Plenary Council 2020

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Plenary Council 2020

By Michael McKenna, Plenary 2020 Executive Secretary for the Archdiocese of Hobart.

As we near the end of the eight month long Listening and Dialogue phase of the Council which commenced at Pentecost last year, Plenary Council President, Archbishop Tim Costelloe, says he’s expecting another flood of responses from people across the country during the final five weeks leading up to Ash Wednesday (March 6).

It is understood that some 40,000 Catholics from dioceses across Australia have already participated in the process with a personal submission or have participated in a group discussion which it is hoped will culminate in a personal submission.

Every parish in Tasmania was invited to participate in the diocesan facilitated Listening and Dialogue sessions developed by the Archbishop’s Advisory Group drawn from parishes across the archdiocese. The diocesan process directed at preparing Tasmanian Catholics to participate in the personal submission process has been widely well received. However if you missed out on this opportunity for some reason there is still time to participate and you will find a wealth of information and resources on the Plenary Council website to assist you.

Please remember however that the process is prayer directed. It’s God’s Church and we are asking the Holy Spirit to assist us in discerning what God is asking of His Church here in Australia.

And while the Listening and Dialogue phase will conclude this Ash Wednesday, there remains a considerable body of work to be done to bring us to the first actual session of the Council in May 2020. Indeed, as the personal submissions continue to flow in, the experienced and professional staff at the National Centre for Pastoral Research are employing best-practice analysis methods to identify key themes and topic areas that will be the basis of the next phase in the plenary process.

In our Church’s history we have been called to listen to the Word of God. We have listened to the voice of Jesus speaking to us through the Magisterium. Listened to the voice of the Spirit sent by Christ to lead us into all truth. But rather infrequently it seems have we stopped to listen to one another. This is our chance. Let’s not waste it listening only to the eloquent, the informed and engaged. They have their place in the choir and there seems little doubt they will be heard. Ensure your voice speaks boldly of what the Spirit is saying to you.

Make your personal submission before March 6 at www.plenarycouncil.catholic.org.au