More than 300 people attended the opening of the recent Sale Diocesan Assembly, the first such gathering in the Victorian diocese for 17 years.
The purpose of the two-day Diocesan Assembly was to generate a sense of community and enable people from the diocese’s diverse parishes to make connection with others. The Assembly also provided the opportunity to gather, pray, share stories of faith and discuss future directions and what might be done now in parishes, schools in the diocese and its agencies.
The liturgies set the context for the Assembly, held at Marist-Sion College in Warragul on September 13 and 14.
Diocesan Assembly convenor Sophy Morley said there were five major themes discussed at the assembly: faith formation; leadership and governance; families and vocation; liturgy and prayer; and a welcoming community. These themes arose from the hundreds of responses collated from the Plenary Council Listening and Dialogue gatherings held around the Diocese last year.
“Over the course of Friday evening and Saturday, we gathered to pray, to sing, reflect, share and brainstorm ideas,” Ms Morley said.
“It was an enriching and hope-filled time and we could truly sense the energy of the Holy Spirit present with us.”
Sharon Brewer from the National Centre for Evangelisation facilitated the sessions with Ms Morley.
Lana Turvey-Collins, National Plenary Council 2020 facilitator attended for the full assembly; and offered a short presentation on the Plenary Council preparation, in particular the next stage of preparation, the Listening and Discernment phase.
On Saturday assembly participants joined in two conversations each, chosen from the five themes. These conversations were noted electronically which gave the opportunity for some of the responses to be shared in the afternoon. Participants said this feedback process useful and inspiring.
Moe and Newborough parish priest Fr Harry Dyer OMI said: “There was a deep sense of communion amongst all as we reflected on how to engage with all our people to build stronger parishes that are Christ centred, alive, safe, serving and welcoming.”
Assembly draws 300 to Warragul (Sale Diocese)