Your Voice creates the Plenary Council 2020 Agenda!
Adelaide will host the opening session of the historic Plenary Council in October 2020 with a follow-up session in an eastern state in early 2021. Now is the time for Catholics like you to help shape the process by taking part in a Listening and Dialogue session.
A Plenary Council is the highest formal gathering of all local churches and is an opportunity for the bishops and other representatives of dioceses and eparchies to discern what God is asking of us in Australia at this time. A brochure describing the process of the Listening and Dialogue process and how to feed into the national picture is attached below. We encourage you to consider hosting a conversation with those in your local community and have your voice heard.
Your online submission will help to develop the agenda for the Plenary Council in 2020.
Adelaide's hosting Plenary Council in October 2020
Adelaide has been selected as the venue for the first of two historic national gatherings to consider the future of the Catholic Church in Australia.
Two members of the Adelaide Archdiocese have been appointed to a committee that will work closely with the Australian Catholic Bishops Commission to prepare for the 2020 Plenary Council. Sarah Moffatt (assistant director to chancellor Heather Carey) and John Lochowiak (manager of Aboriginal Services at Centacare Catholic Family Services) together with 12 others from around Australia have accepted an appointment to the Plenary Council Executive Committee.
Plenary Council Facilitators
Plenary Council Journey in 2019
- March 6 – Ash Wednesday marks the close of the Listening and Dialogue stage.
- April / May – National Centre for Pastoral Research collates and analyses all responses. A draft preliminary National Report is developed, with emergent themes for the Plenary Council identified.
- June – Pentecost marks the launch of the next stage of preparation - Listening and Discernment - with the themes for national discernment announced.
- July – First meeting of Working Groups and local small group discernment to begin.
- September – Nominations open for the lay delegates of the Plenary Council 2020.
- October – National Centre for Pastoral Research will publish Diocesan qualitative reports.
- April 2020 – At Easter, draft Plenary Council papers discerned by the Working Group become available for download and discussion.
- October 4-11 2020 – The first session of the Plenary Council 2020 will be held in Adelaide on October 4 - 11, 2020.
- May 2021 – The second session of the Plenary Council will be held in Sydney.
12 May 2019
Themes for Plenary to be released
The Southern Cross newspaper – May 2019
The themes for the historic Plenary Council 2020 will be announced on Pentecost Sunday, June 9, as part of the launch of the listening and discernment phase of the Council.
The National Centre for Pastoral Research (NCPR) is conducting qualitative and quantitative analysis of the submissions received during the Listening and Dialogue phase to identify key themes.
16 Apr 2019
Plenary listening to 222,000 voices
The Southern Cross newspaper – April 2019
Plenary Council 2020 president Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB says he and his fellow bishops have been “amazed” by the engagement of people across Australia in the Council’s opening stage.
The Plenary Council’s Listening and Dialogue phase ended in March, concluding a period of almost 10 months for people to share their stories and consider the question ‘What do you think God is asking of us in Australia at this time?’
15 Dec 2018
What is God asking of the Church?
The Southern Cross newspaper – December 2018
More than 21,000 voices have contributed to the first phase of the Catholic Church’s three-year Plenary Council process which will culminate in two large gatherings, the first to be held in Adelaide in October 2020.
Topics frequently raised include leadership and governance within the Church, the place and role of women, the importance of young people, the living tradition, liturgy and music, the priesthood and other vocations, inclusion and welcome, the sacramental life of the Church, ecology and creation, and social justice.
The Southern Cross asked South Australians of different ages and backgrounds for their thoughts.
01 Nov 2018
Facilitating the Plenary journey
The Southern Cross newspaper – November 2018
Learning ways to help people have their voices heard in the Plenary Council ‘conversation’ was the topic of discussion at a gathering in the Archdiocese last month.
More than 65 representatives from parishes, schools and Church organisations attended the information session on being a facilitator for the dialogue and listening phase of the Council.
01 Oct 2018
Blackwood community forum to discuss the big question
The Southern Cross newspaper – October 2018
The Blackwood parish is casting the net far and wide to hear what local community members think the Catholic Church in Australia should look like in the future.
As part of the ‘listening and dialogue’ phase in the lead up to the Plenary Council 2020, the parish is holding a community event on Monday October 29.
The Plenary Council Forum is being held at the Blackwood Community Centre, rather than at the church, to encourage more people to attend.
01 Sep 2018
A true picture of Church
The Southern Cross newspaper – September 2018
Editorial – Jenny Brinkworth
At a time when many would say the Catholic Church is on the decline, it is interesting to note that the latest Census statistics show that the Catholic population in Australia has increased from 4.8 million to nearly 5.3 million over the past 10 years.
01 Aug 2018
Momentum building for Plenary Council
The Southern Cross newspaper – August 2018
Thousands of people from across Australia have taken time in the two months since the Plenary Council 2020 officially launched at Pentecost to consider the future of the Catholic Church. In May, the Listening and Dialogue phase of the Plenary Council began, with resources created to help people across the country participate in a prayerful conversation to consider the question: “What do you think God is asking of us in Australia at this time?”
01 Jun 2018
Adelaide to host historic gathering
The Southern Cross newspaper – June 2018
Adelaide has been selected as the venue for the first of two historic national gatherings to consider the future of the Catholic Church in Australia. The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference announced last month that the celebration of the first session of the Plenary Council would be held in Adelaide in October 2020.
...In a special message for the Catholic community in Australia, Pope Francis said that he hoped “through patient dialogue and faith-filled discernment, the conciliar journey will confirm the Catholics in Australia in a spirit of fraternal unity and missionary discipleship”...
01 May 2018
Adelaide begins journey to Plenary
The Southern Cross newspaper – May 2018
The Adelaide Archdiocese has started its journey towards the Plenary Council in 2020 with the first strategy meeting involving key stakeholders being held last month. A range of groups within the diocese were represented at the meeting, which resulted in a number of ideas being put forward regarding ways of engaging people within the Adelaide Church.
...To be launched at the Pentecost Vigil on May 19 and continuing until Easter 2019, this process will enable people within the Church to discern together and reflect on their own faith experience, life experience and experience of Church.
01 Nov 2017
Journey to Plenary Council begins
The Southern Cross newspaper – November 2017
Members of the Bishops Commission for the Plenary Council, the Executive Committee and the Facilitation Team met over two days, providing an opportunity to share stories and their hopes for the Plenary Council. They discussed the history of the decision to hold a Plenary Council, reaching back to the apostolic letter Novo Millennio Ineunte in 2000, through the Year of Grace in 2012, the royal commission which began in 2013, the election of Pope Francis in the same year and the Synods on Marriage and the Family in 2014 and 2015.
01 Aug 2017
Planning for future of Church
The Southern Cross newspaper – August 2017
Two members of the Adelaide Archdiocese have been appointed to a committee that will work closely with the Australian Catholic Bishops Commission to prepare for the 2020 Plenary Council.
Sarah Moffatt and John Lochowiak (above), together with 12 others from around Australia, have accepted an appointment to the Plenary Council Executive Committee. Ms Moffatt is the assistant director to chancellor Heather Carey and Mr Lochowiak is the manager of Aboriginal Services at Centacare Catholic Family Services.