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Jesuit News

This week Joshua Puls joins the Jesuit novitiate based at the Jesuit residence at Athelstone. Josh previously was the Official Secretary to the Governor of Victoria. He served with Governors Gobbo, Landy, de Kretser, Chernov and Dessau. Please pray for him as he commences his Jesuit formation.

Australian Jesuit, Fr Brett O’Neill SJ was ordained a priest at St Mary’s Church, North Sydney on Saturday, July 16 and celebrated his first mass in in the parish of St Joseph’s, East Maitland on Sunday July 17. Before entering the Society of Jesus in 2014, Brett worked in public policy with the Australian Government. As a Jesuit he has worked in policy advocacy with Jesuit Social Services, Melbourne, and as a support worker accompanying newly-arrived migrants. Brett has been studying in Boston exploring how the Church can engage to promote the common good.


Joshua Choong SJ, Fr Brett O’Neill SJ and Fr Dan Madigan SJ

Province Gathering

120 people from Jesuit ministries in Australia and New Zealand participated in a Province Gathering at Saint Ignatius College, Riverview on July 12 and 13. A number of acknowledgements were made for generous service including an Ignatian medal to Professor Suzanne Le Mire in recognition of her extraordinary commitment to the College over many years especially on the College Board, Council, and Foundation. Please view the Citation HERE.


Professor Suzanne Le Mire receiving an Ignatian Medal from the Provincial, Fr Quyen Vu SJ

Fr John Dardis SJ, General Counsellor for Discernment and Strategic Planning reflected how Ignatian spirituality enlivens our works. Ms Kathleen Upfold, Director of Connection at Xavier College, Melbourne, shared her faith journey and how this helped face challenging moments in her professional life. Professor Suzanne Pascoe reflected on Synodality and its implications for the Church today.


Chair of College Board, Sean Keenihan at Province Gathering

Four young adults spoke encouragingly about their experience of living a life of faith. Two panel members spoke about the Jesuit Young Adult ministry in Sydney called the Cardoner Project or the Two Wolves. Old Ignatian, Julian Nguyen shared about his experiences with the Plenary Council.

Plenary Council

The Plenary Council met in early July. A plenary council is a legislative body of the Catholic Church. They involve much respectful listening, consultation, careful drafting and compromise. Drafters of the motions endeavoured to reflect the concerns of church members following four years of consultations.

There were up to 277 members in attendance. Those who were not bishops were able to cast consultative votes on motions. There were usually about 211 consultative voters and 47 bishops and ‘ordinaries’ who held a deliberative vote. For a motion to get up, it required a 2/3 ‘yes’ vote of those with a consultative vote and a 2/3 ‘yes’ vote of the bishops. They voted on 10 decrees.

Sr Patty Fawkner SGS a member of the Steering Committee of the Plenary reflected: ‘the response by Members to the cry of our Indigenous sisters and brothers was uncompromised and magnanimous. The response to the cry of those abused by the Church was heartfelt and generous. The response to the cry of the earth was a forward-looking commitment. The response to the cry for women to be treated with equal dignity in the Church? This was confused and lukewarm’.

Indeed the voting on the Wednesday 6 July about enhancing the role of women in the Church, overcoming obstacles to equality, and witnessing to the equal dignity of men and women caused some issues that took another day to be sorted.

Click on the links below to open the decrees (subject to final corrections):

Decree 1 Reconciliation - Healing Wounds, Receiving Gifts

Decree 2 Choosing Repentance - Seeking Healing

Decree 3 Called by Christ - Sent Forth as Mission Disciples

Decree 4 Witnessing to the Equal Dignity of Women and Men

Decree 5 Communion in Grace - Sacrament to the World

Decree 6 Formation and Leadership for Mission and Ministry

Decree 7 At the Service of Communion Participation and Mission – Governance

Decree 8 Integral Ecology and Conversion for the Sake of Our Common Home

Decree 9 The Implementation Phase of the Fifth Plenary Council

Decree 10 The Decrees of the Fourth Plenary Council of Australia

Fr Peter Hosking SJ

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