The last time the Catholic Church in Australia held a Plenary Council was in 1937. It has been more than 80 years since we gathered all of the Church together and much has changed.

In 2020, we will have a Plenary Council about the future of the Catholic Church in Australia. What are we called to do? Who are we called to be? How do we need to change?

Pope Francis has spoken of the need to engage in the world and respond in faith:

“The defining aspect of this change of epoch is that things are no longer in their place. Our previous ways of explaining the world and relationships, good and bad, no longer appears to work. The way in which we locate ourselves in history has changed. Things we thought would never happen, or that we never thought we would see, we are experiencing now, and we dare not even imagine the future.

That which appeared normal to us – family, the Church, society and the world – will probably no longer seem that way. We cannot simply wait for what we are experiencing to pass, under the illusion that things will return to being how they were before.”

- Pope Francis, St John Lateran Cathedral (Rome), 16 September 2013

The journey toward the Plenary Council will help us to prepare to listen to God by listening to one another. We invite all people to engage, to be a part of the listening and dialogue encounter in the next two years.

The Plenary Council is envisaged to be held in two gatherings, one in Adelaide in October 2020, another in May 2021. A Plenary Council is a rare occurrence in Australia, with the last being held in 1937.

Listening and Dialogue Sessions with the Bishop were held in five locations in October and November 2018. You can read a summary of the raw response which have been sent through to the Plenary Council from our Diocese from these sessions. Here are the Raw Responses.

In early 2019, we hosted the National Plenary Facilitator, Lana Turvey Collins for the gathering of our clergy and parish/school plenary teams. In addition, we will be running a Diocesan Assembly in preparation for the Plenary Council on 13 and 14 September.

Visit the Diocesan Assembly page for more details.

For a full graphic of our timeline, please download this attachment
download attachment

Bishop O’Regan has convened a local working group, to be known by the title the Gaudium et Spes, (Joy and Hope) (G&S) Committee. This group of 10 members of the diocesan family will be responsible for assisting us as a diocese to prepare for the coming Plenary Council.

For a list of the G&S Committee, please visit this page for more details.


Parish Plenary Groups

Each parish is now being asked to have a plenary group which will assist in animating the many plenary conversations and gatherings in the coming months. The plenary group may be the parish pastoral council or could be another group formed for the plenary process.


School Plenary Groups

Each Catholic primary and secondary school in the Diocese is encouraged to engage in the preparation process for the Plenary Council.



Plenary Convenor
Sophy Morley
(03) 5622 6677
Catholic Education Office
Dominic Ryan
(03) 5622 6621
Catholic Education Office
Anne Taylor
(03) 5622 6602
For more news and to subscribe to the Plenary Post enews, please visit the Official Plenary Council website