit is very much leading this process. >> Read more