INFORMATION UPDATED: 29th September 2021
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
RE: Communications for the First Assembly of the Plenary Council
The Members of the Plenary Council from the Diocese of Parramatta are preparing for the First Assembly of the Plenary Council, which commences this weekend on Sunday 3 October 2021.
With so many of our parishes and parishioners engaging in the Listening and Dialogue phase, we are sure there will be great interest in how this next stage of the Plenary progresses, and a desire to support the discernment process.
We are planning to keep you updated with daily reports from the Plenary Council which we hope you will be able to share through your networks.
The First Assembly will involve Members in group discernment, with small groups of 10 engaging in spiritual conversations. Your parishioners can accompany us during this process through prayer, and through reflecting on the reports that will come from the event each day.
Diocese of Parramatta Votive and Plenary Council Opening Masses on Sunday 3 October
On Sunday, the first day of the Plenary Council, Bishop Vincent will celebrate Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral at 11am AEDT, as will Archbishops and Bishops in each Australian Diocese and Archdiocese.
The link to this Mass is the regular St Patrick’s Cathedral livestream Mass –
- (Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/saint
patrickscathedralparramatta /<https://www.facebook.com/sai ntpatrickscathedralparramatta% 20/>
- YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/c/StPa
The Plenary Council Opening Mass will be broadcast from Perth, WA at 2pm AEDT (Sydney time) on Sunday. The link to the livestream of this Mass is https://plenarycouncil.catholi
Updates during the week of the Plenary Council:
The information will include:
* Social media items to share on your parish social media networks
* Links to articles published on Catholic Outlook about the First Assembly
* The Mass booklets for First Assembly Masses. Masses will be livestreamed each day from https://plenarycouncil.catholi
* Links to the livestream, the Diocesan Plenary Council prayer<https://parracatholic.o
A livestream from the First Assembly will take place between 11am AEDT and 12.15pm AEDT each day from Monday 4 October to Saturday 9 October 2021 (excluding 7 October which will be livestreamed from 12noon to 12.45pm). The First Assembly concludes on Sunday 10 October with a livestreamed closing Mass at 11.00am AEDT. Everyone is welcome to tune into and watch the livestreams from https://plenarycouncil.catholi
We will also be updating the Plenary Council pages on the Diocese of Parramatta website which can be found at https://parracatholic.org/plen
Thank you for the interest and support you have shown so far, as the Australian Church unites in prayer and discernment through this historic process.
Fr Peter G. Williams
Vicar General & Moderator of the Curia
In October 2021, the Catholic Church in Australia will gather for the first assembly of the Plenary Council to be held since the second Vatican Council.
Through the Plenary Council, the Australian Catholic Church will explore what the future of our Church should look like, as the culture in which we proclaim the Gospel changes.
We all have a role to play in the future of our Church.
Start by praying: A Prayer for the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia —–
Also, from this linked diocesan website you can access all information about the upcoming Plenary Council 2020
Technology in place for first Plenary Council Assembly
Despite large parts of the country being in lockdown, those planning the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia say all is in readiness to deliver the first assembly in October wholly online.
Bishop Shane Mackinlay, the Plenary Council’s vice-president, said the Council journey has adapted to changing circumstances because of COVID-19 – and it is adapting again.
“With most of the country’s population currently in lockdown or having experienced lockdowns in recent weeks, we have plans in place to ensure the first assembly opens on October 3,” he said.
“Just as there was disappointment in needing first to postpone the assembly and then to move to regional hubs, the likelihood that most members will now join the assembly from their home is not what we had planned and hoped for.
“We know, though, that the Holy Spirit can, and will, work through this assembly, just as the Spirit has led us over the past three-and-a-half years.”
Plenary Council facilitator Lana Turvey-Collins said a huge amount of work had been done to prepare for the Council to be held in hubs, with each member participating on their own device.
“As a result, this shift to most people participating from home is a pivot rather than a major detour from what we were planning,” she said.
“We are receiving exceptional support from technical experts within and beyond the Church to ensure that we can make the virtual assembly one that allows for the prayer, conversation, listening and discernment we’ve hoped for all along.”
Teams working on liturgy, communications and the assembly’s program are also altering existing plans for the new format.
Bishop Mackinlay said the approximately 280 members of the Council gathered online in four groups in recent weeks to continue their formation, including from a technology perspective.
“While there has been greater exposure to videoconferencing in the past 18 months, the Microsoft Teams environment was new to some,” he said.
“What we encountered over the two days each group met was a stable platform, and one on which we can participate in meaningful dialogue with one another. We were able to trial the practice of spiritual conversations that will be used during the assemblies and there were moments of prayerful encounter, even if via a screen.”
It is expected that, in some areas not affected by lockdowns, members will gather in small numbers for prayer, fellowship and socialising, as the experience of provincial hubs would have provided.
Plans for the public livestreaming of some parts of each day remain in place, and some liturgies will also be celebrated online.
“This is a Council for the Church in Australia, and we look forward to a wide range of people following the assembly, hearing how conversations are unfolding and praying with the members,” Ms Turvey-Collins said.