20 January 2022

AUSTRALIA, The consultation process

Format: Texts & Image, Videos / Audio, Website
Type: Consultation Method, Formation material, Handbook & Toolkits, Liturgy, Scripture & Prayers
Organisation: Bishops' Conference

The Australian National Team of the Bishops Conference is sharing some resources that they have created to facilitate and encourage the consultation process for the Synod in Australia. All the resources are available on our website

  1. A video explaining synods and the Synodal process:

This resource titled “An introduction to Synod 2023” was created by the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney to explain the Synod to people in dioceses and parishes in simple terms. The link to the video is:  

  1. A suite of Listening and Discernment Group Guides (Sessions 1, 2 and 3) (Attached)

These resources, as the name suggests, are created for those who choose to reflect on and respond to the Synod questions as a group. The guides are based on the three dimensions of the Synod – Communion, Participation & Mission. They include the Synod questions within each area and incorporate the process of Spiritual Conversation recommended for this reflection.

  1. An Individual Reflection Guide (Attached)

This guide is based on the process of Lectio Divina and is intended for use by individuals who wish to participate in the consultation process. This guide is accompanied by the list of Questions for Reflection.

  1. Questions for Reflection (Attached)

This document explains the three dimensions and the ten themes around which the Synod questions are based and lists the questions within each theme. The document was originally created in English but eventually made available in multiple languages – Arabic, Croatian, Filipino, Italian, Malayalam, Polish, Spanish with the help of the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office and the migrant chaplains in Australia.

 I have attached the English version. The translated documents can be accessed at these links:  Arabic | Croatian | Filipino | Italian  | Malayalam | Polish | Spanish 

  1. Trifold brochure for “Coffee Conversations” (Attached)

Considering the ‘consultation fatigue’ that many in Australia are experiencing after the Plenary Council process, we have developed a resource titled “Coffee Conversations” to gather responses from the community via informal and light conversations.

The language of this resource and the questions therein are consciously kept simple, in an easy-to-follow manner, with the hope that it will encourage greater participation. The document can be printed on a double-sided A4 sheet to form a tri-fold brochure.

These brochures are meant to be used in parish foyers, at after-Mass ‘cuppas’, in reception areas in schools, aged-care centres and hospitals or wherever people gather for a chat.

The ‘Coffee Conversations’ resource was first proposed by the team at the Diocese of Sale. We thank them for the idea and the Archdiocese of Wellington (New Zealand) for the simplified questions.

  1. The Christmas Card Campaign (Attached)

We have created Christmas cards for distribution in parishes. These are simple double-sided A5 cards with Christmas wishes on one side, and an invitation to participate in the Synod on the other. A QR code allows people to access the site and the resources very simply and quickly through use of a mobile device. Dioceses and parishes will distribute these cards at Christmas Masses with the intention of reaching individuals and families who are not regular Mass-attenders.