St Vincent de Paul Catholic Parish Strathmore
St Vincent de Paul Church
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St Vincent de Paul Presbytery
2 The Crossway
Strathmore 3041
Fr Peter J Ray
Ring anytime: 03 9412 8460
Parish Office: Wednesday – Friday 9.30am to 3pm

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Please return by the 25th February

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St Vincent de Paul Press

9th December 2018

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December - February 2019

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Upcoming Events

Plenary Council 2020

The last time the Catholic Church in Australia held a Plenary Council was in 1937. It has been more than 80 years since we gathered all of the Church together and much has changed. In 2020, we will have a Plenary Council about the future of the Catholic Church in Australia. What are we called to do? Who are we called to be? How do we need to change?

Pope Francis has spoken of the need to engage in the world and respond in faith. He said:

“The defining aspect of this change of epoch is that things are no longer in their place. Our previous ways of explaining the world and relationships, good and bad, no longer appears to work. The way in which we locate ourselves in history has changed. Things we thought would never happen, or that we never thought we would see, we are experiencing now, and we dare not even imagine the future. That which appeared normal to us – family, the Church, society and the world – will probably no longer seem that way. We cannot simply wait for what we are experiencing to pass, under the illusion that things will return to being how they were before.”

The journey toward the Plenary Council will help us to prepare to listen to God by listening to one another. We invite all people to engage, to be a part of the listening and dialogue encounter in the next two years.

What is a Plenary Council?

A Plenary Council is the highest formal gathering of all local churches in a country. Our Plenary Council 2020 is being held so that we can dialogue about the future of the Catholic Church in Australia.

Why are we having a Plenary Council in 2020?

There are many reasons for having a Plenary Council for the Catholic Church in Australia: Pope Francis has invited the local church to dialogue; the contemporary society of Australia has changed significantly, and the Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse has been a significant and influential event that requires deep consideration and response.

When the Australian Catholic Bishops announced the decision to hold a Plenary Council, Archbishop of Brisbane Mark Coleridge said that “the Church is not the presence in our society it once was. We need to take a measure of that and make decisions accordingly. The culture in which we have to proclaim the Gospel is very different to what it was even 20 or 30 years ago.”

It is being held in 2020 in order to give the Catholic community in Australia time to listen, dialogue and discern with one another and, guided by the Holy Spirit, about the future, the role and relevance of the Catholic Church in Australia.

When is the Plenary Council?

Plenary Council will be held in two sessions. The first will be held in late 2020 (possibly October) and the second session will be held in mid-2021 (possibly in May).

The Council will be held in two sessions in order to enable to deeper discernment, further learning, dialogue and listening where it may be needed and to write or rewrite anything in response to the dialogue of the first session.

Most importantly, the time in between will allow us to ensure we are listening “to what the spirit is saying”. Rev 2:7

Where will the Plenary Council be held?

The first session of the Plenary Council will be held in Adelaide, in October 2020.

The second session is proposed to be held in a metropolitan city on the eastern seaboard. It will likely be Sydney, because it is where the Catholic Church in Australia first began and where the 1937 Plenary Council was held.

The facilitation team is currently working on these options and exploring what is possible.

How is a Plenary Council different from a Synod?

Both gatherings can be influential for the Church. A Plenary Council is the highest form of gathering of local church and has legislative and governance authority. The decisions that are made at the Council become binding for the Catholic Church in Australia. A Synod does not have this legislative and governance authority.

Does my voice, my experience, sharing my story really matter?

Yes absolutely! Each of us is called as children of God to respond to Pope Francis’s invitation to become a “synodal” Church – a Church of faith-filled people who speak boldly and with passion, and who listen deeply with an open and humble heart.

In his address to the Bishops of the world, Pope Francis explains the importance of listening, dialogue and prayer.

“A synodal Church is a Church which listens, which realises that listening is more than simply hearing. It is a mutual listening in which everyone has something to learn. The faithful people, the college of bishops, the Bishop of Rome: all listening to each other, and all listening to the Holy Spirit, the ‘Spirit of truth’ (Jn 14:17), in order to know what he ‘says to the Churches’ (Rev 2:7).”

What will be on the agenda for the Plenary Council session in 2020

The agenda for the first session of the Council will be formed in response to the dialogue and listening process that will happen during 2018-19. After an open and inclusive process of listening, dialogue, prayer and discernment, we will form the Council agenda in late 2019 and early 2020.
St Vincent de Paul Church
Cnr Woodland Street & The Crossway
St Vincent de Paul Presbytery
2 The Crossway
St Vincent de Paul Primary School
Woodland Street
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