Individual and group submissions must be made by 6 March answering the question “What do you think God is asking of us in Australia at this time?”
Ash Wednesday, 6 March, will mark the end of stage one - the Open Listening And Dialogue stage.
The second stage will begin after Easter, with Easter Sunday on 21 April.
The Plenary Council Facilitation team will discern the emergent themes from all of the stories that have been shared during the Open Listening And Dialogue stage, and then move into Dialogue And Discernment.
In early 2020, the draft Plenary Council papers written during the discernment stage will provide an opportunity for the final stage of preparation: Dialogue And Formation. In this stage Australians will read and learn, speak with one another, reflect, take time to listen deeply to the emergent questions and themes, and continue to grapple with what future God is calling us toward. The stories shared during the Open Listening And Dialogue stage will have shaped the program and the discernment of the Plenary Council.
These three steps of preparation lead up to the Plenary Council, which will begin with the first Council session in October 2020.
Topics that have been frequently raised in submissions so far include leadership and governance within the Church, the place and role of women, the importance of young people, the living tradition, liturgy and music, the priesthood and other vocations, inclusion and welcome, the sacramental life of the Church, ecology and creation, and social justice.
At the end of 2018, over 31,000 people had already shared their stories with the Plenary Council. There are many more people in Australia that still need to have their say. Don’t let the opportunity go by! Contact your parish to join a group led by an animator, or make your own submission online at www.plenarycouncil.catholic.org.au