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Archdiocesan Assembly 2024

Take Your Seat At The Table

"It seems good to the Holy Spirit and to us..."
- Acts 15:28

The 2024 Archdiocesan Assembly is a key gathering for the Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn.

The Assembly is being held from 18-20 October and will focus on celebrating the Year of the Holy Spirit  and explore new opportunities for evangelisation and synodality in the life and mission of our local Church going forward.

In many ways, the Archdiocese is walking on the same path as the first Apostles. It took time for the early Church to discern and declare: “It seemed good to us and the Holy Spirit” (Acts 15:28)

All are invited to join us on our pilgrim journey of discernment.

All are invited to continue prayerfully discerning two key questions: 'What seems good to the Holy Spirit and to us in the area of evangelisation?'

When?

The Archdiocesan Assembly will be held from: Friday 18 (5:00pm) to Sunday 20 (12:30pm) October, 2024

Where?

The Archdiocesan Assembly will be a decentralised gathering involving ‘Hubs’ in Canberra, Goulburn, Young, Narooma and Cooma. There is also a ‘digital’ experience offered to all in the Archdiocese.

Who?

The Archdiocesan Assembly will gather leaders and members of our Parishes, Catholic Schools, Catechists, Chancery, movements, ministries, communities and organisations. It is anticipated that there will be over 600 people gathering in-person in Hubs across the Archdiocese, with more online.

The Archdiocesan Assembly is a chance for all to gather, discuss and discern the Holy Spirit at work in our midst.

Prayer, Worship and Sacraments

The Archdiocesan Assembly will be a moment of prayer as we discern the workings, promptings and inspirations of the Holy Spirit. There will be a number of intentional points for those gathered to step back and enter into this experience of discernment.

Conversations in the Spirit

The primary model for dialogue throughout the Archdiocesan Assembly will be Conversations in the Spirit. This dynamic approach has been a powerful way of identifying convergences and divergences that are the fruit of our prayer.

Inputs and Testimonies

The Year of the Holy Spirit has highlighted the impact that many of our communities are making in the area of evangelisation. The Assembly will feature a combination of inputs to provide a foundation for discernment, as well as deeper reflection on where and how the Holy Spirit has already been at work. 

Contributions and Reporting

All involved in the Archdiocesan Assembly will be invited to share the fruit of their prayerful discernment. These will be synthesised into a final report that, along with the the reports of the Roundtable Series, will provide a foundation to discern new paths to pursue. 

The Archdiocesan Assembly will be a gathering of leaders from our Parishes, schools, communities, ministries, organisations and movements.

Invitation

To ensure there is appropriate representation from communities across the Archdiocese, invitations will firstly be made through the leaders of each Parish, school, community or organisation.

Nomination

Additional members of the Archdiocese will then be nominated or have the choice to nominate themselves. All nominations will be reviewed by the Archdiocesan Interim Discernment Group to ensure a balance of representation at the Archdiocesan Assembly.

Online Participation

All in the Archdiocese are able to participate through the online live stream of the Archdiocesan Assembly. This will also include an online portal for contributions discerned through the Conversation in the Spirit process incorporated into the Assembly program.

Online Registration

Register or Express Your Interest to Attend the Archdiocesan Assembly

More Assembly Questions?

We completely understand that you might have more questions! Check out the Frequently Asked Questions below. If you have more, then contact the Archdiocese today.

What is an Archdiocesan Assembly?

The Archdiocesan Assembly will be a gathering of the Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn and the culmination of the Year of the Holy Spirit during which we have sought to discern ‘what seems good to us and the Holy Spirit?’ (Acts 28:19) 

This will have a particular emphasis on the pastoral life of the Archdiocese, in particular, exploring new opportunities for synodality and evangelisation, such as the formation of an Archdiocesan Pastoral Council.

Why hold an Archdiocesan Assembly?

The Archdiocesan Assembly is an expression of synodality, or ‘walking together’ on the pilgrim journey of the Church. This will include a time of open dialogue, communal discernment, and collaboration centred on topics of faith, life and mission within the Church. 

The Archdiocesan Assembly will give local expression to realising the aspirations of the Australian Plenary Council and the International Synod on Synodality in Rome.

What are the outcomes of the Archdiocesan Assembly?

People may look to ‘outcomes’ or ‘objectives’ resulting from an Archdiocesan Assembly. In many ways, the outcomes will be led by the Holy Spirit, as this is primarily a moment for discernment rather than a process of consultative decision making.

In saying that, at its heart, an Assembly seeks to promote a synodal approach to discerning the sensus fidei, or the faith that is held by the People of God. 

The Archdiocese hopes that a diverse gathering of voices will contribute to dialogue on topics that are relevant to the life and mission of the Church. Ultimately, an Archdiocesan Assembly will be a focal point for exploring encounter, discipleship and mission in the context of our Church.

What topics will the Archdiocesan Assembly explore?

The focus of the Archdiocesan Assembly will be on Evangelisation: Encounter, Discipleship and Mission. It will be the culmination of the Year of the Holy Spirit, where the Archdiocese has been discerning ‘what seems good to the Holy Spirit and to us’ (Acts 15:19). As a result, many of the themes covered in the Assembly will be discerned over the coming year.

The Assembly will have a particular emphasis on the themes identified through the Plenary Council, as well as those identified as priorities to the life and mission of the Archdiocese. Of note is the role of our Roundtable Series exploring some of these themes in the lead in to the Archdiocesan Assembly.

