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Assembly commits to local mission


Participants of the Adelaide Diocesan Assembly held at Nazareth Catholic Community last month have pledged to take practical steps to fulfill the mission of the local Church.

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Addressing the key themes raised during the first assembly in 2021 and the consultation process that followed, the gathering of 350 clergy, Religious, laity and agency representatives concluded with a commitment to share their ‘intention to action’.

Director of Pastoral Life and Mission, Sarah Moffatt, said the Assembly’s success lay in the shift in direction from theory to practice as the Archdiocese continues its synodal journey under the banner of Together on the Way.

“We’re actually moving now towards all of us being Church, doing our bit in our local places, all of us together,” she said.

“The next step is to support parishes, schools and communities to develop their own pastoral plans and strategies.”

She said each ‘intention of action’ would be published in a booklet and provided to parishes and communities.

Participants were encouraged to share their experience of the second assembly with their local communities, with options for prayer and presentation at Masses and meetings provided.

Held on the evening of Friday October 21 and Saturday October 22, the Assembly began with a Welcome to Country by John Lochowiak, prayer and a keynote presentation by Peter Gates, national deputy director of Catholic Mission.

Mr Gates spoke about the process of synodality and told the audience “you are experiencing it now, keep doing what you’re doing”.

Quoting Pope Francis, he urged participants to “dare to dream” and to journey together as they listen to the Spirit.

Mel Monfries places a candle on the liturgical display during the opening ceremony.

On Saturday participants broke into six workshops based on the following themes arising from 255 recommendations of the first assembly: Inclusion and Healing, Leadership and Leadership Formation, Faith Formation and Spiritual Development, Parish Life and Liturgy, A Church that responds to the Cry of the Earth and the Cry of the Poor, and Outreach and Accompaniment of Children, Families and Young People, (see page 7).

Assistant director of Pastoral Life and Mission, Peter Bierer, said the majority of feedback was “very, very positive” and that people were looking to move beyond just talking about things to how to implement them and how to work together.

“There is still a desire for really practical nuts and bolts action,” he said.

“The idea of the intentions is to be inspired by one another, and to support each other or get support from the Diocese and/or agencies.”

Another initiative arising from the assembly was the need to continue the practical discussions by creating Walking Together groups consisting of six to eight people who could get together online or in person and continue to explore their topic of interest.

Information has been sent to participants to enable them to engage with others in exploring practical responses to the pastoral needs of their own community.

The groups, which will connect monthly, can work with mentors and peers to enhance strategies for mission in their community, parish or school.

The next Diocesan Assembly is likely to be held in 2024, after the Synod of Bishops which is now being held over two years, with regional assemblies planned for 2023.

Catholic Office for Youth and Young Adults is holding a post-assembly catch-up for 16-30-year-old assembly participants at the Catholic Education Office, Thebarton, on November 24.

In other developments supporting Together on the Way, under secretary of the Synod of Bishops, Sr Nathalie Becquart, will visit the Adelaide Archdiocese on February 1 next year.

The Synod of Bishops last month published the text that will provide a ‘frame of reference’ and form the basis for the work of the second stage of the synodal path launched by Pope Francis in 2021. The Working Document for the Continental Stage is based on the syntheses coming from the churches of the five continents after consultation with the faithful and others. It can be found at

Resources from workshops, general session presentations, prayers and other resources are available at


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