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Discernment in Broken Bay

Discerning Discipleship in the Diocese of Broken Bay


The Diocese of Broken Bay emerged as the fourth highest responding diocese in the country and the highest responding diocese in Australia in proportion to the number of parishes.

The journey of Plenary Council 2020 continues in this new year, following a Year of Listening in which the Diocese of Broken Bay emerged as the fourth highest responding diocese in the country and the highest responding diocese in Australia in proportion to the number of parishes.

Hundreds of people in our local communities – parishes, schools and networks – shared their voice and sense of faith as the Church in Australia and will now actively shape the themes and agenda of the Plenary Council to be announced at Pentecost (9 June 2019).

As thousands of submissions Australia-wide are processed by the National Centre for Pastoral Research, we as the People of God in Broken Bay will seek to dedicate ourselves to a Year of Discernment, to discover together the concrete path that God is calling us on as individuals and as a community of Christians.

This Year of Discernment will invite us to become sensitive to the presence and guidance of the Holy Spirit – the Spirit who enables us to be faithful to Jesus in the present and who continually invites greater life in our future, abundance where there is poverty, communion where this is division, hope where this is despair, possibility where there is seeming limitation. As it has been said, when the Spirit breaks in there comes the hope of a new day and the courage and strength to move toward it.

As Pope Francis has shared in his teaching, discernment of the Spirit’s promptings in our life is a gift born in our hearts and minds by prayer, a grace and spiritual instinct given to all of God’s people by our baptism and confirmation in faith. Discernment is an everyday habit of Christian life and involves our ongoing quest for God who is actively at work in our Church and world, sometimes inspiring and at other times disruptive of our plans.

plenary-table-01The forthcoming year will open opportunities for us to grow in the practice of discernment through prayer, in continued dialogue with one another, and by entering more deeply into the way of Jesus in our respective vocations and mission. We are called to discernment in all those ways we live out the call to holiness, whether in our parishes, schools, our everyday work and relationships.

Pope Francis has shared that true discernment invites us to learn the patience of God and His times, which are never ours. It also involves the courage to allow the Word and will of God to direct our decisions, a courage built upon our intimate fellowship and intimacy with God. He observes, “One may teach and grow in discernment only if familiar with this inner teacher who, like a compass, offers the criteria to distinguish, for himself and for others, the times of God and His grace; to acknowledge His passage and the
way of His salvation; to indicate concrete means, pleasing to God, to accomplish the good that He predisposes in His mysterious plan of love for each and for all” (14 September 2017).

Throughout this year, our Office for Evangelisation will make available opportunities to enter into this spiritual exercise of discernment, to keep before our eyes the mission of Jesus and to discern how God is asking of us to respond in Australia at this time.

Our dedication to dialogue and discernment as a part of Plenary Council 2020 will express our conviction that God is at work in world history, in the events of our life, in the people we encounter and those who share life with us. Together as the People of God in
Broken Bay, we are called to listen to what the Spirit suggests to us and to discern the movement of God, so we can choose and accomplish the good that God wants.

A Year of Discernment in our Diocese
Dates and venues subject to change. Please check the Diocese of Broken Bay website (
and future editions of the Broken Bay News in 2019 for the latest event details and updates.