Diocesan assembly shows value of ‘deep listening’

The Adelaide Diocesan Assembly participants in the gym at Cabra Dominican College (The Southern Cross/Fabio Abd Elmalk)

More than 400 representatives of parishes, migrant communities, schools, clergy, religious orders and Catholic agencies listened and shared their stories at the Adelaide Diocesan Assembly. Source: The Southern Cross.

The weekend assembly at Cabra Dominican College began with a moving welcome to country by John Lochowiak, from Centacare Catholic Family Services and Aboriginal Catholic Ministry, who spoke of his family’s strong connections to the Catholic Church.

In his opening address, Adelaide Archbishop Patrick O’Regan also spoke of the significance of being able to gather in large numbers at a time when this was not possible in many other parts of the country.

“My thoughts go immediately back to when I started my time here, at my installation where I think we had 30 people at the ceremony, so in a sense I have longed to be with the whole, so far as we can be representative tonight, of the diocese,” Archbishop O’Regan said.

The program included morning prayer and a panel discussion before participants broke into 36 groups to discuss a number of key themes arising from the consultation process for the Diocesan Assembly.

Issues included outreach and accompaniment of young people and families, inclusion and healing, parish life and liturgy, responding to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor, and leadership and formation.

Each group discussed two themes and through a listening, dialogue and discernment process came up with 144 recommendations.

Diocesan Assembly coordinator Peter Bierer said the first two sessions of the assembly highlighted the value of “deep listening, withholding judgement, noticing our own biases and feelings, discernment and community”.

The final session will be held on Thursday, where the assembly will look at the recommendations that came out of the small group discussions.

Thursday night’s closing session will be live streamed at https://youtu.be/_otk07w-SI0.

FULL STORY

Grateful to gather as pilgrims (By Jenny Brinkworth, The Southern Cross

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