A national virtual conference to be held in July is aiming to enliven Catholic communities as Australia emerges from the pandemic and approaches the first Plenary Council assembly.
“Alive in the Spirit” will offer keynote addresses, workshops, prayer and worship experiences to strengthen the mission and aims of local Catholic communities.
The conference website, aliveinthespirit.com.au, was launched on Friday with keynotes from Lana Turvey-Collins (Plenary Council facilitator), Fr Richard Lennan (Professor of Systematic Theology, Boston College) and Leisa Anslinger (Associate Director, Pastoral Vitality, Cincinnati Archdiocese).
One of the key attractions are over 30 on-demand workshops exploring areas such as best practice for Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, how to engage beyond the margins of faith communities, planning for mission and renewal, supporting pastoral care, social justice initiatives and more.
The conference offers inspiration and support to lay and clergy, staff, leadership teams, finance teams, pastoral councils, pastoral ministers and volunteers, those in education, counselling, pastoral care, youth ministry, family ministry, aged care and chaplaincies.
Ms Turvey-Collins said the conference would offer a space to share “how we’re living, how we’re working together, and what that means for how the Spirit is moving in all of us, and what that means as Church.”
Sr Elizabeth Young RSM, Wilcannia-Forbes Diocesan Pastoral Worker, emphasised the value of the conference for rural and remote regions, saying, “now is such an important time to be building relationships, faith and hope as we look forward to the Plenary Council and also to a more compassionate world after COVID.”
Three long-standing and wide-reaching Catholic networks have combined forces to host this event: the Pastoral Ministry Network, Christian Initiation Australia Network, and the Mission Planners Network Oceania.