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Bishop Brian calls for delegates to represent the diocese at Plenary Council

January 20, 2020

My Sisters and Brothers in Christ

I am writing to invite expressions of interest from prospective Diocese of Wollongong delegates to attend the Plenary Council 2020. The Plenary Council provides an opportunity for a calling forth of delegates from among the “presbyters and others of Christ’s faithful” from our diocese, which will be sending a delegation of six people to the Plenary Council, including: Bishop Brian Mascord; Vicar General Fr Bernard Gordon; Episcopal Vicar Fr Ken Cafe OFM; and Episcopal Vicar Fr Sean Cullen.

The Diocese of Wollongong has been allocated two delegates and two reserve delegates to attend the Plenary Council sessions in 2020 and 2021. These delegates are to be called from the clergy, religious and laity of our diocese.

Some characteristics of the delegates to be called could include:

  • A demonstrated commitment to leadership in the Church/and or the ministries of the Church (e.g. parish ministries, Catholic education, Catholic social services, Catholic health or those associated with the various ecclesial movements etc);
  • An intentional living of the Gospel in their life exhibited through both prayer and deeds;
  • An awareness of the “bigger picture” of Catholic faith, community and works in the context of contemporary Australian society;
  • Previous participation in/leadership of listening and dialogue, or listening and discernment encounters with people in the person’s community, workplace or family.

Ultimately, the foundational characteristic for a delegate would be the person’s ability and capacity to discern with an open heart, listening to what the Spirit is saying to the Church in Australia.

Any person who expresses their interest in being called by our diocese to be a delegate to the Plenary Council must be available for the following dates:

1.      Preparation and Formation days for Delegates (Sydney – Thursday 16 July to Saturday 18 July 2020)

2.      Plenary Council General Assembly 1 (Adelaide – Sunday 4 October to Sunday 11 October 2020)

3.      Plenary Council General Assembly 2 (Venue to be advised – Monday 28 June to Saturday 3 July 2021)

If you are not available for both the preparation and formation dates, as well as for both the general assembly dates, you are ineligible to apply.

The minimum required age for delegates is 16 years of age. However, the Diocese of Wollongong reminds us that as youth representatives can be 18 plus and the voice of youth can be reported by adults, delegates are encouraged to be over 18.

Enquiries can be directed to:

Mr John Tubridy
Project Officer Plenary Council 2020
Diocese of Wollongong
[email protected]

Please download the following documents for your information and distribution to interested persons:

  1. Role Description of Delegates
  2. Expression of Interest Form

Completed applications using the Expression of Interest Form must be sent via email to Mr John Tubridy [email protected] by 5.00pm Tuesday 4 February 2020.

Applications for delegates is confidential. I will assemble a team of people to discern the expressions of interest. Names of delegates from this diocese will be submitted to the Commission for the Plenary Council on 18 February 2020.

All applicants will be informed of the outcome of their expression of interest.

Finally, although the total number of delegates is quite small, this group of people will represent our local diocesan Church and help to guide all of the Church in Australia towards the future. It is a great act of faith and we are led by the Spirit every step of the way. Please join me in praying for all our Church in Australia, and in particular for our diocesan delegation as we continue to journey toward the Plenary Council.

Yours in the Lord

Most Rev Brian G Mascord DD

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