First steps on a long journey
THE LOCAL journey towards the Australian Catholic 2020 Plenary Council is in full swing following the Archdiocese hosting the first of its listening and dialogue sessions.
Held at Eastlakes Football Club in both Gungahlin and Kingston, the sessions attracted 300 people, mainly the Laity. Former Truth Justice and Healing Council Lawyer Dennis O’Brien and Holy Trinity Primary Principal, Philippa Brearley, facilitated the sessions alongside South Woden Parish Priest, Fr Richard Thompson, who coordinated them.
Fr Thompson, the dean of the Central Deanery in the Archdiocese said he felt encouraged by the sessions.
“The affirmation that came from the floor at the end of the meeting I was quite touched by,” he said.
“The first one was always going to be a bit of a test run but I didn’t get any negative feedback from anybody on the floor in terms of the process.
“It’s long, it’s involved this process. They were engaged and respectful [and] I walk away happy with where we were able to lead them.”
Mr O’Brien agreed with Fr Thompson.
“I think we managed to convey to the people what the whole process involves,” he said.
“That it is a long process of dialogue and discussion before any stage of implementation is reached.”
Archbishop Christopher Prowse attended the sessions and offered some thoughts along with his encouragement.
The official Plenary prayer was prayed by all and was followed by a period of silence for reflection and discernment.
Eight areas or ‘umbrellas’ of the Church which emerged on the day include – Church governance, Liturgy, Ecumenism, The Church’s Relevance, The Church in its Post Royal Commission stage, Education, Evangelisation and the Role of the Laity
Upcoming Regional Listening and Dialogue Sessions in the Archdiocese
AUGUST 19 (10.30am to 12 noon): Plenary Council Listening and Dialogue for the Monaro Deanery at St Patrick’s School Cooma.
SEPTEMBER 9 (11am to 12.30pm): Plenary Council Listening and Dialogue for the Monaro Deanery at St Joseph’s Catholic School Bombala.
OCTOBER 27 (10am): Plenary Council Listening and Dialogue in the Western Deanery. Session will be held somewhere in Cootamundra. Exact location to be confirmed at a later date.
OCTOBER: Plenary Council Listening and Dialogue in the Northern Deanery (Queanbeyan). Exact date and location to be confirmed closer to the event.
NOVEMBER: Plenary Council Listening and Dialogue in the Northern Deanery (Goulburn). Exact date and location to be confirmed closer to the event.
DECEMBER: Plenary Council Listening and Dialogue in the Coastal Deanery. Exact date and location to be confirmed closer to the event.