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Catholic Church Plenary Council

To find out more about the Plenary progress, click here to visit the Plenary FAQ page.

The first meeting of the Plenary Council will be held in Adelaide from 4 October to 11 October 2020. This will be the first of two sessions, with the second happening in Sydney from 28 June to 2 July 2021.

At the conclusion of the second meeting, the bishops will have voted on a new direction for the Catholic Church in Australia.

In preparation for the Plenary Council, the Bishops launched a Listen and Dialogue process, which began in May 2018. This gave an opportunity for Catholics to respond to the question ‘What do you think God is asking of us in Australia at this time?’

Three Preparatory Phases

The preparation for the Plenary Council has been divided into three phases:

  • the Listen and Dialogue phase
  • the Discernment phase
  • Toward Assembly One.

At the end of the Listen and Dialogue phase, there were over 222,000 responses from individuals and groups. The National Centre for Pastoral Research, has been tasked with facilitating the Plenary Council process and have compiled this feedback into the following six themes:

  • missionary and evangelising
  • inclusive, participatory and synodal
  • prayerful and eucharistic
  • humble, healing and merciful
  • a joyful, hope-filled and servant community
  • open to conversion, renewal and reform.

The Discernment phase began in June 2019. Each diocese reviewed the feedback from the Final Report on the Listen and Dialogue phase under the six categories listed above. This phase involves the writing of thematic papers, based on the feedback grouped under each of these themes. These thematic papers will in turn shape the agenda for the first plenary session this coming October.

The Listen and Dialogue and the Discernment phases are expected to conclude in early 2020.

Click here for updates on the Plenary Council progress in 2020

CSPV encourage parents to explore what it means to be a family attending a Catholic school. How are you involved in the Catholic formation of your child in your learning community? This includes how you engage in their learning about Catholic teachings through religious education and how this is acted on in their daily lives and yours as a family.

There are various ways families can be involved in the life of a Catholic school by:
• Attending liturgical celebrations at school - many schools will present liturgies in the form of drama plays or special presentations at assembly that tell the story of Jesus to teach the children the messages of how to live as Jesus did in their daily lives - learning to treat others well and make a difference in the lives of others who are less fortunate.

• Understanding how religion is taught in a Catholic school - have conversations with your child's teacher about how the religious education curriculum is integrated across learning at your school.

• Read more information about the religious education curriculum to understand the positive messages that children are learning about how to become model citizens through social justice learning at school.

• Families are able to then compliment this learning in the home through teaching children about the world around them and how we need to care for others in our local and global communities.

• Explore the stories the children are learning at school and how they relate to their every day world. What can they learn from these stories and how can your family lead by example?

What is Religious Education?

“Religious education in Australian Catholic schools develops students’ knowledge and understandings of Christianity in the light of Jesus and the Gospel, and its unfolding story and diversity within contemporary Australian and global society.

It expands students’ spiritual awareness and religious identity, fostering their capacities and skills in discerning, interpreting, thinking critically, seeking truth and making meaning. It challenges and inspires their service to others and engagement in the Church and the world.”

NCEC, Religious Education Framing Paper (2018) 7.