The Assembly will also provide an opportunity to explore the imperative of evangelisation, matters relevant to pastoral planning, leadership formation, prayerful discernment and identifying charisms for the building up of the life and mission of the Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Canberra & Goulburn.

When is the Archdiocesan Assembly?

The Assembly will be held on 18 – 20 October, 2024.

Where is the Archdiocesan Assembly?

The Archdiocesan Assembly will be offered in ‘Hubs’ across the Archdiocese.

Drawing on streamed content and a number of Assembly Teams, there will be a Hub run across the four deaneries as well as a central Hub in Canberra. In addition, particular components of the Assembly will be livestreamed to the whole Archdiocese. 

Who is involved in the Archdiocesan Assembly?

The Archdiocesan Assembly is open to all in the Archdiocese of Canberra & Goulburn. Representatives will include clergy, religious, educators, leaders from parishes, ministries, movements and communities as well as the broader lay faithful. 

There are three approaches to involvement in the Archdiocesan Assembly:

1. Invitation: To ensure representation from communities across the Archdiocese, a series of invitations will be made through the leaders of each Parish, school, community or organisation identified below. 

2. Nomination: In addition to those invited to attend, additional members of Parishes, schools, communities and organisations may be nominated or nominate themselves.  These nominations will be reviewed by the Archdiocesan Interim Discernment Group to ensure a balance of representation at the Archdiocesan Assembly.

3. Participation: All in the Archdiocese are able to participate through the online live stream of the Archdiocesan Assembly. This will also include an online portal for contributions discerned through the Conversation in the Spirit process incorporated into the Assembly program.

The representatives who will be invited into the Assembly will include, at least

  • Representatives from each Parish;
  • Representatives from each school;
  • One representative from each university chaplaincy;
  • Representatives from each community, ministry or movement;
  • Representatives from each outreach, justice or service based organisation;
  • Other nominees as discerned by the Archbishop and the Archdiocesan Pastoral Discernment Group.
I have been sent an invitation, now what?

Brilliant! Now complete the registration form available online at the link HERE.

Will this be the only Assembly?

A series of Archdiocesan Assemblies are being planned. Information on the themes for discernment that will guide these future Assemblies will be released in the coming months.

 

The Archdiocese sees these Assemblies as a key expression of becoming more fully a Synodal Church. As such, they will continue to play an important role in discerning the work of the Spirit concerning the life and mission of the Church in the Archdiocese.

Who convenes the Assembly?

The Archbishop convenes the Assembly.

 

The Archdiocesan Assembly is being supported by a Planning Group. This is comprised of leaders from the Archbishop’s Office for Evangelisation as well as those engaged in our Parishes, communities, movements and ministries.

Of particular significance is the role that the Archdiocesan Interim Pastoral Discernment Group will have in the vision and direction of the Assembly. The Assembly will be animated by the Youth and Young Adult Ministry of the Archdiocese.

How are decision made at the Assembly?

Decisions concerning discernment of future directions for the Archdiocese will be made through a process of prayerful discussion, individual and group contribution, discernment by senior leaders including the Archdiocesan Pastoral Discernment Group, Council of Priests and, ultimately, the Archbishop. 

How will the information about the Assembly be communicated?

Communication methods will include official statements, reports, and updates shared through Archdiocesan publications (including the CatholicVoice), websites (cgevangelisation.org.au), and local parishes, schools and communities.

There will also be a livestream available to all in the Archdiocese to engage with the Assembly.

What happens if there are disagreement at the Assembly?

The Archdiocese seeks to have a diverse range of voices and experiences represented at the Assembly. As a result, differences in expectations, hopes, priorities and opportunities  to be explored are expected. 

We hope that respectful dialogue will provide a foundation for the Archbishop, and broader leadership represented at the Assembly, to adequately discern ‘what seems good to us and the Holy Spirit’ and resolve conflict throughout the Assembly process.

I have been sent an invitation, do I have to pay to attend?

No. The Assembly costs are being covered by the Archdiocese to ensure finances are not a barrier to engaging in this process of synodal discernment.

A Conversation in the Spirit

The Conversation in the Spirit process is a dynamic approach to discernment in the context of community. This will be a key component of the Assembly, with all attending the Assembly encouraged to have engaged with Conversation in the Spirit in the lead in.

Start Your Prayerful Preparation, Today!

Leaders from across the Archdiocese and beyond explored the key themes for the Year of the Holy Spirit in the videos below. Watch, share and discuss these foundations in your communities as we approach the Archdiocesan Assembly.

Welcome to the 'Year of the Holy Spirit'

Catholic Understanding of Evangelisation

Evangelisation in a Synodal Way

Archbishop Christopher Prowse and huw warmenhoven
Archbishop Christopher prowse
Dr Patrick Mcardle

Discerning Spiritual Gifts

Carrying Forward the Plenary Council

Approaching a Archdiocesan Assembly

Clara Geoghegan
Sharon Brewer
mons john woods and huw warmenhoven

A Roadmap for Communities

The Archdiocese has developed a simple roadmap for Parishes, schools, communities, ministries, movements and communities to draw upon to prepare for the Assembly. Explore this at the link below.

Archdiocesan Assembly Registration Form

Register or Express Your Interest, Today!

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