eConference to celebrate Vatican II and the Year of Grace


Most Rev Michael Putney
Most Rev Michael Putney.

From Catholic Communications,
Sydney Archdiocese

More than 40,000 from across Australia and 28 other countries are expected to participate in Australia's seventh eConference on Wednesday 10 October, marking the 50th anniversary of Vatican II and celebrating the Year of Grace.

Streamed live to halls, parishes, schools, community centres and homes in every diocese in Australia and to communities in the US, Britain, Ireland, Malaysia, Venezuela, Indonesia, Swaziland, Hungary, the Philippines, Germany, South Africa and Europe, "Vatican II: An Event of Grace" will explore the historic papal conference of 1962 and reiterate its call for spiritual renewal, evangelisation, ecumenism and adaption.

Presented by the Broken Bay Institute in conjunction with the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, the eConference will feature some of the nation's leading scholars, theologians and teachers.

The keynote speaker for this year's eConference will be Most Rev Michael Putney, Bishop of Townsville and one of the world's leading scholars on ecumenism.

"Half a century on, we have an opportunity to examine Vatican II in the light of Catholic Tradition and in respect of questions that have arisen since," Bishop Putney said.

Grace and wisdom of Vatican II

One of Australia's most highly regarded theologians, Sister Maryanne Confoy rsc, will also be one of the featured speakers at the eConference.

Melbourne-born, Sr Maryanne has a PhD in Theology and Education from Boston Ciollege, USA, is a Professor of Practical Theology at the Jesuit Theological College and visiting Professor at the Institute of Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry at Boston College.

Jill Gowdie, who leads Evangelisation and Spiritual Formation at Catholic Education, Archdiocese of Brisbane will also speak at the eConference. Well known for developing frameworks and system-wide strategic approaches to spiritual formation for leaders and teachers, Jill has a particular passion on the transformative influence of leadership within the Catholic school context.

Another who will address the eConference is Paul Power, CEO of the Refugee Council of Australia and member of the Australian Government's Refugee Resettlement Advisory Council. A longtime advocate for refugees, Paul says Vatican II had a vital role in defining his life's work and believes everyone should be aware of the "grace and wisdom" contained in Vatican II's key document: Gaudium et Spes (Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World."

As with previous eConferences, not only will participants have a chance to hear some of the world's leading theologians and religious authorities, but they will also be able to ask questions via email and take part in the afternoon forums.

Read full report at the Sydney Archdiocesan site

Visit Year of Grace Parramatta

Three venues within the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta have registered to act as
‘e-sites’ for the eConference broadcast: Institute for Mission in Blacktown, St Anthony of Padua Toongabbie Parish and Our Lady of Lebanon Church Community Youth & Pastoral Centre in Harris Park.

It is important to register if planning to attend the broadcast at one of the Diocesan
e-sites or elsewhere. You can register at:

As well as through the eConference website, individual registrations can also be made though The Broken Bay Institute - Ph: 02 9847 072 or E:

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