Synod on Synodality

"For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission"
Sixteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops

Synod On Synodality 125On the same day that Archbishop Coleridge celebrated the closing Mass in Brisbane for the First Assembly of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia, Pope Francis launched the first phase of the Sixteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops during Mass in Rome.

Marian Festival a Timely Reminder to Pray to Mary for Peace

MarianFestival 1A COVID-19 safe group of twenty gathered to celebrate the 45th Sandhurst Marian Festival at Sacred Heart Cathedral on Sunday 10 October. Bishop Shane Mackinlay and Father Stephen Bolling led the devotions and Bishop Shane celebrated the Mass of the day.  The festival was live-streamed to hundreds of virtual attendees.

Sandhurst Wheel of Prayer Day 2021

Faith Circle 125Saturday 30 October 10:00 a.m. – 3:15 p.m.
Online live via Zoom

The 2021 Sandhurst ‘Wheel of Prayer’ Day will focus on new and old ways to ‘stay connected’. After an introduction by Dr Chris Cotter, Director of Mission and Pastoral Life, there will be four workshops led by experienced local presenters. The workshop topics are “Men’s Groups”, “Finding God in the Bits and Pieces”, “Catholic Charismatic Prayer” and "Faith Circles".

Music Ministry Workshop for 15 to 30 year olds

YouthMinistryWorkshopSandhurst Youth Ministry has invited Gen Bryant, a Catholic musician from Melbourne, to help facilitate a Music Ministry Workshop for the young people in our Diocese. The workshop is open to anyone in the Diocese aged 15-30 who wishes to gain some new skills and insight into what Music Ministry is in different settings.

Sandhurst to Celebrate World Youth Day

SYM WYD 2021Saturday 20 November 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. 
St Kilian's, Bendigo  for 15 -30 year olds 

The Theme for Sandhurst's WYD Celebration is  Stand up! (Acts 16:16). As numbers will be capped, SYM is encouraging Hubs across the Diocese so that as many people can participate in this live-streamed event, while benefitting from the company of fellow Hubbers in person.  

L'Arche Christmas Market

LArche 12510:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Sunday 28 November
The Good Loaf, 404 Hargreaves Street Bendigo


The festive annual L’Arche Bendigo Christmas Market is a great way to catch up with L’Arche Friends and enjoy a variety of Christmas Fare including, L’Arche Artwork, Craft, Christmas Cakes and Puddings, Vintage Kitchenalia and more … This is a fundraiser to support L’Arche communities and networks in Bendigo.

Bishop Shane's Message to Year 12 Students of 2021

Bishop Shane Year2 Message 2021Year 12 has always been a challenging time, but for the Class of 2021, who have been studying for exams and preparing for life beyond school, the past two years of COVID-19 have been particularly stressful and full of uncertainty. Bishop Shane provides words of encouragement and some gentle useful advice.

Time Between Assemblies a Chance for Prayer, Maturation

PlenaryCouncil Logo Square 125The months between the first and second general assemblies of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia are a time for “prayer, reflection, maturation and development”, according to a concluding statement from the first assembly.

The statement, approved by the Council’s members during Saturday’s final plenary session, speaks of a week in which regular prayer and spiritual conversations, encouraging deep listening, “allowed space for still nascent dreams and visions to come to greater maturity”.

First Assembly of Plenary Council "has been a monument to grace and faith" says Archbishop Mark Coleridge

Archbishop Coleridge 125The First Assembly of the Fifth Plenary Council closed on Sunday 10 October with Mass celebrated by Australian Catholic Bishops Conference President, Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge.

In his Homily, Archbishop Coleridge reflected on his week as one of 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.

Plenary Council First Assembly 'Inspiring, Challenging'

Archbishop Costelloe 125As he closed the formal proceedings of the first general assembly of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia on Saturday evening, Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB, the Council's President, reflected on a week that had been “inspiring, challenging and sometimes unsettling”.

St Joseph's College Echuca Raises Funds for ShelterBox

ShelterBox1 125By Katie Eldridge

Despite several rounds of remote learning and lockdowns across the state, a spirit of kindness and social justice is still present within the St Joseph’s College, Echuca community.

During the month of September, students, families, and staff raised an outstanding $2,490 to support ShelterBox.

Latest "Youth Pathways 2022" released

Youth Pathways 2021 125pxThe latest edition of ‘Youth Pathways 2022’ has arrived for schools and parishes across the Sandhurst Diocese.

