Members prepare for Final Plenary Council Assembly in Sydney

30 June 2022

Perth Plenary Council members gathered on 7 June at the Salvatorian Spiritual Centre for an intimate Eucharistic Mass, ahead of the Second Assembly of the Plenary Council, set to take place in Sydney from 3 to 9 July.

The Mass was celebrated by the Most Rev Don Sproxton, Auxiliary Bishop of Perth, who offered his prayers and hopes for the final gathering.

“I would hope that, as we pray for the Spirit to work in our country and to work in the Church of Australia, God will raise new things, because of our openness to the Spirit that we display through the Plenary Council,” he said.

“So, we ask God to bless us with faith, a firm belief and conviction that the Spirit will turn what seems to be very little into something very great.”

Plenary Council President, Perth Archbishop the Most Rev Timothy Costelloe SDB, invited the Catholic community to attend the closing Mass of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia at Sydney’s St Mary’s Cathedral on Saturday, 9 July at 10.30am.

The closing Mass will also be livestreamed through the Plenary Council’s website

Archbishop Costelloe said around 270 members would help act with a national vision for the Church.

“When we gather around the altar on 9 July, we will unite our voices with the hundreds in the cathedral but the much larger group of Catholics around the country who have been following this journey fill of hope for our shared future,” he said.

Catholic Education Western Australia (CEWA) Catechist Service Consultant Catherine Nguyen is one of the 13 Perth representatives selected as Members ‘who are called’.

Ms Nguyen said she was excited at the prospect of gathering face to face for the first time in this process, and meeting people she had collaborated for the past few years.

“I pray that everyone can stay happy and healthy over this coming period and no doubt, with the gruelling schedule, we will be able to support each other knowing that we have been called to this special task,” she said.

“We acknowledge that it will be a difficult week, exhausting and maybe confronting, but we earnestly pray that we will put forward what is possible, not what is impossible; what is of benefit, not what is possibly of benefit.

“I have an overwhelming feeling of gratitude that we have made it to this point, where after a four-year run, with all the countless voices and contributions from the beginning of the process, the meetings, spiritual conversations, dissemination from hundreds of people that have taken place since, we have a document with motions that will guide this next assembly from which we can move forward. That is the Holy Spirit at work with and within us.”

Ms Nguyen said she hoped the Church in Australia would be “open to the Spirit so that what is possible will be beneficial in all the improvements that it will stimulate over time.”

“This is the best opportunity in our lifetime for real change in our church and therefore we embrace it fully.

“We are buoyed by the notion of ‘the Church is big enough for all of us’; and our goal is to facilitate this”

The 13 Perth Plenary Council Members are:

  • Most Reverend Timothy John Costelloe SDB DD
  • Very Reverend Peter Gerrard Whitely VG
  • Mr Damian Anthony Walsh
  • Dr Angela Mary McCarthy
  • Ms Catherine Nguyen
  • Ms Gemma Thomson
  • Dr Marco Ceccarelli
  • Most Reverend Donald George Sproxton DD
  • Reverend Brian John Mckenna EV
  • Reverend Vincent Glynn EV
  • Reverend Michael Thomas Moore SM
  • Reverend Phillip Fleay
  • Professor Francis Campbell

Read the Plenary Council framework of motions here:

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