First Assembly of the Fifth Plenary Council

Plenary Council Update

The First General Assembly of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia was held October 3-10, 2021 with the Second General Assembly scheduled for July 2022. For six days 278 Plenary Council members participated in the assembly online, with a small number of dioceses able to bring members together if COVID-19 restrictions allowed. Members participated in a variety of experiences during the week, which included time spent as a full assembly, hours of small group discernment on the 16 questions of the Assembly and times of prayer. The members reflected on the same question from the Listening and Dialogue phase : ‘What do you think God is asking of us in Australia at this time?’” Further details on the Assembly can be found on the Plenary Council site (by Mss Mary Kleist)

Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB has reflected on a week that had been
“inspiring, challenging and sometimes unsettling” following closure of the formal proceedings of the First General Assembly of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia on Saturday 9 October.
Speaking to the Plenary Council Members, Archbishop Costelloe said that the First Assembly had been an exercise in the process of “synodality”, which Pope Francis describes as “walking together.” We have been told of the joy of belonging to the Church and the hope it brings into the lives of many. But we have, too, touched the pain of those who have suffered, and continue to suffer, through their engagement with the Church.
Archbishop Costelloe said the people of the Church are called to be a sign and an instrument of communion with God and of unity among all people, This week we have tried to discern together how we, the Church, can become more fully a clear, unambiguous and effective sign of this communion. All week we have been exploring together possible ways of re-casting ourselves, re-positioning ourselves, the Church in Australia, for this mission. And this exploration will continue.”

We stand before you, Holy Spirit, conscious of our sinfulness, but aware that we gather in your name.
Come to us, remain with us, and enlighten our hearts.
Give us light and strength to know your will,
to make it our own and to live it in our lives.
Guide us by your wisdom, support us by your power, for you are God, sharing the glory of Father and Son.
You desire justice for All enable us to uphold the rights of others; do not allow us to be
misled by ignorance or corrupted by fear or favour.
Unite us to yourself in the bond of love and keep us faithful to all that is true.
As we gather in your name may we temper justice with love, so that all our decisions may be pleasing to you, and earn the reward promised to good and faithful servants, Amen.