Plenary Members Present Final Reports of First Assembly

Plenary 10.09.2021 125An impassioned call for “a prayer for the future of our common home, a Gospel for the home of our future generations” was made during the final reporting back on small group discernment by Plenary Council members today.

The presenters’ comprehensive reports on the 16 agenda questions included proposals and requests for further investigation and research to create a more missionary, Christ-centred Church in Australia.

Plenary Council's Task: "Reveal the Face of Christ"

Archbishop Comensoli 125Archbishop Peter A. Comensoli in today’s Mass for the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia has said the Council’s task is to reveal the face of Christ – a face that blends cultures, languages, ethnicities and histories.

Plenary Members Focus on Mission in God's World

A ListenToTheSpirit 125The concept of “sniffing out” the presence of God in the world, articulated by theologian Fr Richard Lennan in an address to the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia, struck a chord with many members as they continued their discernment.

Fr Lennan, a priest of the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese and an expert adviser to the Council speaking from Boston, said the Church had “no option but to exist in the present”.

Plenary Council Journey One for 'Dusty, Patient Pilgrims'. 

Archbishop Tarabay PortraitMaronite Archbishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay OLM spoke about the significance of the Eastern Catholic Churches and the Latin Rite Church coming together as “pilgrims” for the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia in his Homily on Thursday 7 October. 

Plenary Council Contemplating Woundedness

ABuse LongDay four of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia takes on a different feel, as members spent extra time offline, praying with and reflecting on questions about seeing through the eyes of those who have been abused and reaching those on the peripheries.

The agenda for the Plenary Council poses 16 questions across six themes, with members called to “develop concrete proposals to create a more missionary, Christ-centred Church in Australia at this time”.

Members Unpack Big Questions Facing the Church

6 October Morning Session 125The 278 members of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia have continued to break open the 16 questions related to how we can create a more missionary, Christ-centred Church in Australia at this time.

After the broad discussions of the first small group sessions on Monday, yesterday’s “spiritual conversations” moved to more specific questions, suggestions and even proposals.

Archbishop Fisher: 'Be Powerhouse of Prayer'

ArchbishopFisher PortraitAs the first general assembly of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia nears the halfway point, Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP has preached on the power of prayer and trust in the Holy Spirit.Celebrating Mass for the third full day of the Council, Archbishop Fisher’s homily reflected on Luke’s Gospel of the day, when the disciples ask Jesus how to pray.

Council Members begin work of Communal Discernment

PlenaryCandle SHCThe first “spiritual conversations” of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia covered a broad range of thoughts and topics from Baptism being the place for fundamental conversion to the need for the Church to tend to its past and current failures.

St Francis a Model for Australia's Plenary Council

ShaneHomily 4Oct2021 125On the Feast of St Francis of Assisi, Bishop Shane Mackinlay has said the saint that so loved creation and those living in poverty can inspire the work of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia.

Bishop Mackinlay, celebrated Mass for the first day of the Council’s program, a day after the historic event was opened by Council president Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB on Sunday.

Catholics urged to "Become True Disciples"

Plenary Candle SHC 125As Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB opened the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia, he said Catholics “must become, even more than we are already, a community of true disciples”.

The Plenary Council, the first such gathering in Australia since 1937, is being celebrated across nine months, bookended by assemblies from October 3-10 and in July 2022.

Chancery to be Hub for First Assembly of Plenary Council

SandhurstPlenary Hub 400Next week, the Chancery will become a Hub for the five Sandhurst Plenary Members (formerly known as delegates) and three locally based Assembly facilitators. This will provide the infrastructure and support for members to attend sessions securely online, as well as the opportunity to gather for prayer, fellowship, and discussion. 

Federal Funding for Domestic Violence Needs to Flow

CSS DomesticViolenceA Federal Government commitment made to boost funding for domestic violence more than four months ago is still yet to make its way to service providers.  Organisations focused on providing domestic and family violence services are coming under increased pressure as a result. 

First Assembly of Fifth Plenary Council of Australia to commence this Sunday

PlenaryCouncil Agenda 125The time has come!  Momentum is gathering as preparations are well underway for the First General Assembly of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia, which will take place in hubs and homes across the country from 3-10 October. 279 Members will tackle 16 questions in an endeavour to create a more missionary, Christ-centred Church in Australia.

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