The Catholic Weekly 22 August 2021

$2 22, August, 2021 HOPE SPRINGS UP AMID LEBANON’S PAIN P14 1800 024 413 | Support vulnerable women to forge a path out of poverty. There’ll be an opportunity in the program to still join in a vir- tual prayer each morning ... regardless of whether they are delegates or not.” Sr Josephine Brady RSJ THE FIRST Assembly of the Plenary Council for the Catholic Church in Australia in over 80 years will be held largely online in October in a direct response to the chal- lenges posed by COVID-19 re- strictions. It is the first such gather- ing for the Australian Church since 1937 and the first time laypeople have attended a Plenary Council, tasked with discussing the future of the Catholic Church in this coun- try. A Plenary Council is the highest form of gathering of local church and has legisla- tive and governance authori- ty, with the decisions made at the Council becoming bind- ing for the Catholic Church in Australia. This is distinct from a Synod, which does not have this legislative and govern- ance authority. Plans to hold an in-person gathering of 280 members of the first Plenary Council in Adelaide from 3-10 October have been abandoned and replaced with each member now participating in the as- sembly fromtheir ownhomes. Plenary Council facilita- tor, Lana Turvey-Collins said a huge amount of work had gone into preparing for the Council to be held in hubs, with each member participat- ing on their own device. “As a result, this shift to most people participating from home is a pivot rath- er than a major detour from what we were planning”, she said. “We are receiving excep- Plenary 2021 goes online Covid forces a change of plan - but organisers find ways to overcome and conduct key Church gathering ¾ Michael Kenny Fr Daniele is ... the pastor of pasta! FR DANIELE Russo is a God-send for those “knead- ing” spiritual direction. During lockdown, the chaplain of Sumner House is not only tending to the vo- cational needs of the young men discerning God’s path ¾ Debbie Cramsie in life, but also the physical ones. Drawing on his Italian heritage and the special skills he learnt as a seminari- an in Rome, the young priest is teaching the residents of the Lidcombe centre how to make gnocchi. Although he stresses the classes are about a lot more than food, they are bringing the men together in friend- ship, faith and fraternity. And like making pasta takes practice, patience and a few prayers … so too does a vocation. Place your future CONTINUED ON PAGE 19 tional support from technical experts within and beyond the Church to ensure that we canmake the virtual assembly one that allows for the prayer, conversation, listening and discernment we’ve hoped for all along”. Sr Jo Brady RSJ from the Plenary Council Working Group in the Archdiocese of Sydney said the 20 represent- atives from the Archdiocese were looking forward to the event and to join in the na- tional conversation around the direction of the Church in Australia. “There’ll be an opportunity in the program to still join in a virtual prayer each morning which will indeed be open to all Australians, regardless of whether they are delegates or not, to join in, as well as watching the opening part of the first session of the Plenary Council program each day”, Sr Josephine said. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP presents a candle symbolising the light of the Plenary to a delegate. The event will now be held on- line due to Covid lockdowns. PHOTO: GIOVANNI PORTELLI CHOSEN’S ART IS DIVINE! P16