St Francis a model for Australia’s Plenary Council

A statue of St Francis of Assisi at Melbourne’s St Patrick’s Cathedral (Wikimedia/ Crisco1492)

On the Feast of St Francis of Assisi yesterday, Bishop Shane Mackinlay said the saint that so loved creation and those living in poverty can inspire the work of the Plenary Council. Source: ACBC.

Bishop Mackinlay, the Bishop of Sandhurst and the Plenary Council’s vice-president, celebrated Mass for the first day of the Council’s program.

Reflecting on the story of Francis as a young man, hearing Jesus invite him to “rebuild my Church”, Bishop Mackinlay said the saint’s initial inclination to repair a building gave way to an understanding that the Church of Christ was in need of renewal.

Bishop Mackinlay said in his homily: “During this Plenary Council, we too are seeking to rebuild Christ’s Church, responding in a very concrete way to Pope Francis’ repeated call for us to become a more synodal church: a Church committed to journeying together in reciprocal listening to one another, listening to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor, and most importantly listening to the Holy Spirit; a Church which gives witness to the Christian vision of community, participation, solidarity and joint responsibility.”

Bishop Mackinlay continued to connect the life of St Francis and the recent teaching of Pope Francis, including in his encyclical letters Laudato Si’ and Fratelli Tutti.

“The work of renewing our Church and being more faithful to the mission entrusted to us requires that we always bear in mind not only the needs of our Church life and structures, but also the needs and challenges being faced by all our sisters and brothers, and our responsibilities to the common home that we are entrusted with caring for,” he said.

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St Francis a model for Australia’s Plenary Council (ACBC)

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