Sullivan to deliver keynote at national conference

Francis Sullivan (Supplied)

Francis Sullivan, the former chief of the Church’s Truth, Justice and Healing Council, will re-state Pope Francis’ call for the Church to go out to the margins at a national conference next month. Source: Catholic Social Services Victoria.

His Catholic Social Services conference address titled “Margin Call ― The Risk of Integrity”, will offer a challenging overview of the state of Australian society and the Church in Australia, while exploring the root of our calling to serve in Church ministries.

Conference steering committee member Gabrielle McMullen said Mr Sullivan is “well-qualified” to address these issues.

“He spent five years as CEO of the Catholic Church’s Truth, Justice and Healing Council during the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse,” Professor McMullen said. “Prior to that role, he was secretary-general of the Australian Medical Association following 14 years as CEO of Catholic Health Australia.”

Mr Sullivan is currently foundational executive chair of the Mercy Partners’ One Mater Project, overseeing the implementation of a single board of governance to unify all Mater hospitals and health services across Queensland.

“He has been committed and active in forums like the forthcoming conference to promote ‘reform, renewal and refreshment in the Church’,” Professor McMullen said. “Specifically, Mr Sullivan will address how, in the context of the Church’s current standing, we creatively and courageously traverse our way through the minefield of damage so that we can seize the opportunities for growth, truth and renewal.

“What opportunities are there for the Catholic social services sector to challenge social issues in new ways and build a more just and equitable society for all Australians? To what extent is this conference and other upcoming opportunities possible catalysts for the Catholic social services sector to amplify the voice of the most neglected and those still ‘abused’ in our society?

“Significantly, Catholic social services represent a good news story of the ‘Church’ in the volume, range and diversity of their outreach to those who are most excluded and vulnerable in our society.”

The biennial Catholic Social Services conference, Serving Our Communities with Courage and Compassion, will be held at the Catholic Leadership Centre, Victoria Parade, East Melbourne on 26-28 February 2020.

Details: see


The call to the margins at the Catholic Social Services conference (CSSV) 

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