EXCLUSIVE: Historic Plenary Council Opening Mass to be celebrated in Perth

30 Sep 2021

By Jamie O'Brien

The historic Opening Mass of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia will be celebrated by Plenary Council President and Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB at Perth’s St Mary’s Cathedral on Sunday 3 October at 11am WST. The Mass will officially open the nine-month journey of the two Council Assemblies. Photos: Ron Tan/Jamie O’Brien

After nearly five years of planning and 84 years since the last plenary council in 1937, the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia will open with Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral this Sunday 3 October at 11am WST.

Plenary Council President and Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB will celebrate the Mass, which will be livestreamed at https://plenarycouncil.catholic.org.au/

The historic occasion will officially open the nine-month journey of the two Council Assemblies.

Daily Masses will be broadcast at 9.30am AEDT on each of the six days of the Council program, with Australian Catholic Bishops Conference President Archbishop Mark Coleridge celebrating the Mass to conclude the First Assembly at 11am AEDT on Sunday, October 10.

“Across our vast continent, people will be able to gather in prayer and worship to share in this journey of discernment,” Archbishop Costelloe said.

The Masses, which can be viewed on the Plenary Council’s website, are designed specifically for those – Council members and the wider community – who are unable to gather for Mass in their local place.

Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB blesses the candles of the Plenary Council at the Perth launch Mass in 2018. Photo: Ron Tan

Where local health and government restrictions allow public Masses to be celebrated, the same Mass being celebrated for the Plenary Council, including prayers, readings and musical suggestions, can be used.

Starting with the opening plenary session on Monday, October 4, parts of the morning session at which all 278 Plenary Council members gather online will be livestreamed.

The livestream will open at 11am AEDT each day and run for about 75 minutes, except on Thursday, October 7 – a day when most of the program will be offline.

“These livestreams will allow the People of God to stay connected with the work of the Plenary Council, including through the sharing of the fruits of discernment,” said Plenary Council Facilitator, Lana Turvey-Collins.

Archbishop Timothy Costelloe with WA Members at the first commissioning Mass in 2020. Photo: Ron Tan

“Across the six days of the first assembly, the members will be praying with the 16 questions of the agenda and engaging in the practice of spiritual conversations. We know that some parishes and families and other Church communities are planning to do the same.”

Ms Turvey-Collins said the national reach of the Plenary Council journey’s period of preparation, dating back to March 2018, can and should continue during the nine-month period of the Council’s celebration.

“We invite everyone to find ways to pray for and engage with the discernment of the Plenary Council as the members look to develop concrete proposals to create a more missionary, Christ-centred Church,” she said.

The morning livestream each day will feature AUSLAN interpreting for members of the deaf and hard of hearing communities.

For more information go to www.plenarycouncil.catholic.org.au