The media love picking on the Catholic Church and its failures and scandals.
In social media, and in other media for that matter, one hardly hears anything about the positive contribution that the Church is making to society – through hospitals, schools, health care, charitable services, overseas aid, etc.
I would like to take this opportunity to inform our readers about one great initiative that the Catholic Bishops of Australia have launched and that will spread over the next couple of years. The initiative is called “PLENARY COUNCIL 2020”.
This is a gathering of many representatives of the Catholic faith, not just Bishops and priests, but especially lay leaders and ordinary Catholics, women and men, young and mature, of different cultural backgrounds.
The topic has been formulated in the form of a question: “What do you think God is asking of us in Australia at this time?”
The immediate implication of this question is that God speaks to and through ordinary people – and not just those who are practicing Catholics or good Christians.
The Chairman of the Plenary Council is Archbishop Tim Costelloe (a past pupil of this College). In a recent statement about the Plenary Council, he invited every person of good will, or no will at all, of traditional faith or none at all, to answer the question in their own way, with honesty and without fear.
To pursue this matter further, people are encouraged to simply Google “Plenary Council 2020”, and then click on the relevant topics, and follow the prompts. There they can write down their answer/s to the above question, and submit it by e-mail.
The submissions need to be forwarded by March next year. One could be tempted to think that since there is still plenty of time, we need not do anything right now. But my suggestion is that this is a good topic to speak about in the family, or among friends, or in any discussion about religion. I am sure that parishes will set up some group discussion to offer an opportunity of sharing prayer and ideas in answer to the question asked by the Bishops.
I hope that the Salesian College community will be active in responding to the invitation of Archbishop Costelloe, both in prayer and in written contributions.
Fr Frank Bertagnolli SDB