There have been over 22,000 submissions from individuals and groups who have gathered for the initial phase of the Plenary 2020, participating in listening and dialogue sessions. This phase will continue until early March when the data will be carefully analysed and from this analysis the major themes for the Council will emerge.
Have you thought of offering a listening and dialogue session focusing on lay pastoral ministry? What do you think God is asking of us in Australia at this time regarding ministry, both lay and ordained? An obvious resource for this conversation is Faithful Stewards of God’s Grace, the National Resource for Lay Pastoral Ministry launched by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference in July this year. The Recommendations at the end of the document are a good place to begin the session. You might like to invite lay pastoral ministers, parishioners and ordained ministers from your parish or district to share their experiences of this ministry.
The invitation to listen and speak is one that we each need to respond to with faith and openness. If the Church in Australia is going to grow in the ways of the Gospel and be the place of missionary activity that Pope Francis calls us to, then the growing of lay ministry must have a central place. We have the opportunity to speak clearly about our dream, our hope, our passion for how the Church may look with an inclusive leadership, respecting and using the gifts of both clergy and laity for realising the reign of God in our day!
Take up the invitation to participate in Plenary 2020, let’s together listen to what the Spirit is saying and speak this truth boldly!
Kari Hatherell OSU