Discerning the ‘voice of God’ in Brisbane

The Brisbane Assembly marked an important step on the Plenary Council 2020 journey (The Catholic Leader)

Hundreds of Catholics who attended the Brisbane Assembly have been invigorated with a message to “listen to the voice of God” and “hold your nerve” in discerning what the Church needs at this time. Source: The Catholic Leader.

“I’ve come out very hope-filled – just to hear that we have to listen to everyone,” 21-year-old Thomas Warren, from All Saints Youth Ministry, Albany Creek, said.

The two-day Brisbane Assembly on October 4 and 5 marked an important step on the historic Plenary Council 2020 journey – the start of the Listening and Discernment phase.

“What kind of decisions might we take in Australia at this time? What do we need to let go of – things that might have worked in the past that don’t work now?” Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge told about 400 assembly participants at Edmund Rice Performing Arts Centre, South Brisbane.

“What new, unthought (of) things do we have to say ‘yes’ to?

“We are engaging in these two days in the extraordinary act of communal discernment – the whole Church of Brisbane discerning together, not individually, what God is saying to us and asking of us.

“And what God is saying to us and asking of us may well be a surprise and it may well be even a shock.”

Plenary Council facilitator Lana Turvey-Collins described the action needed within the Church as tilling the soil for new fruits. She said from the 220,000 submissions received by the Plenary Council across Australia, six themes had emerged.

“God is asking us to become: missionary and evangelising; inclusive and participatory; prayerful and Eucharistic; humble, healing and merciful; joyful, hope-filled and a servant community; and open to conversion and reform.”

The assembly participants considered each of the themes during “communal discernment” sessions, and to assist with the Listening and Discernment phase were asked to engage their own parishes and communities in communal listening and discernment encounters.

The fruits of those encounters will shape the agenda of the first Plenary Council session in October 2020.

Explaining the Listening and Dialogue phase of the Plenary Council, Columban Father Noel Connolly said the Church was not a democracy, but neither should it be a dictatorship.

He said under the “old model” (pre-Vatican II) “the bishops talked and we listened, and obeyed”.

“Well, the new model, the communal model of the magisterium all people belong to the people of God,” he said.

“The primary faith of the Church is now the liturgy, the daily living, the spiritual lives of laity – of everybody, the people of God.”


Discerning the ‘voice of God’ among the people of Brisbane (The Catholic Leader)

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