The Catholic Weekly 3 October 2021

$2 One issue is the relationship between Church and state and the sharp challeng- es to religious and conscientious freedom with which he has had close and punish- ing encounters. “I don’t think the matter can be ignored by the Plenary,” he says. IN HIS pared-back but very timely new book, Founda- tions: Preparing the Church in Australia for the Plenary Council and Beyond , Arch- bishop Julian Porteous of Ho- bart brings his life-long and very personal involvement in evangelisation and “mission- ary” formation to bear upon the non-negotiable building blocks of Catholic life and be- lief. The book’s subject, the Ple- nary Council of the Church in Australia will commence this weekend. It is just the fifth in the his- tory of this country and the first to be held since 1937. In his preface, Cardinal George Pell captures the im- mediacy of the book’s sub- ject, writing: “As Catholics we are Gospel Christians, who believe the last word on any doctrine of faith and morals has to be rooted in the Apos- tolic Tradition …” rather than falling prey to the fashionable, the transient or facile inter- pretations of this Tradition. In an interview with The Catholic Weekly , Archbishop Porteous expressed a gentle but fervent hope that each of the nine short chapters of his book will spark a deeper and more keenly Christ-centred discernment by the bishops, members and others attend- ing the Plenary. He hoped that the book would spark some imagi- native and lively discussion among all the committed Catholics who may sense (in- correctly he thinks) that they are only by-standers to the fate of the Church in Australia. “Over the last two years and beyond I have been con- scious of the issues that have emerged during the various listening and other processes leading up to the Plenary,” he said. “So many Australian Catholics were touched in some way by the listening pro- cess but I think that although the rest of the Plenary may now seem distant to them, the issues in the book will interest them as well.” While the book begins with two chapters in which the Archbishop pro- vides a snapshot of the many cultural factors, obstacles and misunderstandings Catholi- cism encounters in our times, it sets out the impressive “leg- acy” the Church has left on the Australian landscape. Later chapters explore the ways in which “intentional discipleship” can renew both Catholic and Australian lives. CONTINUED P2 A vision for a Plenary One of Australia’s leading Church figures sets out key issues, signs of hope for historic gathering VIVIAN MOURANI, a fam- ily educator and part time teacher at St Therese Catho- lic Primary School in Denis- ton, (pictured with her family) says that studying at the Arete Centre for Missionary Leader- ship this year has transformed her life. She enrolled because she wanted to learn how to lead people to fall in love with Je- sus Christ, but didn’t expect her own faith to “explode” the way that it has. “My husband is studying theology now as well and we just can see that something really big has happened this year for our whole family,” she said. “I’ve never encountered this overwhelming love for Je- sus before.” Mrs Mourani said the course had given her more confidence to take people on a journey of faith. Applications for the cen- tre’s Foundations of Mission- ary Leadership course close soon. SEE STORY PAGE 4 ¾ Marilyn Rodrigues Course forms lay leaders for mission 3, October, 2021 MONASTERY SALE SHAKES WA P6 Archbishop Julian Porteous of Hobart holds a copy of his new book on the Plenary Council in his office. PHOTO: MARK FRANLIN EASY ON THE DATING ADVICE P18 Trained in mission: Vivian Mourani, centre, and family. The family educator and part-time teacher at St Therese’s Catholic Primary in Denistone enrolled in the Arete Centre course, Foundations in Missionary Leadership, because she wants to know how to encourage others to “fall in love with Jesus.” PHOTO: GIOVANNI PORTELLI Anna Krohn Columnist