How is God calling us to be a Christ-centred Church in Australia that is a joyful, hope-filled and servant community?
As we move into this second stage of preparation for the Plenary Council, we continue to seek the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. Beginning in July 2019, we are called to reflect on Scripture, Church teaching and good practice, to discern the answer to this question. The fruits of what is discerned during this time will shape the agenda of the first session of Plenary Council in October 2021.
This National Theme for Discernment is inspired by the voices of the People of God who expressed a yearning for the Church to be a sign of God’s kingdom for all people in Australia – to be able to see the Catholic Church in action, and to recognise Jesus. There was an expression of faith-filled hope in the capacity of the Catholic community to celebrate together, to show what it is to be a follower of Christ and to be loved unconditionally by God. There was a call to contemplate the Gospel call to be a servant Church for the good of all people in Australia – particularly for refugees and asylum seekers and other people who are vulnerable or at risk. Many responses called for greater sharing of the story of the good works done by so many people and organisations of the Church. Some responses expressed a hunger for strong witness of faith, especially by priests, young people and female leaders in parish and school ministries.
ChairSharon O’Keeffe 42, QLD
My whole life has been couched in a quest to live a life like Jesus’, one which is framed in the pursuit of justice and couched in the quest for sharing the love of Christ. I am passionate about working collaboratively and hope that I would be able to bring my listening and writing skills to this important ministry.
We are in a unique time for our Church, here in Australia and beyond. My modus operandi is joy and Pope Francis’ exhortation Evangelii Gaudium – on The Joy of the Gospel – fills my heart with hope that Australian Catholics will engage in the Plenary Council process.