Plenary Council Sessions – Call for Delegates

Thursday 16 January 2020

Communications Office 
Applications open for delegates to the forthcoming Plenary Council Sessions in 2020 and 2021
In May 2018, the Catholic Church in Australia embarked on a journey towards a Plenary Council, to discern what God is asking of us in Australia at this present time. More than 222,000 people participated in listening and dialogue encounters and contributed 17,457 submissions during the first stage of preparation for the Plenary. These voices of the faithful have contributed to understanding something of the historical experience and the current reality of the Catholic Church in Australia. This gathered data also reveals some deeper hopes and questions, and the diverse yearnings, that we are now challenged to consider together. 

The Church is now in the Discernment phase, where it continues to seek the wisdom of the Holy Spirit as it reflects on the six national themes of discernment. These themes invite people to reflect, to pray and to consider how God is calling the People of God to be a Christ-centred Church in Australia that is:
  • Missionary and Evangelising
  • Inclusive, Participatory and Synodal
  • Prayerful and Eucharistic
  • Humble, Healing and Merciful
  • A Joyful, Hope-Filled and Servant Community
  • Open to conversion, Renewal and Reform. 

What's happening during this Discernment Phase?
Groups around the country who participated in Listening and Dialogue have since begun the practice of communal Discernment, on any one of the six themes. Each Discernment session is expected to result in a response that can be summarised in 1000 characters and that can be submitted to the Plenary Council. Simultaneously, Writing and Discernment Groups consisting of representatives (lay, clergy and religious) have been meeting to discern on these responses with prayer and from their own theological knowledge. These Groups will then publish thematic papers and flesh out the agenda for the first session of the Plenary Council in October 2020.  
Applications open for Delegates to Plenary Council Sessions in 2020 and 2021

Late last year information was sent out regarding a call for applications to be delegates for the forthcoming Plenary Council Sessions in 2020 and 2021.

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has requested that each Diocese nominate four people, who may be laypersons, members of religious orders or Clergy, who are willing to be called as delegates for the Plenary Council Sessions in October 2020 and June and July of 2021. Each delegate will participate in the process of discernment and contribute to a variety of forums before, during and after the Plenary Council Sessions. This is an important and critical role for the life of Catholic Church in Australia.

Any person who expresses their interest in being called by our Archdiocese to be a delegate to the Plenary Council must be available for the following dates:

1. Preparation and formation days for Delegates on ONE of the following four dates:
  • Melbourne: Thursday 5.00pm, 18 June 2020 – Saturday 12.00pm, 20 June 2020
  • Brisbane: Thursday 5.00pm 25 June 2020 – Saturday 12.00pm 27 June 2020
  • Sydney: Thursday 5.00pm 16 July 2020 – Saturday 12.00pm 18 July 2020
  • Perth: Thursday 5.00pm 23 July 2020 – Saturday 12.00pm 25 July 2020

2. Plenary Council General Assembly 1: Sunday 2.00pm, 4 October 2020 – Sunday 12.00pm, 11 October 2020

3. Plenary Council General Assembly 2: Monday 12.00pm, 28 June 2021 – Saturday 12.00pm, 3 July 2021

Anyone unable to be available for all of these dates may be ineligible to be called.

If you are interested in applying, please fill out the following online form and submit by the deadline of Friday 24 January 2020:

Please note that the application process requires two referees, including one active Priest [on appointment].
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