Geraldton Diocesan Conference 2018

In October 2017 Bishop Michael announced to key Diocesan Personnel his plans to hold a Diocesan Conference in July 2018, which would involve Priests, Religious, Principals, Religious Education Coordinators and other key personnel from around the Diocese.

The following November Bishop announced the Conference theme, “Lamp for the steps; light for the way’ (from Ps. 118 & 105). Its aim would be to focus on the subject of discernment, as inspired by Pope Francis in an address given to the new Bishops in Rome, which Bishop Michael was present at.

Bishop co-opted Ms Philomena Billington from Canberra  to be the Facilitator of the planned gathering  and a Committee, co-Chaired by Frs Gerard Totañes and Tai Trinh, was formed.  All the finer details have been slowly coming together over many months, with the tremendous assistance of Catholic Education Western Australia (CEWA) under the encouragement and support of Acting Executive Director, Dr Debra Sayce.

The 2018 Conference will be phase one of the overall Conference Scope and will run from 23rd – 26 July with Key Speakers Lana Turvey, Fr Noel Connelly SSC and Fr Ormond Rush. Phase two and three will take place in 2019 and 2020, leading towards the 2020 Australian Plenary Council.

Knowing it was impossible to open the Conference to everyone, the Bishop very much wanted it to be a Diocesan process of discernment and so three main conversation starters (questions) were sent around the Parishes, schools and groups for discussion and peoples various responses have been flowing in since.

Conversation Starters:

  • What are the signs of hope in our local Community? In our Parish, School, and Ministry Groups?
  • Where are we called to be “more” in our response to God?
  • How could we grow with support of the wider Diocesan Church?

Bishop Michael hopes that this significant Conference our local Church, to be held in July, will pave the way for greater collaboration among our people as we walk towards the 2020 Plenary Council of the Catholic Church in Australia and he invites everyone in the Diocese to pray the Diocesan Prayer  regularly for the success of the Conference.

Diocesan Conference Prayer

God of Creation,
You gave us this vast diocese
enriched by people of the dreamtime
and all who call this land home.
With grateful hearts we thank you
for countless blessings – for our people
and the stories we share
for our schools which shape
the hearts and minds of the young
and for the various ministries
which serve a need within our communities.
We willingly accept the challenges
to live our faith today
in our complex and changing world.
We humbly invoke your help and guidance
on our journey of listening and discernment
as we dialogue with life.
From every human voice
may we hear your Word echo in our hearts,
prompting us to act lovingly and justly.
With your light on our path
we will walk forward into the future
filled with joyful hope,
and confident in your promise
to bring all things together through Jesus Christ
who breathes on us your Spirit of love.