The 45 members of religious congregations and institutes of apostolic life who are preparing to attend the first Plenary Council assembly were formally commissioned in an online ceremony on Wednesday. Source: Catholic Religious Australia.
More than 120 gathered on Zoom for the ceremony and prayer service organised by Catholic Religious Australia.
CRA president Br Peter Carroll FMS said the Church in Australia is “facing a significant moment” in its history.
“The Plenary Council is a vital opportunity for dialogue and discernment, attentive to Pope Francis’ leadership and the energies of the Holy Spirit,” Br Carroll said.
Sr Bernadette Kiley OP lead the service in prayer, which included a proclamation of the Word of God by Fr Philip Watkins SSS. The group then spent some time prayerfully calling upon the power of the Holy Spirit with the help of a Taize-sponsored international online youth choir singing Veni Sancte Spiritus.
The 45 Plenary Council members were then called individually by name, and each invited to state a particular gift, quality or attribute that they are committed to bringing to the Plenary Council Assembly, to be held in October.
Statements of gift were richly diverse and included “attentive listening”, “a spirit of mission”, “an empathy with the voiceless”, “a deep thirst for unity”, “a discerning heart”, “passion to empower the voice of young people and women”, “the strength of the marginalised”, “a new enthusiasm to proclaim the Gospel and to learn from others”, “a deep love of religious life and the Church”, and “joy-filled hope”.
CRA Executive Director Anne Walker acknowledged the prophetic voice of religious in these challenging times, without which the Gospel efforts of the wider faith community would not be complete.