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Elijah went into the wilderness…” – 1Kgs 19.4

On Wednesday, five members of our community went to the e-conference, Synodality in Practice: Listening to the Spirit and Leading Change, which was hosted at Morisset. We heard a lot about the upcoming Plenary Council. And we are excited.

On Thursday, every parish, school and Catholic organisation in our diocese received an information pack entitled Forming of Local Animators for the Listening and Dialogue Encounter. This is the first part of our preparation for the Plenary Council.

It is time!

  • It is time for us to start gathering together to listen to each other.
  • It is time for us to engage with each other’s stories.
  • It is time for us to express what we love about our Church.
  • It is also time to share our hurts and disappointments.

This is our moment of hope for the future. It is a moment of grace when we can be open to the Holy Spirit. Each person, from the experience of our own lives, will have the opportunity to respond to the question:

“WHAT DO YOU THINK GOD IS ASKING OF US IN AUSTRALIA AT THIS TIME?”

It is a big task. We want everybody to have a voice in this process. We need to hear the voices of the young and old, from every walk of life, from within and outside the Church… we need to listen to EVERYONE! And that is a big challenge. But not impossible.

Already, people are meeting in small groups to engage in the listening encounters. It is as simple as accessing the Plenary Council website, downloading the ‘Listening and Dialogue’ guide and working through it in small groups. As a community, we don’t want anyone to miss out on this opportunity. So right now, we are asking for volunteers to be trained as local animators. These local animators will assist the community in hosting these small group discussions. These discussions can happen anywhere. At our regular meetings. In our existing small groups. In families. At school. With old friends. We have the opportunity to really get out and listen to the stories of our much wider community.

This really is a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity for all of us to listen to each other and to the Holy Spirit. So if you would like to be involved as a local animator, please contact Brendon this week. The closest training session for us will be at St Paul’s Catholic College, Booragul on Tuesday, 21st August at 1-4pm or 5.30-8.30p

Brendon