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National assembly of women to explore vision for Church


Catholic women from throughout Australia will gather in Adelaide early next year to explore how to create a Church that is inclusive, missionary and discerning.

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Registration is now open for the triennial Council for Australian Catholic Women Colloquium with the themes of the conference being drawn from the Plenary Council 2020 process.

The Stirring the Waters: Catholic Women Responding to the Spirit event, from February 22 to 24, will engage deeply with the vision of the Plenary Council and involve women in creating the Church of the future.

Dr Trish Madigan

Council chairperson Trish Madigan OP said: “The colloquium program is dynamic and purposeful and I am confident that those who attend will find the experience of shared learning and collaboration, very life-giving.

“We are hoping for a huge number of registrations from across Australia and for at least two women to attend from every diocese,” Dr Madigan said.

As 2019 marks the 20th anniversary of the ground-breaking research project ‘Woman and Man: One in Christ Jesus’, the event will commence with a facilitated conversation to review the progress and possibilities for Australian Catholic women today.

Keynote speaker and scripture scholar, Dr Michele Connelly, will use key texts from the New Testament to explore what it is for women in the Church today to walk the path of faith with others.

Debra Zannella, an experienced leader in the health and community sector, will draw on her experience in working with people who experience significant disadvantage to reflect on what Pope Francis offers us as a framework for who we, as Church, are called to become.

The workshops will be split into two streams: one to allow the experience of women in diverse situations to be acknowledged, such as refugees; and another to draw on the expertise of women researchers and professionals, such as Dr Trudy Dantis from the Pastoral Research Office.

For more information and to register for the event, go to


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