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Australian Confraternity of Catholic Clergy meets in Adelaide


Adelaide recently hosted the 29th national conference of the Australian Confraternity of Catholic Clergy (ACCC), providing a mix of intellectual formation, common prayer and priestly fellowship for its members.

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Held at the Monastery, the conference included several thoughtful and engaging lectures on public policy and morality by keynote speaker Professor Margaret Somerville. She also delivered a public lecture on the cases for and against euthanasia, which was attended by more than 100 people.

Other speakers at the five-day conference included Anna Krohn and Conor Sweeney from Melbourne’s John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family, Gerard Gaskin, who has played extensive roles in Catholic education in NSW, and Monica Doumit, a young Catholic journalist and writer based in Sydney.

While scholarly papers and presentations were an important part of the conference, they were not the sole focus. A lot of preparation and care was taken towards prayer and liturgy which formed a significant portion of the schedule.

Archbishop Philip Wilson joined the conference for Solemn Mass, which coincided with the anniversary of the dedication of St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral. To mark the occasion, ACCC priests and deacons from all over Australia prayed for the Catholic faithful of Adelaide.

In addition to daily Mass, participants celebrated Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer in common. On two occasions the day concluded with a Holy Hour of Eucharistic adoration and Solemn Benediction. The conference prayer and worship was enhanced by traditional chant and hymns led by members of the Australian Sacred Music Association.

One of the special activities of the program was a day trip to Sevenhill Cellars, which for some marked a return to where they had made a spiritual retreat as seminarians.

The ACCC is an association of bishops, priests and deacons which helps its members to grow in ‘zeal, learning and holiness’.


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