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Plenary members prepare for second assembly


Local members are meeting together for two sessions of “discernment and reflection” as they prepare for the second assembly of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia being held in Sydney in July.

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With the motions for the assembly now released publicly for discussion, members gathered at the Archbishop’s House on June 4 and are scheduled to meet again on
June 15 with the broader members of the diocese.

Archbishop Patrick O’Regan said the meetings were an opportunity for members to “stop and reflect” in readiness for the second assembly.

“Members will be able to spend time discerning and reflecting on the motions – and then provide feedback and make amendments,” he said.

“The second assembly will allow us to continue to discern what the Spirit is saying and move us further along the way on our journey together.

“We are all looking forward to the assembly and it will be wonderful to be able to meet face-to-face with the other members.”

The lay members of the Adelaide Archdiocese are Monica Conway, Ian Cameron, Kiara Ryan, Julian Nguyen and Madeline Forde, who will be joined in Sydney by Archbishop O’Regan, Emeritus Bishop Greg O’Kelly SJ, Fr Dean Marin, John Lochowiak (Aboriginal Catholic Ministry), Claire Victory (St Vincent de Paul Society) and Fr James McEvoy (expert adviser).

It is expected more than 300 people – members, advisers, observers and support personnel – will be in Sydney to see the celebration stage of the Plenary Council reach its conclusion.

The opening Mass will be held on July 3, with the formal program beginning on the following day. Portions of each day’s proceedings and all Masses will be livestreamed.

As the journey to the Plenary Council continues, the Adelaide Archdiocese is also preparing for its next Diocesan Assembly which will be held on October 21 and 22.

More than 450 participants gathered to listen, share, dialogue and discern together at the 2021 Diocesan Assembly in September.

Sixty different discussion groups met around six themes developed from the pre-assembly consultation: Inclusion and Healing; Leadership and Leadership Formation; Parish Life and Liturgy; Faith Formation and Spiritual Development; A Church that Listens and Responds to the Cry of the Earth and the Cry of the Poor; and Outreach and Accompaniment with Children, Families and Young People. From these discussion groups, 255 recommendations for the diocese were developed.

Participants were then asked to return to their parishes, schools, communities and agencies and discuss the recommendations.

The Archdiocese has recently provided resources and tools to assist them with the process of discernment of the recommendations and the development of strategic actions at the local level. The Diocesan Pastoral Council and Archdiocesan leadership are also engaging in a similar process of discernment and planning for mission.

Director of Pastoral Life and Mission, Sarah Moffatt, said communities were being asked to identify their top three priorities for the Archdiocese as well as for their own community.

“These will be collected and analysed by the interim DPC and diocesan leadership,” she explained.

“From August to October, parishes, schools, communities and agencies will be asked to develop a plan to address the key priorities and actions they identified in the process – and these will be presented at the 2022 Diocesan Assembly.”


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