On Friday 31st August, Fr Noel Connolly was invited by the Parish to talk about the Plenary Council. He was very impressed by the attendance of 52 parishioners. In turn, we were equally impressed by his explanation on how important the Plenary Council was for each of us and also what we can do.
Fr Noel often quoted Pope Francis who is inviting us to share and listen to our brother and sisters. Pope Francis encourages us to “speak boldly, candidly and without fear. And at the same time, listen with humility and accept with an open heart to what your brothers (and sisters) say.”
The Plenary Council is an invitation for us to speak freely from our hearts and minds. Fr Noel acknowledges that we have a lot to learn and this process (listening and dialogue) may be challenging. Consulting, speaking up, listening and discerning are skills that take time and practice to master. It is even more difficult to listen humbly with open hearts and try to appreciate what the Spirit is saying through each of us.
It requires charity, open mindedness, trust and patience from us. Pope Francis said we should not be afraid of open and fraternal debate, because this is how we will find what the Spirit wants.
Last Friday, we have shown by our attendance at Fr Noel’s talk that we want to participate in the Plenary Council. We can now look forward in participating boldly, humbly and with trust to the process.
This will hopefully be the beginning of a beautiful and worthwhile process that will see us become a more synodal, consultative and participatory church.
Our next Parish meeting will be on Thursday 4th October. There will be a session on Listening and Dialogue. Jacqui Giuliano from the Archbishop’s office of Evangelisation will guide us in this process. We hope to see you there.
We are all invited and welcome on 4th Oct. There will be further information in the Parish Bulletin.