Plenary Council

The last time the Catholic Church in Australia held a Plenary Council was in 1937. It has been more than 80 years since we gathered all of the Church together and much has changed. In 2020, we will have a Plenary Council about the future of the Catholic Church in Australia. What are we called to do? Who are we called to be? How do we need to change?

Pope Francis has spoken of the need to engage in the world and respond in faith. He said:

“The defining aspect of this change of epoch is that things are no longer in their place. Our previous ways of explaining the world and relationships, good and bad, no longer appears to work. The way in which we locate ourselves in history has changed. Things we thought would never happen, or that we never thought we would see, we are experiencing now, and we dare not even imagine the future. That which appeared normal to us – family, the Church, society and the world—will probably no longer seem that way. We cannot simply wait for what we are experiencing to pass, under the illusion that things will return to being how they were before.”

The journey toward the Plenary Council will help us to prepare to listen to God by listening to one another. We invite all people to engage, to be a part of the listening and dialogue encounter in the next two years.

For more general information about the Plenary Council, visit the national Plenary Council website and take time to watch the videos and read about the plenary council process, theology and history. Also, listen to the prayer resources to help tune our hearts to “listen to what the Spirit is saying” (Revelations 2:7).

Plenary Council news

Local resources

The diocesan Office for Renewal and Evangelisation has produced some local resources for parishes, schools and other communities to help them engage in the process. Additional resources will be created during the process and made available on this page. See below for resources already released.

Bishop’s pastoral letter

On Thursday 26 July 2018, Bishop Brian Mascord issued a pastoral letter outlining the process and timeline for the diocese’s engagement with the Plenary Council.

Download Bishop Brian Mascord’s Plenary Council pastoral letter.

Support kit

The diocese has produced a support kit with general information as well as specific information to assist communities in selecting their local animator. The support kit is based upon the text and concept of the Catholic Diocese of Broken Bay (original author: Daniel Ang, Office for Evangelisation. © Catholic Diocese of Broken Bay 2018).

Download the Plenary Council support kit.

“The Power of the Spirit” diocesan song

In preparation for the Plenary Council—and suitable for Easter Season, Ascension, Pentecost and Confirmation—diocesan liturgy coordinator and composer, Mr Paul Mason, has written a diocesan song for the Plenary Council titled, “The Power of the Spirit”.

The pack includes:

  • The Power of the Spirit (O Come, Holy Spirit, Come!) Complete (MP3)
  • The Power of the Spirit (O Come, Holy Spirit, Come!) Entrance version (MP3)
  • The Power of the Spirit (O Come, Holy Spirit, Come!) Final version (MP3)
  • The Power of the Spirit (O Come, Holy Spirit, Come!) Sheet Music (PDF)

Download “The Power of the Spirit” song pack

A parishioner has created a visual presentation of the song with sheet music for communities to use on their presentation screens:

Plenary Council contact


Mr John Tubridy

Project Officer—Plenary Council 2020
local_phone (02) 4222 2429