Perth Plenary Council members blessed and reminded to have faith and listen to the Spirit

16 Jun 2022

By Michelle Tan

A group of people praying
Perth’s Plenary Council members gathered on 7 June for an intimate Eucharistic Mass. Photo: Michelle Tan.

Setting aside time for reflection and united prayers, Perth’s Plenary Council members gathered on 7 June for an intimate Eucharistic Mass, celebrated by Perth Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton.

Mass was part of members’ preparation before the Second Assembly of the Plenary Council which will take place  in Sydney from 5-9 July 2022.

Bishop Don said a special prayer of blessing for God to grant them grace, guide their hearts and minds as they “walk in the Spirit” and represent the faithful of the Archdiocese of Perth and religious orders.

Plenary Council members hold the unique hand-painted candleholders as a reminder that God’s light will be present to guide them. Photo: Michelle Tan.

Members were presented with a symbolic gift of unique hand-painted candleholders as a reminder that God’s light will be present to guide them.

In his homily, Bishop Don noted the daily reading from 1 Kings 17 was a providential word.

“The thing that struck me in this first reading was the jar of meal and how it was obviously about to run out. And yet, an extraordinary miracle was about to happen,” Bishop Don said.

“Elijah heard from the Lord and, in faith, he obeyed, asking the woman and her son to share the little they had, believing that the ingredients would be replenished in abundance.

“I think this is really that experience that we’re counting on for our Church, as we go through the process of the Plenary Council.

Perth Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton celebrated the Eucharistic Mass on 7 June. Photo: Michelle Tan.

“We need to gather in faith because the Holy Spirit is in the Church and, when we distill all the voices of people and listen to the voice of the Spirit, He will help us to see what is really needed for the Church and how blessings can be abundantly received through the work that we do in the Church.

“We need to continue to believe that the Lord will provide, reform and renew this country in a way that answers the deep needs and pastoral needs we are facing in this country.

“On the weekend, I was at the Maylands parish for a pastoral visit. This area of Perth is undergoing great changes as old buildings are being demolished to make way for new apartment blocks. Even though the parish only has a small community, they have a sense of optimism for growth as they reach out to the wider community.

“As Pope Francis says, we should be missionary disciples and bring Jesus Christ into the lives of people.

“There is going to be a very large field of opportunity in Maylands for evangelisation. I found it very, very encouraging that they could easily have been saying to me, we’re dying, we aren’t able to provide even for our people, how can we have this vision of looking beyond. “But they do. And it was certainly very, very wonderful to hear that faith in them, that the Lord will provide the bounty, the Lord will provide what is needed for their faith, and for their strength to be missionary disciples.

The Plenary Council Cross, candle, and basket carrying the special gift for Perth Plenary Council Members. Photo: Michelle Tan.

“As we gather today in this Salvatorian Spirituality Centre in Currambine, we can also be encouraged by their founding father, Blessed Francis Jordan who, in his day, did so much to empower ordinary people in the Church.

“I would hope that, as we pray for the Spirit to work in our country and to work in the Church of Australia, God will raise new things, because of our openness to the Spirit that we display through the Plenary Council. So, we ask God to bless us with faith, a firm belief and conviction that the Spirit will turn what seems to be very little into something very great.”