Congratulations, Sr. Moya on your appointment to the Plenary Council Executive Committee in Australia!

Over the past 12 months, the Australian Catholic Bishops, with Pope Francis’ permission, have been in discussion about holding a Synod of the Australian Catholic Ch sr-moya urch in 2020.

We are delighted to let you know that Sr Moya Hanlen has been appointed to this historic planning group. Congratulations Moya! This is great news for you and for our Congregation!

The last plenary council of the Church in Australia was held in 1937. The earlier plenary councils held in 1885, 1895 and 1905, were exclusively male gatherings, with only bishops, theologians and superiors of male religious orders attending.

It is wonderful that women, including Moya, will play an important role in the plenary council, which can discuss and legislate on a wide range of issues, including matters of faith, morals and discipline.



This is the meadia release announcing the appointments:


Bishops Announce Appointment of Plenary Council Executive Committee

The Bishops Commission for the Plenary Council today announced the names of those who have accepted appointment to the Plenary Council Executive Committee. Their appointment followed an extensive confidential process of consultation across the Australian Church to ensure diversity. Together they bring a variety of gifts, competencies and experience to the work of the Executive Committee.

The Committee will work closely with the Bishops Commission to ensure the successful preparation, celebration and implementation of the Plenary Council 2020. The Executive Committee membership with their home diocese is as follows:

Mr Daniel Ang – Broken Bay
Mr Shayne Bennett – Brisbane
Br Ian Cribb SJ – Broken Bay
Dr Gemma Cruz – Melbourne
Sr Moya Hanlen FDNSC – Sydney
Ms Sally Hood – Brisbane
Mr John Lochowiak – Adelaide
Dr Brigid McKenna – Hobart
Ms Sarah Moffatt – Adelaide
Sr Grace Roclawska CSFN – Parramatta
Rev Dr Ormond Rush – Townsville
Dr Debra Sayce – Perth
Mrs Theresa Simon – Sydney (Maronite Church)
Dr Nigel Zimmerman – Parramatta

The Plenary Council is a response to the call of Saint Pope John Paul II that the Church of the third millennium discerns what the Spirit has been saying and to put into practice pastoral plans with the help of the people of God to prepare for the future.

It also carries forward the call of Pope Francis for the Church to become truly synodal in its engagement with the whole Catholic community.

Archbishop Coleridge said that the Plenary Council will play a crucial role in shaping the Church’s future in Australia. ‘This is no time for the Church to be putting up signs that say “business as usual”. If we needed any proof, then the Royal Commission has shown that. We need to face the facts, and in the light of the facts, which aren’t always friendly, we have to make big decisions about the future. The Plenary Council will place the Church on a sound footing to respond to what is not merely an era of change but a change of era.’

Rev Dr Ian Waters, Senior Fellow of the Catholic Theological College, Melbourne will serve as Historical and Canonical Consultant to the Committee. Initially and on an ad interim basis the Committee will be chaired by Archbishop Mark Coleridge, Chair of the Bishops Commission.

Membership of the Bishops Commission for the Plenary Council includes: Archbishop Mark Coleridge, Archbishop Philip Wilson, Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB, Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFMConv and Bishop Michael Kennedy.