New Catholic virtual platform informs Plenary Agenda and enlivens faith communities

28 June 2021
Image: Grant Whitty/Unsplash


As our Church in Australia seeks to renew and reimagine how we live out our mission, a new Catholic virtual platform has been launched to both inform the upcoming Plenary agenda and enliven our faith communities.

The virtual platform,, offers a range of Australian-sourced keynote addresses, workshops, prayer and worship spaces and interactions with an array of Catholic organisations offering services and networking opportunities. Organisers are committed to ease of access, so the whole site can be experienced for six months for only $40.

Each workshop experience is available until the end of 2021, and offers a 30-minute video, designed to inspire, enrich and provide practical insights in the topic area addressed. They are suitable for individual faith enrichment and professional development, or for group sessions with catechists, RCIA teams, youth groups, pastoral councils, parish/school reflection days, or faith sharing groups.

Topics addressed by the keynotes and workshops include Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, Pastoral Care, Circles of Engagement, Renewal for Mission, and Justice and Outreach.

With the release of the Agenda for the Plenary Council, the platform includes offerings which inform the main topic areas featured in the agenda, such as:

  • Conversion (Titles include ‘Ministering to a Church in Trauma’, ‘Grow Safe Parishes’, ‘Bringing Your Parish to Life through Laudato Si’’, and ‘How to Bear Fruit in the Darkness’)
  • Prayer (Titles include ‘Creative Liturgy for Evangelising Whole Families’, ‘How are we to Discern?’ and Spirituality for Ageing)
  • Formation (Titles include ‘Approaches to Welcoming and Initiating People into our Faith’, and ‘Pastoral Ministry – Our Baptismal Calling’, and ‘Youth ministry’)
  • Structures (Titles include ‘Evangelisation: A Key to Parish Renewal’, ‘Releasing the Joy of the Gospel in the Parish’)
  • Governance (Titles include ‘A Woman’s Place is in the Catholic Church’, ‘Leadership for Ministry in a Synodal Church’)
  • Institutions (Titles include ‘Connecting a Thriving Catholic Community and Catholic Social Teaching’, and ‘Sport and Spirituality a.k.a. Faith and Fitness’)

The platform becomes live during “Alive in the Spirit”, an innovative pastoral ministry conference, from 8 to 10 July 2021. The conference will offer a mixture of live and on-demand opportunities which are fully adaptable to strengthen the mission and aims of local Catholic communities.

The virtual platform 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 and anyone who wants to be Alive in the Spirit.

Bishops from Australia and New Zealand are expressing their support. In a recent video address, Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv (Diocese of Parramatta) shared, “I fully support the Alive in the Spirit Conference, and warmly encourage you to take full advantage of this excellent initiative.” Bishop Michael Dooley (Diocese of Dunedin, New Zealand) also recommends the online platform saying, “using the technology available enables us to support and inspire each other. The more we can do together, the better we can make connections, that will enliven us and enable us to carry out the mission of Christ.”

Richard McMahon, chair of the Alive in the Spirit Steering Committee, noted: “We are delighted to be able to provide quality local content and offer a spotlight on best practices of those ministering in parishes, dioceses and through other mission fields. There is a real hunger for people to connect, to be enthused and enriched, and this virtual platform responds to particular needs of those seeking to be renewed in their discipleship and mission.”

Lana Turvey-Collins, Plenary Council Facilitator, believes the online platform offers a wonderful 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.”

Three long-standing and wide-reaching Catholic networks have combined forces to develop this online platform: the Pastoral Ministry Network, Christian Initiation Australia Network, and the Mission Planners Network Oceania.

Watch Bishop Vincent’s invitation to attend the Alive in the Spirit Conference below.

For more information, please contact the Alive in the Spirit Conference Convener, Lisa Bright, on 0448 652 720 or

With thanks to the Alive in the Spirit Conference.


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