A Mass celebrated yesterday by Australian Catholic Bishops Conference president and Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge has closed the first general assembly of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia.
The Mass comes a week after Plenary Council president Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB opened the assembly with a Mass in Perth.
In the intervening six days, 278 Plenary Council members participated in the assembly online, with a small number of dioceses able to bring members together where COVID-19 restrictions allowed.
In his homily, Archbishop Coleridge reflected on his week as one of those 278 members, seeking to capture how they felt at the end of the assembly.
“Weary and a bit ragged, because it was very hard work; relieved, even slightly surprised, because so much could have gone wrong; satisfied, because it has produced real fruit; grateful to God and to each other, because it has all been more gift than hard work; intrigued to see what happens between now and the second assembly in the middle of next year,” he explained.
“It’s all been a marvel of technology; a mountain of superb work from so many people, and a maelstrom of words, insights, feelings, convictions and resolutions all with deep respect for each other, even and perhaps especially when we disagreed.
“But, above all, the assembly has been a monument to grace and faith – God’s grace and the Church’s faith in this fraught time.”
Plenary Council's task: 'Reveal the Face of Christ' (Melbourne Catholic)