In October 2021, the Catholic Church in Australia gathered for the first Plenary Council to be held since the Second Vatican Council. In 2018, the entire People of God in Australia began preparing for this historic moment by listening to God, by listening to one another’s stories of faith.
How did we get here?
More than 222,000 people participated in listening and dialogue encounters and contributed 17,457 submissions during the first stage of preparation for the Australian Plenary Council.
The voices of the faithful help all of us to understand something of the historical experience and the current reality of the Catholic Church in Australia. This gathered data also reveals some deeper hopes and questions, and the diverse yearnings, that we are now challenged to consider together.
What people talked about
Disclaimer: Colour and size of text were randomly generated for aesthetic purposes and must not be taken as data visualization
What happened next?
The six National Themes for Discernment were inspired by the data and called us toward the future. As we moved into this second stage of preparation for the Plenary Council, we continued to seek the wisdom of the Holy Spirit.
Drawing on the six National Themes for Discernment, this discernment process involved establishing Writing and Discernment Groups for each National Theme for Discernment while people in faith communities across Australia were called to participate locally in their own communal Listening and Discernment encounters and to send through their submissions to the Groups. The fruits of what is discerned during this time shaped the agenda of the first session of the Plenary Council.