Plenary Council 2021

Plenary Council begins

The Catholic Church of Australia gathered for the first assembly of the Plenary Council from 3-10 October 2021.  Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the First Assembly was held in online mode.  Delegates from around the country participated.  There were 17 members in this gathering who have been called from the Archdiocese of Melbourne. Read the Plenary Council Concluding Statement.

View the Plenary Council Agenda


Continuing the Journey

The working document for the Plenary Council has been released.  The document, known as an instrumentum laboris, draws heavily on the voices heard during the Listening and Dialogue and Discernment phases of the Plenary Council, but also from other key sources.  It is entitled Continuing the JourneyRead more…



Instrumentum Laboris (Working Document)

Writing and Discernment Group Papers

The Plenary Council has made available the Discernment Papers from the Writing and Discernment Groups on the six themes in both written and audio format.  Read more…

Plenary Council 2020: What can we expect?

It was great to see so many people continuing to be interested in the upcoming Plenary Council.  Exploring the synodal process and expectations over three sessions provided an attractive series with more than 50 people attending each session.  During this time of pandemic restrictions, coming together through Zoom video conferencing proved to be a great success.  Our presenters, Fr Brendan Reed, Cathy Jenkins and Fr Kevin Lenehan shared from the wealth of their knowledge and experience, guiding us through the intricacies of Church governance.


Topics and Presenters

The Synodal process and expectations

What does synodality mean?  Where does it come from?  What can we expect from the Plenary Council?

Presented by Rev Dr Brendan Reed, Parish Priest, Camberwell, Deepdene & Balwyn and lecturer at Catholic Theological College.



Applying what we know

Applying what we have heard and learnt about synodality to our parish context.

Presented by Ms Cathy Jenkins, Assistant to the Director: Leadership and Development at Catholic Education Sandhurst.  Cathy is a member of the Missionary & Evangelising Writing Group and will attend the Plenary Council as a delegate.



Dealing with the themes

Looking at the nature and practice of discernment and the six themes.

Presented by Rev Dr Kevin Lenehan, Master of Catholic Theological College.  Kevin is a member of the Open to Conversion, Renewal and Reform Writing Group and will attend the Plenary Council as a delegate.



Plenary Council Writing Group Reflection

We were fortunate to also have Simon Donahoe, Cathy Jenkins and Kevin Lenehan share their experiences from being on a Writing Group.  They each provided an insight into the richness and challenges they faced as they drew together the submissions received from across Australia.


Simon Donahoe’s reflection



Visit the Plenary Council 2020 website

Writing and Discernment Group Papers.  Read more…

‘Discernment both a call and a challenge given to us by the Holy Spirit’ says Archbishop Costelloe. Read more…

Who will be at the Plenary Council?  Delegates from across Australia have been confirmed.  Read more…

Frequently Asked Questions about the Plenary Council.  Read more…


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