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Plenary Council Update – Edition 6

06 October, 2018

In our Diocese of Rockhampton, we are preparing for the Plenary Council now. Bishop Michael has been listening to us, the people of the Diocese, gathered in our Regional Assemblies.

The last two of the round two listening sessions will take place on the first two weeks of October – Northern Region and Central Region. In these sessions, we have been encouraged to speak about the issues we feel are important to our diocese at this time.

In a recent update from the Plenary Council facilitation team, we are reminded the Plenary Council calls us to listen, not just speak. The Plenary Councils is designed to be a process of dialogue, and that means finding time to listen to one another:

Am I able to come to a place of stillness and contemplation, and listen with the ear of my heart to what the Spirit is saying in my life?

Am I willing to share this experience with others?

Richard McMahon “Catholic Outlook”

But dialogue means listening . . . . . and speaking. We are reminded of this by Fr Noel Connolly SSC of the Plenary Council Facilitation Team. He states “When we speak to each other, we can all learn”. Pope Benedict, shortly before he resigned, warned us that “the laity should not be considered as collaborators with the clergy, but as the people truly co-responsible for the life of the Church”.

The Plenary Council provides us with an opportunity and a process to draw close to one another, to share our faith, our insights and our questions. If we can all learn to share vulnerably and fully – people, priests, and bishops – that will help us to become a listening Church and help develop a culture of relatedness, freedom, co-responsibility and hope.

So let us speak the truth as we know it; listen to others’ truth as they know it, and ask the Spirit’s grace to guide us in dialogue.

The Plenary Council Facilitation Team says “We want to hear from you”. The Plenary Council Team wants to share stories, images and video from around the country. Send content to and let us know if you’re happy for us to share it with our community.