Some of the country’s leading Catholic thinkers have been engaged to support the members of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia when they gather for the first general assembly early next month.
As happens with international gatherings, including at the Second Vatican Council, participants are able to seek guidance from a group of advisers. Their expertise covers a broad range of disciplines, including theology, philosophy, ethics, ecclesiology, education, liturgy, governance and social justice.
Plenary Council president Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB said while there are experts across many fields within the approximately 280 members, the additional advisers – sometimes known by the Latin term periti – will be there to nourish and deepen the existing knowledge base in a special way.
“The members of the Plenary Council are responsible for discerning concrete proposals in answer to 16 questions for the Church in Australia, so having as much support on call as possible makes sense,” he said.
Archbishop Costelloe said there will be a diversity of skills and experience, as well as ministerial and working contexts, represented among the advisers.
“We are grateful to those women and men who have responded so generously, have seen the importance of this moment in the life of the Church and agreed to serve in this critical role,” he said.
The chairpersons to guide the work of the Plenary Council and facilitate members’ conversations when they gather as a full group have also been confirmed. In accordance with the Plenary Council’s Statutes and Regulatory Norms, the chairpersons are chosen from among the members and appointed for the duration of the celebration of the Plenary Council.
The chairpersons are: Hon. Jacinta Collins, Executive Director, National Catholic Education Commission; Ms Nichii Mardon, Director, Catholic Education South Australia, Diocese of Port Pirie; Rev Thomas McDonough CP, Provincial Superior of the Passionists; Br Paul O’Keefe FSP, Provincial Leader of Patrician Brothers; Very Rev David Ranson, Vicar General Broken Bay Diocese; Mrs Theresa Simon, Maronite Catholic Eparchy of Australia.
Plenary Council facilitator Lana Turvey-Collins said the chairpersons have been taking part in formation and training workshops to collaboratively navigate the challenges inherent in chairing a gathering of 280 people and ensure the best possible experience for all.
“Each chairperson will lead a plenary session once during the first general assembly,” Ms Turvey-Collins said.
“They also form part of the Plenary Council Steering Committee, so will have an ongoing role in shaping the agenda and program in response to the daily discernment and dialogue of the members. It is exciting to see these groups of committed, skilled and faith-filled people coming together.”
The first assembly of the Plenary Council commences with the Opening Mass on October 3, with members starting to address the agenda the following day.
Account means the account held at your financial institution from which we are authorised to arrange for funds to be debited.
Agreement means this Direct Debit Request Service Agreement between you and us, including the direct debit request.
Business day means a day other than a Saturday or a Sunday or a listed public holiday.
Debit day means the day that payment is due.
Debit payment means a particular transaction where a debit is made, according to your direct debit request.
Direct debit request means the Direct Debit Request between us and you.
Us and we and our means the Catholic Development Fund.
You means the customer(s) who signed the direct debit request. Your financial institution is the financial institution where you hold the account that you have authorised us to arrange to debit.
Debiting your account
By submitting a direct debit request, you have authorised us to arrange for funds to be debited from your account according to the agreement we have with you.
We will only arrange for funds to be debited from your account:
As authorised in the direct debit request; if the debit day falls on a day that is not a business day, we may direct your financial institution to debit your account on the following or previous business day. If you are unsure about which day your account has or will be debited, please check with your financial
Changes by you
If you wish to stop or defer a debit payment you must write to us at least 5 business days before the next debit day.
This notice should be given to us in the first instance.
It is your responsibility to ensure that there are sufficient clear funds available in your account to allow a debit payment to be made.
If there are insufficient clear funds available in your account to meet a debit payment:
you or your account may be charged a fee and/or interest by your financial institution;
you or your account may be charged a fee to reimburse us for charges we have incurred for the failed transaction;
you must arrange for the payment to be made by another method
Please check your account statement to verify that the amounts debited from your account are correct.
If you believe that there has been an error in debiting your account you should call us on 1800 047 703 and confirm the details in writing with us as soon as possible so that we can resolve your query quickly.
You should check:
with your financial institution whether direct debiting is available from your accounts offered by financial
your account details which you have provided to us are correct by checking them against a recent account statement; and
with your financial institution before completing the direct debit request if you have any queries about how to complete the direct debit
Warning: if the account number you have quoted is incorrect, you may be charged a fee to reimburse our costs in correcting any deductions from:
an account you do not have authority to operate; or
an account you do not
We will keep any information (including your account details) in your direct debit request confidential.
We will make reasonable efforts to keep any such information that we have about you secure and to ensure that any of our employees or agents who have access to information about you, do not make any unauthorised use, modification, reproduction or disclosure of that information.
However, we may use your contact details to provide information about the fund. Should you wish this not to be the case, please advise the fund in writing.
Our diocesan logo is theologically rich and very succinct. As a hand, it depicts our mission as a diocese and as individuals within the diocese, of bearing (bringing, carrying) Christ’s love to one another and to the world around us. In this, we are the hand of Jesus Christ, and we are offering ourselves to him so that he might work through us.
We can be the bearers of his love only as a response to his call and in the strength of his grace. We are reminded of this in two ways—through the symbol of the dove (the Holy Spirit) also present in the logo, and by the incorporation of the cross that segments the logo. The presence of the cross is a reminder that bearing the love of Christ will inevitably cost us if we live it authentically. However, in the way that the Cross is the portent of redemption and life—an echo of the tree of life in the book of Genesis—so becoming bearers of the love of Christ will also bring us to life.
The four fingers of the hand also represent the four regions of our diocese. The first is bluerepresenting the beautiful water of the Shoalhaven. The second is a blue and green combination representing the waters and escarpment of the Illawarra. The third is greendepicting the hills and plains of the Macarthur. The fourth is dark green illustrating the forests of the Southern Highlands.