22 July 2022

Faith & Mission

22 July 2022

Faith & Mission

Year 12 Retreats

Last week, our Year 12 students were finally able to attend their retreat. Originally planned for February, the retreats had to be moved to this later date due to the pandemic. Unable to hold retreats in 2020 and 2021, we were especially grateful that they were able to go ahead this year.

Year 12 Retreats are a highlight of the final year of our students’ formal secondary education. An integral component of the Religious Education program offered at Marcellin College, the retreat experience offers these young men the rare opportunity to take time to reflect on their relationships with family and friends, and to explore the presence of God in their lives as they embark on this next new phase of their lives.

As we know, life is busy: this opportunity to press the pause button to reflect on our personal and faith journey is not readily available. Students were able to immerse themselves in the activities in a peace-filled, reflective and authentic way to consider their past journey, be present in this significant time in their lives, and to consider their goals as they move into their future. Many thanks to all the staff and to the Old Collegians who accompanied the Year 12 students on retreat.

Reflection on the Final Assembly of the Plenary Council – Keeping the Spirit Alive in the Church in Australia

Two weeks ago, the Plenary Council held its second (and final) week-long gathering of nearly three hundred faithful – laity, religious, clergy and bishops, marking the culmination of a long nation-wide process of listening, discernment and dialogue that began many years ago. A Plenary Council is the highest formal gathering of all local churches in a country. The last time a plenary council was held in Australia was in 1937 and prior to that in 1885, 1895 and 1905.

Aware of the changing issues confronting the Church in a pluralistic, diverse and secular Australia, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference identified that the time was ripe for the Church in Australia to embark on a Plenary Council. This would allow opportunity for the Church to consider some of these issues and to review, analyse and discern the signs of the times, to listen anew to the Spirit, and to chart its course into the future.
There were a number of important issues discussed, debated and voted upon. The Plenary Council showed strong support for the Uluru Statement from the heart, which called for a First Nations voice to Parliament to be enshrined in Australia’s constitution. On ecology, there was a recognition of the urgency in addressing the environmental crises of our times and a commitment to join the Laudato Si’ Action Plan, a call to action which obliges us not only to care for our common home as a matter of planetary sustainability but also a sense of God-given stewardship. Marcellin College has committed to this initiative and is working toward the ecological conversion to which we are all called. Other motions concerned the equality and dignity of women and men in governance structures, ministry and decision-making mechanisms, and about how the Church in Australia might become more missionary and Christ-centred.

In a letter to the faithful in the Archdiocese of Melbourne, Archbishop Comensoli encourages us to read and reflect on two documents. Firstly, there are the Decrees that set out all the motions that were passed with a two-third’s majority. You can find them here as a combined document: This is the work that we now take forward in the life of our local Church, the fruits of these past several years and a pathway for the years to come.

Secondly, people are encouraged to read the final summary statement from the Assembly of what occurred during the week which can be found here.

As a Catholic Marist community, we pray that the Holy Spirit will lead the Church in Australia into a hope-filled future, that we may live the joy of the Gospel, through Jesus Christ our Lord, bread for the journey from age to age.

Geralyn McCarthy
Deputy Principal – Faith & Mission