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.
Fr James McEvoy gave an inspiring presentation on dialogue and listening from a theological point of view while Plenary Council Executive member Sarah Moffatt outlined the importance of hearing the community’s views about the Church in the future.
“There was definitely a high level of engagement and energy among participants who see themselves as important partners in the Plenary Council process,” Ms Moffatt said.
Participants were provided with a facilitator’s handbook, which is also available for download on the Archdiocesan website.
Ms Moffatt also met with tertiary students from Catholic residential college Aquinas College.
Reflecting on the question of the Plenary Council, those present expressed various ideals including the importance of invitational and welcoming communities, together with a duty to protect the vulnerable.
“They were concerned about issues relating to greater transparency of the Church, the participation of those who feel excluded, including women and homosexual people, and the recent child sex abuse scandal,” Ms Moffatt said.