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Committed to building communion


Nearly 300 people gathered for the 2024 Diocesan Assembly held at the Vietnamese Catholic Community on June 14 and 15.

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The invited attendees came from parishes, schools, religious congregations, communities, chaplaincies, diocesan ministries and Catholic agencies in the Archdiocese of Adelaide.

“The Diocesan Assembly was a good opportunity for the Church in Adelaide to connect with each other both on a personal level and at a local level,” said attendee Amanda Razon, a teacher at St John the Baptist School, Plympton.

“I think it allowed people to be energised by the fruits of what is happening in their communities and take inspiration from the good works of other parishes, too.”

On Friday night, young hosts James Ellery from the Dernancourt parish and Michaela Howard-Jones from the Catholic Office for Youth and Young Adults led a celebration of the diocese’s journey over the past four years. Videos highlighted many of the achievements born out of the 2021 Diocesan Assembly, including the recent Regional Assemblies.

Archbishop Patrick O’Regan spoke about the centrality of ‘communion’ to the work done at the Assembly and in local parishes, schools and communities.

“Communion means being ‘together on the way’ and is to make our lives, our parishes and communities, wherever we are, schools of communion,” Archbishop O’Regan said.

Assistant director, Pastoral Life and Mission Peter Bierer.

Peter Bierer, assistant director, Pastoral Life and Mission, and Sarah Moffatt, executive director, Pastoral Life and Mission, spoke on the ‘art of listening’ and told stories about how their children have helped them to become better, more intentional listeners.

Peter told a personal story about a reluctant encounter with a Sri Lankan Buddhist monk requiring a commitment to reflective listening and resulting in a conversion of heart toward the other, forever changing Peter’s life.

“It was wonderful to see so many people from parishes, schools and communities continue the journey together,” Peter said.

“This was our third Diocesan Assembly since 2021, and each one has built on the previous assemblies. Many of those who came this time were a part of their local Regional Assembly. The collective commitment to deepening our experience of becoming a more synodal church on mission, through listening, dialogue and shared discernment, is inspirational.”

Saturday’s proceedings began with celebration of the Eucharist in the Vietnamese Community Church.

“Compliments must be paid and passed on to the Vietnamese Community for the facility they built for their community,” said attendee Geoff Redden, a member of the Diocesan Pastoral Council and a Northern Light parishioner.

“They catered for the Assembly of approximately 300 people and did an excellent job.”

Saturday was devoted to conversations in the Spirit, a structured listening and dialogue process used at the Plenary Council and Synod on Synodality.

Participants were assigned to a table group and discussed focus questions including:

What does a synodal Church on mission look and feel like? What would be the most important changes needed to foster synodal parishes on mission? What does a parish on mission look like? What does collaboration and co-responsibility between ordained and non-ordained look like in a synodal parish on mission?

Each table group presented three main points from their discussion, including points of divergence, and suggestions for strategies and actions.

“It was great to connect with people again at the Diocesan Assembly,” said Monica Conway, chair of the Diocesan Pastoral Council.

“There was positive energy, robust and thoughtful discussion and deep listening. I think we all walked away with a deeper understanding of synodality and what we can work on together. I look forward to the action that will follow.”

The team of organisers, including Peter Bierer, (pictured) said they were thrilled with the event.

“I truly believe, and it is confirmed through the feedback from participants, that people came away changed – and when people’s hearts are converted, the Church is being built up,” Peter said.

“The Holy Spirit was present and active in this Assembly.”

In the coming weeks, the group feedback and a preliminary report will be made available. The Diocesan Pastoral Council, Bishop’s Council of Priests, and other leadership teams and ministries in the Archdiocese will continue to discern and prioritise the Diocesan Assembly outcomes. Parishes, schools and communities have been encouraged to do the same in their own context.

At the completion of the 2024 Assembly, it was announced that the Archdiocese will be working toward a Diocesan Synod in early 2026, in accordance with the Plenary Council decrees.

Visit for post-event updates and information.


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